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4.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 082542982X
Manufacturer : Kregel Publications|
Release data : 09 May, 2006
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A year and a half after publication...
...and this book is still excellent. While others wrote books merely to address issues raised by The Da Vinci Code or even just cash in on the hype, these three Christian scholars wrote a broad defense of the Biblical account of Christ that stands the test of time. The quality of their argument is exceeded only by their ability to make it accessible to a general audience. This book is every bit as relevant today as it was on publication. I expect we'll be able to look back in five-and-a-half years and say the same.
This Christian was very disappointed!
My disappointment with this book was rather quick in coming when on the third page of the very first chapter this rather disastrous statement is made: "Most Christians do not realize that many modern translations are conscious revisions of the King James Version of 1611. It started in 1885 with the Revised Version. Then, in 1901 the American Standard Version appeared. In 1952, the Revised Standard Version all came out. All of these modern translations are revisions of the KJV, as their prefaces note." If the authors of this book limited their research to the prefaces of these versions then they have clearly demonstrated, at least in this instance, very poor research technique. All of the modern versions are based on a different Greek text than the one that was used by the translators of the King James Version. I for one would like to know how an existing version can possibly be revised if a different Greek text is utilized? I noticed that in the list of versions given above the authors, for whatever reason, left out the New International Version. This may be because the preface fails to state that it is a revision of the KJV but does state that it is "a completely new translation of the Holy Bible." Any translation based on a different Greek text would have to be as these modern versions so clearly are.
The authors also spend an inordinate amount of time attacking those best described as the "KJV only" crowd. While I do not wish to enter into that debate I believe a better use of the book's time and space could have been used far more profitably than by denigrating those who hold to this view. I fail to see how the book's purpose was advanced with the authors lowering themselves to this level. But I will say this-only because it must be said-one of the authors relates a story a friend told him about a conversation he had with a KJV only advocate the result of which that no doctrines are altered or omitted in the modern versions. Then the author makes a very careless defense of the doctrine of the Trinity, not from 1 John 5:7 because its authenticity is questioned, nor from any other passage from the Bible, but from the Council of Constantinople of 381! This type of defense is not very convincing and indeed is far from it. It is exactly this type or argument though that the critics of Christianity accuse us of making when they argue that the Doctrines of Christianity are instituted by church councils and not from any biblical authority! The authors have just provided the opponents of Christianity with more ammo by doing exactly that. Defending a doctrine of the Bible by referring one to the dictates of a council and not from the Bible itself is indefensible.
The only redeeming part of this book may be when the authors show that Christianity has not adopted any pagan or Gnostic teachings as some opponents of Christianity contend. But considering the authors egregious mistakes given above one should not be quick in thinking that even that part of their book should be free from error.
Carefully researched and masterfully argued
The authours of "Reinventing Jesus" have done a masterful job of writing an in-depth, scholarly book adressing the critical questions of the historicity and cononization of scripture. The thing that sets this book apart from many others is that it is readable and easy to understand for the non-academic reader. It lays open the wealth of evidence that shows how weak the are the assumptions of the sceptics concerning the origins of the Bible and the Historical Jesus. I highly recommend it.