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The Christ Files: How Historians Know What They Know about Jesus Paperback – Bargain Price, December 14, 2010

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Paperback, Bargain Price, December 14, 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Reprint edition (December 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310328691
  • ASIN: B005HKTVL2
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,290,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Want to know what is being said about the evidence for Jesus around the world? The Christ Files offers a wealth of knowledge of the key issues and interviews with key scholars answering key controversial questions about Jesus: Gnostics, the first century Judaism of Jesus, how oral tradition operated in the background, and archaeology. John Dickson is a skilled guide. These 'files' are loaded with information that is fascinating and accessible. Open the drawer and enjoy. -- Darrell Bock, Author, Jesus according to Scripture <br><br>

From the Back Cover

"Offers a wealth of knowledge of the key issues. Fascinating and accessible." 
--Darrell L. Bock, author of Jesus according to Scripture and co-editor of Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus

"First rate historical detective work. Highly recommended." 
--Ben Witherington III, Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

"A sober, well-informed guide based on sound scholarship." 
--I. Howard Marshall, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, University of Aberdeen

"Based on wide-ranging knowledge of the field and on the finest and most cutting-edge scholarship."
--Craig Blomberg, Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary

Uniquely among the world's religions, the central claims of Christianity concern not just timeless spiritual truths, but tangible historical events. Historian John Dickson examines Christianity's claims in the light of history, opening readers to a wealth of ancient sources and explaining how mainstream scholars--whether or not they claim Christian faith personally--reach their conclusions about history's most influential figure, Jesus of Nazareth. 

Dickson skillfully highlights sources and historical methods used to study Christianity's claims. He shows how historians assess the reliability of available data, and provides an honest and informed perspective on where historical issues are clear-cut and where personal faith comes into play. The Christ Files is a must-read for those looking to expand their understanding of early Christianity and the life of Jesus. 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By the seeker on February 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an unusual book in that it delivers exactly what the author said it would ie historical evidence for the existance of Jesus Christ, no more, no less. Altho I have been a christian for 60 years the book was full of new information for me on the subject. Dickson writes in a way that makes this book a good resource for not only christians but also those of other religions, athiests and agnostics, he is not trying to convert!
Dickson presents a conservative concenus view presenting what the leaders in the field have discovered. We live at a time in history which has become increasingly anti establishment as one after another of our respected institutions have been shown to be corrupted or false, the internet assuring that you cant hide no matter how big or important! It would therefore seem that a conservative establishment view on this or any subject would give rise to the suspicion of self justifiction to maintain the status quo but there is no sense of this in Dicksons writings. Quite to the contrary Dickson presents information that puts the persistant controversy between right wing evangelicals and their radical opponents on the origins of the new testament in a whole new light, neither side emerging looking credible.
Once I started reading this book I couldnt put it down until I had read the whole book. Exciting stuff!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rob on November 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After seeing recent anti-theist postings to the effect that Jesus never lived, and was a 'construct' from followers years later, I got this as a refresher. And I found in a concise volume the reasons that reputable and serious scholars, Christian, theist, and atheist alike, are sure that this man Jesus lived and died as the story tells it. This is not an affirmation of miracles, or the resurrection. It is not an apologetic. It's history's take on whether the man, Jesus, lived in the 1st century or not. And yes, he did. And we know this as surely as we know anything from our distant past.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Eldridge on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
A great introduction to the following issues: How historical study works, how historians arrive at their conclusions about Jesus, the sources they use- both Christian and non Christian, oral tradition.

Much has been written on these topics but I don't know of any better book to explain the basics clearly and concisely.

4.5 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's unfortunate that some skeptics today continue to take their skepticism about Christianity too far and attempt to deny the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. It's one thing to deny that Jesus is God's Son, was born of a virgin, etc., but it's another thing entirely to try and argue that Jesus the Nazarene carpenter never lived and is only a myth. Dickson does a good job in demonstrating why - from a historical perspective - such a position is uninformed/uneducated and false. Readers will also appreciate how well Dickson showcases not only the early dating of the New Testament writings, but also their foundation, which is drawn from oral tradition and something that history bears out as well. A very good read.
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More About the Author

John Dickson (PhD) is co-director of Centre for Public Christianity (, an independent research and media organization promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith. With a degree in theology (Moore Theological College, Sydney) and a doctorate in ancient history (Macquarie University, Sydney) he is a senior research fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, where he teaches courses on Christian origins and the world religions. John is also the Senior Minister at St. Andrews Roseville (, an innovative Anglican community on Sydney's North Shore. He has a wealth of experience as a local church pastor, public evangelist, and media presenter. He is the author of more than a dozen books and the host of two major television documentaries on the life of Jesus. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.