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Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture's Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ Hardcover – November 6, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ph.D.s and writers Bock (Jesus According to Scripture) and Wallace (author of one of the most widely used textbooks on New Testament Greek grammar) team up to address what they refer to as Jesusanity—the trend to dethrone Jesus and view him as a wise and revered leader rather than as the Christ of Christianity. They examine the ideas of numerous scholars and theorists, including Bart Ehrman, Elaine Pagels, Marcus Borg and James Tabor. With precision and care drawn from their years of research, they study six key claims—including the idea that the original New Testament manuscripts were corrupted beyond recovery, that Jesus' message was primarily political, that new gospels like Thomas and Judas throw traditional views of Jesus into doubt and that Jesus' tomb has been discovered. What emerges is an appreciation for the rigors of biblical study and a wealth of support for traditional views of Jesus. The writing is at times unclear and difficult, and could not compete on its own with the books Bock and Wallace critique. However, this overview provides a concise and well-researched evangelical Christian response to numerous popular theories, and conservative readers will be especially likely to welcome it. (Nov. 6)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Darrell L. Bock, PhD, is Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He also serves as Professor for Spiritual Development and Culture. As well as being a corresponding editor for Christianity Today and past President of the Evangelical Theological Society, Bock serves as an elder at Trinity Fellowship Church in Richardson, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Sally, and their three children.

Daniel B. Wallace, PhD, Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, is the author of Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, the definitive textbook used by more than two-thirds of the nation's schools that teach the subject. Wallace is the senior New Testament editor of the NET Bible and coeditor of the NET-Nestle Greek-English diglot. In 2002, he founded the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (www.csntm.org), and continues his work with CSNTM as executive director.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078522615X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785226154
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having enjoyed reading books such as The Rozabal Line, The Da Vinci Code, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail, The Gnostic Gospels etc. I had assumed that this book would not appeal to me. I was wrong.

I genuinely believe in many of the contrary views. For example, I do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. I do not believe in the Virgin Birth. I do not believe that he was resurrected i.e. the he "physically" came alive after his death on the cross. I believe that Mary Magdalene must have had a more important role than the one attributed to her by the Church. I am not too sure whether I believe that Christ survived the ordeal on the cross or not. Thus, you see, I am not the ideal person to read or post a positive review about this book.

And therein lies the importance of this positive review. If I could read this book cover-to-cover, digest the arguments (not necessarily agree with them) and then leave myself open to the possibility that some of the traditional Gospel versions of events could possibly be true, it would mean that this book has done its job. It has, in that sense succeeded. Before I started reading this book, I was convinced that the Gnostic gospels held more truth in them than the Canonical ones.
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Format: Hardcover
I will not hide my bias as I begin this review. I think it's always important to be honest about where you're coming from. Jesus is on the throne in my belief system and I feel this book may help put him back there for many others. I found the chapter that covers claim six, "Jesus' Tomb Has Been Found and His Resurrection and Ascension Did Not Involve a Physical Departure," to be the most useful brief rebuttal that I've seen. The authors clearly show, for example, that approximately 21 percent of Jewish women were called Mariamme (Mary) and that nearly 5 percent of men were named Jesus; therefore, the odds that the ossuary with the names Jesus and Mary on it being a family tomb of Christ are very slim indeed.

I think the authors point out a very real issue when they say, "The fact that there is so little to this hypothesis (that the family tomb was found and Jesus did not physically resurrect) and yet it gained so much attention and created so much hype raises the question of whether our culture is truly ready and willing to come to grips with the claims of Jesus as they have been made over the centuries." It seems that many today are interested only in hearing what will make them feel better instead of the truth. Having read other even more in-depth critiques of the family tomb propaganda, it's clear that there is not truth there and that it's filled with illogical assumptions; yet I've encountered many who call themselves atheists in the past few months who refer to it as an example of the fallacies in the Christian faith. It's interesting that they say they've reached their position with rationality and logic.

This book shows the weaknesses in the challenges. It does not focus on defending the positions of Christianity in an in-depth manner.
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5 Comments 59 of 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
This book addresses the following six current claims from recent books that attempt to "unseat the biblical Christ:"

(1) The original New Testament has been corrupted by copyists so badly that it can't be recovered (e.g., Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus), Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament.

(2) Secret gnostic gospels, such as "Judas," show the existence of early alternative Christianities (e.g., National Geographic's "The Gospel of Judas," and Bart Ehrman's The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed.

(3) The "Gospel of Thomas" radically alters our understanding of the real Jesus (e.g., Elaine Pagels' Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas.

(4) Jesus' message was fundamentally political and social, e.g., Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan's The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem.
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