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

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Overview

"This is one of the most important books on methodological issues in the study of Jesus and the Gospels to have appeared for a long time. It deserves to be widely read."--Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews

"The Jesus Legend is the best book in its class. Eddy and Boyd demonstrate mastery of the disciplines essential for critical assessment of the Gospels and competent investigation of the historical Jesus. I recommend this book in the highest terms."--Craig A. Evans, ...

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

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Overview

"This is one of the most important books on methodological issues in the study of Jesus and the Gospels to have appeared for a long time. It deserves to be widely read."--Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews

"The Jesus Legend is the best book in its class. Eddy and Boyd demonstrate mastery of the disciplines essential for critical assessment of the Gospels and competent investigation of the historical Jesus. I recommend this book in the highest terms."--Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College; author of Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels

"A clearly written, carefully researched, and powerfully argued defense of the historical reliability of the Synoptic Gospels. What makes this book noteworthy is the careful treatment of underlying issues in historical methodology and philosophy. A pleasure to read and a wonderful resource for those who have encountered troubling skeptical claims about the Gospels."--C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University

"I am gratified that my friends and colleagues Paul Eddy and Greg Boyd have taken my work as seriously as they have in this comprehensively researched book. I urge any reader of my books to read this one alongside them!"--Robert M. Price, Center for Inquiry Institute and fellow of the Jesus Seminar

"Eddy and Boyd have provided a thoroughly compelling cumulative argument--one of the very best available--for the reliability of the Synoptic Jesus tradition. Their book constitutes a superb treatment of the various issues, involving both fresh research and a brilliant synthesis of material from a variety of relevant disciplines."--Craig S. Keener, Palmer Seminary

"Eddy and Boyd have surveyed technical and popular writing alike, in meticulous detail, and present what can be concluded responsibly about the trustworthiness of the Synoptic Gospels and the portraits of Jesus they contain. They compile a detailed and erudite case that supports Christian faith. Highly recommended!"--Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary

"Well-written and organized, containing a masterful command of the literature. Eddy and Boyd show the difference between an open historical investigation of the life of Jesus and much of today's fictional writing that claims to be historical research concerning the origin of Christianity. A very useful introduction for college and seminary students."--Robert H. Stein, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Editorial Reviews

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801031144
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,455,776
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Case for the Legendary Jesus
Part 1: Historical Method and the Jesus Tradition: Miracles, Parallels, and First-Century Palestine
1. Miracles and Method: The Historical-Critical Method and the Supernatural
2. A Jewish Legend of "Yahweh Embodied"? How "Pagan" Was First-Century Judaism?
3. One Among Many Legends? Do "Parallels" Relativize the Jesus of History?
Part 2: Other Witnesses: Ancient Historians and the Apostle Paul
4. A Conspiracy of Silence? What Ancient Non-Christian Sources Say, and Do Not Say, About Jesus
5. The "Silence" of Paul? What, if Anything, Did Paul Know about the Jesus of History?
Part 3: Between Jesus and the Gospels: The Early Oral Jesus Tradition
6. Ancient Literacy and Oral Tradition: Assessing the Early Oral Jesus Tradition
7. Historical Remembrance or Prophetic Imagination? Memory, History, and Eyewitness Testimony in the Early Oral Jesus Tradition
Part 4: The Synoptic Gospels as Historical Sources for Jesus: Assessing the Evidence
8. The Genre and Nature of the Canonical Gospels: Did the Gospel Authors Intend to Write Historically Reliable Accounts?
9. Evaluating the Synoptic Gospels as Historical Sources: Methodological Issues and Preliminary Considerations
10. The Synoptic Tradition and the Jesus of History: A Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Synoptic Portrait(s) of Jesus
Author Index
Subject Index
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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    A thorough defense against the Legendary Theory

    While this book at times is a bit heady, it does a great job providing a thorough defense of it's thesis—mainly, that the portrait of Jesus presented in the gospels is the most plausible explanation of Jesus. It's worth a read if that sort of thing interests you.

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