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The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ [Paperback]

By Gary R. Habermas (Author)
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Item Number 126232  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   298
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 6.03" Height: 0.82"
Weight:   0.92 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 3, 1996
Publisher   College Press Publishing Company
ISBN  0899007325  
EAN  9780899007328  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This book is chiefly an effort to examine the life, death and resurrection of Jesus from a different perspective. It is largely concerned with pre- and non-biblical evidence for these events. The main body is devoted to a study of sources that date from before, during, and just after the New Testament, including creedal traditions recorded for the first time in the pages of Scripture. These fascinating subjects seem to be too frequently left unexplored.

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More About Gary R. Habermas

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Gary R. Habermas is one of the world's leading apologists for the historicity of Jesus' resurrection. He is distinguished research professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Habermas has written twenty-seven books. He is a popular speaker having given over 1500 lectures at over 100 universities and in dozens of churches in North America and across the world.

Gary R. Habermas currently resides in the state of Virginia.

Gary R. Habermas has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Veritas Forum Books

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Jesus > Historical Jesus   [521  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > New Testa   [1782  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General   [10297  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Apologetics   [1450  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology   [2037  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Makes a pretty good case for the historicity of Jesus  Feb 15, 2008
Just finished reading this book today. Overall, the historical Christian and non-Christian evidence cited was pretty thorough. The author used the evidence to create a pretty strong case for the historical existence of Jesus and the early Christian movement. As a Christian looking for a stronger, factual-based foundation, I thought the book was very helpful. Having said that, I will say a couple of other things about the book. It is certainly biased towards a Christian viewpoint of the historical Jesus. Although the author tried to present an unbiased presentation of the information, there certainly were examples where the Christian bias took over. The author commented on one non-Christian source by saying that their statements were highly supportive of a historical Jesus. But the very next sentence said that the same source said other things about Jesus that were highly suspect and couldn't be trusted. That's sort of like saying, "this person tells the truth and is highly credible...except for the stuff I don't agree with." However, on a topic as highly controversial as this, one must always remember that any book on this topic will be written from a biased viewpoint. Even if one isn't starting with a Christian or non-Christian viewpoint, the whole reason they're writing their book is because they obviously believe something different than all the other books written on the topic. Therefore, they are, at the very least, biased towards their opinion of what the historical evidence says. So don't write reviews flaming the authors for being biased. Finding an author who is 100% unbiased is about as rare as finding the loch ness monster. It's possible, just not highly probable.
Grab your shovel were digging into History  Sep 20, 2007
I read this to get a broader prospective of the historical evidences for Jesus after reading Case for Christ. Several of the points are repeated, however the depth of analysis from a professionally historic analysis was invaluable. It is not a engaging read as something for entertainment or a casual read. I goes deep into the authentic historical artifacts citing specific evidences that support the existence of Jesus and the character that is described through the Bible. I recommend reading this with a hi lighter or tabs to be able to refer back to material throughout this read, it is definitely something I will come back to for reference.
Jesus Who?  Mar 8, 2007
Haabermas is the Master when it comes to presenting verifiable evidence for the proof of the Resurrection. Ask yourself, "what if Jesus is real? What if He did come back to life?" This book lays it out definitively--No way you can escape this. Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus is presented in a very detailed and resonable format. The evidence speaks for itself. It's like the phrase "he cast out demons with the Devil's Power". They didn't say he DIDN'T cast out demons, they just attributed Jesus' power to the dark side. They had the evidence right in front of them. Lazarus was alive and could be questioned. Who covered up for the Roman Guards? How was Saul changed into Paul, the completely transformed former killer of christians? What changed his mind? People do not die for a lie or the perception of a lie. The disciples that saw Jesus Resurrected had no mass hallucination, delusion or craziness. Jesus did die and came back to life. Powerful evidence stated in very no nonsense, verifiable words. You really have to ask yourself, "Is Jesus really alive?" Yep.
A Must Read for Christology Students!  Nov 29, 2006
I read this book about a year ago and I've started rereading it because once is not enough. Dr. Habermas' book is an essential work that should be required for those studying the person of Jesus Christ. Habermas does an excellent job presenting opposing view points and providing answers for those who challenge the Biblical Christ. I feel he makes a very strong case for the historicity of Jesus Christ in opposition to the "findings" of the Jesus Seminar and other critics.

One issue needs to be addressed though. Habermas does a good job of using St. James the "Brother of Jesus" in support of the Historicity of Christ, however it must be clarified that St. James was not an actual Brother of Christ. Our Lady was a perpetual virgin. This truth is an ancient Tradition alluded to in Scripture, made explicit in the mid-second century through the non-canonical "Protoevangelium of James," and echoed by St. Athanasius in the fourth century in his "Discourses Against the Arians" where he explicitly gives Mary the title "Ever Virgin." Subsequent Church councils, like the ones that affimed Christ's Divinity and the Canon of Scripture, affirmed Mary's Virginity.

So what about the use of the word Brother, and sister, in reference to Christ? Well, Tradition holds that St. Joseph was a widower who already had children when he became the steward of Mary. So St. James may have been a Step Brother, which makes sense since Christ entrusted Mary to St. John at the foot of the cross rather than his brother. Further, St. Jerome argued in the Fourth Century that St. James and the other mentioned siblings may have been cousins since the word cousin did not exist in Aramaic. Your cousins were refered to as your brothers and sisters. Either way, the use of St, James as a reliable source is not deminished. One just needs to get all the facts as straight as possible.

All in all, this is a very informative book which needs to be read by any educated Christian. Though as Habermas himself admits, supplements in defense of Scripture are absolutely necessary. I highly recommend "The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?" by F.F. Bruce and "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels" by Craig Blomberg. Further, one should also read "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus" by Habermas and newcomer Michael Licona immediately following this book, as well as the recently published "Reinventing Jesus" J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace, for a well rounded view of the Historical Jesus.
An apologist I actually like  Nov 23, 2006
Let me start out with a confession; I do not like Christian apologists. This is not to say that all Christian apologists are bad, but the most popular method in apologetics is either "explaining away" details, or making excuses for the things in Christianity that don't add up or that we don't like.

Ironically however, I discovered Gary Habermas in an apologetic book that I did not like; Lee Strobels "The Case for Christ". In Strobel's book we have typical apologetic excuse makers that take superficial observations and then try to explain them away, for example, the explanation that it was possible for Jesus to go into Galilee, and out of Galilee at the same time (I'm not kidding, this really is an apologetic argument). Apologetics are usually nothing more than starting out with an opinion and then looking for evidence that supports it, or looking at arguments and then manipulating the details to explain them away. In a nut shell, I have never found apologetics to be neither useful, nor helpful to any case Christians may have to make.

My point is this, in the entirety of Strobels "The Case for Christ"; only one interview actually got my attention, the Habermas interview. His argument was so reasoned and so compelling that it inspired me to read this book, and I have been a fan of Habermas ever since. If there is one apologist that all others should look to for guidance, it's Habermas. Unlike most apologists who work with none but superficial details of the bible, Habermas actually conducts a critical analysis of the data contained within. He studies history, works out how it all fits together, and then forms a supportive argument. I have read many books stating many cases for the truth of a historical Jesus, and this is by far the best.

Habermas lays it all out in front of us. The best arguments against a historical Jesus, the naturalistic interpretations of the resurrection, and how all of these theories have failed over the years. There is no "explaining it all away" in this book, it's all based on logic and hard data. If the field of Christian apologetics is going to evolve into something useful, there is no better man to look to than Habermas to make that happen. It is well worth a read, to say the least.

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