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The Jesus legend : a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic Jesus tradition /
author
Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd.
imprint
Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Academic, c2007.
description
479 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0801031141 (pbk.), 9780801031144 (pbk.)
format
Book

Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Academic, c2007.
isbn
0801031141 (pbk.)
9780801031144 (pbk.)
contents note
Historical method and the Jesus tradition : miracles, parallels and first-century Palestine -- Other witnesses : ancient historians and the Apostle Paul -- Between Jesus and the Gospels : the early oral Jesus tradition -- The Synoptic Gospels as historical sources for Jesus : assessing the evidence.
catalogue key
6120129
 
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-03-01:
Eddy (Bethel Univ.) and Boyd (Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul, MN) challenge the theory that Jesus was just a myth. The authors examine the claims of Jesus myth theorists in detail, but also launch an all-out assault on the assumptions of Gospel literary critics who teach that the oral tradition leading up to the formation of the Gospels was fundamentally unreliable. The book charges that these assumptions were not based on solid historical research, but rather on the biases of a small but influential group of Eurocentric, ethnocentric academic elites who imposed modern literary models on an ancient oral culture. Using recent intercultural, interdisciplinary studies on the nature of ancient oral tradition, the authors demonstrate convincingly that, although the period of oral tradition for the Gospels was relatively short, lengthy stories were often handed down very accurately over long periods of time. These new studies in oral tradition call into question the way scholars have assessed the formation of the Gospels throughout the last century. This book is very well written with extensive footnotes and indexes. It will be hard to take seriously any future book on the reliability of the Gospels that has not interacted with it. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. D. Ingolfsland Crown College
Appeared in Library Journal on 2008-01-01:
Skeptical answers to the question of what can be historically known about Jesus of Nazareth have elicited from evangelical authors a plethora of responses. This one, by biblical scholar Eddy (Bethel Univ.) and megachurch pastor Boyd (Woodland Hills Church, Maplewood, MN), is certainly among the best. It is accurate, up-to-date, grounded in a critical but fair understanding of its opponents' positions, and thoroughly situated within the academic literature (the authors have also produced Lord or Legend?: Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma, for a general readership). Eddy and Boyd understand and accept the value of critical biblical studies, and they avoid much of the defensiveness that characterizes the genre, e.g., as seen in Michael J. Wilkins and J.P. Moreland's Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus. Philosophically, the authors do not question the metaphysical usefulness of a naturalist/supernaturalist dichotomy, and their treatment of deconstruction is shallow. However, they are on firmer footing in biblical studies, offering compelling, nuanced critiques of tradition-critical readings of the Gospels and helpful surveys of relevant external and archaeological data. Highly recommended for all academic libraries.--Steve Young, McHenry Cty. Coll., Crystal Lake, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Eddy and Boyd provide a clearly written, carefully researched, and powerfully argued defense of the historical reliability of the Synoptic Gospels. What makes this book noteworthy is the careful treatment of underlying issues in historical methodology and philosophy. A pleasure to read and a wonderful resource for those who have encountered troubling skeptical claims about the Gospels."--C. Stephen Evans, University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Baylor University"I am gratified that my friends and colleagues Paul Eddy and Greg Boyd have taken my work as seriously as they have in this comprehensively researched book. Bravo for their repudiation of any bias of philosophical naturalism! Amen to their urging that the burden of proof is on whomever would reject any bit of gospel tradition as unhistorical. Other than this, I would dispute almost every one of their assertions--but that is why I recommend the book! What can you learn if you only reinforce your own viewpoint? I urge any reader of my books to read this one alongside them!"--Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism, Center for Inquiry Institute, and fellow of the Jesus Seminar"A most welcome survey and critique of modern-day imaginative reconstructions of the rise of Christianity that attempt to justify faith in the presupposition of a non-supernaturalistic Jesus. . . . Well-written and organized, containing a masterful command of the literature. Eddy and Boyd show the difference between an open historical investigation of the life of Jesus and much of today''s fictional writing that claims to be historical research concerning the origin of Christianity. A very useful introduction for college and seminary students."--Robert H. Stein, senior professor of New Testament interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary"Eddy and Boyd have provided a thoroughly compelling cumulative argument--one of the very best available--for the reliability of the Synoptic Jesus tradition. Their book constitutes a superb treatment of the various issues, involving both fresh research and a brilliant synthesis of material from a variety of relevant disciplines (philosophy, anthropology, historiography, as well as New Testament, early Judaism, and Greco-Roman antiquity). It is far better argued and documented than the works of the vast majority of the skeptics it challenges."--Craig S. Keener, professor of New Testament, Palmer Seminary"Misinformation about the historical Jesus and the reliability of the New Testament Gospels runs rampant in the twenty-first century. Some of this comes from eccentric or flawed scholarship; some from purely fictitious novels. Eddy and Boyd have surveyed technical and popular writing alike, in meticulous detail, and present what can be concluded responsibly about the trustworthiness of the Synoptic Gospels and the portraits of Jesus they contain. They compile a detailed and erudite case that supports Christian faith, but without the simplistic and unwarranted generalizations that one often hears in grassroots evangelical circles. Highly recommended!"--Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary"This is one of the most important books on methodological issues in the study of Jesus and the Gospels to have appeared for a long time. It deserves to be widely read."--Richard Bauckham, professor of New Testament studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor, St. Mary''s College, University of St. Andrews"The Jesus Legend is the best book in its class. Authors Eddy and Boyd demonstrate mastery of the disciplines essential for critical assessment of the Gospels and competent investigation of the historical Jesus. Again and again they expose the dubious assumptions and underpinnings of the theories proffered by those who assume that Jesus either did not exist or that the New Testament Gospels give us little more than myth and legend. I recommend this book in the highest terms."--Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Profes
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, January 2008
Choice, March 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Much New Testament scholarship of the last 200 years has seen fit to relegate the Jesus tradition as recorded in the Gospels to the realm of fiction. By drawing together recent scholarship from a variety of fields, including history, anthropology, ethnography, folklore, and New Testament studies, Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd show that the evidence actually supports--rather than refutes--the historical reliability of the Gospels and the existence of Jesus.
