Who Is Jesus? Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith  -     By: Darrell L. Bock
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Who Is Jesus? Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith

Howard Books / 2012 / Paperback

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From the author of Discovering the Da Vinci Code comes a corroborative way to reconcile the Jesus of history with the Christ of faith. For the last decade, a prestigious group of scholars applied 10 investigative rules to Jesus' ministry---and were able to reconstruct 12 key events in Jesus' life purely on the basis of historical authenticity. 256 pages, softcover from Howard.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.44 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1439190682
ISBN-13: 9781439190685
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

IS JESUS WHO HE SAID HE WAS? Some say he was just a man; others claim he was the Son of God. Historian Darrell Bock tests the authenticity of Jesus’ claims against the rules of history to find out if he truly is the Christ of Faith.

This reader-friendly book examines twelve events, sayings, and teachings of Jesus, using ten well-accepted historical rules. Pull up a chair, engage in the conversation, and discover how fascinating the discussion of the historical Jesus can be.

Author Bio

Darrell L. Bock serves as Executive Director for Cultural Engagement at the Hendricks Center at Dallas Theological Seminary and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, Dallas Theological Seminary, and the University of Aberdeen.

Editorial Reviews

“Take a dozen scholars who have all written books on some aspect of the life of the historical Jesus. Have them meet annually for a decade poring over articles that each one writes on his area of specialty, looking for any possible flaws. Publish the revised results on both sides of the Atlantic in a major monograph and receive wider scholarly feedback. Then commission the co-chair to write a succinct, readable digest of the results, and the result is Darrell Bock’s Who Is Jesus? Here is the most important counterpoint available in print to the fanciful Jesuses of the skeptical fringe, and a must read!"

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  1. RICHARD HOLT
    Clovis, NM
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent
    December 29, 2012
    RICHARD HOLT
    Clovis, NM
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Bock is a well known man of faith. However, in this work, he forces himself to address specific events in the life of Jesus, using only the rules of historical research. For example, from a strictly historical perspective, it is important to have corroborating evidence of an event, in order for it to be accepted as historical. Most historians are aware of the fact that many things have happened in history, which are not supported by strong corroborating evidence. This doesn't mean those events didn't happen. It just means there is insufficient evidence to support them historically. In this work, Bock shows that many of the events in Jesus' life do meet the criteria for historical reliability. This book will be especially helpful for those who have questions or doubts about the historical reality of Jesus.
  2. Christianfictionaddiction
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Highly recommended!
    November 3, 2012
    Christianfictionaddiction
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Many Christians accept what the Bible says on faith, thinking "If the Bible says it's true, then it just is!". Other Christians want to know why the Bible is true, want to know about the historical evidence for the Bible, and enjoy spending time thinking through philosophical arguments. The book "Who Is Jesus?", will especially appeal to the latter group, although people of all walks will enjoy reading this well-crafted book.

    I found the book to be well laid out and easy to read and comprehend. The author clearly explains the rules that are used to test whether a Biblical text meets the criteria for authenticity or not, and then proceeds to unpack 12 main events from Jesus' life as tested against the rules. I think the rule that often spoke to me the most was the one about an event causing embarrassment to Jesus and his followers, such as the account of Peter confronting Jesus when Jesus is talking of his approaching suffering, and Jesus tells him "Get behind me Satan" (Mark 8:33). Why on earth would the first Christians have made up such a story, which serves to embarrass a key leader of the Church, unless it is true? The author has done an excellent job at looking at all the different elements that were considered in examining an event, and his writing is very approachable. A reader doesn't have to be a pastor to be able to understand the arguments that are being presented. Whether or not a reader will agree with everything they read, at the very least they will leave the book with a greater understanding of history and able to better enter into discussions about who Jesus is and was. For myself, I found the book to be an absolute faith-builder!

