Reinventing Jesus: How Contemporary Skeptics Miss the Real Jesus and Mislead Popular Culture

Overview

Reinventing Jesus puts top-flight scholarship on the bottom shelf. . . It will handsomely repay the effort of any serious reader looking for the real evidence behind historic belief in the deity of Christ.”

—Josh McDowell
International speaker and author

“The authors of Reinventing Jesus convincingly demonstrate that the Jesus of faith and the Jesus of history are one and the same. Amidst the swirl of misinformation and myth assaulting the ...

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Overview

Reinventing Jesus puts top-flight scholarship on the bottom shelf. . . It will handsomely repay the effort of any serious reader looking for the real evidence behind historic belief in the deity of Christ.”

—Josh McDowell
International speaker and author

“The authors of Reinventing Jesus convincingly demonstrate that the Jesus of faith and the Jesus of history are one and the same. Amidst the swirl of misinformation and myth assaulting the popular culture today, here is a clear, digestible explanation for anyone wanting to know the facts about how the New Testament and the church’s earliest teachings were developed and transmitted.”

—David Gregory
Author, Dinner with a Perfect Stranger

“In a media horizon currently littered with caricatures of Christ and the church that he founded, Reinventing Jesus is a refreshing breeze of honesty regarding Christian origins. People ought to know that the Gospels and early records of the church are extremely reliable, but they are being misled by the current spate of books, movies, and television specials that offer torque instead of truth, sensation in place of sense, and the radical in place of the real. . . .”

—Paul L. Maier
Professor of Ancient History
Western Michigan University
Author, In the Fullness of Time

Reinventing Jesus effectively presents the other side of the public debate about Jesus where seemingly glitzy speculation is shown to be more like virtual reality than the history it often claims to be.”

—Darrell Bock
Author, Breaking the Da Vinci Code and The Missing Gospels
Research Professor of New Testament Studies,
Dallas Theological Seminary


“[The authors’] careful, painstaking analyses invite us to study the data for ourselves. . . . The endnotes alone are worth the cost of the book!”

—Gary R. Habermas
Distinguished Research Professor,
Liberty University
Author, The Historical Jesus

