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5 Stars Out Of 5
Very Good Resource (Ignore the Poor Review by a Biased Naysayer)
January 20, 2017
I read portions of Blomberg's book. It's very good. The scholar does an admirable job explaining why we can trust the gospel accounts as history.
However, another reviewer dismissed this book based on very shaky ground. First, he asserted that Blomberg's book is 'polemical' -- meaning it presents an argument for why the gospels are historically reliable. Sorry, did I miss something? Is there something inherently wrong with polemical writing? If so, then the reviewer in question is wrong since he has written a polemical review. Obviously, it's a silly assertion that says more about the odd biases (and blindspots) of the reviewer, than the book being reviewed. Many (if not most) academic resources that are worth reading are polemical. It's the nature of academic resources -- they make cases which they then argue, defend, and back with proof.
Next, the same reviewer dismissed Blomberg's book because Blomberg didn't identify the gospels as the same as other writings from the same time and place that included mythological elements. His implication is, the gospels and those other writings are the same genre. Again, did I miss something? The reviewer engages in a false equivalency. He equates the gospels and other writings as the same simply because they (may have) originated in the same time and place. Does the reviewer care to make a cogent argument, based on an indifferent study of the literature, supported by hard facts? Or is he satisfied merely to make bald assertions? I wonder if the reviewer has approached the subject with a preconceived bias against Blomberg's book in particular and the historical nature of the gospels in general? Clearly, he hasn't read the scholarly work on the historical reliability of the Bible. I suggest starting with Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, 2nd edition, by Richard Bauckham
this book sets out to defend the gospels as historically reliable, and is basically an apologetics work on the subject. it is a scholarly treatment to be sure, as Craig Blomberg is no lightweight, be that as it may, this work is polemical and seems to simply totally miss the point in that the nature of so much of the literature spawned by 2nd temple judaistic and greco/roman literature, are a mix of historical kernels with many embellishements and what today would be called myth. ( see Eric Gruen's Heritage and Hellenism and also Michael Grant's Greek and Roman Historians. ) at any rate, for a decently intelligent stab at defending the gosples as mostly straightforwardly historically reliable, this is worth the effort to read and study.