Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels

Craig A. Evans

Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels
Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels

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About the Book

Modern historical study of the Gospels seems to give us a new portrait of Jesus every spring--just in time for Easter. The more unusual the portrait, the more it departs from the traditional view of Jesus, the more attention it gets in the popular media.

Why are scholars so prone to fabricate a new Jesus? Why is the public so eager to accept such claims without question? What methods and assumptions predispose scholars to distort the record? Is there a more sober approach to finding the real Jesus?

Commenting on such recent releases as Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus, James Tabor's The Jesus Dynasty, Michael Baigent's The Jesus Papers and The Gospel of Judas, for which he served as an advisory board member to the National Geographic Society, Craig Evans offers a sane approach to examining the sources for understanding the historical Jesus.

Pages: 290
Publisher: IVP Books
Published: 2006
ISBN-10: 0830833188
ISBN-13: 9780830833184

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5 out of 5 based on 1 user ratings
Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Pp. 204. Cloth. $19.00. ISBN 0830833188. Stephen J. Patterson Eden Theological Seminary St. Louis, Missouri This book is offered as an exposé of sorts, revealing how certain scholars—among them, James M. Robinson, Robert Funk, Bart Ehrman, Karen King, Morton Smith, Elaine Pagels, John Dominic Crossan, and collectively the Jesus Seminar—“distort the gospels” and thus mislead the public to historical conclusions at odds with traditional Christian claims. Evans also takes aim at various popular authors, such as Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code) and Michael Baigent (The Jesus Papers), for creating what he calls “hokum history” (204). Finally, it is an apologia for the New Testament Gospels: “this book is written to defend the original witnesses to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. When put to the test, the original documents hold up quite well. Despite their having been maligned, even ridiculed, and pushed to the background, it is time to give them a fresh hearing” (17). In successive chapters Evans offers his views on a number of hot-button issues and figures that have been part of the most recent phase of the Jesus quest. In chapter 2 he takes the Jesus Seminar to task for asserting that: “(1) Jesus was illiterate, (2) Jesus had no interest in scripture, (3) Jesus had no interest in eschatology, and (4) Jesus certainly did not think of himself as Israel’s Messiah or in any sense divine. [Full Review]

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