I would certainly agree that these early manuscripts provide us with a fairly good idea of what the original form of the New Testament writings might have looked like. Yet even if these second-century copies are accurate, all we then have are first-century writings that claim Jesus was raised from the dead.
That in no way proves the historicity of the resurrection. One key argument in the movie comes from the New Testament writing known as First Corinthians, written by the Apostle Paul to a group of Christians in Corinth to address controversies that had arisen in their community. In 1 Corinthians These witnesses to the resurrected Jesus include the Apostle Peter, James the brother of Jesus, and, most intriguingly, a group of more than people at the same time.
What do the New Testament writings prove?
This passage helps to demonstrate that the belief that Jesus was raised from the dead originated extremely early in the history of Christianity. For example, Bart Ehrman , a prominent New Testament scholar who is outspoken about his agnosticism, states:. It could be seen and touched, and it had a voice that could be heard.
This does not, however, in any way prove that Jesus was resurrected. It is not unusual for people to see loved ones who have died: In a study of nearly 20, people, 13 percent reported seeing the dead. There are a range of explanations for this phenomenon, running the gamut from the physical and emotional exhaustion caused by the death of a loved one all the way to the belief that some aspects of human personality are capable of surviving bodily death.
In other words, the sightings of the risen Jesus are not nearly as unique as Strobel would suggest. First of all, biblical scholars have no idea what event Paul is referring to here. But one leading scholar has suggested that this event was added to the list of resurrection appearances by Paul, and that its origins are uncertain.
The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ
Second, even if Paul is reporting accurately, it is no different from large groups of people claiming to see an apparition of the Virgin Mary or a UFO. Although the precise mechanisms for such group hallucinations remain uncertain, I very much doubt that Strobel would regard all such instances as factual. Some scholars would question how early the empty tomb story is. There is significant evidence that the Romans did not typically remove victims from crosses after death. Miracles are, by definition, extremely improbable events, and I see no reason to assume that one has taken place when other explanations are far more plausible.
Yet the two biblical scholars who feature in the movie, Gary Habermas and William Lane Craig , both teach at institutions Liberty University and Biola University, respectively that require their faculty to sign statements affirming that they believe the Bible is inspired by God and is free of any contradictions, historical inaccuracies or moral failings.
For example, the Liberty University faculty application requires assent to the following statement:. The overwhelming majority of professional biblical scholars teaching in the United States and elsewhere are not required to sign such statements of faith. Many of the other scholars he interviews in his book have similar affiliations. Strobel has thus drawn from a quite narrow range of scholars that are not representative of the field as a whole.
I estimate there are somewhere around 10, professional biblical scholars globally. As you know, there are plenty of credentialed scholars who would agree that the evidence for the resurrection is sufficient to establish its historicity. In the end, though, each person must reach his or her own verdict in the case for Christ. Many things influence how someone views the evidence — including, for instance, whether he or she has an anti-supernatural bias. So he goes back to some of the basics as to what we know. Even if you are familiar with some of the arguments used, I found better insights regarding them and some points I had not considered at all.
About ten years ago, while waiting at the Pittsburgh Airport, I met a young biblical scholar named Dr. We were both heading to the same biblical conference so we rode together, and in the car we had a lively discussion about biblical interpretation, especially the reliability of the Gospels. I turned around to Dr. Someone needs to write a book dedicated to refuting that stupid comparison. View all 4 comments. Feb 03, Julie Davis rated it it was amazing. I think this book listing was entered into the system before publication and the subtitle has been changed since then. Pitre shared how annoyed he was by the oft-used comparison between NOTE: A good book which gave me a great moments of happiness.
Of course to know about Jesus is always a happy moment. The skeptical attitude towards Jesus was there from his earthly life onward I know it will continue but for those who seek with trust and faith this book is really an answer. The skepticism against Jesus makes the really believers to go away from their faith. This book is really a good one with much reflection about the life of Jesus and the Gospels. The biblical and historical evidenc A good book which gave me a great moments of happiness.
