Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Historicity of the Biblical Jesus

I just finished reading a great little book on the historicity of the biblical Jesus. The Jesus of the New Testament has been under attack for over 100 years in higher-academia, and this critical understanding of the person of Jesus has now carried over into popular culture with Da Vinci Code, the reports from the Jesus Seminar, the Tomb movie, etc. The story is almost getting old: Jesus was a simple religious teacher from Nazareth who was made a god by his followers after his death, then exalted by the early church into a position equal with God. This movement reports that there is no way for us to have any confidence in the New Testament record of Jesus because of all the copying of the biblical texts, because of the influence of the church, and because of the real historical story (stealing from other religions, ignoring the gnostic texts, and making it up as they went along).

This new book, Reinventing Jesus, by three solid biblical scholars, helps answer many of the objections to the biblical Jesus with piercing logic. In the end, these three authors show with devastating arguments that the positions of liberal scholars are simply intellectually impossible to maintain. The authors give plentiful reasons for Christians to have confidence in their Bibles, in the biblical record of Jesus, in the early church's work to carry on the message of the apostles, and in Christianity's uniqueness among all other ancient religious systems. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who questions the reliability of the biblical record or the portrait painted of Jesus in the NT gospels. Once again we have convincing reasons to take the step of faith toward believing in Jesus of Nazareth as the Risen Son of God.

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