Long Description
Even mature Christians have trouble defending the person and divinity of Christ. The Jesus Legend builds a convincing interdisciplinary case for the unique and plausible position of Jesus in human history. He was real and his presence on the planet has been well-documented. The authors of the New Testament didn't plant evidence, though each writer did tell the truth from a unique perspective. This book carefully investigates the Gospel portraits of Jesus'particularly the Synoptic Gospels'assessing what is reliable history and fictional legend. The authors contend that a cumulative case for the general reliability of the Synoptic Gospels can be made and boldly challenge those who question the veracity of the Jesus found there.
Back Cover Copy
"This is one of the most important books on methodological issues in the study of Jesus and the Gospels to have appeared for a long time. It deserves to be widely read."-- Richard Bauckham , University of St. Andrews " The Jesus Legend is the best book in its class. Eddy and Boyd demonstrate mastery of the disciplines essential for critical assessment of the Gospels and competent investigation of the historical Jesus. I recommend this book in the highest terms."-- Craig A. Evans , Acadia Divinity College; author of Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels "A clearly written, carefully researched, and powerfully argued defense of the historical reliability of the Synoptic Gospels. What makes this book noteworthy is the careful treatment of underlying issues in historical methodology and philosophy. A pleasure to read and a wonderful resource for those who have encountered troubling skeptical claims about the Gospels."-- C. Stephen Evans , Baylor University "I am gratified that my friends and colleagues Paul Eddy and Greg Boyd have taken my work as seriously as they have in this comprehensively researched book. I urge any reader of my books to read this one alongside them!"-- Robert M. Price , Center for Inquiry Institute and fellow of the Jesus Seminar "Eddy and Boyd have provided a thoroughly compelling cumulative argument--one of the very best available--for the reliability of the Synoptic Jesus tradition. Their book constitutes a superb treatment of the various issues, involving both fresh research and a brilliant synthesis of material from a variety of relevant disciplines."-- Craig S. Keener , Palmer Seminary "Eddy and Boyd have surveyed technical and popular writing alike, in meticulous detail, and present what can be concluded responsibly about the trustworthiness of the Synoptic Gospels and the portraits of Jesus they contain. They compile a detailed and erudite case that supports Christian faith. Highly recommended!"-- Craig L. Blomberg , Denver Seminary "Well-written and organized, containing a masterful command of the literature. Eddy and Boyd show the difference between an open historical investigation of the life of Jesus and much of today's fictional writing that claims to be historical research concerning the origin of Christianity. A very useful introduction for college and seminary students."-- Robert H. Stein , The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Back Cover Copy
"This is one of the most important books on methodological issues in the study of Jesus and the Gospels to have appeared for a long time. It deserves to be widely read."-- Richard Bauckham , University of St. Andrews" The Jesus Legend is the best book in its class. Eddy and Boyd demonstrate mastery of the disciplines essential for critical assessment of the Gospels and competent investigation of the historical Jesus. I recommend this book in the highest terms."-- Craig A. Evans , Acadia Divinity College; author of Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels "A clearly written, carefully researched, and powerfully argued defense of the historical reliability of the Synoptic Gospels. What makes this book noteworthy is the careful treatment of underlying issues in historical methodology and philosophy. A pleasure to read and a wonderful resource for those who have encountered troubling skeptical claims about the Gospels."-- C. Stephen Evans , Baylor University"I am gratified that my friends and colleagues Paul Eddy and Greg Boyd have taken my work as seriously as they have in this comprehensively researched book. I urge any reader of my books to read this one alongside them!"-- Robert M. Price , Center for Inquiry Institute and fellow of the Jesus Seminar"Eddy and Boyd have provided a thoroughly compelling cumulative argument--one of the very best available--for the reliability of the Synoptic Jesus tradition. Their book constitutes a superb treatment of the various issues, involving both fresh research and a brilliant synthesis of material from a variety of relevant disciplines."-- Craig S. Keener , Palmer Seminary"Eddy and Boyd have surveyed technical and popular writing alike, in meticulous detail, and present what can be concluded responsibly about the trustworthiness of the Synoptic Gospels and the portraits of Jesus they contain. They compile a detailed and erudite case that supports Christian faith. Highly recommended!"-- Craig L. Blomberg , Denver Seminary"Well-written and organized, containing a masterful command of the literature. Eddy and Boyd show the difference between an open historical investigation of the life of Jesus and much of today's fictional writing that claims to be historical research concerning the origin of Christianity. A very useful introduction for college and seminary students."-- Robert H. Stein , The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Back Cover Copy