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The biblical and historical evidence given by Pitre is really helpful for any believers to meditate more about Jesus and make their faith strong in Jesus. I recommend this book to everyone who is in a search of the divinity of Jesus and who is on the level of fall. Before you fall just go through these facts really helpful one.
Thanks Pitre for your dedication and contentment and love for Jesus. Feb 05, Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing Shelves: As someone who is no stranger to reading apologetic works like this one , I found this book interesting and worthwhile for several reasons, although I must admit I am not as enthusiastic about some of his other books where his Catholic perspective is a bit stronger like his book on the whore of Babylon, for example. Even so, this was a book that hit a certain sweet spot that makes a book enjoyable to read, and that is a work that presents a thoughtful case for Christ based on the evidence As someone who is no stranger to reading apologetic works like this one , I found this book interesting and worthwhile for several reasons, although I must admit I am not as enthusiastic about some of his other books where his Catholic perspective is a bit stronger like his book on the whore of Babylon, for example.
Even so, this was a book that hit a certain sweet spot that makes a book enjoyable to read, and that is a work that presents a thoughtful case for Christ based on the evidence that also takes seriously the Hebrew thought of the early Church of God. Even if this author does not share that perspective, it is worthwhile at least to note that he celebrates and presents that understanding in a way that is appealing to read and which is quite excellent to contrast with the approaches taken by other contemporary Christian apologists, few of whom have a great interest in the perspective of the Hebrew scriptures on such matters as the Messiah and why it was that Jesus Christ was considered guilty of blasphemy.
This book totals about pages, a pretty standard length for an easy-to-read volume of this type, and contains a baker's dozen of chapters that deal with various matters about the historical and biblical case for Jesus Christ. The author begins with a discussion of the quest for the historical Jesus and for the author's own personal quest for belief through the course of his education. After that the author asks the question of whether the Gospels were anonymous, finding no anonymous copies of the Gospels whatsoever, but rather finding that the four Gospels of our scripture are uniformly given the titles that we have them or abbreviations thereof.
The author then turns his attention to the writings of various ante-Nicene church fathers showing his Catholic perspective in an appealing form here while looking critically at the so-called Lost Gospels. The author then looks at the genre of the Gospels as biographies, and discusses the dating of the Gospels as being before the destruction of the Temple.
It is at this point that the author shows his most interesting line of evidence by looking at Jesus' messianic claims and their Hebrew context, which can be found in all of the Gospels and not only John. After this the author looks at the crucifixion, resurrection, and transfiguration, presenting a solid book that is immensely enjoyable for a believer to read. Where this book excels the most is in exposing the intellectual bankruptcy of so much of the critical impulse of self-professed scholars when it comes to examining the biblical record.
By looking at what the self-professed Christian writers of the early centuries of Christianity said about texts which we can read for ourselves in translation today, we can see that there was no widespread conspiracy against valid forms of Christianity, but rather a strong Christian hostility to pseudonymous works and a high degree of concern for eyewitness testimony as well as high standards of historicity, which one finds in the Gospels as a whole.
The author shows himself to be knowledgeable in matters of textual criticism to a high degree, and it is inspirational that he managed to survive as a faithful person in the sort of environment that tends to cause so many others to lose their faith because of corrupt instruction by those who should know better but do not when it comes to God's word and its reliability. For those who are at least somewhat sympathetic to an understanding of the Hebrew scriptures and their viewpoint as well as to a historical look at the church fathers of late antiquity, this book is definitely a worthwhile and enjoyable read.
Jan 06, Ben House rated it it was amazing Shelves: Maybe I am dimwitted, gullible, and shallow. I believe the Bible. I believe the words of Jesus. I believe the historic and creedal teachings of the Church in the broadest universal sense. I have no more problem believing in the virgin birth of Christ than in the non-virgin birth of myself, my children, and others.
I believe Christ rose from the dead. I am a creationist and pretty much in line with fundamentalists, except that I am not premillennial. In matters where I have doubts, I simply shrug them off as a personal failing. Like the people of Pennsylvania that former President Barack Obama, I simply cling to guns and religion.
