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Can We Trust the Gospels?: Investigating the Reliability of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Paperback – June 8, 2007
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"Can We Trust the Gospels? is quite simply the best effort I have ever read by a serious scholar to communicate what scholars know about the Gospels and why that should indeed encourage us to trust them and thus to trust Jesus Christ."
—Hugh Hewitt, nationally syndicated radio talk show host; Professor of Law, Chapman University
"There is a crisis of confidence about the Gospels, fueled by sensational claims about supposedly new Gnostic Gospels with a 'revised standard' view of Jesus. As Mark Roberts makes clear, the earliest and best evidence we have for the real Jesus is the canonical Gospels, not the much later Gnostic ones."
—Ben Witherington III, Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary, author of What Have They Done with Jesus?
"This book not only makes a compelling case for trusting the Gospels, it illuminates the creative ways in which God worked to bring us His Word. Roberts's brilliant little book deserves to be widely read by both skeptics and believers."
—Joe Carter, Senior Editor, Acton Institute; co-author, How to Argue Like Jesus
"What F. F. Bruce did for my generation of students, Mark Roberts has done for the current generation. Any student who asks me if our Gospels are reliable will be given this book, and then I'll buy another copy for the next student!"
—Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, North Park University
About the Author
Mark D. Roberts is senior pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church. He received his Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard University and teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary. Mark has published dozens of articles and several books and blogs daily at www.markdroberts.com. He and his wife, Linda, have two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Roberts does distance himself from some of the secular and skeptical assumptions of his professors at Harvard. But he puts the tools of critical scholarship to use in a manner the public is not accustomed to seeing -- demonstrating the reliability of the four traditional Gospels.
Dr. Roberts' scholarship is subordinate to his fluid, plain-language dissection of common doubts about the Gospels. In many cases, he dispatches modern skeptics with amazing brevity. For example, in about two pages, he pretty much demolishes Bart Ehrman's popular book Misquoting Jesus. Roberts quickly shows the contradiction at the heart of Ehrman's book. Ehrman argues that intentional scribal modifications have rendered the original Gospels unknowable, producing numerous disparities in the thousands of ancient Gospel manuscripts. But, in the process of explaining how these changes were introduced, Ehrman produces convincing arguments for the language of the original texts. Thus, while attempting to highlight modern discrepancies, Ehrman inadvertantly shows that the multitude of manuscripts enables the modern critic to work back fairly easily to reconstruct the original texts.
Roberts presents these types of arguments in such a calm and clear manner that it makes you wonder why the traditionalists have had so many difficulties responding to modern skeptics. Where have these traditional arguments been hiding all this time? Apparently they have been lying dormant ... in the New Testament program at Harvard University!
Can We Trust the Gospels is really a collection of FAQs as one might find on a website (which Roberts states is intentional). It addresses the usual issues, but not necessarily in the usual way. The traditional case is made adequately in each chapter, though other recent treatments offer more thorough defenses of the varied topics. This does not detract from Robert's book because it is clear that he did not intend to make extended arguments for each position. He regularly refers his readers to lengthier and more scholarly discussions. What this book offers is more of the broad strokes of good arguments, which is likely all that many of his readers desire, and something more. Roberts often explains why the existence of questions about issues such as authorship and dating and contradictions should not damage Christian belief.Read more ›
Roberts reinforces the confidence that a Christian can rightly have when reading the accounts of the life of Jesus and he dispels a number of long-discredited criticisms that have been making a comeback. An excellent resource for pastors who want to equip their members with facts, straightforward analysis and helpful illustrations for truly trusting the biblical gospels.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A disappointing and superficial argument for the reliability of the gospels. The author begins his arguments by stating the the prevailing counter arguments are wrong. Read morePublished 4 months ago by John Hunter
Often, those who write Christian apologetic works are accused of not being "real" scholars. Roberts blows that stereotype wide open. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lewis Smith
Mark Roberts takes a complicated study and makes it so very easy to read and understand. A very encouraging piece of work! You end up saying ... "its all real" ... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Steven C. Bogan
Clear and concise. Much more balanced than several public and network TV documentaries on this subject.Published 16 months ago by jimeagle
Great read. Went through it pretty quick as it was written to be more ingestible for the non-scholar. Read morePublished 17 months ago by KoalaFace
Some wonderful apologetics here. Dr. Roberts writes a fine study readable by anyone. A great defense for the veracity of the Gospel accounts. Good news indeed. Read morePublished on August 10, 2014 by Melvin C. Williams
In my forty years of faith there have been seasons of feeling more or less sure about how literally to take the bible. Of all the things I have read Dr. Read morePublished on May 8, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Theologically conservative and systematic. However, though the book is a wonderful strong Biblically based by a Christian intellectual, the book is not "above your head". Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Billy T. Lowe