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Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan Paperback – February 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
This book, which presents a recent debate between a former co-chair of the Jesus Seminar and an Evangelical scholar, as well as follow-up responses by four other New Testament scholars, brings the reader effectively and movingly into the heart of the contemporary fideist-evidentialist debate about the reality and meaning of Jesus' life and teachings. Editor Copan (Who Was Jesus?, Word Pub., 1996) gives Craig's conservatism the last word, but readers of many different convictions will find ample food for thought here.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? gathers together an unprecedented range of persons involved in the contemporary study of Jesus. Placing these key voices on the stage together, so to speak, gives us a feel for the texture of the discussion that belies typical us-and-them, black-and-white categories. The result for the reader is unparalleled access into how historical assumptions, faith commitments, and philosophical premises shape how we read 'the historical Jesus'." -- Joel B. Green, Asbury Theological Seminary
"Genuine dialogue between evangelicals and members of the Jesus Seminar is very rare. This book is notable for the fairness of its format, and the forthright nature of the exchange, which is candid yet always civil in character. One could hardly find a better representative of the Jesus Seminar than John Dominic Crossan, and William Craig may be the best apologist for orthodox Christian faith at work today. The additional commentators and the final summaries of Craig and Crossan are extremely helpful. What the debate format may cost in clarity and precision is more than made up for by the liveliness of the exchange. An exciting, helpful book." -- C. Stephen Evans, Professor of Philosophy and Dean for Research and Scholarship, Calvin College; author of The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith
"Much current discussion of Jesus seems to be a dialogue of the deaf. In this book the different positions start listening to each other, probing, challenging, explaining, exploring. The informal setting of the dialogue is far more revealing, and truly interesting than the average scholarly monograph. This book will help people to get to grips with what is really going on, and what is really at stake, in the contemporary debate." -- N. T. Wright, Dean of Lichfield, author of Jesus and the Victory of God
"The debate by William Lane Craig, a leading evangelical apologist, and John Dominic Crossan, a founder of the Jesus Seminar, found in Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? provides a helpful introduction to the issues involved in the modern discussion of the historical Jesus. The additional articles by four representative scholars responding to the debate help raise the key issue of whether 'the resurrection of Jesus' refers to something that happened to Jesus (Craig) or to his followers (Crossan)." -- Robert H. Stein, Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of N.T. Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of Jesus the Messiah
"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? offers readers a clarifying and insightful comparison and contrast between the Jesus Seminar, on the one hand, and evangelical theologians, on the other. This book brings into sharp relief the contours of the debate and should serve well the Christian community-conservative and non conservative alike." -- Craig A. Evans, Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Biblical Studies, Trinity Western University, British Columbia, Canada; author of Jesus, Studying the Historical Jesus, and Jesus in Context
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Craig points out that Crossan "thinks that the so-called Gospel of Peter, which is almost universally acknowledged to be a second-century forgery ... actually contains the original account of Jesus' death and resurrection, and that the Gospel accounts are based on it. No major New Testament scholar agrees with this view." (Pg. 30)
Crossan says, "I reject absolutely the naturalist position that Dr. Craig attributed to me." (Pg. 37) He says, "I do not think... that Dr. Craig is right... to assert that a majority of New Testament scholars say that Jesus claimed he was God... I'm not even certain a majority of New Testament scholars say Jesus claimed he was Messiah." (Pg. 46)
In his closing statement, Craig observes, "As for Dr. Crossan's presuppositions... in tonight's debate he hasn't tried to defend any of them: (1) the priority of the Gospel of Peter, (2) the Secret Gospel of Mark, (3) the inventive community of early Christians." (Pg. 69)
Marcus Borg notes, "Paul includes himself in the list of people to whom the risen Christ appeared; implicitly, he regards his own experience as similar to the others. His own experience on the Damascus road... was a vision. I think visions can be true; unlike Craig, I never put them in the same category as hallucinations. The fundamental point here is that a vision does not require a physical body." (Pg. 123) He adds, "In rejecting supernaturalistic intervention, I am not arguing for either a deistic or naturalistic position. I think paranormal things happen, including paranormal healings. But supernatural intervention is not a helpful way of explaining such events." (Pg. 128)
This is an excellent exchange of views, that should be of tremendous interest to those studying the historical Jesus, apologetics, the Jesus Seminar, etc.