J. Ed Komoszewski, Th.M., is founder and director of Christus Nexus and has taught biblical and theological studies at Northwestern College and served as the director of research for Josh McDowell Ministry. M. James Sawyer, Ph.D., serves as professor of theology and church history at Western Seminary. He is the author of Taxonomic Charts of Theology and Biblical Studies and The Survivor’s Guide to Theology. Daniel B. Wallace, Ph.D., is professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, and senior New Testament editor of the NET Bible. He has written Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Apologia Report - Craig L. Blomberg
"This is not just another response to the issues raised in the novel and the film. It is a serious, detailed, yet eminently accessible refutation of the exaggerated skepticism of bona fide scholars like Bart Ehrman or Robert Price and of the outright misinformation in frequently-believed pseudo-scholarship circulating on the web or via little-known publishing houses."
ChristianBookPreviews.com - Ray Hammond
"Reinventing Jesus cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a firsthand look at the primary evidence for Christianity's origins. Reinventing Jesus shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to believe. While there are other books being written to defend the historical Jesus of the New Testament, and the authenticity and trustworthiness of the New Testament writings, Reinventing Jesus is one of the better ones read by this reviewer. The authors cover such a breath of material that it is hard to find one of similar value in terms of thoroughness and argumentation. I highly recommend this work."
Vintage_Faith.com - Dan Kimball
"The book Reinventing Jesus is by three authors, Dr. Sawyer who spoke at our church is one of them. I have bought all the Da Vinci Code books and feel this book is by far the best one out there. Reinventing Jesus transcends the Da Vinci Code stuff and is more a book on the origin of the New Testament for the most part. It is definitely a book for the average person to learn about how oral tradition and a memorizing culture was behind how things were written back then, all about textual criticism and why we can have confidence in the New Testament today. How books were selected etc. I can say there it is one of the best books I have ever read that goes into the apologetics of the Bible and I hope that The Da Vinci Code tie in, doesn't give a short shelf life to this book, as it really is a book that is like taking a class on the origin and trustworthiness of the Bible, not the Da Vinci Code."
tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com - Doug Pagitt
"An excellent book. A readable book. A perennial book with unfortunately, a seasonal title. It deserves to be bought and read and stored and studied ó with or without its current connection to DaVinci Code and The Jesus Seminar. The book is an easy reading account of why and how we have the New Testament."
Tektonics Book Reviews - J. P. Holding
"For years now I've been lamenting the sad state of published apologetics, as it seemed that there was far more interest in getting out insipid eschatological novels than in offering defenses of the faith rooted in sound scholarship. I was glad when Lee Strobel's works finally jimmied that door some, and when Licona and Habermas cracked it further open with The Resurrection of Jesus; and now, this trio has blown the door off its hinges and sent it flying into the atmosphere. I'll put it bluntly: Buy this book. If you're tired of the Christian publishing industry putting out the intellectual equivalent of Hostess Ding Dongs in defense of the faith, you NEED to make this book a success, because otherwise, they won't get the message and we'll get more Ding Dongs instead of more roast beef."
krusekronicle.typepad.com - Michael Kruse
"The book is a very good introduction to the topic from an evangelical perspective, it is well written, extensively footnoted, and it should serve well as a primer for textual criticism and related topics. I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for just such a resource."
InternetMonk.com - Michael Spencer
"Of particular benefit in this book are the frequent references to the controversial and influential work of the Jesus Seminar. There is actually far more Jesus Seminar material in this book than DVC [Da Vinci Code] material. Because the methodology of the Jesus Seminar is accepted by many of the media pundits and promoters of the DVC phenomenon, it is important to respond to the assertions of those scholars who are making new and largely revolutionary claims about Jesus and the New Testament. The book is particularly impressive in taking the methodology of radical scholars and going, slowly and carefully through their use of logic, interpretative tools and assumptions. The result is a superb exposure of the bankruptcy of most of the assertions of radical revisions, using the same tools that they claim leads to a 'new' Jesus. . . .I recommend this book without reservation. It is 260 pages of text, with more than 50 pages of readable endnotes and extensive referencing within available New Testament literature. The book is perfectly aimed at students and informed laypersons. It could be given to a skeptic as well, as each author discusses the questions at hand calmly and without ridicule or cheerleader. This is serious scholarship translated down to a level that will help those in local churches and missional callings."
dev.bible.org - Darrell Bock
"As I get ready to start writing on my next Jesus book, I want to recommend a volume I am currently reading. It is Reinventing Jesus, which is also noted elsewhere on this web site. It is a solid walk through the trustworthiness of Scripture dealing with such issues as oral tradition, the criteria of authenticity, issues tied to textual criticism, the canon, and the issues tied to myth, as well as a walk through the early texts on Jesus' deity. It is accessible and very well done. For those who want orientation to issues tied to these questions, this is a good source."
Euangelion - Michael W. Kruse
I agree with your review. I reviewed this a few months ago and I was particularly impressed with how accessible the language is in describing some complex idea.
Euangelion - Michael Westmoreland-White
Well, I had not heard of this book, but your review, coupled with endorsements by Craig Blomberg (my college advisor back in the day) and Craig Keener and Scott McKnight (both friends whom I consider to be some of the best of current evangelical scholarship), has placed it on my wish list. I am very upset with the way popular culture is misled this wayóalthough rightwing distortions are just as bad.
Evangelicals Now - Anthony McRoy
Many British evangelicals tend to be cautious about something coming from Dallas Theological Seminary because of its dispensationalist tendencies. This book, however, written by three graduates from the Seminary and including one (Wallace) actually lecturing there, deserves a whole-hearted welcome by everyone in the UK. The book is accessible, thorough and informative. . . . All in all, the authors have greatly placed us in their debt, and this book should be widely read by everyone.
myspace.com - Dennis
My opinion of the books is that the authors have spent a great deal of time (decades) in their research. It is truly time for other scholars to step up and answer the claims of the skeptics. This book may well be the start of a new gyration of inspiration of upcoming apologetic authors. You can find a helpful set of endnotes (64 pages to be exact) and handy resources for further reading. I highly recommend adding this book to your shelf as a valuable reference tool whether you are an apologist or lay Christian.
