In Defense of Jesus: Investigating Attacks on the Identity of Christ

In Defense of Jesus: Investigating Attacks on the Identity of Christ

by Lee Strobel


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An enlightening follow-up to the bestselling book The Case for Christ, In Defense of Jesus follows award-winning journalist Lee Strobel as he explores the most explosive arguments against the identity of Christ as the Messiah.

Has modern scholarship debunked the traditional Christ? Has the church suppressed the truth about Jesus to advance its own agenda? What if the real Jesus is far different from the atoning Savior worshiped through the centuries?

In Defense of Jesus explores such hot-button questions as:

  • Did the church suppress ancient non-biblical documents that paint a more accurate picture of Jesus than the four Gospels?
  • Did the church distort the truth about Jesus by tampering with early New Testament texts?
  • Do new insights and explanations disprove the resurrection?
  • Have fresh arguments disqualified Jesus from being the Messiah?
  • Did Christianity steal its core ideas from earlier mythology?

Evaluate the arguments and evidence being advanced by prominent atheists, liberal theologians, Muslim scholars, and others. Sift through expert testimony. Then reach your own verdict with In Defense of Jesus.

This title is also available in Spanish, En defense de Jesús.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310344681
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Series: Case for ... Series Series
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 234,573
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and is the bestselling author of The Case for Christ, The Case for Christ Devotional, The Case for Christianity Answer book, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee has won four Gold Medallions for publishing excellence and coauthored the Christian Book of the Year. He serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. Visit Lee’s website at:

Table of Contents

Introduction: Searching for the Real Jesus 9

Challenge #1 "Scholars Are Uncovering a Radically Different Jesus in Ancient Documents Just as Credible as the Four Gospels" 23

Challenge #2 "The Bible's Portrait of Jesus Can't Be Trusted Because the Church Tampered with the Text" 68

Challenge #3 Part 1 "New Explanations Have Refuted Jesus' Resurrection" 106

Challenge #3 Part 2 The Cross-Examination 134

Challenge #4 "Christianity's Belief about Jesus Were Copied from Pagan Religions" 165

Challenge #5 "Jesus Was an Imposter Who Failed to Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies" 199

Challenge #6 "People Should Be Free to Pick and Choose What to Believe about Jesus" 240

