Item description for Reinventing Jesus: How Contemporary Skeptics Miss the Real Jesus and Mislead Popular Culture by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer & Daniel B. Wallace...
Overview From the international sensation The Da Vinci Code to the national bestseller Misquoting Jesus, popular culture is being bombarded with radical skepticism about the uniqueness of Jesus and the reliability of the New Testament. Reinventing Jesus cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a firsthand look at the primary evidence for Christian origins. Reinventing Jesus shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to believe.
Publishers Description From the worldwide phenomenon of "The Da Vinci Code" to the national best-seller "Misquoting Jesus," popular culture is being bombarded with radical skepticism about the uniqueness of Christ and the reliability of the New Testament. "Reinventing Jesus" cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt expressed by these and several other contemporary voices to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. Meticulously researched, thoroughly documented, yet eminently readable, this book invites a wide audience to take a firsthand look at the solid, reasonable, and clearly defensible evidence for Christianity's origins. "Reinventing Jesus" shows believers that it's okay to think hard about Christianity, and shows hard thinkers that it's okay to believe.
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Studio: Kregel Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.73" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2006
Publisher Kregel Publications
ISBN 082542982X ISBN13 9780825429828
Availability 0 units.
More About J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer & Daniel B. Wallace
J. Ed Komoszewski (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) is founder and director of Christus Nexus and has taught biblical and theological studies at Northwestern College and served as the director of research for Josh McDowell Ministry.
Reviews - What do customers think about Reinventing Jesus?
A pocket guide to what's wrong with liberal scholarship Feb 27, 2007
This short paperback should be in every church library in America.
It offers the orthodox response to the hoards of Da Vinci Code enthusiasts, believers in multiple Christianities, and those people who still haven't heard that no, Christianity did not mix up Osiris with Jesus.
Better yet, it is well written, breezy, and comprehensive. It doesn't require you to be a scholar to figure out the arguments.
There is an excellent section on the reliability of the New Testament and textual criticism in general. "Of the hundreds of thousands of textual variants, the majority are spelling differences that have no impact" (p 56). The church fathers cited the New Testament so frequently "that if all other sources for...the New Testament were destroyed...they would be sufficient alone for the reconstruction of practically the whole New Testament" (p 81).
There is also a section on whether or not the early church put the correct books into the gospel. This is not as comprehensive as it could be, but certainly sufficient for anyone who wants basic questions answered.
One thing I especially enjoyed was the chapter on early forgeries. Did the early church care about forgeries? Did forgeries become mixed up with the real texts?
"The early Christians took seriously the question of authorship" (p 139). The section on how Hebrews was treated should convince any open minded person on just how seriously they took the debate about which texts to add to the canon.
They even answer the old charge that "psuedepigraphy (the writing of a document in someone else's name)" (p 145) was a standard practice in the early church. No it wasn't. The early Christians took very seriously the authorship and age of texts. When 3 Corinthians was found to be a forgery the elder was defrocked as a punishment.
Because so many books are flooding the marketplace about new, hidden gospels the section on the apocryphal gospels is especially needed. Many were written "to entertain the growing population of Christians" (p 153) such as the Protoevangelium, which was one of the earliest. It is also the one least likely to be cited by the Jesus Seminar or Elaine Pagels since it is devout.
No, they prefer the gospels written by Gnostics. And what they always forget to mention in their books is how little the various schools of Gnosticism had to do with Christianity. The Gnostics were the pagan reaction to Christianity. And they arrived long after Christianity.
There are also chapters on whether the earliest Christians regarded Jesus as divine and human, and whether the early Church borrowed from, or was influenced by, paganism.
Also very needed is a discussion on the Council of Nicea where, no, Dan Brown, Constantine did not declare Jesus a God.
The bishops who arrived at Nicea had survived Diocletian's persecution. One had "lost his right eye and gained a limp in his leg before being banished to the mines" (p 210). Other bishops had "lost use of their fingers because their nerves had been seared with hot pokers...Men who had suffered such physical injuries for the sake of spiritual integrity were not about to be told what to believe about Christ" (p 210).
Good book about the real jesus... Jan 25, 2007
5 stars!!! da vinci code,jesus seminar,Misquoting Jesus and others..they all try to fabricate jesus...There is many scholars who believe in real jesus and the bible..like Darrell L. Bock,Ben Witherington III,Craig A. Evans,N.T Wright and many others..
