The Wrong Jesus

I believe that one of the main battlefronts for apologetics at this time is in New Testament studies, more specifically in the study of the historical Jesus. In many ways, things have not changed that much since Albert Schweitzer’s overview of the historical Jesus in his famous Quest of the Historical Jesus.

Thankfully, there are a number of good evangelical New Testament scholars who have caught the vision for apologetic interaction in this area. One of the newest to join the ranks is Greg Monette, a PhD student and a student of respected scholar Craig Evans. Monette has been involved in a number of apologetics events at Acadia Divinity College (where I also study).

Greg Monette recently published a book called, The Wrong Jesus: Fact, Belief, Legend, Truth … Making Sense of What You’ve Heard. The subtitle of this book is significant. The book is not written to challenge other New Testament scholars. The book is aimed at laypeople and there is an assumption that they have already come into contact with people like Bart Ehrman, Tom Harpur and Dan Brown.

Monette tackles all of the important topics such as the nature of history, textual criticism, archaeology and many more. I especially appreciated that he examined the claim that Jesus never existed. Many scholars find this topic so unbelievable that they see no reason to respond. Unfortunately the internet has allowed the Jesus Myth Theory to expand quite rapidly.

The best part of Monette’s book is that is based on solid scholarly research and yet it is written for the average person. There is no need for a theology degree to understand this book. Monette translates what scholars are saying into “normal” language. Monette includes a number of personal experiences as well as humour to help the reader get through some difficult subjects.

This book should be in every church library and should be used in Bible studies and discipleship groups to help Christians make sense of what they’ve heard.

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