The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

by Lee Strobel

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310339304
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 12/24/2013
Series: Case for ... SeriesSeries Series
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lee Strobel tiene una licenciatura en periodismo de la Universidad de Missouri y una maestria en estudio de leyes de la Universidad Yale. Fue el galardonado editor legal del periodico Chicago Tribune y esceptico espiritual hasta el ano 1981. Es autor de exitos de ventas del New York Times de casi veinte libros y ha sido entrevistado por numerosos programas nacionales de television, incluyendo 20/20 de la cadena ABC, Fox News y CNN. Cuatro de sus libros han ganado el premio Medalla de oro y uno de ellos fue el ganador del premio Libro cristiano del ano 2005 (el cual escribio junto a Garry Poole). Lee sirvio como pastor de ensenanza en las Iglesias Willow Creek y Saddleback. Ademas, contribuye como editor y columnista de la revista 'Outreach'. el y su esposa, Leslie, residen en Colorado. Para mas informacion, visite: www.leestrobel.com

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 12

The Evidence of the Missing Body Candy heiress Helen Vorhees Brach flew into the world's busiest airport on a crisp autumn afternoon, stepped into a crowd, and promptly disappeared without a trace. For more than twenty years the mystery of what happened to this red-haired, animal-loving philanthropist has baffled police and journalists alike.

While investigators are convinced she was murdered, they haven't been able to determine the specific circumstances, largely because they've never found her body. Police have floated some speculation, leaked tantalizing possibilities to the press, and even got a judge to declare that a con man was responsible for her disappearance. But absent a corpse, her murder officially remains unsolved. Nobody has ever been charged with her slaying.

The Brach case is one of those frustrating enigmas that keep me awake from time to time as I mentally sift through the sparse evidence and try to piece together what happened. Ultimately it's an unsatisfying exercise; I want to know what happened, and there just aren't enough facts to chase away the conjecture.

Occasionally bodies turn up missing in pulp fiction and real life, but rarely do you encounter an empty tomb. Unlike the case of Helen Brach, the issue with Jesus isn't that he was nowhere to be seen. It's that he was seen, alive; he was seen, dead; and he was seen, alive once more. If we believe the gospel accounts, this isn't a matter of a missing body. No, it's a matter of Jesus still being alive, even to this day, even after publicly succumbing to the horrors of crucifixion so graphically depicted in the preceding chapter.

The empty tomb, as an enduring symbol of the Resurrection, is the ultimate representation of Jesus' claim to being God. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15: 17 that the Resurrection is the very linchpin of the Christian faith: "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins."

Theologian Gerald O'Collins put it this way: "In a profound sense, Christianity without the resurrection is not simply Christianity without its final chapter. It is not Christianity at all."1

The Resurrection is the supreme vindication of Jesus' divine identity and his inspired teaching. It's the proof of his triumph over sin and death. It's the foreshadowing of the resurrection of his followers. It's the basis of Christian hope. It's the miracle of all miracles.

If it's true. Skeptics claim that what happened to Jesus' body is still a mystery akin to Helen Brach's disappearance - there's not enough evidence, they say, to reach a firm conclusion.

But others assert that the case is effectively closed, because there is conclusive proof that the tomb was vacant on that first Easter Morning. And if you want someone to compellingly present that case, your best bet is to visit with William Lane Craig, widely considered to be among the world's foremost experts on the Resurrection.

The Eleventh Interview: William Lane Craig, Ph.D., D. Th.

I had an unusual perspective the first time I saw Bill Craig in action: I was seated behind him as he defended Christianity before a crowd of nearly eight thousand people, with countless others listening on more than one hundred radio stations across the country.

As moderator of a debate between Craig and an atheist selected by the national spokesman for American Atheists, Inc., I marveled as Craig politely but powerfully built the case for Christianity while simultaneously dismantling the arguments for atheism. From where I was sitting, I could watch the faces of people as they discovered - many for the first time - that Christianity can stand up to rational analysis and rugged scrutiny.

