Many books are available on the historical Jesus, but few address issues that are critically central to Christian faith--namely, Jesus as resurrected Lord, Christ, and Son of God. This comprehensive introduction to the study of the historical Jesus takes both scholarship and Christian faith seriously.
Leading New Testament scholar Lee Martin McDonald brings together two critically important dimensions of the story of Jesus: what we can know about him in his historical context and what we can responsibly claim about his significance for faith today. McDonald examines the most important aspects of the story of Jesus from his birth to his resurrection and introduces key issues and approaches in the study of the historical Jesus. He also considers faith issues, taking account of theological perspectives that secular historiography cannot address. The book incorporates excerpts from primary sources and includes a map and tables.
Lee Martin McDonald (PhD, University of Edinburgh), before his retirement, was professor of New Testament studies and president of Acadia Divinity College. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Biblical Canon, and coeditor of The Canon Debate (with James Sanders), and The World of the New Testament (with Joel Green). He lives in Mesa, Arizona.
"Lee Martin McDonald writes with skill, insight, and spiritual energy. Lee's insight that Jesus' message proves 'we are significant enough to be loved' will be moving for many readers, as well as the notion that the biblical Jesus is also the Christ of faith. This book is highly recommended for classes and all who find Jesus' story riveting and compelling.
-James H. Charlesworth,
director and editor, Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project; George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Princeton Theological Seminary
The Story of Jesus in History and Faith is perhaps the best technical survey of Jesus research now in print. It is at once exhaustively thorough, painstakingly fair, and enormously readable. This is simply a great book that will serve scholars and students alike who need to become current on virtually every critical issue surrounding the Gospels, the life of Jesus, and the intersection of history and faith.
-Gary M. Burge, professor of New Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School
Lee McDonald writes as a veteran scholar with a depth of experience in both the church and the academy. The Story of Jesus in History and Faith distinguishes itself by offering readers a learned and carefully nuanced discussion of what history is, how it is written, and what relevance it has for our understanding of Jesus. McDonald skillfully leads his readers through all of the important topics and questions, including the historical reliability of the New Testament Gospels and the miracles, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Careful reading of this book will profit believers and skeptics alike. I am pleased to recommend it.
-Craig A. Evans,
Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada
Lee McDonald has provided a wide-ranging compendium of useful information on the study of the historical Jesus, including an account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that engages the major critical issues. This material will be well suited to students at various levels of engagement. This is vintage McDonald.
-Stanley E. Porter,
president, dean, and professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
In what must be regarded as a tour de force in Jesus studies, Lee McDonald has picked up the gauntlet thrown down by David F. Strauss in the nineteenth century, effectively challenging his two dichotomies: that the Jesus of history must be divorced from the Christ of faith, and that the historicity of the Fourth Gospel is decimated by that of the Synoptics. As a fourth quest for Jesus seeks a way to include the Gospel of John, this book will play a pivotal role in restoring the critical integration of history and faith regarding the greatest subject of both fields: Jesus.
-Paul N. Anderson,
professor of biblical and Quaker studies, George Fox University; author of The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel
McDonald surveys the broad range of issues and sources in historical Jesus research in a way that is irenic toward all sides. Rather than pursuing a partisan line, he writes as an independent observer and yet with sensitivity to the scholars with whom he disagrees.
-Craig S. Keener,
professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary