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on 14 August 2007
The Case for the real Jesus
By Lee Strobel
Pre release copy.
Before I became a Christian (in 2005) I used to read all the books that agreed with what I then believed. You know the ones, the Richard Dawkins types. Then I thought, "Hmmm, I've read loads of evidence AGAINST religion, why don't I read some evidence for it. That should be funny!" I simply thought that an intelligent case for ANY religion was impossible. So I looked at all the major faiths, Islam, Buddhism, Hindu and even the Jehovah's witness', Judaism and then finally Christianity. I discovered that when one is able to take on board the evidence from both sides, then and only then can one reach a fair conclusion.

The Case for the real Jesus is a book that offers a fair and intelligent look at evidence both for and against the real Jesus. It quite easily dispels a lot of the myths surrounding Jesus, His life and His teachings. It even points out a few "error's" within the Bible and explains how and why they are there.

It looks into the claims of popular fiction authors, such as Dan Brown with his Da Vinci Code and quite easily lays those fictitious claims to rest.

This is a book I couldn't put down. I thrilled whilst reading every page, experiencing dozens of, what I call "A-Haaa!" moments.

Lee interviews several experts on the subjects raised within the book, he asks the difficult questions that I used to throw at Christians. He doesn't let these experts off easily, and they make their case wonderfully.

This book will help any Christian solidify their faith, and let non-Christians read the "True" evidence about Christ. The great thing about this book is that whilst explaining how and why some of the popular myths are propagated in today's society, it explains away those very myths quite easily.

Obviously there will always be bigots (like I was-look up the meaning of Bigot!!) that will still refuse to accept what is plainly there for them to see, instead they will only see the evidence that leads to the conclusion they want...& not the truth.

I loved this book and the way it opened my eyes to details I wasn't even aware of.

This is Lee's best book to date...in my opinion.
A great read.
Daniel L Potts. (UK)
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on 4 April 2017
One of my personal favorites as a christian book. it is wonderful really worth the read. By the end of the book you will see that JESUS is who he said he is absolutely wonderful. If your a non Christian by the end i hope and pray you will also see that JESUS is who he is the saviour of the world.
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on 16 January 2016
Well worth a read for anyone curious with how Jesus may have existed. Check out all Strobel's books. They are fascinating for atheists and believers alike!
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 23 April 2010
"So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, 'Truly this was the Son of God!'" -- Matthew 27:54 (NKJV)

I developed an interest in reading this book after hearing Lee Strobel preach at Calvary Chapel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a few weeks ago. He presented a lot of background information about Jesus that was new to me, and I decided I wanted to learn more.

I believe that you will gain the most benefit from The Case for the Real Jesus if you first read Lee Strobel's earlier book, The Case for Christ. The facts and arguments in The Case for the Real Jesus are often connected to material in The Case for Christ.

In the interest of helping you figure out if this is a book you want to read, I suggest you begin by taking a look at pages 266-267 where the key issues addressed in the book are summarized.

The book considers these challenges that have been frequently raised in the public press during recent years:

1. "Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents just as credible as the four Gospels."

2. "The Bible's portrait of Jesus cannot be trusted because the church tampered with the text."

3. "New explanations have refuted Jesus' resurrection."

4. "Christianity's beliefs about Jesus were copied from pagan religions."

5. "Jesus was an imposter who failed to fulfill the Messianic prophecies."

6. "People should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus."

Each section basically follows the format of finding one of these six challenges, documenting who made the claim and what the claim was based on, locating an expert in that area, and asking the expert to comment on the claim.

You may find that format a little restrictive for getting all of your questions answered. I think you'll find that reading this book is a little like getting an appetizer-sized portion of the information. It would have been much more interesting if Mr. Strobel had arranged for those who made these claims to debate the "expert" who was interviewed and then reported on the give-and-take. The book is filled with references, however, so you'll have an easy time tracking down the original claim and what others have written on the subject. I believe there's enough here to lead you to the information you are looking for to make up your mind from what the sources say or suggest and your heart tells you.

If you are a graduate-level theology student, this material will be too simple for you. If you are just an average person who wants to understand more about what scholars are disagreeing about, you'll probably find that you will get enough information in many areas to satisfy your curiosity.

I feel that people should know why they believe what they believe. The historical record about Jesus' life through the ascension into heaven is richer than is typically the case for events that happened almost two thousand years ago, and I think most people who want to know more about Jesus will be glad they became more familiar with the sources and how they were developed and analyzed.

May God bless you, your family, and all you do in the name of Jesus!
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on 19 October 2007
Out of all the Christian apologetics's I have read, Lee Strobel is simply one of the best. As a committed Christian the recent years have been ones of having to repeatedly answer objection's from my Atheistic friends and attacks by Muslim's attempting to persuade me that Jesus was never crucified.
Lee Strobel's investigative approach to unearthing the real Jesus will provide any Christian worth his salt with enough ammunition to answer all of these questions, by pursuing an evidence-based approach Strobel clearly demonstrates the reliability of the Gospel's, the actuality of the Resurrection and therefore the reliability of the Hebrew scriptures.
The Holy Spirit truly walks with this man.
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on 11 March 2010
Raised Christian and having since lapsed into an easy agnosticisim, I expected this book to be full of circular reasoning and using faith/scriptural writings alone to confirm Jesus' identity. Well, what I got instead was a cool headed reply to the usual attacks on Christianity's 'version' of Jesus, such as the Gospels were written long after his death and not by eye witnesses. By the end I was left shaken out of my comfortable relitavism and had the nasty feeling that these Christians might actually be right! Only section that wasn't completely convincing was where Strobel and the expert he interviews try to prove that Jesus fulfilled the Jewish Messianic prophecies. However, on the biggie of the ressurection, it doesn't half make a good case. Much better than the sneering hard-core atheists do against. Think I might have to get myself to church...
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on 23 December 2011
"The case for the real Jesus" is a sequel to Lee Strobel's best-selling "The case for Christ". The author, who calls himself a journalist, is actually an evangelical minister. (That's why he looks like one on the dust jacket.)