In the end it was no contest. Among those who had entered the auditorium that evening as avowed atheists, agnostics, or skeptics, an overwhelming 82 percent walked out concluding that the case for Christianity had been the most compelling. Forty-seven people entered as nonbelievers and exited as Christians - Craig's arguments for the faith were that persuasive, especially compared with the paucity of evidence for atheism. Incidentally, nobody became an atheist.2

So when I flew down to Atlanta to interview him for this book, I was anxious to see how he'd respond to the challenges concerning the empty tomb of Jesus. He hadn't changed since I had seen him a few years earlier. With his close-cropped black beard, angular features, and riveting gaze, Craig still looks the role of a serious scholar. He speaks in cogent sentences, never losing his train of thought, always working through an answer methodically, point by point, fact by fact.

Yet he isn't a dry theologian. Craig has a refreshing enthusiasm for his work. His pale blue eyes dance as he weaves elaborate propositions and theories; he punctuates his sentences with hand gestures that beckon for understanding and agreement; his voice modulates from near giddiness over some arcane theological point that he finds fascinating to hushed sincerity as he ponders why some scholars resist the evidence that he finds so compelling.

In short, his mind is fully engaged, but so is his heart. When he talks about skeptics he has debated, it isn't with a smug or adversarial tone. He goes out of his way to mention their endearing qualities when he can - this one was a wonderful speaker, that one was charming over dinner.

In the subtleties of our conversation, I sensed that he isn't out to pummel opponents with his arguments; he's sincerely seeking to win over people who he believes matter to God. He seems genuinely perplexed why some people cannot, or will not, recognize the reality of the empty tomb.

Table of Contents

Contents
Introduction: Reopening the Investigation of a Lifetime
PART 1: Examining the Record
1. The Eyewitness Evidence
Can the Biographies of Jesus Be Trusted?
with Dr. Craig Blomberg
2. Testing the Eyewitness Evidence
Do the Biographies of Jesus Stand Up to Scrutiny?
with Dr. Craig Blomberg
3. The Documentary Evidence
Were Jesus' Biographies Reliably Preserved for Us?
with Dr. Bruce Metzger
4. The Corroborating Evidence
Is There Credible Evidence for Jesus outside His Biographies?
with Dr. Edwin Yamauchi
5. The Scientific Evidence
Does Archaeology Confirm or Contradict Jesus' Biographies?
with Dr. John Mc Ray
6. The Rebuttal Evidence
Is the Jesus of History the Same As the Jesus of Faith?
with Dr. Gregory Boyd
PART 2: Analyzing Jesus
7. The Identity Evidence
Was Jesus Really Convinced That He Was the Son of God?
with Dr. Ben Witherington III
8. The Psychological Evidence
Was Jesus Crazy When He Claimed to Be the Son of God?
with Dr. Gary Collins
9. The Profile Evidence
Did Jesus Fulfill the Attributes of God?
with Dr. D. A. Carson
10. The Fingerprint Evidence
Did Jesus — and Jesus Alone — Match the Identity of the Messiah?
with Louis Lapides, M.Div., Th.M.
PART 3: Researching the Resurrection
11. The Medical Evidence
Was Jesus' Death a Sham and His Resurrection a Hoax?
with Dr. Alexander Metherell
12. The Evidence of the Missing Body
Was Jesus' Body Really Absent from His Tomb?
with Dr. William Lane Craig
13. The Evidence of Appearances
Was Jesus Seen Alive after His Death on the Cross?
with Dr. Gary Habermas
14. The Circumstantial Evidence
Are There Any Supporting Facts That Point to the Resurrection?
with Dr. J. P. Moreland
Conclusion: The Verdict of History
What Does the Evidence Establish — And What Does It Mean Today?
List of Citations
Notes
Index