Evangelicals Now - Dr. Anthony McRoy
Many British evangelicals tend to be cautious about something coming from Dallas Theological Seminary because of its dispensationalist tendencies. This book, however, written by three graduates from the Seminary and including one (Wallace) actually lecturing there, deserves a whole-hearted welcome by everyone in the UK. The book is accessible, thorough and informative. . . . All in all, the authors have greatly placed us in their debt, and this book should be widely read by everyone.
ChristianBookPreviews.com
Reinventing Jesus cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a firsthand look at the primary evidence for Christianity's origins. Reinventing Jesus shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to believe. While there are other books being written to defend the historical Jesus of the New Testament, and the authenticity and trustworthiness of the New Testament writings, Reinventing Jesus is one of the better ones read by this reviewer. The authors cover such a breath of material that it is hard to find one of similar value in terms of thoroughness and argumentation. I highly recommend this work.
— Ray Hammond
Apologia Report
This is not just another response to the issues raised in the novel and the film. It is a serious, detailed, yet eminently accessible refutation of the exaggerated skepticism of bona fide scholars like Bart Ehrman or Robert Price and of the outright misinformation in frequently-believed pseudo-scholarship circulating on the web or via little-known publishing houses.
— Craig L. Blomberg
tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com
An excellent book. A readable book. A perennial book with unfortunately, a seasonal title. It deserves to be bought and read and stored and studied ó with or without its current connection to DaVinci Code and The Jesus Seminar. The book is an easy reading account of why and how we have the New Testament.
— Doug Pagitt
InternetMonk.com
Of particular benefit in this book are the frequent references to the controversial and influential work of the Jesus Seminar. There is actually far more Jesus Seminar material in this book than DVC [Da Vinci Code] material. Because the methodology of the Jesus Seminar is accepted by many of the media pundits and promoters of the DVC phenomenon, it is important to respond to the assertions of those scholars who are making new and largely revolutionary claims about Jesus and the New Testament. The book is particularly impressive in taking the methodology of radical scholars and going, slowly and carefully through their use of logic, interpretative tools and assumptions. The result is a superb exposure of the bankruptcy of most of the assertions of radical revisions, using the same tools that they claim leads to a 'new' Jesus. . . .I recommend this book without reservation. It is 260 pages of text, with more than 50 pages of readable endnotes and extensive referencing within available New Testament literature. The book is perfectly aimed at students and informed laypersons. It could be given to a skeptic as well, as each author discusses the questions at hand calmly and without ridicule or cheerleader. This is serious scholarship translated down to a level that will help those in local churches and missional callings.
— Michael Spencer
dev.bible.org
As I get ready to start writing on my next Jesus book, I want to recommend a volume I am currently reading. It is Reinventing Jesus, which is also noted elsewhere on this web site. It is a solid walk through the trustworthiness of Scripture dealing with such issues as oral tradition, the criteria of authenticity, issues tied to textual criticism, the canon, and the issues tied to myth, as well as a walk through the early texts on Jesus' deity. It is accessible and very well done. For those who want orientation to issues tied to these questions, this is a good source.
— Darrell Bock
Evangelicals Now
Many British evangelicals tend to be cautious about something coming from Dallas Theological Seminary because of its dispensationalist tendencies. This book, however, written by three graduates from the Seminary and including one (Wallace) actually lecturing there, deserves a whole-hearted welcome by everyone in the UK. The book is accessible, thorough and informative. . . . All in all, the authors have greatly placed us in their debt, and this book should be widely read by everyone.
— Dr. Anthony McRoy
Euangelion
Well, I had not heard of this book, but your review, coupled with endorsements by Craig Blomberg (my college advisor back in the day) and Craig Keener and Scott McKnight (both friends whom I consider to be some of the best of current evangelical scholarship), has placed it on my wish list. I am very upset with the way popular culture is misled this way—although rightwing distortions are just as bad.
— Michael Westmoreland-White
Vintage_Faith.com
I have bought all the Da Vinci Code books and I feel this book is by far the best one out there. Reinventing Jesus transcends The Da Vinci Code stuff and is more a book on the origin of the New Testament for the most part. It is definitely a book for the average person to learn about how oral tradition and a memorizing culture was behind how things were written back then, all about textual criticism and why we can have confidence in the New Testament today. How books were selected etc. I can say there that it is one of the best books I have ever read that goes into the apologetics of the Bible and I hope that the Da Vinci Code tie in, doesn't give a short shelf life to this book, as it really is a book that is like taking a class on the origin and trustworthiness of the Bible, not The Da Vinci Code.
— Dan Kimball
Tektonics Book Reviews
For years now I've been lamenting the sad state of published apologetics, as it seemed that there was far more interest in getting out insipid eschatological novels than in offering defenses of the faith rooted in sound scholarship. I was glad when Lee Strobel's works finally jimmied that door some, and when Licona and Habermas cracked it further open with The Resurrection of Jesus; and now, this trio has blown the door off its hinges and sent it flying into the atmosphere. I'll put it bluntly: Buy this book. If you're tired of the Christian publishing industry putting out the intellectual equivalent of Hostess Ding Dongs in defense of the faith, you NEED to make this book a success, because otherwise, they won't get the message and we'll get more Ding Dongs instead of more roast beef.
— J. P. Holding
krusekronicle.typepad.com
The book is a very good introduction to the topic from an evangelical perspective, it is well written, extensively footnoted, and it should serve well as a primer for textual criticism and related topics. I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for just such a resource.
— Michael Kruse
Vintage Faith
The book Reinventing Jesus is by three authors, Dr. Sawyer who spoke at our church is one of them. I have bought all the Da Vinci Code books and feel this book is by far the best one out there. Reinventing Jesus transcends the Da Vinci Code stuff and is more a book on the origin of the New Testament for the most part. It is definitely a book for the average person to learn about how oral tradition and a memorizing culture was behind how things were written back then, all about textual criticism and why we can have confidence in the New Testament today. How books were selected etc. I can say there it is one of the best books I have ever read that goes into the apologetics of the Bible and I hope that The Da Vinci Code tie in, doesn't give a short shelf life to this book, as it really is a book that is like taking a class on the origin and trustworthiness of the Bible, not the Da Vinci Code.
— Dan Kimball
