Saturday, November 28, 2009

Questions about Jesus

Has the tomb of Jesus and his family been discovered at Talpiot?

Did Jesus survive the crucifixion?

Was Jesus really even crucified? (The Qur'an denies this)

What about the "Jesus Papers" i.e. the reported discovery of two papyrus documents dating back to the time of Jesus' crucifixion?

Were the ancient New Testament documents been tampered with?

How can anyone trust ancient New Testament manuscripts if they contain 200,000 to 400,000 differences as some charge?

In the first and second century, was their "Christianity" or were there "Christianities?

Why were some gospels left out of the Bible, e.g. The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary, The Gospel of Judas, etc.

Was Jesus married?

What about the homoerotic "Secret Gospel of Mark"?

Was the virgin birth story copied from previous myths about virgin births?

Isn't the resurrection of Jesus just a myth based on ancient myths of the dying and raising gods in other religions?

Were the stories about Jesus in the Gospels based on stories about Mithras, Osiris, Adonis, Attis, Marduk, Cybele, Tammuz and other ancient mystery religions?

Was Paul's sighting of Jesus just a hallucination due to heat, guilt or stress?

Did Paul think Jesus had just risen "spiritually" and not physically?

Was Jesus' dead body relocated?

Can we really know what happened in ancient history at all?

Isn't it all just a matter of interpretation anyway?

Lee Strobel, whose education is in law and journalism, leaves no stone unturned searching for answers to these and other questions as he interviews Ph.D's who are experts in the historical study of Jesus.

The interviews and answers are recorded in his book, The Case for the Real Jesus, which is much more substantive than his previous best-seller, The Case for Christ.

The book does an excellent job of bringing the arguments of scholars down to a level that non-scholars can not only understand, but will probably find enjoyable.

My only criticism of the book is that the dialogue sounds a bit contrived and even corny at times, but the dialogue helps to keep the book interesting.

I highly recommend The Case for the Real Jesus for every Christian regardless of your denomination.

I also recommend the book to non-Christians who are open-minded and want to be aware of the issues. Even if the book doesn't convince you, it may help you separate the real issues from some of the nonsensical theories floating around.

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