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The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 139 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You know those nagging little doubts that your new-age neighbor keeps planting in your mind about Christianity? Well, this book has the answers to those qestions and more, and all from EXPERTS in their field, not just some guy who wrote a book. The author writes in an easy-to-read manner that leads you right through the chapters. He covers all the major questions from "Did Jesus really die?" to "So why are there discrepancies in the various gospels," He goes through the scientific studies--archeology studies--psychiatric studies, etc. and gathers his information from people who really know what they're talking about. This is a book I have already given away and am orderig a couple more to have on hand as a witnessing tool. A great book. I recommend it to anyone who has doubts about the validity of Christianity, and to those who are Christans--it only deepens your faith.
Samantha14 More than 1 year ago
This book was recommended to me by my father. I am only half way done, and it has already changed my life. Prior to reading this book, I have had a strong faith, but in college I am constantly being bashed and mocked for my beliefs. Now that I have read this book, I have received a new sense of confidence and courage to stand up for what i believe in. This book has evidence that proofs Christianity true from multiple perspectives: science, psychology, history, archeology, and secular findings. It also provides tons of explanations to increase the readers understanding of the topic at hand. I loved this book so much, and I think that it has truly strengthened my faith even more. I am so thankful for this book and for Lee Strobel, the author. It is a must read if you are a Christian or Non-Christian!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The title of the book 'The Case For Christ' nails down many facts about Christ. I was looking for more facts to help me spark the unbeliever as well as reaffirm my own faith. This book obviously cannot address every concept that its attackers would like to use to discredit its quality however it does present many undeniable facts that support that fact that Jesus lives.
SiwelFP More than 1 year ago
The author, himself an avowed atheist, tracks down learned experts in their field, as he investigates the evidence concerning the case for Christ's existence or nonexistence. He cross-examines each scholar in his attempt to disprove the deity, and history of Christ, but finds overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and in the process discovers his life touched by the Son of God. The author's tough questions challenge each scholar he encounters to produce undeniable evidence of their positions on the truth of Jesus, His birth, His death, and His resurrection. This book reads like a captivating novel that continually puts the reader on the edge of his seat, and challenges him to question hos own beliefs about Christianity. The author also poses questions at the end of each interview for the reader to consider in his judgment of the information which has been propounded from the questions asked, and at the end of this riveting drama, inquires as to what the reader intends to do with the information presented. He asks in the end, "What will be your verdict in the Case for Christ?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Interesting book if you are a person with an inquiring mind and a detective/investigative-type personality.
docliz on LibraryThing 19 days ago
An excellent book. There is much evidence that can help one when thinking through the rational basis for Christian faith. However some books on this subject are very detailed and heavy reading. This one is very well written and easy to read. His arguments are clear and well portrayed. It is fascinating to follow Lee Strobel's personal journey from atheism to faith. Lee Strobel, with a Master of Studies in Law Degree from Yale Law School, was an award winning journalist at the Chicago tribune.
DrT on LibraryThing 25 days ago
I finished Lee Strobel¿s book, The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus next. He was a former religious skeptic but is now a Christian and teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church. He worked for the Chicago Tribune as an investigative reporter and he studied law so I thought it would be interesting to see what he found. This book was a 432 page book broken up into 3 parts, "Examining the Record", "Analyzing Jesus", and "Researching the Resurrection."In this book there was a lot of information and was well written and interesting. The author interviewed 13 Christian experts including such people as Craig Blomberg, Bruze Metzger, Edwin Yamauchi, Ben Witherington III, and William Lane Craig. This book was a book about Strobel¿s reasons for his belief in Jesus but not a well-balanced pro and con view of both sides. If you are looking for that, this is not the book. His book also had others like one of my favorites, Ravi Zacharias, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries; Phillip Johnson, Law Professor, University of California at Berkeley; D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries; J.P. Moreland, Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University; and Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy, Boston College. It would take too long to get into each subpart of the three main parts to flesh out all the details here but I¿d be happy to talk to anyone a little more in-depth about this book in this thread. This book has a lot of one sided "evidence" but many are begging the question issues in my mind but overall I thought he did a good job with this book. I'd give this 4 stars out of 5.
nesum on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A very good exploration into the historical evidence that Jesus really was who he claimed to be. In it, Strobel interviews Biblical experts and challenges them to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. He is thorough and unyielding in these interviews, challenging the texts themselves, the witnesses, the death of Jesus, and all points in between.I would recommend this to anyone who really wants to know if the claims of the Bible are true. I'm sure those who are determined to not believe will find a reason to, but those with more open minds will at very least find the claims of Christianity are a little more credible than they may have first thought.
Samer on LibraryThing 25 days ago
A bit verbose, but good information inside.
