The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition
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Stock No: WW031144
Baker Academic / 2007 / Paperback

The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition

Baker Academic / 2007 / Paperback

Stock No: WW031144

Product Description

Much New Testament scholarship of the last 200 years has seen fit, to one degree or another, to relegate the Jesus tradition as recorded in the Gospels to the realm of legend, i.e., to the realm of fiction. But is this really what the evidence points to? By drawing together recent scholarship from a variety of fields, including history, anthropology, ethnography, folklore, and New Testament studies, Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd show that the evidence actually supports, rather than refutes, the historical reliability of the Gospels and the existence of Jesus.

After first presenting the cumulative case argument for the 'legendary Jesus' thesis, the authors proceed to dismantle it and seriously bring into question its viability. In the process, they range through issues such as the historical-critical method, form criticism, oral tradition, the use of non-Christian sources, the writings of Paul, and the Hellenization of Judaism. They come to the conclusion that the view of Jesus embraced by the early church was 'substantially rooted in history.'

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 512
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801031141
ISBN-13: 9780801031144

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Publisher's Description

Even mature Christians have trouble defending the person and divinity of Christ. The Jesus Legend builds a convincing interdisciplinary case for the unique and plausible position of Jesus in human history. He was real and his presence on the planet has been well-documented.

The authors of the New Testament didn't plant evidence, though each writer did tell the truth from a unique perspective. This book carefully investigates the Gospel portraits of Jesus--particularly the Synoptic Gospels--assessing what is reliable history and fictional legend. The authors contend that a cumulative case for the general reliability of the Synoptic Gospels can be made and boldly challenge those who question the veracity of the Jesus found there.

Author Bio

Paul Rhodes Eddy (PhD, Marquette University) is professor of biblical and theological studies at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Gregory A. Boyd (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is the senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Eddy and Boyd are authors or coauthors of several books, including Across the Spectrum.

Library Journal

Skeptical answers to the question of what can be historically known about Jesus of Nazareth have elicited from evangelical authors a plethora of responses. This one, by biblical scholar Eddy (Bethel Univ.) and megachurch pastor Boyd (Woodland Hills Church, Maplewood, MN), is certainly among the best. It is accurate, up-to-date, grounded in a critical but fair understanding of its opponents’ positions, and thoroughly situated within the academic literature (the authors have also produced Lord or Legend?: Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma, for a general readership). Eddy and Boyd understand and accept the value of critical biblical studies, and they avoid much of the defensiveness that characterizes the genre, e.g., as seen in Michael J. Wilkins and J.P. Moreland’s Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus. Philosophically, the authors do not question the metaphysical usefulness of a naturalist/supernaturalist dichotomy, and their treatment of deconstruction is shallow. However, they are on firmer footing in biblical studies, offering compelling, nuanced critiques of tradition-critical readings of the Gospels and helpful surveys of relevant external and archaeological data. Highly recommended for all academic libraries.—Steve Young, McHenry Cty. Coll., Crystal Lake, IL

Product Reviews

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  1. Danjoe
    Washington State
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    For every serious reader of gospel reliability!
    January 12, 2012
    Washington State
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Great book! It is certainly one of the best of it's kind and anyone seriously interested in the topic should read it. It is fast becoming a very important work. It discusses methodological issues, refutes the claims of Jesus-myth proponents, skeptics who believe Jesus lived, but don't believe much can be known beyond that, defends extra Biblical references to Jesus, demolishes the arguments of the academic ethnocentric scholars that rule out the possibility of miracles, addresses genre and questions of canon, and a whole lot more. GET IT! Finally, I don't like doing this in a review of the book, but I have to address what the other reviewer said so that some people are not misled. I must say with as much respect as I can, I don't think his review is trustworthy. Here is why: He says this book is a rehash of the arguments in the works of N. Geisler, W.L. Craig, and McDowell. Hardly. First, Craig does not much of anything in the area of defending the historical reliability of the Gospels in general. This book does. Rather Craig focuses on defending certain claims about the Gospels that relate to the resurrection. This is why Craig's newest edition of Reasonable Faith does not contain a chapter on the reliability of the Gospels. In the second edition, he had a chapter on it, but Craig did not even write it, Blomberg did! In fact Craig, argued with the publishers because he did not want a chapter defending Gospel reliability! Boyd and Eddy's book refutes the Christ-myth. Where does Craig do a comparable job of this? Craig understandably ignores it since it is not an issue in the scholarly community. Craig does not ever go into the depths of defending extra Biblical sources the way this book does. Where does Craig give an extended refutation of the Christ-myth the way this book does? For that matter, where do Geisler and McDowell? They don't go into nearly the depth. And this is a major focus of Boyd and Eddy's book. How then could it be a rehash? It's not! I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, the reviewer has not persuaded me of anything except that he either has not read this book, or has not read Geisler and McDowell.
  2. david s.
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    September 17, 2007
    david s.
    this book aims to disarm the theories that the Jesus of the new testament is nothing more than myth and legend. there is a lot of info in this work and it covers lots of grounds, deals with philosophical presuppositions against the supernatural, the historical nature and reliability of the new testament gospel accounts and more. I give it only 3 stars because it is basically a rehash of typical christian apologetics along the lines of Norman Geisler, William Lane Craig, Josh McDowell, and the like. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty to ponder in these trains of thought and this book, but these types of works being apologetic in nature are a little less interested in being as objective as possible (a tough thing ) and instead these types of books are really grinding an axe which may cause some skewing of the issues. of course the same is true of the skeptics and their works. anyhow this work is worth checking out for an updated typical conservative christian apologetic work on safeguarding the new testament Jesus idea from "doubters", but again that's about all it really is. for a much more objective study, yet still a conservative one, Michael McClymond's Familiar Stranger is a gem! CBD has it too.
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