- Paperback: 298 pages
- Publisher: College Press Publishing Company; Subsequent edition (1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0899007325
- ISBN-13: 978-0899007328
- Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.3 x 2.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 837,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ Paperback – 1 Jan 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Habermas looks at early evidence about Jesus and based on this evidence- from non Christian and hostile sources as well as Christian sources concludes that Christ existed that he was crucified and buried and that something happened after the burial. The sources which state what happened are examined and they hold up pretty well to inspection and scrutiny as to their date and content.
The Jesus of the Bible is the historic Jesus is the conclusion of the book- a conclusion which is backed up by examining the evidence- what that means to us is quite a different question-
it is interesting that in the Gospels no one doubted that Jesus existed what was in question was who he was and what he was doing. These two questions still confront us today- how we respond to the answers are of vital importance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Dr. Habermas knows what he is talking about. My little brain soaked it up and actually retained a fair amount of it. I just got it again to re-read and give to a friend.
If you have read some of the other reviews, the most critical claims against Habermas have to do with the legitimacy of the Shroud of Turin, as Habermas spends a chapter discussing that artifact. This is really a moot point because if the shroud were found to be a forgery today, that would do absolutely nothing to undermine all the other evidence that Habermas presents just in the form of ancient documents. That is really where one needs to focus the arguments for the truth of the resurrection; the historical documentation because anything else acts as a smokescreen.
One thing that is very helpful is that Habermas will quote an early document and then expound upon, point by point, all the information that may be gleaned from the quote. While that may seem trivial, he points out many facts in the quote that can easily be overlooked. It is helpful in the sense that we can very easily see many of the same themes, beliefs, and knowledges of the people around the time of Jesus. One example is the exegesis of 1 Cor 15:3-8, the first creed of the early Church. A TON of beliefs can be gleaned from a careful exegesis of this passage. Habermas also demonstrates that this creed is not in the typical style of the way Paul writes, and hence it represents a creed that was known far back, one not original to Paul. From this, we see that belief is a bodily, physical resurrection of Jesus was known to people very close to the time of Jesus' death, much to the chagrin of the Jesus Seminar. That is just a small sample of the kinds of insights this book provides.
This book is definitely a must read and invaluable resource. Highly recommended.