myspace.com
My opinion of the books is that the authors have spent a great deal of time (decades) in their research. It is truly time for other scholars to step up and answer the claims of the skeptics. This book may well be the start of a new gyration of inspiration of upcoming apologetic authors. You can find a helpful set of endnotes (64 pages to be exact) and handy resources for further reading. I highly recommend adding this book to your shelf as a valuable reference tool whether you are an apologist or lay Christian.
— Dennis
Apologia Report
"This is not just another response to the issues raised in the novel and the film. It is a serious, detailed, yet eminently accessible refutation of the exaggerated skepticism of bona fide scholars like Bart Ehrman or Robert Price and of the outright misinformation in frequently-believed pseudo-scholarship circulating on the web or via little-known publishing houses."
— Craig L. Blomberg
ChristianBookPreviews.com
"Reinventing Jesus cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a firsthand look at the primary evidence for Christianity's origins. Reinventing Jesus shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to believe. While there are other books being written to defend the historical Jesus of the New Testament, and the authenticity and trustworthiness of the New Testament writings, Reinventing Jesus is one of the better ones read by this reviewer. The authors cover such a breath of material that it is hard to find one of similar value in terms of thoroughness and argumentation. I highly recommend this work."
— Ray Hammond
tallskinnykiwi.typepad.com
"An excellent book. A readable book. A perennial book with unfortunately, a seasonal title. It deserves to be bought and read and stored and studied ó with or without its current connection to DaVinci Code and The Jesus Seminar. The book is an easy reading account of why and how we have the New Testament."
— Doug Pagitt
InternetMonk.com
"Of particular benefit in this book are the frequent references to the controversial and influential work of the Jesus Seminar. There is actually far more Jesus Seminar material in this book than DVC [Da Vinci Code] material. Because the methodology of the Jesus Seminar is accepted by many of the media pundits and promoters of the DVC phenomenon, it is important to respond to the assertions of those scholars who are making new and largely revolutionary claims about Jesus and the New Testament. The book is particularly impressive in taking the methodology of radical scholars and going, slowly and carefully through their use of logic, interpretative tools and assumptions. The result is a superb exposure of the bankruptcy of most of the assertions of radical revisions, using the same tools that they claim leads to a 'new' Jesus. . . .I recommend this book without reservation. It is 260 pages of text, with more than 50 pages of readable endnotes and extensive referencing within available New Testament literature. The book is perfectly aimed at students and informed laypersons. It could be given to a skeptic as well, as each author discusses the questions at hand calmly and without ridicule or cheerleader. This is serious scholarship translated down to a level that will help those in local churches and missional callings."
— Michael Spencer
dev.bible.org
"As I get ready to start writing on my next Jesus book, I want to recommend a volume I am currently reading. It is Reinventing Jesus, which is also noted elsewhere on this web site. It is a solid walk through the trustworthiness of Scripture dealing with such issues as oral tradition, the criteria of authenticity, issues tied to textual criticism, the canon, and the issues tied to myth, as well as a walk through the early texts on Jesus' deity. It is accessible and very well done. For those who want orientation to issues tied to these questions, this is a good source."
— Darrell Bock
Euangelion
Well, I had not heard of this book, but your review, coupled with endorsements by Craig Blomberg (my college advisor back in the day) and Craig Keener and Scott McKnight (both friends whom I consider to be some of the best of current evangelical scholarship), has placed it on my wish list. I am very upset with the way popular culture is misled this wayóalthough rightwing distortions are just as bad.
— Michael Westmoreland-White
Vintage_Faith.com
"I have bought all the Da Vinci Code books and I feel this book is by far the best one out there. Reinventing Jesus transcends The Da Vinci Code stuff and is more a book on the origin of the New Testament for the most part. It is definitely a book for the average person to learn about how oral tradition and a memorizing culture was behind how things were written back then, all about textual criticism and why we can have confidence in the New Testament today. How books were selected etc. I can say there that it is one of the best books I have ever read that goes into the apologetics of the Bible and I hope that the Da Vinci Code tie in, doesn't give a short shelf life to this book, as it really is a book that is like taking a class on the origin and trustworthiness of the Bible, not The Da Vinci Code."
— Dan Kimball
Tektonics Book Reviews
"For years now I've been lamenting the sad state of published apologetics, as it seemed that there was far more interest in getting out insipid eschatological novels than in offering defenses of the faith rooted in sound scholarship. I was glad when Lee Strobel's works finally jimmied that door some, and when Licona and Habermas cracked it further open with The Resurrection of Jesus; and now, this trio has blown the door off its hinges and sent it flying into the atmosphere. I'll put it bluntly: Buy this book. If you're tired of the Christian publishing industry putting out the intellectual equivalent of Hostess Ding Dongs in defense of the faith, you NEED to make this book a success, because otherwise, they won't get the message and we'll get more Ding Dongs instead of more roast beef."
— J. P. Holding
Vintage Faith
"The book Reinventing Jesus is by three authors, Dr. Sawyer who spoke at our church is one of them. I have bought all the Da Vinci Code books and feel this book is by far the best one out there. Reinventing Jesus transcends the Da Vinci Code stuff and is more a book on the origin of the New Testament for the most part. It is definitely a book for the average person to learn about how oral tradition and a memorizing culture was behind how things were written back then, all about textual criticism and why we can have confidence in the New Testament today. How books were selected etc. I can say there it is one of the best books I have ever read that goes into the apologetics of the Bible and I hope that The Da Vinci Code tie in, doesn't give a short shelf life to this book, as it really is a book that is like taking a class on the origin and trustworthiness of the Bible, not the Da Vinci Code."
— Dan Kimball
krusekronicle.typepad.com
"The book is a very good introduction to the topic from an evangelical perspective, it is well written, extensively footnoted, and it should serve well as a primer for textual criticism and related topics. I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for just such a resource."
— Michael Kruse
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825429828
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications
  • Publication date: 5/28/2006
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 468,124
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Ed Komoszewski (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) is founder and director of Christus Nexus and has taught biblical and theological studies at Northwestern College and served as the director of research for Josh McDowell Ministry.

