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Reinventing Jesus Paperback – May 9, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is not just another response to the issues raised in the novel and the film. It is a serious, detailed, yet eminently accessible refutation of the exaggerated skepticism of bona fide scholars like Bart Ehrman or Robert Price and of the outright misinformation in frequently-believed pseudo-scholarship circulating on the web or via little-known publishing houses." (Craig L. Blomberg Apologia Report 2006-11-01)

"Reinventing Jesus cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a first-hand look at the primary evidence for Christianity's origins. Reinventing Jesus shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to believe. . . .While there are other books being written to defend the historical Jesus of the New Testament, and the authenticity and trustworthiness of the New Testament writings, Reinventing Jesus is one of the better ones read by this reviewer. The authors cover such a breath of material that it is hard to find one of similar value in terms of thoroughness and argumentation. I highly recommend this work." (Ray Hammond ChristianBookPreviews.com 2006-08-01)

"I have bought all the Da Vinci Code books and I feel this book is by far the best one out there. Reinventing Jesus transcends The Da Vinci Code stuff and is more a book on the origin of the New Testament for the most part. It is definitely a book for the average person to learn about how oral tradition and a memorizing culture was behind how things were written back then, all about textual criticism and why we can have confidence in the New Testament today. How books were selected etc. I can say there that it is one of the best books I have ever read that goes into the apologetics of the Bible and I hope that the Da Vinci Code tie in, doesn't give a short shelf life to this book, as it really is a book that is like taking a class on the origin and trustworthiness of the Bible, not The Da Vinci Code." (Dan Kimball Vintage_Faith.com 2006-07-01)

"An excellent book. A readable book. A perennial book with unfortunately, a seasonal title. It deserves to be bought and read and stored and studied ó with or without its current connection to DaVinci Code and The Jesus Seminar. The book is an easy reading account of why and how we have the New Testament." (Doug Pagitt tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com 2006-07-01)

"For years now I've been lamenting the sad state of published apologetics, as it seemed that there was far more interest in getting out insipid eschatological novels than in offering defenses of the faith rooted in sound scholarship. I was glad when Lee Strobel's works finally jimmied that door some, and when Licona and Habermas cracked it further open with The Resurrection of Jesus; and now, this trio has blown the door off its hinges and sent it flying into the atmosphere. I'll put it bluntly: Buy this book. If you're tired of the Christian publishing industry putting out the intellectual equivalent of Hostess Ding Dongs in defense of the faith, you NEED to make this book a success, because otherwise, they won't get the message and we'll get more Ding Dongs instead of more roast beef." (J. P. Holding Tektonics Book Reviews 2006-04-01)

"Reinventing Jesus cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a firsthand look at the primary evidence for Christianity's origins. Reinventing Jesus shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to beli --1

From the Publisher

From the worldwide sensation The Da Vinci Code to the national best-seller Misquoting Jesus, popular culture is being bombarded with radical skepticism about the uniqueness of Jesus and the reliability of the New Testament. Reinventing Jesus cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a firsthand look at the primary evidence for Christianity's origins. Reinventing Jesus shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to believe.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082542982X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825429828
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Komoszewski, Sawyer and Wallace have written a surprising excellent book of Christian apologetics, Reinventing Jesus.
Amazon Customer
As for other features, there is a helpful list of Suggested Reading for each part of the book, as well as a scripture index and subject index.
C. Price
That is, offering evidence that the Bible can be trusted and evidence that would make most intelligent atheists think about their stance.
Michael L. Gooch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 110 people found the following review helpful By C. Price VINE VOICE on June 10, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In some ways the title is unfortunate, because Reinventing Jesus is so much more than another response to The Da Vinci Code (as good as some of those are). What this book provides is excellent scholarship on a number of issues that have been inadequately addressed, if addressed at all, by traditional apologists. The authors have actually lowered themselves to address arguments and theories that academics rarely encounter in scholarly circles. As noted in Reinventing Jesus, much of said sludge has flowed forth as a result of -- in the author's words -- "ready access to unfiltered information via the Internet and the influential power of this medium. The result is junk food for the mind--a pseudointellectual meal that is as easy to swallow as it is devoid of substance." Id. at 221-22. In response, Reinventing Jesus provides rebuttals to arguments propounded by the likes of Internet Infidels, Robert M. Price, and even, yes, Earl Doherty (though not yet his Jesus Myth stuff).

In my opinion, the best part of the book is a superb discussion of the textual transmission of the New Testament. There is the usual stuff we see from apologists like Josh McDowell about the wealth of manuscript evidence comparative to other ancient writings, but there is a lot more. Reinventing Jesus breaks down the information into greater detail, explaining the manuscript evidence more deeply, the nature of the disagreements in the traditions, the types of traditions and their origins. The result is a powerful case for accuracy of our modern translations. All this is written for the layperson, but the authors apparently believe that the layperson can handle a lot more (intellectually and spiritually) than is typically assumed.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Roger N. Overton on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
One of foundational claims of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is that the Bible of Christian tradition is unreliable. The result is that our idea of Jesus doesn't match up with the real Jesus who was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child with her. Rather than respond directly to the speculations of the novel and works like it, Reinventing Jesus by J. Ed Komoszewksi, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace seeks to provide a positive case for why we can trust the New Testament and the Jesus it speaks of.

Reinventing Jesus is divided into five parts consisting of 18 chapters together. Part one deals with whether or not the first Gospel writers were able to get the story right. Part two is an analysis of the transmission of the Gospels seeking to show that what we have now is incredibly close to what was originally written. The canon of the New Testament is tackled in part three, where explanations are given for why some were included in the Bible and others weren't. With the reliability of the scriptures established, part four goes on to look at what the New Testament says about Jesus. Finally, in part five, Christianity is defended against accusations that it borrowed from pagan mythology.

Throughout the book, the authors interact with the claims of The Da Vinci Code and other more scholarly works that question the historicity of the Bible, but the central focus is more about a positive case for Christianity than a defensive one. At the end of the book are subject and Scripture indexes, as well as a thorough recommended reading list according to each part of the book.

Of the works that deal with claims like those in The Da Vinci Code, Reinventing Jesus is one of the more scholarly.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the rallying cry of _Reinventing Jesus_ (hereafter RJ) is the adage, "An ounce of evidence is worth a pound of presumption." (p. 101, 260) The slogan is most appropriate given the number of shady Jesus theories that presently abound. And surely it represents the approach any honest inquirer should take when (s)he investigates the historical Jesus or any other area of interest for that matter.

From the subtitle ("What _The Da Vinci Code_ and Other Novel Speculations Don't Tell You") RJ might appear at a glance as another full-scale critique of Dan Brown's novel. It isn't really, nor should it be. There are plenty of good critiques already in print, which are devoted to _The Da Vinci Code_. Darrell Bock's _Breaking the Da Vinci Code_ (2004, Nelson Books) and Bart Ehrman's _Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code_ (2004, Oxford University Press) are sufficient to this end. RJ, on the other hand, seeks to take more of a general approach to the issues raised in novels like Dan Brown's. Yes, some of Dan Brown's claims are recognized, but he is by no means the sole target. Bart Ehrman (of _Misquoting Jesus_ (2005, HarperSanFrancisco) fame) and Robert Funk (founder of the infamous Jesus Seminar), for example, are cited with some frequency, not to mention several others.

Even the main title of RJ requires perhaps a brief explanation. Several weeks ago on a theological webboard, I mentioned that RJ was available for purchase to which someone replied, "Does `reinventing' mean that Jesus was invented in the first place?" No, that's not what the title implies; quite the opposite.
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