Monday, April 4, 2016

Searching for Jesus by Robert J. Hutchinson

book cover
Searching for Jesus
by Robert J. Hutchinson

ISBN-13: 9780718018306
Hardback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

Source: Review copy from the publisher through BookLook.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
For more than a century, Bible scholars and university researchers have been systematically dismissing what ordinary Christians believed about Jesus of Nazareth. But what if the most recent Biblical scholarship actually affirmed the New Testament? What if Jesus was not a Zealot revolutionary, or a Greek Cynic philosopher, or a proto-feminist Gnostic, but precisely what he claimed to be? Searching for Jesus shows how the latest scholarship has moved closer to agreeing with orthodox Christian belief.

My Review:
Searching for Jesus is a look at what secular and skeptical scholars are currently saying about the "historical Jesus." The underlying assumption was that the New Testament was written purely by men with political agendas. The author surveyed what skeptics have proposed about Jesus in the past, some modern archeological findings and arguments that have changed these positions, and their latest proposals. At the end, the author concluded that the Gospels and Acts "could be much closer to what actually happened than...we ever realized" (from page 265).

The new evidence wasn't new to me and I don't agree with the underlying assumptions, so I didn't find this book interesting or inspiring. I'd only recommend it to people who've read Jesus Seminar or similar pronouncements who want to see how opinions have changed over the last few years.

The book covered questions like: Were the gospels written by eyewitnesses? What was the "historical Jesus" really trying to achieve? Can we even know what the authors originally wrote? What did first century Jews expect of a messiah (and is the suffering messiah a Christian invention)? What are current Jewish views about Jesus? What about the "lost gospels"? Was Jesus a political revolutionary? Did Jesus plan, fake, or survive his crucifixion? Was the resurrection a hoax, hallucination, or what? Was the idea of a God-man in first century Jewish thought or was that a later pagan addition?

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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