Well, actually, I cling to coffee, books, and religion, but I basically fit alongside of those political Neanderthals as depicted by the Enlightened One. Nevertheless, I have long loved and studied and read on Christian apologetics. I have loved that area of study since I first discovered it many years ago.
I love it too much to take sides. I love the approach by Greg Bahnsen and that of R. I love Classical Apologetics, Theistic Proofs, Evidentialists, and simple home-grown personal testimonies. Correcting my words above, I actually do take sides: I do favor the views of the presuppositionalists, but will still employ examples form Evidence That Demands a Verdict. I was reading it as a spiritual prop to all of the non-spiritual pressures of the Christmas season.
It filled that need, but it did much more. The reading of the book was a heart and mind exalting experience. But the field of apologetics, as defenders of the faith would say, is not primarily to convince the unbeliever, but to comfort and strengthen the believer. My initial attraction to this book was that it had an afterword written by Bishop Robert Barron. My review can be found here. Wanting to learn more of Barron, I was interested in this book primarily for that reason.
Besides being an academic professor, he is a best selling author. This book begins with a central issue: Did Jesus of Nazareth claim to be God? Again, I never lay awake at night wondering about that. But it is a stumbling block for many. And it is a contention that is raised by folks in the liberal wings of the Christian umbrella. Granted, I have long since embraced J. But the broader religious community, which includes all varieties of Christian-adjective groups, teach, write, suggest, imply, and slip in doubts and questions about this.
Heresies are a great blessing to believers. For by them, Christians are forced to wake up, drink stronger coffee, and pull the Bibles down from the shelves and start digging. The result is not capitulation, defensive retreats, or fear. Rather, the result of battling a heresy is clarification of the truth. Bart Ehrman is the prime target of this book. Ehrman, who is—sad to say—a Wheaton graduate, is a popular writer whose claim to fame is debunking the faith he once embraced sort of.
He is a good writer. I read a book titled The Gospel According to Judas. The fragment that is attributed to Judas is ridiculous, but it is a valuable piece of ancient Gnostic material. His books, along with contentions of professors of religion, created a crisis for Pitre when he was a student.
There are no new arguments against Christianity under the sun. For this reason, Pitre ably assembles the teachings of Church Fathers and others from plus years of whipping heretics to pin Ehrman and others in quick knock-out matches. A good and Christ-centered stroll among the Church Fathers is almost always a blessing. This is especially true if you have a guide who knows the Fathers and knows the best quotes and references.
But that is not the greatest strength of this book. We Protestants are a folk who love the Solas of the Reformation. It all begins and even ends on Sola Scriptura. Praise God for Church Fathers of all years of winning arguments. But our first, primary, and actually only defense is found in Scripture. By going straight from one Bible verse, story, or teaching to another, Brant emphasizes, teaches, reinforces, and shouts aloud that Jesus Christ is God, that Jesus Christ claimed to be God, and that Scripture teaches that message clearly and forcefully.
For those who like spiritual reading during Lent, there is still time to delve into this work. But best of all, it might be just the book to read on Easter and the days following when we celebrate that Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, Very God of Very God, rose from the dead and lives and rules forever. I am obliged to confess that I received this book as a review book and am not obligated to praise it to the hilt. The high regard is the result of my being unable to restrain myself. Jul 11, Brian rated it it was amazing Shelves: Excellent book covering the accuracy of the gospels, the historical evidences for the facts of Jesus life, death, and resurrection Among so many other books on apologetic issues, this one stands out as being very thoroughly researched, systematically presented, and builds a comprehensive case for concluding that the accounts of the gospels and the person of Christ presented there simply cannot Excellent book covering the accuracy of the gospels, the historical evidences for the facts of Jesus life, death, and resurrection Among so many other books on apologetic issues, this one stands out as being very thoroughly researched, systematically presented, and builds a comprehensive case for concluding that the accounts of the gospels and the person of Christ presented there simply cannot be dismissed.
Wonderful book and I will be looking for more from this author in the future. Sep 13, Sarah Marie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I really loved this. The listening experience was great, but I definitely want to reread this. May 26, James Allen rated it did not like it Shelves: I'm taking the time to write this review because this is one of the worst books I have ever started reading. I have read many, many biblical apologists and they all commit glaring historical and logical errors.