BJB1940 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This book I have taken notes and re-read numerous times. I recommend to anyone who studies the bible or anyone who would like to know more about Christianity.
bethanie336 on LibraryThing 25 days ago
One of a series includingThe Case for the Real JesusThe Case for a CreatorThe Case for Faith
Ragnell on LibraryThing 25 days ago
One-sided and unconvincing.
librisissimo on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Substance: Each element of the "case" is based on the evidence Strobel would consider necessary in any legal case, and each chapter is prefaced by an actual case relevant to that type of evidence. These anecdotes are quite interesting, although not always exactly on point. For the evidence about Christ he depends on doctrinal scholars and their research. Not much of what he discovers is new, but it's useful to have it gathered into one volume.Style: Strobel's presentation and evaluation of the evidence is journalistic rather than scholarly. There may be an associated documentary available.Notes:"Legend today develops instantly - it's called 'spin' and it happens on purpose."Check the rest of the notes marked in the book.For some bizarre reason, he drops in a paragraph condemning the Book of Mormon without any further explanation or previous motivation.
steffanyac on LibraryThing 25 days ago
So amazing. The man went from being an antagonistic Athiest to a born again Christian--it's a great read for everyone in that spectrum. I like how he used secular writings from the 1st century as well as the culture of the early church to help us understand different aspects of the history behind Christ's story.He asked the logic questions that most people have, and the answers he found are very convicting. I have a new found love for Luke as a historian, and the preface to his gospel makes me smile. I also like how he breaks up his research into different parts, and the part I most appreciated was the information on Resurrection of Christ.I'm proud that a professor from my Alma Mater, Liberty University, was referenced!
lisacronista on LibraryThing 25 days ago
This tool has been helping me answer questions from a friend who is struggling to find truth. What excites me about this book is that the story of Jesus, as told in the Gospels, is not only reliable, it is reliable in many categories. The internal and external proofs are overwhelming, and anyone who is sincerely looking for answers can be assured Jesus really lived on earth, died on the cross, and rose from the dead on the third day.
breadcrumbreads on LibraryThing 25 days ago
Atheists don't have a leg to stand on with the hard evidence that this journalist presents in his case for Christ. Nothing else in history has the kind of proof and witnesses that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has and it is simply wonderful to see how this case unfolds. Lee Strobel had started out on this quest as a hard-core skeptic and atheist. And he emerged a devout Christian. I doubt this means that others will do so too. If there's one thing I've learnt each person needs to go on their own spiritual journey and discovery. However, I enjoyed reading this book. It was confirmation of my faith and very very informative. I would recommend this book to all seekers of faith and christians alike.
gbautista72 30 days ago
I liked this book. I appreciate the research, time, energy and effort that Lee Strobel took in his own quest. He didn't rely on commentary or opinion. He went and did research. He studied out the topic and found answers to his questions. Everyone should do this. Don't be spoon fed and have a fish thrown at you, but go out and do the leg work. That's what I appreciate about this book. Everyone has the opportunity to build their own relationship with Father God. Once you have been shown the good news, then it's up to you!
MrsLee on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This was a very interesting and compelling book. I read it as a believer, so I needed no convincing, but I liked reading the way an attorney approaches the subject.
all4metals on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The author builds a strong case that Christ was a real person and actually performed miracles.
ORFisHome on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Very good documentation of how Jesus stands up to scholarly historical scrutiny. Helped bolster my faith though I'm looking even more forward to reading The Case for Faith.
aputney on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This was one of the first books I read in 2002 as God starting working His power in my life. It encouraged and emboldened me. The chapter on the death and subsequent resurrection were informative, sobering and comforting. It is a great book to give to an unbeliever who will take the time to read it.
TexasTam on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Lee Strobel interviews and investigates some of the top religious, scientists, archeologists to come up with this book...to say there really was a Jesus Christ that walked among the earth and he is the son of God. Praise be to God for Lee. If you struggle with explaining Jesus to someone you love, give them this book.
rybeewoods on LibraryThing 5 months ago
It accomlishes what it set out to do. It's an easy way to get an overview of the questions that often come up when talking about the historical realities of the death/life of JC. This stuff is not really my bag, but for what it is it's great.
jontseng on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Engaging and well-written. One criticism would be that the author only interview's "friendly witnesses", so that while it is ostensibly an impartial journalistic enquiry we never really get to hear the other point of view. This may be seen as disingenuous by some.
quaintlittlehead on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book is one of the most satisfying and comprehensive treatments of both text-internal and historical evidence that I have seen. The writing is compelling and accessible to readers of many ages and theological backgrounds. Having read it three times in the past nine years, I am more able to see now how this type of work is insufficient to replace the Holy Spirit in opening someone's heart to the truth, but Louis Lapides' comment in the book still holds true, that in our day and age, "No one can say, 'There is no information.'" This book is a fantastic jumping-off point for getting that information, both for believers looking for ways to defend the faith and for non-believers looking to evaluate whether there really is any good evidence.