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The Historical Reliability of the Gospels Paperback – November 18, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"This volume offers the most complete, accurate and up-to-date defense of a maximalist approach to the Jesus tradition." (Thomas E. Phillips, Religious Studies Review, September 2008)

"If you want an up-to-date, clear and compelling presentation of the evidence for the historical accuracy of the Gospels, this is the book for you!" (Gregory Goswell, New Life, March 6, 2008)

"I warmly recommend this book." (Pieter J. Lalleman, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 31.5, 2009)

"This new edition provides further interaction with the larger field of scholarship of the past twenty years. Designed for both the informed layperson and theological student/scholar, Historical Reliability sets forth arguments for the gospels as historically sound sources. For the general readership, the central argument is set forth in an engaging and accessible manner. For those more interested in particular issues covered by Blomberg, the footnotes provide access to the context of the discussion. Although not everyone will agree with his conclusions, Blomberg sets forth a compelling case worthy of consideration. For scholar, theological student, and layperson alike, Historical Reliability is a valuable text." (Michael Naylor, The Expository Times, March 2009)

About the Author

Craig L. Blomberg (Ph.D., Aberdeen) is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. His books include Interpreting the Parables, Neither Poverty nor Riches, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel, commentaries on Matthew and 1 Corinthians, Making Sense of the New Testament: 3 Crucial Questions and Preaching the Parables.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic; 02 edition (November 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780830828074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830828074
  • ASIN: 0830828079
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Craig L. Blomberg is distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of fifteen books and more than eighty articles in journals or multi-author works. A recurring topic of interest in his writings is the historical reliability of the Scriptures. Craig and his wife Fran have two daughters and reside in Centennial, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

160 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Dan Sheppard on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had just previously finished a book by John Dominic Crossan, which threw me for a loop. Not only did my mouth drop about a foot, I had this empty feeling about all the things I have believed all these years. He and Marcus Borg seem to take a real liberal approach to interpretation of biblical history, to the point of invalidation.
This book was a refreshing alternative to that previous one. It was well written and captivated my interest. I could not believe how much I used my yellow highlighter. This author has a good writing style and I have since purchased a couple of other books by him (on their way, Amazon!)
He took a thorough approach (used for his doctoral thesis, I believe) and has cited numerous other sources, which gives the reader other options for purchasing books with similar or alternate views. He effectively invalidated what numerous Nay Sayers have posited about the validity of the historical gospels, or lack thereof.
He addresses concerns over the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) and how they interrelate, as well as how they relate to the gospel of John. The author addresses miracles and many other issues.
I came away from reading the book, with a new feeling of faith. I could see how the historical gospels could in fact, be truthful and still are applicable in today's age. I feel that I better understand the methods used by those Nay Sayers, who have drawn their own interpretations and precisely why their conclusions are not accurate.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ivan on September 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chapter one is a general survey of how the Gospels have been traditionally approached by the Church throughout the ages. Of course, the earliest Christians dated the books much earlier than do modern day scholars. They also accepted traditional `tags' that came along with each book, and by `tags' I mean traditions that were linked to them; they accept that Mark's Gospel was the personal testimony of Peter and that, at least to Papias, Matthew was written originally in a Hebrew dialect. Many of these traditions are now, for the most part, reject by scholars. This chapter also deals with the Synoptic problem and the widely accept hypothesis of "Q", a hypothetical document that both Matthew and Luke used as a source to write their Gospels. (see pp 37-47)

Chapter two deals with new critical methods that scholars have used to understand the literary composition of the Gospels. Personally I feel this chapter is sort of a dry read, but tremendously informative. Blomberg analyses the strengths and weaknesses of form, redaction, literary, and midrash criticism. Blomberg goes on to make a great piont/argument that I wish to highlight here. Granting that Mark's Gospel was the first one written in about 70 C.E., how can we know during the 40 year period between Jesus' death and the first Gospel composition that the oral Jesus tradition wasn't corrupted, and, consequently, infected with corrupted tradition of Jesus sayings, stories and deeds?

Forty years isn't that long, comparatively speaking.
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Anon on December 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
The book is an excellent examination of why evangelicals can intelligently understand what it means to view the Gospels as both theological AND historical works. Dr. Blomberg includes discussions on the use of Midrash, form and redaction criticism, and a chapter discussing miracles. I suggest one take notes while reading the book in order to fully comprehend the solutions that Dr. Blomberg offers to many questions that occur in Gospels research. It is not a soft-brained devotional but a toughminded examination for those who are interested.
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206 of 253 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on February 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Blomberg distills the findings of the six volumes of "Gospel Perspectives," a work of conservative scholars. Most of those on the left wing of Biblical scholarship would argue that "conservative Bible scholar" is an oxymoron, but Blomberg proves them wrong. He gives a masterful study of the Synoptic Problem, arriving at the two (or four) document hypothesis as the most satsifactory solution. Next he engages in a cogent critique of modern methods of Biblical criticism, pointing out the worth of such methods as well as their preconceptions and limitations.
He then undertakes a study of the historicity of the Gospel stories, and turns in the most compelling scholarly argument I have ever read for the historical reliability of the resurrection narratives. So far, so good. Five stars up to this point.
Unfortunately, it is in his assessment of Gospel historicity that he goes astray. Blomberg argues repeatedly for the "camcorder exactness" of the Gospel stories. If the Gospels say it, that's exactly the way it happened, and any discrepancies from one story to the next are merely "apparent" discrepancies, which can be ironed out with enough imagination. As one who has made a career of evaluating and presenting testimony, I find that discrepancies in testimony don't equate to falsehood, and that it is neither necessary nor wise to pretend that there are no discrepancies in testimony.
Blomberg appears to begin with the conclusion of historical accuracy and to sift the evidence for arguments supporting his conclusion. That's not the way you do it. You work the evidence to form conclusions; you don't form the evidence to fit conclusions. You begin with no firmly fixed preconceptions.
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