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The Jesus Inquest: The Case For and Against the Resurrection of the Christ Paperback – Bargain Price, January 11, 2011

104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Very often, Christians argue from an internal point of view and really don't address some very real problems with the narrative. However, Foster isn't afraid of those opposed to the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Point by point he turns the prosecution's case on it's head, leaving us with questions, and the truth. Jesus is real, He did rise again and lives to offer forgiveness and hope to all who come to Him. Recommended for anyone who struggles with doubt or who deals with those who do. (Carolyn R. Scheidies Author's Choice Reviews ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Charles Foster is a British barrister, lecturer in medical ethics, and explorer who has written more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. He is an active member-when in the U.K.-of Holy Trinity Brompton, a large church in London. He is author of The Jesus Inquest. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849948118
  • ASIN: B007BWC21U
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,238,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a writer based in Oxford, UK. I teach at the University of Oxford, and am a Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford. Most of my books, in some way or other, are presumptuous and more or less unsuccessful attempts to work out what we are doing on this extraordinary planet. Those attempts have generated books on evolutionary biology, the physiology of spiritual experience, pilgrimage, Biblical archaeology, theology and ethics, as well as travel books.

I travel a lot, and have bled and left digits behind in some very unpleasant places. I'm a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and have a particular passion for camel expeditions.

I have a very long-suffering wife, Mary, and five wondrous, wild children: Lizzie, Sally, Tom, James and Rachel.

My website is It would be great if you could drop by there. If you'd like to email me to tell me how badly I've got things wrong in my books, I'm at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Samston on November 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary achievement: for something that's so well and comprehensively researched it manages to be a remarkably compelling and exhilarating read. If you've read the Da Vinci Code (or haven't) you should consider upgrading to The Jesus Inquest. This guy seems to have covered all the angles surrounding the death and resurrection of the Nazarene - the documentary sources, the medical causes of death, ancient Jewish burial practices, the Turin shroud; and also the various hypotheses about what happened to the body.... and there are PICTURES too. He's obviously done a lot of leg-work around the Middle East to research this. The format of the two barristers, X and Y, arguing their case in court and slagging each other off in their deliciously ungentlemanly way works really well. A great read for people tired of the usual one-sided pro- or anti-Christian fare and who want to get a serious handle on what might actually have happened 2000 years ago, without falling asleep at the wheel. Pugnacious, provocative.... and extremely informative. NICE ONE.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Borrowed Flame on March 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Charles Foster is a barrister, part-time Crown Court judge and teaches Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Oxford. In this book he uses two characters, X and Y, who argue opposing sides of the case of the resurrection of Jesus.

It is a rather extraordinary book, in that he manages to really get under the skin and argue both sides of the debate. He has clearly done a lot of research both in terms of historical data and the advocates of both sides. This is no Lee Strobel or Josh McDowell apologetics.

There are sections covering issues such as the crucifixion (did Jesus die?), the burial, the empty tomb, and origins and expectations of resurrection belief, as well as issues such as the alleged 'Jesus Family' tomb. In each case X and Y both have their say, and Foster leaves it to the reader to make their own mind. X argues against the resurrection, using a number of arguments that anyone who has read Robert M Price or Richard Carrier will be familiar with, though he did put forward some that I had not come across before. Y argues for the resurrection and there are traces of N.T. Wright and others in there. However, Y holds a few views that some evangelical apologists may not agree with (such as arguing that certain inconsistencies in the gospel narratives are not able to be harmonised).

The appendices are very helpful and deal with arguments relating to the medical cause of death, the issues relating to the Shroud of Turin, and the Gospel of Peter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard Dedor on March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
For a few years now I have been looking for interesting books on religion that will guide me in my personal quest for understanding God and my place in religion. While The Jesus Inquest by Charles Foster did not exactly fit that bill, it was certainly an interesting read for a life-long Christian.

Foster, a lawyer, does what few have attempted: show both sides of the Jesus resurrection story. With the death of Jesus two millennium ago, much has been made about the location itself and the tomb that Jesus was to have laid for Friday and Saturday nights before his reported resurrection on Sunday morning.

While he tries, it is pretty easy to get a feel for which side Foster falls on, and when it comes to religion, it is no surprise that we all have sides. Each side presents quite compelling evidence to support their claims and I must say that it was quite interesting to read about the history of the Gospels and the general history of 1st Century Palestine. Those were things not taught in Sunday School or in sermons I listened to for nearly 20 years.

What did I learn from it? I learned there is a lot not being talked about in regular religious discussions. In fact, after finishing the book, I got into a discussion about one argument posited in the book: that those who believe the Bible to be absolute truth must agree that somewhere there is a mistake in the Gospels. What?! Where!? The accounts don't match in relation to who was first to the tomb on Sunday morning and what they saw. I had never thought about it before, but it is true. Thus, we, and I have come to believe that because these stories were written down decades after the actual Passion events, not everything written down is accurate. And if that is the case, what else is just story?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keith G on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
What would happen if the resurrection of Jesus Christ was taken to a law court today? This is the premise behind the "Jesus Inquest". This book by Charles Foster attempts to fairly represent both sides of the "Did Jesus really rise from the Dead?" debate. The book reminded me of the constant debates behind the Jesus Seminar and the likes of John Shelby Spong and those who wish to counter point that group such as NT Wright.
Written on a much more accessible level than many of the more scholarly accounts on both sides of the fence, the author (Charles Foster), presents the evidence in an X versus Y mock trial. For many, their thinking will be expanded and grown and their beliefs tested. For others the book may stretch them too far and they may end up getting more confused or upset. Either way, Foster attempts to give an accurate, detailed and fair account of what really happened when Jesus died on the cross and what happened thereafter.
As a Christian, a strong belief in the reliability and inspiration of the Bible will be important as the two sides are presented. Without believing in the divine inspiration of the Bible and believing every account of the Bible to be historically accurate and true, I feel many will begin to question their beliefs while reading this book.
So, in my opinion, this is a fairly good read on Jesus' Resurrection, but as with many of the same type of books, it needs to be read with a grain of salt and deep conviction of Bible truth.
(Please note that the publisher of this book has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through
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