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ISBN/ASIN : 0899007325
Manufacturer : College Press Publishing Company|
Release data : June, 1996
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Grab your shovel were digging into History
I read this to get a broader prospective of the historical evidences for Jesus after reading Case for Christ. Several of the points are repeated, however the depth of analysis from a professionally historic analysis was invaluable. It is not a engaging read as something for entertainment or a casual read. I goes deep into the authentic historical artifacts citing specific evidences that support the existence of Jesus and the character that is described through the Bible. I recommend reading this with a hi lighter or tabs to be able to refer back to material throughout this read, it is definitely something I will come back to for reference.
Haabermas is the Master when it comes to presenting verifiable evidence for the proof of the Resurrection. Ask yourself, "what if Jesus is real? What if He did come back to life?" This book lays it out definitively--No way you can escape this. Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus is presented in a very detailed and resonable format. The evidence speaks for itself. It's like the phrase "he cast out demons with the Devil's Power". They didn't say he DIDN'T cast out demons, they just attributed Jesus' power to the dark side. They had the evidence right in front of them. Lazarus was alive and could be questioned. Who covered up for the Roman Guards? How was Saul changed into Paul, the completely transformed former killer of christians? What changed his mind? People do not die for a lie or the perception of a lie. The disciples that saw Jesus Resurrected had no mass hallucination, delusion or craziness. Jesus did die and came back to life. Powerful evidence stated in very no nonsense, verifiable words. You really have to ask yourself, "Is Jesus really alive?" Yep.
A Must Read for Christology Students!
I read this book about a year ago and I've started rereading it because once is not enough. Dr. Habermas' book is an essential work that should be required for those studying the person of Jesus Christ. Habermas does an excellent job presenting opposing view points and providing answers for those who challenge the Biblical Christ. I feel he makes a very strong case for the historicity of Jesus Christ in opposition to the "findings" of the Jesus Seminar and other critics.
One issue needs to be addressed though. Habermas does a good job of using St. James the "Brother of Jesus" in support of the Historicity of Christ, however it must be clarified that St. James was not an actual Brother of Christ. Our Lady was a perpetual virgin. This truth is an ancient Tradition alluded to in Scripture, made explicit in the mid-second century through the non-canonical "Protoevangelium of James," and echoed by St. Athanasius in the fourth century in his "Discourses Against the Arians" where he explicitly gives Mary the title "Ever Virgin." Subsequent Church councils, like the ones that affimed Christ's Divinity and the Canon of Scripture, affirmed Mary's Virginity.
So what about the use of the word Brother, and sister, in reference to Christ? Well, Tradition holds that St. Joseph was a widower who already had children when he became the steward of Mary. So St. James may have been a Step Brother, which makes sense since Christ entrusted Mary to St. John at the foot of the cross rather than his brother. Further, St. Jerome argued in the Fourth Century that St. James and the other mentioned siblings may have been cousins since the word cousin did not exist in Aramaic. Your cousins were refered to as your brothers and sisters. Either way, the use of St, James as a reliable source is not deminished. One just needs to get all the facts as straight as possible.
All in all, this is a very informative book which needs to be read by any educated Christian. Though as Habermas himself admits, supplements in defense of Scripture are absolutely necessary. I highly recommend "The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?" by F.F. Bruce and "The Historical Reliability of the Gospels" by Craig Blomberg. Further, one should also read "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus" by Habermas and newcomer Michael Licona immediately following this book, as well as the recently published "Reinventing Jesus" J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B. Wallace, for a well rounded view of the Historical Jesus.