M. James Sawyer (Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) serves as professor of theology and church history at Western Seminary. He is the author of Taxonomic Charts of Theology and Biblical Studies and The Survivor's Guide to Theology.

Daniel B. Wallace (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, director of the Center for the Study of New
Testament Manuscripts, and senior New Testament editor of the NET

Bible. He has written Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament.

Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Trustworthiness at Work

    This book was a gift from my son. It is an excellent book written in a very readable style. My only negative critique is the subtitle connection to the DaVinci Code. While the DaVinci Code was addressed, I felt that most of the book focused on other anti-Christian books, Christian books on the far left and the Jesus Seminar. I suppose it was a marketing ruse and it really doesn't matter except it irks me a bit when I see this.

    This book is a carefully laid-out discussion on the trustworthiness of Scripture. It covers such issues as:

    * Oral tradition
    * Criteria of authenticity
    * Issues tied to textual criticism
    * The canon
    * Issues tied to myth
    * The early texts on Jesus' deity

    Prior to this book, I had read several works by Erhman including Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) and Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus) (I enjoyed the reading if not the conclusion) . I have also read the works by Baigent and the spate of atheist authors such as Dawkins, Hitchens and Shermer. Reinventing Jesus does a fair job of putting all of these in their place. That is, offering evidence that the Bible can be trusted and evidence that would make most intelligent atheists think about their stance. However, I am sure this will not happen.

    It is definitely a book for the average person to learn why we can have confidence in the New Testament today. Using logic and interpretative tools it addresses each topic without ridiculing those that take a different view. In this age of "snippy remarks", outrage and poor manners, I really appreciate this approach.

    I recommend this book without reservation.

    Michael L. Gooch
    Author of Wingtips with Spurs

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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