After reading the reviews for The Case for Jesus, I thought this book might be an exception. I was greatly disappointed. I can only guess that other reviewers haven't read mainstream biblical scholarship or made any attempt to check the information contained in the book.
The Case For Christ
From the many book I'm taking the time to write this review because this is one of the worst books I have ever started reading. From the many books I have read, every biblical apologist commits the classic straw man fallacy when dealing with their opponents views.
Pitre is no exception. Right off the bat he mischaracterizes mainstream biblical scholarship regarding the authorship of the gospels. I'm not sure why apologists want to intentionally mischaracterize and make serious biblical scholars arguments seem childish. I say "intentionally" mischaracterize because he obviously has read books by Bart Ehrman and others but chooses not to deal with the actual arguments they present.
Chapter 2 I thought Mr. Pitre was going to provide manuscript evidence that no other biblical scholar, mainstream or evangelical had been aware of before. Alas, shockingly, this was not to be the case. An example for Chapter 2 is a case in point: I read other parts of the book and they contain the same "scholarship" as chapter 2. View all 5 comments. Mar 07, Aaron Carpenter rated it really liked it. It's something else entirely to accept that they actually wrote the truth about him. But in "The Case for Jesus," Brant Pitre takes it upon himself not only to clarify what Jesus says about himself in the Gospels, but to demonstrate that they are, in fact, historical documents worthy of anyone's consideration.
To begin, Pitre addresses the allegation that the Gospel documents were compiled ano It's one thing to accept Jesus as he is portrayed by the Gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. To begin, Pitre addresses the allegation that the Gospel documents were compiled anonymously long after Jesus' death and bear no more authority than an ancient game of "Telephone. They were written by exactly who they claim to be written by - eyewitnesses of Jesus and their companions. He goes on to show how all of the supposed "lost gospels" fail at this point. Furthermore, he demonstrates that the Gospels contain all the marks of an ancient biographies in contrast to "legend," "myth," or "fairy tale" and that they were written well within the lifetimes of the eyewitnesses.
This forms the first half of the book. In the second half, Pitre shows how Jesus actually claimed to be God, especially in a unique Jewish way often overlooked by modern scholars. He does this, not only in his teachings but at his crucifixion and in his resurrection.
Are all of Strobel’s arguments relevant?
Ultimately, Pitre seeks to bring us back to C. Critics argue that the trilemma assumes that Gospel reports are accurate and that Jesus actually claimed to be God. Pitre shows that they are and that he did. This book is written on a lay level and easily accessible to even the least initiated. Occasionally, the author slips into a style that feels a little too informal, and he uses a somewhat minority interpretation of one key passage.
These are the reasons I give the book 4 stars instead of 5, but they should not detract from my strong recommendation. Jan 15, Michael Jones rated it it was amazing Shelves: I'll come back to this one a few times over. Really appreciated the firm conviction and clarity. Christians, if you want to reinforce your faith, this is excellent. If you're not a Christian, this one raises challenges.
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No logical fallacies here but sound historical argumentation. The other thing is that there is enough interesting points and good gritty grappling with the writer's own struggles to keep this an interesting read all the way through. Mar 11, J. Lair rated it really liked it. This book examines the Gospels, when they were written, by whom, what is lost in translations. The author will admit that longer books can be written on each subject so the is a book for someone casually versed in Bible knowledge.
That said, this was very informative for me. I was not lost on the information. The rest is notes. There are copied paragraphs from the Bible, which is good for the novi This book examines the Gospels, when they were written, by whom, what is lost in translations.
There are copied paragraphs from the Bible, which is good for the novice like me so I know what the author is talking about and where to find it, but it made the book feel short. Sep 28, Bob Buice rated it liked it. Apparently, he continued through his seminary and graduate education pursuing this concern. Pitre assumes that being divine is the same as being God. Actually, the synoptic gospels do not claim that Jesus called himself God.
