The Case for Christ records Lee Strobel's attempt to "determine if there's credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of. God." The book consists. Editorial Reviews. echecs16.info Review. The Case for Christ records Lee Strobel's attempt to "determine if there's credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really. Editorial Reviews. From the Back Cover. Who Was Jesus?A good man? A lunatic ? God? There's little question that he actually lived. But miracles? Rising from.
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Synopsis: The Case for Christ records Lee Strobel's attempt to "determine if there's IELTS Speaking Part Three- Useful Phrases [PDF] - echecs16.info The case for Christ: a journalist's personal investigation of the evidence for. Jesus / Lee Strobel Was Jesus Really Convinced That He Was the Son of God?. The Case For Christ – Exploring the Bible 1. WEEK 4. Embracing the Truth of Christ. SCENARIO: Strobel has exhausted his investigation and failed to.
They often challenge me to read some apologetic literature and then decide for myself. I've always challenged them in response, telling them to send me some, saying that I would read it. The apologists almost never respond to that offer. So I was surprised, one day, when a Christian actually did just that - he sent me a copy of the book he was recommending. Well, I'm a man of my word, so I read it.
Therefore, the criteria for Canonicity identified by Metzger do not support his claims of historical reliability. To paraphrase a comment made by Strobel, these criteria were "loaded from the outset, like dice that are weighted so they yield the result that was desired all along" p. Yamauchi first mentioned Josephus's references to Jesus, stating that both the shorter and longer references provide independent confirmation of the historicity of Jesus pp.
Although I agree with Yamauchi on this point,[ 10 ] the evidence for our position is not decisive and I think it is significant that Strobel did not interview someone who rejects the authenticity of both of these references. More important, the authentic references to Jesus in Josephus don't corroborate the central theological claims of Jesus. Josephus does not provide any corroborating evidence for the virgin birth, divinity, miracles, or Resurrection of Jesus.
Yamauchi also claims that other ancient sources provide independent confirmation of the New Testament: Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Thallus, the Talmud, and the writings of the early church fathers. However, there is no good reason to believe that any of these sources provide corroborating evidence. There is no reason to believe that Tacitus or Pliny the Younger relied on independent sources.
It is not even known that Africanus correctly interpreted Thallus. As the Christian New Testament scholar R. France writes, Africanus does not give Thallus' words, "so we do not know whether Thallus actually mentioned Jesus' crucifixion, or whether this was Africanus' interpretation of a period of darkness which Thallus had not specifically linked with Jesus. Finally, the writings of the church fathers do not provide any independent confirmation; they were late and based on earlier Christian sources.
This was the central theme of Strobel's fourth interview, that of archaeologist John McRay.
McRay notes that archaeology "doesn't confirm that what Jesus Christ said is right. Spiritual truths cannot be proved or disproved by archaeological discoveries" p. However, Strobel argues that archaeology can increase the overall credibility of an ancient text if it shows the empirical claims of the text to be accurate. He writes, "if the minutiae check out, this is some indication--not conclusive proof but some evidence--that maybe the witness is being reliable in his or her overall account" pp.
According to McRay, archaeology provides precisely that sort of evidence concerning the gospels. McRay claims that archaeological discoveries have corroborated several of the incidental details of Luke, and that archaeology has bolstered the credibility of John and Mark.
Yet at least three stories of the gospels are suspicious: i the census reported in Luke ; ii the existence of Nazareth; and iii the slaughter at Bethlehem reported in Matthew only. I want to briefly comment on each of these "puzzles" and McRay's explanations for them. Many historians reject these claims, arguing that there is no support for any of these claims and that the idea of an empire-wide tax is contrary to documented Roman practice.
However, the census referenced in the London Papyrus asked people to return to their current place of residence to enroll; it did not ask citizens to return to their birthplace. All of the approaches are failures. Even Earl Doherty, a secular humanist who denies that Jesus ever existed, writes, "It is impossible to 'establish' that Nazareth did not exist in the early first century, since no one tells us this fact.
