Did Jesus’ Disciples Hear Him Pray in Gethsamane?

I just finished reading Gunther Bornkamm's classic book, Jesus of Nazareth (orig. Ger. ed 1956; 3rd ET ed. 1959). I think it is a good book. Bornkamm was a German historical-critical Jesus researcher, so he didn't have as conservative of a view of the New Testament (NT) as I do.I think historical-critical Jesus researchers often present material that is enlightening about Jesus in accordance with the NT. However, I find that these scholars are sometimes overly zealous to render … [Read more...]

The Bauer Thesis Is Being Challenged

This post is a very brief review of two books whose titles begin, Orthodoxy and Heresy.The most important, scholarly book about Jesus published in the 2oth century was Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906). The most important, scholarly book about Christian Origins published in the 20th century was Walter Bauer's Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity (1934). Both of these scholars were German, and these two books were first published in the German language. … [Read more...]

Review of Strobel’s Book, “The Case for Christ:” Part 2 of 2

Lee Strobel begins his mega-selling book, The Case for Christ, by relating that he was an atheist who said (p. 13), “As for Jesus, didn’t you know that he didn’t claim to be God?... that thought never occurred to him!... the divinity of Jesus was nothing more than the fanciful invention of superstitious people. Or so I thought.”Strobel thus sets forth this characterization of Jesus—whether or not he claimed to be God—as though it is to be the primary thrust of his book. Indeed, it is. His fin … [Read more...]

Review of Dale Allison’s book, Night Comes: Death, Imagination, and the Last Things

Dale C. Allison Jr. is the Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dale is a friend of mine. In 2003, he was our keynote speaker for the two-day Kermit Zarley Lectures at North Park University in Chicago. He spoke on good subject, "The Resurrection of Jesus." Dale also endorsed my book, The Third Day Bible Code (2006). Dr. Allison is a leading New Testament scholar in the world. I like to read his works because he is so well-read, a careful scholar, and … [Read more...]

Review of Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ:” Part 1 of 2

Lee Strobel is a 64-year old, very successful, apologist author of books on Christian faith. But it wasn't always so. He graduated from Harvard Law School and then was a journalist for 14 years at The Chicago Tribune newspaper. In Strobel's most popular book, The Case for Christ (1998, Zondervan, p 13), he relates, "For much of my life I was a skeptic. In fact, I considered myself an atheist.... As for Jesus, didn't you know that he never claimed to be God? He was a revolutionary, a sage, an … [Read more...]

Review of Murray Harris’ Book, The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross

Author: Murray J. HarrisTitle: The Seven Sayings of Jesus on the Cross: Their Circumstances and MeaningDate of Publication: 2016Publisher: Wipf and StockPages: xvi and 108.Murray Harris is professor emeritus of New Testament (NT) exegesis and theology at the seminary Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. For a time, he was warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge University. His published works include four NT commentaries: one on a gospel and the other … [Read more...]

Review of Chapter 1 in Josh McDowell’s, More than a Carpenter

Josh McDowell is an evangelical Christian, a public evangelist, and an apologist. For decades, he was a traveling speaker for the para-church organization Campus Crusade for Christ, that ministers mostly to college students. I was involved in CCC during my college years.Josh McDowell has now authored over a hundred books. Early in his ministry, he wrote a little book about Jesus entitled More than a Carpenter. Tyndale House published it in 1977. The book size is only 4” x 7,” and it consists … [Read more...]

Review of J. Richard Middleton’s book “A New Heaven and a New Earth”

Dr. J. Richard Middleton is professor of Biblical Worldview and Exegesis at Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, New York. He is the author of A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014, pp. 332). It has received critical acclaim and has stellar endorsements, including from Walter Brueggemann and Donald A. Hagner. One of them says, “this sorely needed volume is the best book of its kind.” In 2014, it received the Word Guild Award as the best b … [Read more...]