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Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony Hardcover – November 9, 2006
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"This book is a remarkable piece of detective work, resulting in a fresh and vivid approach to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of well-known problems and passages."
James D. G. Dunn
"Another blockbuster from the productive pen of Richard Bauckham. . . . Not to be missed!"
"It will be hard to take seriously future works on the origin of the Gospels that have not interacted with Bauckham. . . . Recommended."
About the Author
Richard Bauckham is Professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlow Professor at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. A Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, his recent books include The Book of Acts in Its Palestinian Setting, published by Eerdmans.
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I've read a lot of material and books on the topic of "Is the Bible reliable?" and many things are repeated left and right. But this book has a lot of unique perspectives. Here's one: in the gospel of Mark, when Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus with the cross, the gospel gives a very peculiar description of Simon of Cyrene. It says that he was the father of Alexander and Rufus. (And you'll only find that in Mark.) So what's so special about this? Well, we have no clue who these 2 guys are. Why name them? We don't even know the name of the children of, say, Peter or any important leader of the NT. But we have the names of the kids of Simon of Cyrene? The most likely reason for their names to be included was that they were known to certain first century Christians. (Mark is saying, basically, "don't believe me? Go ask Alexander or Rufus"). There's a lot of that when you pay attention to names used in gospels.