Conclusion: Discovering the Real Jesus 277

Appendix A A Summary of Evidence from The Case for Christ 287

Appendix B Helpful Websites to Investigate the Real Jesus 294

Notes 295

Acknowledgments 317

Index 318

Meet Lee Strobe! 328

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Case for the Real Jesus 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a high school debater and a coach of debate in college. One purpose of debate is so the listener can see both sides of an issue, similar to a witness giving testimony in a trial and then being subject to cross examination by the opposing lawyer. In ¿The Case for the Real Jesus,¿ Strobel deals with six modern challenges to Jesus Christ as He is known to the churches: (1)Documents give a different picture from the four gospels (2)The church tampered with the text of the Bible (3)Refutations to Jesus¿ resurrection (4)Influence of pagan religions on Christianity (5)Was Jesus really the Messiah? and (6)The relativity of choosing how one views Jesus. Strobel picks an outstanding specialist scholar for each of the issues and listens as the scholar gives the historical data defending the traditional views then, as in a debate, or a trial cross examination, Strobel (who was trained in law and was the legal editor for the Chicago Tribune), cross examines the scholar, picking at the soft spots of the data as written by many liberal scholars and non-Christians. The cross examination is well prepared with citations from many sources in published books as well as material on the internet. And it is relentless and thorough. One dramatic example is when Strobel interviews Dr. Michael L. Brown. Strobel listens as Brown presents a persuasive case for Jesus as Messiah, using a thorough knowledge of both the Old and New Testaments. In his summary, Brown sounds like an debater summing up the affirmative case and knowing that the judge will give him the verdict. But Strobel begins to pick at the soft spots, many of which can be devastating. However, Brown is able to successfully answer the questions, and in the end, after all the examination, Strobel must admit (and gladly) that all the evidence really points to and substantiates that Jesus is truly the Messiah. This is not a quick read, but it well worth the price and time expended. Teman Johnson, retired professor of Speech and English, Merced College, Merced, California
Guest More than 1 year ago
By far, I believe this to be Mr. Strobel's most effective and strongest work to-date. While every bit as scholarly and thorough as The Case for Faith and The Case for Christ, The Case for the Real Jesus is imminently readable and arguably compelling. The book also takes on an air of urgency when viewed in the context of a modern apologetic soon to be placed alongside the likes of such celebrated anti-theists as Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris. Mr. Strobel has provided an unflinching examination of the most often heralded, increasingly repeated, and far too easily taken for granted points of contention of those with differing or antagonistic worldviews. As such, it is an indispensable tool for all Christians and an undeniable invitation to non-Christians: a book that serves to not only bridge the gaps of ignorance, naiveté, and hostility but to buttress our sometimes lagging personal pillars of faith.
loubigfish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Full of info and very deep in meaning
quaintlittlehead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book follows Strobel's characteristic journalistic style in interviewing experts to examine the evidence against common objections to Christianity, this time concentrating on claims about Jesus' identity or the Bible having been altered or tampered with by the Church in some way as to make them historically inaccurate. The book covers some of the same ground as "The Case for Christ," repeating some of its information on the feasibility of Christ's having survived His crucifixion and on how He fulfilled Jewish Messianic prophecies, but through interviews with different experts on those subjects. These sections may seem like old hat to those who have read every one of Strobel's books, but they are supplemented by new information on the specific "new documents" being touted as evidence against the reliability of the Gospels, such as the Gospel of Thomas or the Secret Gospel of Mark, as well as by comparisons between Christianity and pagan religions whose god-figures or rituals have been claimed to parallel New Testament beliefs. This information may prove useful to Christians who have been confronted with these claims and didn't have enough information to answer them, although Strobel even seems to concede the point in his book that most of these objections have been raised for the past thousand years or more, and they simply keep being rehashed (thus, there are already plenty of sources out there on how to deal with them). What I did find most interesting in this book from a Christian perspective was a discussion on the evangelical tendency to equate Christ with the Bible and thus elevate the actual words of Scripture themselves to an idolatrous level of worship. The distinction made in this book between the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, and discussion of what it means for the Bible to be inspired by God, were deeper and more nuanced than I have encountered in the past and left a lot of food for thought. Though I am not sure I agree with all that was said, I think it opened a good door for discussion.Those who are not Christians will find this book equally as useful as the original "Case for Christ," whether or not you have read that. This is easily Strobel's best book since that earlier volume. The objections are dealt with fairly clearly and the Gospel is presented in almost every chapter. If you have not read a Strobel book, "The Case for Christ" is better, but if this book addresses a specific question you have been wondering about, it will not disappoint you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lee Strobel is a tireless investigator. He leaves no stone unturned. I would reckmmend his books to anyone, believer, skeptic or agnostic.
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Like other Lee Strobel books, this is another good one, giving additional information regarding opposing beliefs in the world and how to articulate the TRUTH.
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M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written therefore the 3 star rating. However, as a firm believer and critical thinker, this book was a disappointment. As 75 reviews have already been submitted I certainly will not go into detail except to say that the author needs to remember the phase "confirmation bias". Unlike his journalism background, he did a very poor job of gathering information and reporting on the six questions or problems he started with. First off, he chooses very agenda-laden and biased scholars and (surprisingly) stopped there for all of his answers. Additionally, he did dig nearly deep enough with his questioning. If Larry King was the interviewer, these would be the types of softballs he would toss. I expect much better for $14.95. I also was a little put off by having to read how many books each author had in his personal library as if an active Amazon account equates to brilliance. Still, it was fun to read and well written. Buyer beware that there is no meat served at this meal. Michael L. Gooch
Spiritwood More than 1 year ago
If you are confused by all of the tales surrounding Jesus and want to sort out fact from fiction, this book is for you. This highly readable book written to describe what is known about the life of Jesus will maintain your interest, as well as, answer your questions. Lee Strobel's investigative news reporter style of writing provides the reader with a concise, solid foundation for discussing Christianity from a historical perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lee makes two fatal mistakes... one... He doesn't ask one authentic Jewish Rabbi (Dr. Michael Brown is presented as Jewish but he is actually from a Christian view) to tell why the Jews don't believe in Jesus. Two... He doesn't consider God's opinion. God used specific Hebrew Words to convey his thoughts about the messiah. Christians like Lee must redefine the thoughts of God to prove Jesus is the messiah. Read the other side of the coin. The book I recommend below (Leaving Jesus) is written by a former Christian that has seen both sides of the argument. This book below presents God's opinion concerning the matter. Who will you believe?