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

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Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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.

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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: 1,018,963
  • 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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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • 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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