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EVIDENCE FOR THE HISTORICAL JESUS: Is the Jesus of History the Christ of Faith Paperback – November 28, 2020
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- Publisher : Christian Publishing House (November 28, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 110 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1949586677
- ISBN-13 : 978-1949586671
- Item Weight : 4.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.25 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #297,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dr. Gary R. Habermas is chair of the philosophy department at Liberty University where he also serves as a professor of apologetics and theology. He received his PhD in history and the philosophy of religion from Michigan State University and has written extensively on this topic having authored several monographs and over 100 articles on the subject.
The contents of the book are the transcripts from a series of conversations between Habermas and Dr. John Ankerberg recorded when Habermas was a guest on Ankerberg’s show in 2000. The transcripts for each episode have been updated as of 2015 and edited for easy readability(3). Each episode stands as a chapter in the book where Habermas addresses a different question that is commonly asked by the general population in regards to the historicity of the life of Jesus and His subsequent resurrection. Program one addresses what is the prevailing opinion of the results of the search for historical Jesus among today’s scholars. In program two Habermas discusses the deity of Christ and reliability of the resurrection. Program three discusses Jesus’ own opinion concerning His deity. Program four looks at the question of whether or not it is credible to believe in the resurrection. Program 5 presents twelve historic facts related to Jesus life, His claim to deity, and His resurrection. Lastly, in program 6 Habermas talks about Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to His disciples and their relationship to apologetics.
The book is presented in an easy to read fashion being constructed in a question-answer format between Dr. Ankerberg and Habermas’. The questions that Ankerberg asks Habermas are very on point and represent many of the common questions that are asked by believers and unbelievers alike, many presented as an argument against Habermas’ position. Dr. Habermas’ response to each of the questions fill the majority of the text where Habermas responds with thoughtful apologetic dialog that is informative and pastoral and in line with the majority of conservative scholarship.
The book is written with the educated believer in mind reflecting the nature of the show in which it was transcribed from but others may benefit as well, especially those that may not be familiar with the Christian faith that wish to learn more about the historicity of Christ and what historical evidence exists for His life and ministry. Evangelists will appreciate the succinctness of arguments that Habermas presents as they can be easily applied as apologetic answers to questions they may receive. On this note, the book depth and brevity can also allow for a leader or pastor to use as a text to supplement a small group study or Sunday School class. One drawback of the way that the material is presented is that in an interview there really isn’t space for giving the audience resources to investigate the claims of the guest for themselves. Habermas attempts to make up for this gap by giving his readers a resource list at the end. Serious Bible students will appreciate this.
Habermas has succeeded in bringing an accessible and informative apology of the historicity of the NT. The content is academic yet accessible and not overbearing. It is recommended reading for anyone who is interested in apologetics and the defense of the historicity of the gospel accounts of Jesus or anyone who has a general interest in the topic but does not want something that is going to be overly technical.