Fabricating Jesus

I just finished reading Craig A. Evans’ Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels.  This was one of the best books on apologetics that I have ever read.  Evans tackles the Jesus Seminar, John Dominic Crossan, Bart Ehrman, Dan Brown, Barbara Thiering, Talpiot Tomb, Tom Harpur and more.  You might wonder how any one author or book could deal with such variety.  Evans does it, not just by the short reponses that he does give, but through an indepth look at the core issues that are the foundation of such diverse radical interpretations.  Key texts are included in side-bars so that readers can judge for themselves, instead of just relying on any of the modern authors.  Particularly helpful is Evans’ treatment of gnostic gospels such as Thomas, Peter, Egerton Gospel, Mary and the Secret Gospel of Mark.  Of course I also appreciate the fact that Evans cites our book, Unmasking the Pagan Christ, in his notes.  Evans describes the aim of his book in this way:

Fabricating Jesus is designed to speak to a variety of readers.  First, this book is written to assist anyone who is confused by the wild theories and conflicting portraits of Jesus, the claims that he really didn’t see himself as the Messiah or as God’s Son, or that the New Testament Gospels are not trustworthy, or that other sources are better or at least equally valid, and so forth.  Second, the book is written for people who are interested in Jesus and the New Testament Gospels and want to learn more but are baffled by the strange books that have appeared in recent years.  I hope you haven’t given up.  Third, it is written for skeptics, especially those prone to fall for some old nineteenth-century philosophical hokum that almost no one today holds.  Fourth, Fabricating Jesus is written for the guild, for the scholars whose profession is to investigate the Gospels and the life and teachings of Jesus, in hope that it may call us not to a lesser standard of scholarship but indeed to a higher one, one which doesn’t presume that skepticism equals scholarship.  (p. 17)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if there is one book on apologetics that I have read in recent years that I would recommend to others, it is Fabricating Jesus.

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