A Doubter's Guide to Jesus is an introduction to the major portraits of Jesus found in the earliest historical sources. Portraits because our best information points not to a tidy, monolithic Jesus, but to a complex, multi-layered and, at times, contradictory figure. While some might be troubled by this, fearing that plurality equals incomprehensibility or unreliability, others take it as an invitation to do some rearranging for themselves, trying to make Jesus neater, more systematic and digestible.
After two millennia of spiritual devotion and more than two centuries of modern critical research, we still cannot fit Jesus into a box. He is destined to stretch our imaginations, confront our beliefs, and challenge our lifestyles for many years to come.
In A Doubter's Guide to Jesus readers will find themselves both disturbed and intrigued by the images of Jesus found in the first sources.
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About the Author
John Dickson (PhD, Ancient History) is the author of more than a dozen books, Rector of St Andrew's Roseville, and a busy public speaker. He has hosted three TV documentaries and is a regular media commentator. In 2007 he founded the Centre for Public Christianity. He has held lecturing and research positions at both Macquarie University (Sydney) and the University of Sydney, where he teaches a course on the historical Jesus. A visiting academic in the department of Classics at Oxford University for 2017-18, he lives in Sydney with his wife and three children.
Table of ContentsA Very Short Introduction
1 Imaginings: Making Jesus in our image
2 Sources: How we know what we know
3 Teacher: His words and their impact
4 Healer: The deeds that baffle
5 Israel: A nation on his shoulders
6 Christ: More than a surname
7 Judge: His pledge to bring justice
8 Friend: The scandal of his social life
9 Temple: The relocation of God’s presence
10 Saviour: The meaning of his death
11 Adam: The promise of his resurrection
12 Caesar: His subversion of an empire
13 God: His oneness with the Almighty
14 Servant: His preference for the lowly
Epilogue: Portrait of a follower of Jesus