Book Recommendation - Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

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Joe Mayden | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Feb 16 2013 12:11 PM

Timothy Keller recommended  a book in one of his sermons.  He indicated that it was worth a read and it is not an easy read for the average pastor but I think worthy of the money and time.  As a businessman, going to seminary at 49 and not much of a student in my undergrad, I am not a theologian.  I am however very thankful for the pastor/theologians God has provided us.  I do struggle with some who believe they have found a New Interpretation, especially when it comes to questioning the ability of the average layman, a category I put myself, to understand the Scriptures properly. That is why the book by Richard Bauckham interested me and I think challenges those theologians who believe they have a new understanding.  Bauckham's book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony.

He makes this comment on page 2 and 3 in reference to the Gospels.  "Yet everything changes when historians suspect that these texts (the Gospels) may be hiding the real Jesus from us, at best because they give us the historical Jesus filtered through the spectacles of early Christian faith, at worst because much of what they tell us is a Jesus constructed by the needs and interests of various groups in the early church.  Then that phrase "the historical Jesus" comes to mean, not the Jesus of the Gospels, but the allegedly real Jesus behind the Gospels, the Jesus the historian must reconstruct by subjecting the Gospels to ruthlessly objective (so it is claimed) scrutiny.  It is essential to realize that this methodological skepticism that must test every aspect of the evidence so that what the historian establishes is not believable because the Gospels tell us it is, but because the historian has independently verified it.  The result of such work is inevitably not one historical Jesus, but many. - - - but in all cases the result is a Jesus reconstructed by the historian, a Jesus attained by the attempt to go back behind the Gospels and, in effect, to provide an alternative to the Gospels' construction of Jesus."

Then you hear reviews and magazine articles saying that these 'historians" are some of the finest scholars of our age, really!  I appreciate Keller recommending the book.  As a layman you can read these 'historians" and sense something is not right but your command of church history and the original languages is such that you know enough to know you don't know.  But then someone like Bauckham comes along and says what you or thinking and sensing.  It is worth the read.

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