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The Case for the Real Jesus: A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ (Thorndike Press Large Print Inspirational Series) [Hardcover]

By Lee Strobel (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   587
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.52" Width: 6.05" Height: 1.19"
Weight:   1.59 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 30, 2008
Publisher   Thorndike Press
ISBN  1410405508  
EAN  9781410405500  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
FOR DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE THE USA. From college classrooms to bestselling books to the Internet, the historic picture of Jesus is under an intellectual onslaught. This fierce attack on the traditional portrait of Christ has confused spiritual seekers and created doubt among many Christians -- but can these radical new claims and revisionist theories stand up to sober scrutiny?

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More About Lee Strobel

Lee Strobel

Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the best-selling author of The Case for Faith, The Case for Christ, and The Case for a Creator, all of which have been made into documentaries by Lionsgate. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee wrote 3 Gold Medallion winners and the 2005 Book of the Year with Gary Poole. He and his wife live in Colorado. Visit Lee's website at:

Lee Strobel currently resides in West Dundee, in the state of Illinois. Lee Strobel was born in 1952.

Lee Strobel has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Case for ...
  2. Case for the Real Jesus
  3. Case For... Kids
  4. Case For...Series for Students

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Awesome  Mar 28, 2008
I love that he asks the toughest questions, and really looks for the answers. He isn't just calling it in, he's down in the trenches, and ends up finding answers he originally didn't believe were our there.
A Progressive Evangelical's Perspective  Mar 23, 2008
I am a fan of Lee Strobel and have read several of his prior books including The Case for Christ, the Case for a Creator, and the Case for Faith. I have multiple copies of some of these on my bookshelf and give them to clients whose faith journeys can be advanced by Mr. Strobel's books. I give this background because, in my opinion, this is his weakest book. If I were his professor, I would give him a "B-" grade, and tell him to make a few important revisions before submitting it for publication.

The most important weakness is based on the notion that this is the definitive text to answer the question, "What is the truth about Jesus?". This is the question presented in large type in the banner across the top of the back cover. Marketing of the text in this way sets the bar so high that it cannot be met, thus leading to the book's shortfalls, which are of two types.

The first shortfall has to do with the selection of the individual examples of the "intellectual onslaught" that he intends to address, and the second shortfall has to do with the rigor with which each of the examples is addressed.

The author presents six challenges that he has selected, apparently significantly influenced by the Jesus Seminar, which he seems to denigrate. On page 14, he describes the milieu out of which the challenges that he will address as "college classrooms, increasingly dominated by liberal faculty members who grew up in the religiously suspicious 1960s...". As such a person, I am concerned that he gives us too little credit for fully investigating claims by entities such as the Jesus Seminar and sets academics as a collective straw man, while arguing that the book has been written "for the sake of my own intellectual integrity..." (p. 15). While I agree that academia has proportionally fewer Christians than the society as a whole, I insist that it is crucially important that the academic method of scholarship be respected, especially with questions of faith. I believe that we are making great progress as a nation towards spiritual maturity that will eventuate in much greater acceptance of Jesus as who He said He was by engaging people who are atheists and agnostics in well-supported and well-reasoned debates, which requires the support of Christian academics, whose work can be encouraged by authors such as Strobel. If Strobel has such concerns about the work of the Jesus Seminar wouldn't it be reasonable "for the sake of my own intellectual integrity" to interview members of the Jesus Seminar? At least for the credentialing of the six challenges that he presents, interviews with key "liberal faculty members" who are Christians might have substantiated and broadened the challenges.

The second shortfall of the book stems from the first. Generally, the author has sought out and interviewed well established scholarly resources. The problem arises when he is not as thorough as he has been in previous books in pushing back against the information provided by these resources and upholding the Socratic method. His questioning is too friendly and not sufficiently energetic to convince the reader that the expert has been thoroughly pressed.

Another nagging concern that may be only of interest to academics and scholars has to do with the inclusion of quite a bit of work from Michael Licona, a person whose academic and scholarly credentials are not yet well-established. Approximately 20% of the book involves Licona as a resource. Although I can certainly accept that a person who is not yet a fully-qualified scholar can assist in the development of a scholarly work, the appropriate way to handle his offerings (that are often useful and interesting) would be to go back to the original sources. The author's background in journalism and law certainly establishes an expectation that he would do so. Perhaps I am over-educated and have spent too many years in academia, but this particular issue causes me to be reluctant to recommend the book for academically trained intellectuals. This says nothing at all about Michael Licona as an interesting and enthusiastic Christian; this is a critical comment focused on Mr. Strobel's strategy for including Michael's information, which could have been used as the theses in arguments submitted to scholars with well-established reputations. That would have been a preferred method and would have strengthened the book overall.
Strobel challenges the toughest critics  Feb 25, 2008
As a legal expert and accomplished journalist, Strobel takes the best arguments (using the best pro and con sources), and allows history, common sense, logic and insight to reveal the truth. No important question is ignored and no controversy is avoided. After reviewing the best evidence presented by both sides, it is pretty clear which side is more truthful, honest and compelling.
Defending the real Jesus  Feb 21, 2008
The most important person in human history has always come under attack, but it seems that in the past few decades an especially concentrated attack on Jesus Christ has taken place. This has come in the form of claims about missing or suppressed gospels, alternative Christianities, and church cover-ups.