"This is one of the most important books on methodological issues in the study of Jesus and the Gospels to have appeared for a long time. It deserves to be widely read."--Richard Bauckham, University of St. Andrews"The Jesus Legend is the best book in its class. Eddy and Boyd demonstrate mastery of the disciplines essential for critical assessment of the Gospels and competent investigation of the historical Jesus. I recommend this book in the highest terms."--Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College; author of Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels"A clearly written, carefully researched, and powerfully argued defense of the historical reliability of the Synoptic Gospels. What makes this book noteworthy is the careful treatment of underlying issues in historical methodology and philosophy. A pleasure to read and a wonderful resource for those who have encountered troubling skeptical claims about the Gospels."--C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University"I am gratified that my friends and colleagues Paul Eddy and Greg Boyd have taken my work as seriously as they have in this comprehensively researched book. I urge any reader of my books to read this one alongside them!"--Robert M. Price, Center for Inquiry Institute and fellow of the Jesus Seminar"Eddy and Boyd have provided a thoroughly compelling cumulative argument--one of the very best available--for the reliability of the Synoptic Jesus tradition. Their book constitutes a superb treatment of the various issues, involving both fresh research and a brilliant synthesis of material from a variety of relevant disciplines."--Craig S. Keener, Palmer Seminary"Eddy and Boyd have surveyed technical and popular writing alike, in meticulous detail, and present what can be concluded responsibly about the trustworthiness of the Synoptic Gospels and the portraits of Jesus they contain. They compile a detailed and erudite case that supports Christian faith. Highly recommended!"--Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary"Well-written and organized, containing a masterful command of the literature. Eddy and Boyd show the difference between an open historical investigation of the life of Jesus and much of today's fictional writing that claims to be historical research concerning the origin of Christianity. A very useful introduction for college and seminary students."--Robert H. Stein, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Long Description
Even mature Christians have trouble defending the person and divinity of Christ. The Jesus Legend builds a convincing interdisciplinary case for the unique and plausible position of Jesus in human history. He was real and his presence on the planet has been well-documented. The authors of the New Testament didn't plant evidence, though each writer did tell the truth from a unique perspective. This book carefully investigates the Gospel portraits of Jesus--particularly the Synoptic Gospels--assessing what is reliable history and fictional legend. The authors contend that a cumulative case for the general reliability of the Synoptic Gospels can be made and boldly challenge those who question the veracity of the Jesus found there.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Abbreviationsp. 11
Introduction: The Case for the Legendary Jesusp. 13
Historical Method and the Jesus Tradition: Miracles, Parallels, and First-Century Palestine
Miracles and Method: The Historical-Critical Method and the Supernaturalp. 39
A Jewish Legend of "Yahweh Embodied"? How Open to "Pagan" Influence Was First-Century Judaism?p. 91
One among Many Legends? Do "Parallels" Relativize the Jesus of History?p. 133
Other Witnesses: Ancient Historians and the Apostle Paul
A Conspiracy of Silence? What Ancient Non-Christian Sources Say, and Do Not Say, about Jesusp. 165
The "Silence" of Paul? What, If Anything, Did Paul Know about the Jesus of History?p. 201
Between Jesus and the Gospels: The Early Oral Jesus Tradition
Ancient Literacy and Oral Tradition: Assessing the Early Oral Jesus Traditionp. 237
Historical Remembrance or Prophetic Imagination? Memory, History, and Eyewitness Testimony in the Early Oral Jesus Traditionp. 269
The Synoptic Gospels as Historical Sources for Jesus: Assessing the Evidence
The Genre and Nature of the Canonical Gospels: Did the Gospel Authors Intend to Write Historically Reliable Accounts?p. 309
Evaluating the Synoptic Gospels as Historical Sources: Methodological Issues and Preliminary Considerationsp. 363
The Synoptic Tradition and the Jesus of History: Completing a Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Synoptic Portrait(s) of Jesusp. 407
Index of Scripture and Ancient Writingsp. 455
General Indexp. 465
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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