Therefore the gospels do not require independent confirmation on this point; the gospels alone are sufficient historical evidence to make it probable that Nazareth existed in the first century. Finally, iii. Matthew's claim that Herod the Great ordered the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem is unlikely because the Gospel of Matthew is the only historical source to report this alleged event.
In response to questioning by Strobel on this point, McRay offered various reasons why the incident would not have been of interest to other writers.
If the story had been included in other New Testament documents I might download McRay's explanations, but the Slaughter of the Innocents is not even mentioned in the New Testament outside of Matthew. That fact is more likely on the hypothesis that the Slaughter of the Innocents never happened than on the hypothesis that the Slaughter of the Innocents is historical.
Even Strobel admits it is "difficult to imagine" that no other writer mentioned this event, on the assumption that the Slaughter of the Innocents really happened p. Moreover, at least three New Testament claims are completely unsupported by archaeology: first, the three hours of global darkness during the crucifixion Mark and synoptic parallels , second, the resurrection of the saints, and their subsequent appearance to many in Jerusalem Matthew , and, third, the tomb of Jesus has never been located.
Strobel classifies the work and findings of the Jesus Seminar as "rebuttal evidence" presumably because the Jesus Seminar challenges many traditional claims about the New Testament. For example, the Jesus Seminar maintains that important information about the historical Jesus may be found outside the New Testament e. Incredibly, Strobel's discussion of this "rebuttal evidence" does not even include a summary of that evidence.
Not only did Strobel fail to interview a single member of the Jesus Seminar, Strobel neglected to quote or even summarize the Jesus Seminar's arguments for their position. Instead, Strobel chose to interview an avowed enemy of the Jesus Seminar--Greg Boyd--and wrote a chapter that is full of a conclusionary statements but short on arguments which support these conclusions. For example, Strobel quotes Boyd as making the following accusation: "They rule out the possibility of the supernatural from the beginning, and they say, 'Now bring on the evidence about Jesus.
Nowhere in the book does Boyd or Strobel provide any evidence to support this assertion. Moreover, I think the leaders of the Jesus Seminar have made it quite clear that they do not "rule out the possibility of the supernatural from the beginning.
Crossan stated that he believed miraculous healings really did happen at Lourdes and that the supernatural "always Boyd says that we should reject the hypothesis that Matthew and Luke used Mark because "an increasing number of scholars are expressing serious reservations" about that theory p.
In a field composed almost exclusively of people who have dedicated their entire lives to Christianity, I personally would find it significant if even only a few scholars challenged orthodox views. More important, we are never told why we should reject the theory that Matthew and Luke used Mark. One cannot help but wonder what Boyd and Strobel would say about the Jesus Seminar if the Jesus Seminar argued in this manner. Part II: "Analyzing Jesus" I personally found this section to be the least interesting part of the book, but I think I understand why Strobel, as a Christian apologist, needed to include it in his book.
Like the late C. Lewis, Strobel is presumably "trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God. And if we believe that claim is false, then it makes no sense to maintain that Jesus was "a great moral teacher.
Yet Strobel did not interview any of the scholars who deny the authenticity of those passages. If Jesus was wrong about that, does it follow that Jesus was not "a great moral teacher," as Lewis suggested? Not necessarily. It seems to me that the claim, "Jesus was a great moral teacher," must be evaluated in light of Jesus' behavior and Jesus' moral teachings.
If Jesus claimed to be God but was lying, then I would agree with Lewis that Jesus was not a great moral teacher.
If, however, Jesus sincerely thought he was God but was mistaken, I would conclude that Jesus was severely deluded but I would leave the door open about his moral teachings until I examined them in their own light. Perhaps Strobel would reply that insofar as the evidence indicates that Jesus was not insane, that evidence indirectly increases the probability that Jesus was the Son of God.
But can psychology really show this to be the case? Collins states that Jesus was not crazy because he did not exhibit the behavior of someone who is mentally disturbed. Collins says, "I just don't see signs that Jesus was suffering from any known mental illness" p.
