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Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus Paperback – July 5, 1996

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 5, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310211395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310211396
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Are the traditional answers to these questions still to be trusted? Did the early church and tradition "Christianize" Jesus? Was Christianity built on clever conceptions of the church, or on the character and actions of an actual person?

These and similar questions have come under scrutiny by a forum of biblical scholars called the Jesus Seminar. Their conclusions have been widely publicized in magazines such as Time and Newsweek.

Jesus Under Fire challenges the methodology and findings of the Jesus Seminar, which generally clash with the biblical records. It examines the authenticity of the words, actions, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus, and presents compelling evidence for the traditional biblical teachings.

Combining accessibility with scholarly depth, Jesus Under Fire helps readers judge for themselves whether the Jesus of the Bible is the Jesus of history, and whether the Gospel's claim is valid that he is the only way to God. "The Jesus Seminar is the creation of a media culture looking for a story. This book refutes its conclusions point by point."

Thomas C. Oden, Drew Theological School

From the Author

Michael J. Wilkins (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament language and literature at Talbot School of Theology and the author of several books. J. P. Moreland (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and the author of a number of books

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Customer Reviews

JUF is a book that simply needs to be read by all, Christian and skeptic alike.
In effect, the Jesus Seminar makes a claim that evangelical Christians who believe in the Jesus of the Bible are accepting a great myth.
E. Johnson
If you are already a Christian, this book will help ground your belief in solid historical and logical arguments.
Taos Turner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 146 people found the following review helpful By "christianskeptic" on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
JUF is a book that simply needs to be read by all, Christian and skeptic alike. Ten evangelical scholars come togher to refute the naturalistic assumptions of the Jesus Seminar, as well as provide positive evidence for the traditional, orthodox belief in Jesus.
In the introduction, Moreland and Wilkins ask: Can we know anything about Jesus?; Are the biblical records of Jesus' activities accurate?; Is the supernatural possible in ancient and modern times? If the answer to these questions is 'yes', then believing that Jesus is Messiah becomes reasonable. Determining the answers to these questions requires the proper use of historiography and logical reasoning, not a vague 'faith' that has no basis in reality (after all, if Jesus never existed, believing that he did is simply idiotic). Throughout the book, the contributors emphasize the importance of truth and reason for religious belief.
In ch.1, Craig Blomberg begins by examining the methodology of the Jesus Seminar and finds it lacking. He then provides evidence to support the historical reliability of the gospel accounts. In Ch.2, Scot McKnight takes a look at the history of Jesus scholarship and the varying descriptions that have been offered (Jesus as Sage or Social Revolutionary). He goes on to sketch a view of Jesus based on broad scholarly consensus.
In ch.3, Darrell Bock looks at the words of Jesus. Are the words ascribed to Jesus exact quotes(ipissima verba)? Or are they 'his very voice'(ipissima vox)? He draws a distinction between having the precise words of Jesus and having his voice (the intent and meaning) in an accurate summary. In Ch. 4, Craig Evans presents a case for the authenticity of the deeds of Jesus as recorded in the gospels. In Ch.
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55 of 71 people found the following review helpful By J. F Foster on November 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a composition of short essays written by a number of prominent Christian apologists which focus on specific and fundamental questions about the Christian faith. Each of the chapters offers solid defenses of orthodox Christianity as well as highlighting where folks like the Jesus Seminar are in opposition to Christian orthodoxy and the many philosophical and scholarly flaws that undermine their case.
While each of the chapters offered compelling reasons in support of Christianity while rejecting the 'scholarship' of the Jesus Seminar, I felt that two chapters were quite outstanding. Habermas's chapter on miracles and Craig's chapter on the resurrection both did the best job of deconstructing the Jesus Seminar, in part, by demonstrating the reasonableness of orthodoxy. Habermas did a good job of demonstrating that the Jesus Seminar, far from being a group of people offering fresh scholarship because they are not bound by Christian tradition, are clearly bound tightly to a naturalistic worldview that slants their entire approach to their study of Jesus. These guys are not neutral and impartial scholars. As both Habermas and Evans effectively demonstrate, the Jesus Seminar is often in the intellectually dubious position of trying to meld two worldviews that are hostile to each other - Christianity and naturalism. The result, as the entire book effectively shows, is a highly subjective effort on the part of the Jesus Seminar to naturalize Christianity and to christianize naturalism. Since this can't be done objectively or evidentially, the Jesus Seminar tries to do it subjectively.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By K.H. on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Most collaborations are difficult to read and painstakingly ackward. This is probably one of the few exceptions. 10 conservative, yet, highly recognized scholars attempt to debunk much of the information coming out of the Jesus Seminar and other liberal critics of the gospels and the life of Christ.
The introduction by J.P. Moreland and Michael F. Wilkins introduces the reader to the topic at hand: Who was Jesus Christ? Can we trust the accounts of HIs life? and finally, why it all matters?
The two best and most interesting chapters are written by Craig L. Blomberg (Where Do We Start Studying Jesus?) and William Lane Craig (Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?) Other chapters are very interesting indeed, such as Edwin M. Yamauchi's "Jesus Outside The New Testament: What Is The Evidence?" All in all, this book is a must and is well edited. There are the usual problems in collaborations such as writing style changes, which often disturbs the flow from chapter to chapter. The rules of historical evidence is followed and the theologians and philosophers keep the story staright and follow all the rules oflogic. To the Christian or open-minded skeptic - buy now!
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book !!! It has a unique arrangement with eight chapters written by eight different authors. Each chapter addresses a different issue regarding the arguments over what type of person Jesus of Nazareth really was. Issues such as the reliability of the Gospels, miracles of Jesus, the Resurrection, and others are all addressed in a scholarly and fair manner. No straw man arguments here... Despite the fact that there are eight different authors, the book flows extremely well.
The only down side to this book is that each topic isn't covered more in-depth. The editors acknowledge this fact, and offer an excellent list of resources for further study of each specific issue.
This book is also an excellent resource for refuting the types of arguments coming from the members of the Jesus Seminar.
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