Only in the Johannine gospel did Jesus call himself God. In the synoptic gospels Jesus is presented as the Son of God; He was divine, but he never called himself God. Pitre appears to be missing this point. It is commonly known among scholars that in the Synoptic gospels Mark, Matthew, Luke Jesus never referred to himself as God. This is a rather weak challenge to established scholarship. He makes a number of other arguments that Jesus performed miracles that the Hebrew scriptures had reserved for God alone. However, Jesus is the divine son of God, the second member of the Godhead.
In the Galilee, where only 1 in a could write, it is doubtful that an uneducated fisherman, John, Son of Zebedee, could have written the Johannine gospel. However, Matthew, the tax collector, John Mark, the scribe, and Luke the physician probably would have been able to write. However, is there any evidence that Matthew, the tax collector, John Mark, the scribe, and Luke the physician are the Matthew, Mark, and Luke of the synoptic gospels? He presents no direct internal evidence of authorship of the apocryphal gospels. Each time Pitre states evidence the reader can tell that he is reaching for support.
A number of current scholars claim that the titles of the four gospels were added late in the second century. Pitre makes a good point that no early manuscripts without titles have been discovered. I noticed that myself in reviewing the early manuscripts. Pitre argues that, while each gospel uses different words and phrases, they all say essentially the same thing. Again, he is reaching. He misses points such as: Accordingly, Acts must have been written before the death of Paul. I would like to see a debate between Pitre and one of the current progressive Christian scholars.
Pitre says we have the testimony of both Eusebius of Caesarea CE and Cyril, bishop of the Church in Jerusalem around CE , who agreed that there are writings by heretics under the name of the apostles Peter and Thomas. I suppose it is but a minor point, but in reference to the destruction of the Temple 70 CE , Pitre refers to Emperor Titus. Although Titus led the army that destroyed the Temple, his reign as emperor was much later r.
A scholar permits the evidence to lead to a conclusion. Unfortunately, Pitre gives the impression that he stated his conclusion up front and continuously reached for supporting evidence. Still, there is much to learn from the specific historical material he presents. Feb 24, Joseph rated it really liked it. Focused apologetics on the question of whether Jesus considered himself divine, or whether this was an added component of church leadership centuries later.
Addresses claims by atheist experts i. Bart Ehrman, Richard Dawkins with some common sense, but also with learned research of his own. An equally entert Focused apologetics on the question of whether Jesus considered himself divine, or whether this was an added component of church leadership centuries later. An equally entertaining and educational read. Apr 13, Grouchy Historian rated it it was amazing Shelves: Wonderful writing, solid scholarship and clear cut logical thinking.
May 03, Timothy Jorgensen rated it it was amazing. This is an excellent book that is a counterpoint to the writings of Bart Ehrman, the New Testament scholar from UNC who has written a lot of books about the Bible for a general audience. Pitre makes the case that much of the "evidence" that Ehrman and others cite to support their thesis that nothing can be learned about the historical Jesus from the Bible is simply wrong. In particular, he shows how flimsy the data are on the dating of the writing of the four Gospels, and provides strong evidenc This is an excellent book that is a counterpoint to the writings of Bart Ehrman, the New Testament scholar from UNC who has written a lot of books about the Bible for a general audience.
In particular, he shows how flimsy the data are on the dating of the writing of the four Gospels, and provides strong evidence that the Gospels were written much earlier that Ehrman supposes. He further shows that two of the writers Matthew and John were likely Jesus's apostles, just as early Christians claimed them to be, and that Luke and Mark were assistants to Paul and Peter, respectively. The reason that this is important is that it eliminates the need for the "telephone game theory" -- Ehrman's notion that the Gospels must have been handed down solely through oral transmission until they were finally written down by anonymous authors near the end of the first century.
The telephone game theory defies common sense. Petri, alternatively, makes the convincing case that the Gospels fit perfectly into the genre of ancient biographies in terms of form, length, and style, and that the Gospel writers intended them to be biographical accounts of the life of Jesus, just as all the internal and external evidence suggests. Petri's bottom line message is that the Gospels must be interpreted from the perspective of a first century Jewish audience because Jesus often alluded to Old Testament passages and predictions about the nature of the messiah that spoke directly to the sensibilities of his Jewish contemporaries.