On the face of it, I find the very premise of Strobel's interview to be absurd. A psychologist simply cannot make a diagnosis concerning the sanity of a person who has not walked the Earth for almost 2, years. I also wonder if Collins, as someone who believes he has a personal relationship with Jesus, can really be objective concerning Jesus' sanity.
Even if we accept Strobel's arguments in Part 1 for the empirical accuracy of the New Testament, I can't think of any reason to believe the writers of the New Testament were even qualified to accurately report the psychological tendencies of Jesus, no matter how sincere the writers may have been.
John reports that many Jews thought Jesus was "demon-possessed and raving mad;" yet Collins rejects that belief, arguing "that's hardly a diagnosis by a trained mental health professional" p. But I fail to see why the Christian writers of the New Testament were any more qualified as "mental health professionals" or reporters on psychologically-relevant data than first-century Jews!
He concluded from various inscriptions that while there was only one Quirinius, he ruled Syria on two separate occasions, which would cover the time period of the earlier census. The matter was not as precisely pinned down as I would like. However, I had to admit that McRay and others had offered some plausible explanations. Many Christians are unaware that skeptics have been asserting for a long time that Nazareth never existed during the time when the New Testament says Jesus spent his childhood there.
This absence of evidence paints a suspicious picture. So I put the issue directly to McRay: That shows that this tiny village must have been there at the time. Two tombs contained objects such as pottery lamps, glass vessels, and vases from the first, third, or fourth centuries. McRay looked up at me. The burden of proof ought to be on those who dispute its existence. That seemed reasonable.
The gospel of Matthew paints a grisly scene: Herod the Great, the king of Judea, feeling threatened by the birth of a baby who he feared would eventually seize his throne, dispatches his troops to murder all the children under the age of two in Bethlehem.
Warned by an angel, however, Joseph escapes to Egypt with Mary and Jesus. Only after Herod dies do they return to settle in Nazareth, the entire episode having fulfilled three ancient prophecies about the Messiah. See Matt.
The problem: There are no records or documents. I agreed. In fact, in and there was a steady stream of news accounts about Muslim extremists repeatedly staging commando raids and slaying virtually entire villages, including women and children, in Algeria. The entire world was taking notice. First, Bethlehem was probably no bigger than Nazareth, so how many babies of that age would there be in a village of five hundred or six hundred people?
Not thousands, not hundreds, although certainly a few. So the fact that he killed some babies in Bethlehem is not going to captivate the attention of people in the Roman world. It would have taken a long time for word of this to get out, especially from such a minor village way in the back hills of nowhere, and historians had much bigger stories to write about. As a journalist, this was still hard to fathom.
Later, of course, as Christianity developed, this incident became more important, but I would have been surprised if this had made a big splash back then. Maybe so, but this was difficult to imagine for a journalist who was trained to sniff out news in a highly technological age of rapid and worldwide communications. This left one other area I wanted to inquire about. And to me, it was the most fascinating of all.
The study questions below are also printed in this free PDF study guide to Session 5. Access the PDF now. Consider the following deduction: If it can be shown that Jesus really did return from the dead, then it can be concluded that Jesus really is who he claimed to be: Do you agree or disagree? Some skeptics claim that although Jesus might have been crucified, he never really died. Instead, he merely fainted on the cross or was drugged, and later escaped as part of a conspiracy.
Give reasons for your explanation. Which is the weakest piece of evidence or makes the least amount of sense? In your opinion, what are the odds that Jesus really survived his crucifixion? The scientific evidence does archaeology confirm or contradict Jesus' biographies?
The rebuttal evidence is the Jesus of history the same as the Jesus of Christian faith? The hological evidence was Jesus crazy when He claimed to be the Son of God?
The profile evidence did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God? The fingerprint evidence did Jesus - and Jesus alone - match the identity of the prophesied Messiah?
The evidence of the missing body was Jesus' body really absent from His tomb? The evidence of His appearances was Jesus seen alive after His death on the cross?
The circumstantial evidence are there any supporting facts that point to the resurrection? The Case for Christ - Examining the Evidence In trying the case for Christ, Strobel cross-examined a number of experts and recognized authorities in their own fields of study.