The most famous of course was the fictional hatchet job on Christian orthodoxy, The Da Vince Code by Dan Brown. Others include the supposed discovery of the tomb of Jesus, the so-called Gospel of Judas, and a host of other wild claims, often promoted more by Hollywood and hype than by sound biblical scholarship.

TV documentary makers, Internet bloggers, and a credulous media have been happy to promote such "finds" but more sober heads have roundly condemned these reckless claims. Indeed, a number of important biblical scholars and New Testament experts come together in this volume to make the case for the traditional understanding of Jesus and the Gospels, and to highlight the silly and vacuous nature of these various attacks on the faith.

By interviewing leading experts in various fields, Strobel present a compelling and powerfully argued case for the traditional understanding of who Jesus is and why we can trust the Gospel accounts. He examines a number of these recent accusations in some detail, demonstrating the paucity of the charges being made, and the strength of the orthodox case for Christianity.

Consider the claim that there are many other gospels which are on a par with the canonical four Gospels. To tackle this claim he interviewed leading New Testament scholar Craig Evans. He begins by explaining how we can judge the reliability of an ancient text.

A crucial test involves when the document was written. Obviously the closer it was written to the events in question, the more accurate it should be. And it turns out the four Gospels are extremely reliable by this criterion. The Gospel of Mark, for example, was penned in the 60s, some three decades after the ministry of Jesus.

Compare that with something like the Gospel of Thomas, which at its earliest would have been written around 175 to 200. It is much further removed from the time of Jesus, therefore far less reliable as an authoritative source.

Another issue is the geographical connection. A document written "in the Eastern Mediterranean world thirty years after Jesus' ministry," says Evans, "is more promising than one written in Spain of France in the middle of the second century".

All the so-called lost or alternative gospels were penned much later than the four Biblical Gospels which have "credible connections with the first generation, apostolic, eyewitness sources".

A related challenge, that of the possibility of the biblical texts being corrupted, is dealt with by Daniel Wallace, a world authority on New Testament manuscripts. An expert in the science of textual criticism, Wallace is well-placed to enter this debate. He begins by pointing out that the Bible is the only religious scripture in the world intended to be subject to historical inquiry. It claims to be a historical document which invites rigorous investigation.

Wallace claims there is an "embarrassment of riches" when it comes to the New Testament documents. Unlike any other book in ancient history, the New Testament is fully supported by excellent manuscript evidence. For example, there are thousands of copies of manuscripts, making it much easier to determine the contents of the original.

There are 5,700 Greek copies of the New Testament, either in part or whole. There are also another 10,000 copies in Latin, in addition to Coptic, Syriac, Georgian and Armenian versions. In total, we have perhaps 30,000 handwritten copies of the New Testament. Says Wallace, the "quantity and quality of the New Testament manuscripts are unequalled in the ancient Greco-Roman world". By way of contrast, the average Greek author "has fewer than twenty copies of his works still in existence, and they come from no sooner than five hundred to a thousand years later".

Another accusation is that Christianity's views about Jesus were merely borrowed from pagan religions. For this challenge Strobel enlists the aid of Edwin Yamauchi, one of the world's leading authorities on ancient mystery religions. Having studied 22 ancient languages, and written 200 papers for professional journals, he is the expert to go to on this topic.

He is not impressed with the claims the Christianity simply copied these mystery religions. For example, the late Roman mystery religion Mithraism is often appealed to, but its flowering occurred "after the close of the New Testament canon, too late for it to have influenced the development of first-century Christianity".

The evidence is clear, as another scholar puts it: the weight of scholarly opinion is against any attempt to "make early Christianity dependent on the so-called dying and rising gods of Hellenistic paganism".

Strobel looks at other claims, such as the charge that new explanations have discredited the resurrection of Jesus, and finds them also to be wanting. The responses to the six major challenges presented in this volume make it clear that the faith of Christianity as established in the ancient creeds is in fact rock solid, and that the trendy new criticisms and charges are easily refuted.

The case for the real Jesus still stands, and Strobel is to be congratulated for bringing together in one volume so many world-class experts who can so ably take on the wild charges being made against Jesus and the Gospels.
The Case for the Real Jesus  Feb 8, 2008
Fantastic book that is being passed around among my friends, as well as a few skeptics of the bible. It's well written, to the point and convincing. Highly recommend this book.

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