The book attacks alternative ideas about Jesus, including those of the Jesus Seminar, Morton Smith, Michael Baigent, Muslims and Jews. Strobel also takes on Bart Ehrman. As in "The case for Christ", Strobel interviews various Christian scholars to solicit their opinions on the latest heterodox notions about Jesus. While "The case for Christ" looked (mostly) intended for a general audience, the sequel feels more narrowly directed at Christians.

Many of the alternative visions of Jesus tackled in the book are indeed pretty extreme, and Strobel has little problem exposing them. Thus, Morton Smith's "secret gospel of Mark" was probably a forgery, the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas was most certainly written much later than the canonical gospels, and Michael Baigent...well, why even bother mentioning him?

However, many of the other arguments are much weaker. Strobel should seriously try to tackle the contradictions (or "differences", if you're very neutral-minded) between the synoptics and John. Instead, we read that the gospels concur in the "essentials". Well, Jesus does die and rise again in all four gospels, so I guess you can say they agree on the "essentials" in that sense. Presumably the exact date of the crucifixion, the length of Jesus' ministry, or the exact origins of his parents, aren't "essentials", then? But that, of course, is not Strobel's position, since he's a fundamentalist (or something close to it). He is clearly being disingenuous here.

Further, the author downplays the conflicts within the early Church between Paul and various Jewish Christian groups, arguing that they weren't essential either, while missing the real point: how could such conflicts arise at all, if the words of Jesus had been supernaturally preserved? Why didn't Paul point to a statement by Jesus to prove that all food was lawful? Perhaps because there wasn't such a statement...until one was attributed to Jesus in the gospels, written down after Paul's death. Besides, Paul and his opponents certainly believed that the conflict was over essentials. Why else would Paul's preaching be so controversial? Why did the most radical Jewish Christians accuse Paul of no longer being Jewish, forcing Paul to worship in the Temple to prove his Jewishness? Surely, these people saw Temple worship as something very essential!

That the book is intended for an evangelical audience is also shown by some rather strange arguments, such as Paul's meeting with the risen Christ being proof that Jesus did indeed rose from the dead. On most interpretations, however, Paul met a heavenly being, not a physical one. This is compatible with having a spiritual vision. Perhaps such visions are true in some sense, but they might just as well prove the immortality of the soul *without* the physical body. Paul's vision, by itself, therefore doesn't prove the bodily resurrection. Besides, other religions also claim that their founders were associated with miracles, even resurrections. The Hindu guru Paramahamsa Yogananda supposedly met his teacher in a resurrected state. The Three Witnesses saw the Book of Mormon being brought to them by an angel. Strobel presumably rejects these miracles, but why? They are not dissimilar in character from Paul's experience on the Damascus road. A "New Age" believer might argue that they are all true, an atheist that they are all false, and a Word of Faith believer that the non-Christian miracles are true but induced by the Devil himself! But what would Strobel say?

Another evangelical-oriented section attacks New Age, gravely telling us that we cannot believe whatever we want to believe about Jesus. No? The author doesn't seem to have any problem with it. After all, the credal statements developed over time. It's not prima facie clear that the earliest disciples believed exactly the same thing as modern evangelicals. Sure, there might be a "family likeness", but where do we draw the line? Even beliefs about the resurrection seem to have varied, with Paul being closer to the "spiritual" part of the spectrum, while Tertullian (I think) was closer to the "material" part. The Trinity wasn't officially adopted until the fourth century, and so on.

Strobel also claims that the Christian concept of Hell is better than the Hindu concept of reincarnation and karma. Really? Since when? I'm sorry, but here our author is entering the intellectual twilight zone! Enough said.

There simply isn't a case for Protestant fundamentalism.
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VINE VOICEon 15 July 2008
The book is very good but a little hard to read at times -- there's so much information. Lee Strobel's reading of his own book makes the material come to life. With the help of experts in the field he debunks the sceptical rubbish that has been written about Jesus. A great help in affirming my faith in the face of all the popular distractions that are being published. There are nine CDs in the box -- the reading is unabridged.
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on 7 January 2010
A good informative study for a the facts about Jesus of the bible
A must for every Christian new or old
Peter Addison. London UK
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on 11 January 2009
Another great book put together by Lee Strobel and a host of experts he consults for this volume. This book covers many of the more recent attacks on the historical person of Jesus and does a pretty good job at dealing with many of the alledged problems. The challenges put forward by skeptics that are addressed are as follows:

- Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents just as credible as the four gospels. This looks at many of the other gospels discovered such as the gospel of Thomas and Judas.
- The Bibles portrait of Jesus can't be trusted because the Church tampered with the text. Addresses suggestions that the NT has been tampered with.
- New explanations have refuted Jesus Resurrection and cross-examination. Looks at recent arguments against the validity of the resurrection.
- Christianity's beliefs about Jesus were copied from pagan religions. Looks at the suggested copycat myths and make you realise why these arguments were dealt with over 100 years ago.
- Jesus was an imposter who failed to fulfill the messianic prophecies. Excellent chapter dealing with prophecy from a messianic Jewish perspective.
- People should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus. Deals with the pluralistic mindset so common in western society today.

Overall a great read, it doesnt cover everything but there are some excellent books mentioned that will satisfy people who are looking for further reading on the subjects highlighted.

Get it you won't regret it!
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