    I highly recommend this book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

    Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Howard Books (Simon and Schuster) for the purposes of this unbiased review.
  3. Philip Tutt
    Sacramento, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Stimulating
    October 27, 2012
    Philip Tutt
    Sacramento, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This book purports to be an assessment of the "historical Jesus", as articulated under certain rules for "a corroborative case for the historicity of the accounts" of the life and ministry of Jesus ("criteria of authenticity"). These "rules" are laid out in Chapter 1. They are utilized, with specificity, over an analysis of twelve critical periods in Jesus' life. The book largely succeeds in applying these rules consistently, even if not all of the resulting arguments are convincing. I take special issue with Rule 1, "Multiple Attestation of Sources", since I reject the "Q" hypopthesis (that Matthew and Luke have a non-Markan source in common, so labeled). Thus, the author's frequent citation to Q as an independent source attesting to the historical basis for key points in his analysis is not, to my mind, compelling. To his (very great) credit, however, the author acknowledges this issue in the second footnote to the chapter, and does not attempt persuade students such as myself to the contrary (I wish that all scholarship could be this honest). The author also reaches several conclusions with which I disagree. For example, I think it is a bit of a stretch to argue that Jewish blasphemy equates, in Pilate's mind, to Roman sedition. Likelier is that Jesus was executed solely for reasons of political expediency, a point to which the author alludes, if not exactly conceding it: Pilate, who appointed Caiaphas as high priest, was "standing behind the one he had appointed to help him on Jewish political affairs". The whole argument to the contrary (re: the "legal" basis for the crucifixion) concerning Jesus as "king of the Jews", a title not conferred by Rome, hence seditiously arrogated sub rosa by Jesus to himself, seems to me to founder fairly straightforwardly. First, the Jewish charge of blasphemy is trumped-up (e.g., disrespect for religious authority is not an element of the offense, unless several of the prophets whose writings are part of the Jewish canon, are guilty of this; Jesus, by the way, acknowledges the magisterial authority of the scribes and Pharisees (Mt. 23:2-3), taking issue not with their teachings, but with certain of their practices). Second, Pilate is not likely to be concerned about alleged offenses against the Jewish God, who, even if acknolwedged as a deity, is (in Pilate's mind) obviously inferior to the Roman gods (since he cannot even protect his own people against Rome). And third, the "titulus" ordered by Pilate ("INRI"), is a mockery not only of Jesus but also of his accusers. That these objections, and others, are stimulated by the book is, however, its merit. It certainly sharpened my thinking about the historical Jesus, and his relationship to the Jesus of my faith. I fully expect that others will find this merit in the book. I commend it, therefore, to the careful reader.
  4. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    great answer to critical historical Jesus studies
    September 4, 2012
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Much has been written in the last decades about the quest for the historical Jesus. Some argue that the Jesus of history is very different from the Jesus we worship today - the Jesus reconstructed by the early church.

    Bock argues that you can abide by historical Jesus study rules and still move toward a better historical understanding of Jesus that also explains the faith of his earliest followers. There is not a chasm between the historical Jesus and the Jesus we worship today.

    This book grows out of a ten year study where an international group of Jesus scholars met for one weekend each summer, taking a close look at twelve core events in the life of Jesus. These scholars argue that a person can play by many of the historical rules and still appreciate that the gist of these events has been rendered in our earliest sources. Who is Jesus? is a treatment of the technical study that can be appreciated by non-scholars.

    Bock takes us through the rules of historical Jesus study and then states the key rules used in this study. He then takes us through twelve events of Jesus' life with the following structure: considering the rules to see if they open the door for seeing the event as authentic, examining the objections, and considering how the relevant background opens up the event and what it means for understanding Jesus.

    The events examined include John the Baptist and his baptism of Jesus, the choosing of the twelve, Jesus' association with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus and the Sabbath, Jesus and exorcism, Peter's declaration at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus' atriumphal entry, Jesus' temple act, the Last Supper, the examination by Jewish leadership, the examination by Pilate and crucifixion, and the women discovering the empty tomb.

    After applying the rules of historical Jesus study to the twelve events, Bock concludes, "They affirm to us that the Jesus of history links to and discloses the Christ of faith."

    If you have been discouraged because of the attention recent studies about Jesus have received, you will be encouraged by this book. It will help you be more assured that the Jesus from the Bible is truly the Jesus of history.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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