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on 15 November 2013
I note that this book is no longer available, in an economical sense, in the UK. It was required reading for my MA, and I had to order it from the USA - otherwise I doubt if I would have encountered it.

It seems that the author is something of a polymath, having in total eleven degrees in philosophy, librarianship, philosophy and law. He was born in 1933, and specialised as a Barrister working in the field of human rights and religious freedom. This title ('History, Law and Christianity') is therefore a useful title because it brings together the author's various disciplines in what is actually rather a cogent defence of Christian belief.

It was first published in 1964, for many of us quite a different era in terms of the way in which people studied, and organised their understanding of subjects. It is difficult to imagine a similar book (perhaps) being written today, given the very effective splintering of disciplines that appears to have been systematically underway within the academy.

I have given the book four out of five stars, only because I think that our understanding of the data, especially concerning the New Testament, has advanced significantly since the author published this work. Indeed, from a position of orthodox Christian belief, we now have even stronger arguments for the historicity of the person of Christ, the reliability of the NT documents, and for the resurrection as the best explanation of the data. Never the less, JWM's treatment is rigorous, clear and very helpful. I did particularly enjoy the section where he outlined how the known facts about Jesus Christ would stack up from a legal perspective, using juridicial reasoning and the law of evidence.

If you can obtain a copy at a reasonable price, then I recommend that you do so. Unfortunately, it looks as if those copies available on the second-hand market in the UK tend to be priced beyond the reach of most 'normal' readers. The book is only 130 pages long, including the bibliography.
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