A slap in the face to liberal scholarship... Jan 2, 2007
Because I'm a student at one of the most liberal universities in the country, it's very difficult for me--as well as other believers--to build up our faith in the midst of such an anti-faith environment. In fact, the current chair of our religious studies department (Bart Ehrman) is one of the leading liberal scholars in the nation in Early Christianity and New Testament text criticism. Thus, it's easy for the many students that attend my school to adopt these liberal ideas that are propogating so heavily throughout academia. In light of this, Reinventing Jesus comes as a releaving breath of fresh air for an individual that's so used to absorbing the unwarrented and unfounded ideas of skeptic scholars. What I like most about this book is its avoidance of wasting too much time on debunking the Da Vinci debacle--as most of those issues have already been addressed in other books--but it spends a great deal of time focusing on the reliability of the gospels, the earliest traditions of Christ and the resurrection, and the social milieu of 1st century Palenstine and Judaism. Overall, it brings a very unique and sound portrayal of Early Christianity that is rarely found in many other apologetic texts, thus making it a must-read for believers. For those that are curious about Early Christianity, text-criticism, the historical reliability of the gospels, and so forth, Reinventing Jesus is a page-turner and an eye-opener.
A scholarly work written for the layperson. Dec 29, 2006
Reinventing Jesus addresses the questions of: (a) how do we know the writers of the Gospels got the story right when they finally got around to writing it down; (b) how do we know the Gospels and other New Testament documents weren't distorted by multiple versions and multiple translations copied over hundreds of years; (c) how do we know the right documents were picked to be in the New Testament; (d) did the first Christians believe Jesus was God; (e) did Jesus believe he was God; and (f) how do we know that Christianity wasn't simply concocted from other religions.
Reinventing Jesus is written in a clear and concise style, custom tailored for the layperson. As a layperson, I appreciated the organization of the material into shorter chapters that allowed me digest a limited number of concepts before moving on to others. I thought the authors did an exceptional job in this respect keeping me, as a layperson, from getting lost in the material. The extensive use of endnotes (472 of them) allowed me to follow a thought or concept all the way through to its conclusion without interruption. This is a much needed book for anyone interested in a factual discussion of the origins of Christianity.
Comprehensive, yet succinct refutation Dec 21, 2006
In a lucid manner the authors cover just about every fad now in vogue regarding the "historical" Jesus. The most outstanding aspect of this book, however, was its' introduction to biblical criticism for laypeople, which is both extensive and concise. Readers who are mostly unfamiliar with the issues can now be better prepared to separate the wheat from the chaff in anything purporting to be biblical scholarship. Yet, enough significant details are provided and the material is so well-structured that I imagine knowledgeable readers may also use his book to help articulate their arguments when discussing these issues with others who are less informed.
I found particularily on the mark their exposition regarding the arrogance, almost hypocrisy, which permeates the "alternative Christianities" culture ("I know something the rest of you don't"..."I make my own way and don't care for the Establishment", etc.). The Jesus Seminar and Third Quest folks couldn't even apply to themselves the standards to which they try to hold orthodox Christianity.
At the the end of the book the authors welcome critiques from readers so here are mine for what they are worth:
1) I do wish the authors had given a little less explicit emphasis to "The Da Vinci Code" and the works of the Jesus Seminar. There are enough books out there debunking both and at times it almost appears as if the authors have a personal vendetta. 2) In discussing the alleged parallels with pagan myths they could have been more forceful in clarifying that all evidence for such parallels postdates the Gospels by a long shot. 3) For all their efforts exposing the fallacies of Gnosticism, no mention is made of Elaine Pagels. I wish the authors had specifically taken her to school with her Gnosticism fraud. 4) Finally, for the life of me I can't fathom why they went so light on Bart Ehrman. His conclusions regarding orthodox "corruption" of Scripture (virtually none of which made it into our modern "orthodox" Bibles) are downright dishonest, and it is high time he is exposed as the unscrupulous opportunist which he is.
The Jesus Seminar doesn't tell you but these resuscitated alternative Christianities have been buzzing around since the Enlightenment, and orthodoxy has still emerged victorious. Lamentably, when you walk into Borders nowadays what you encounter is stacks of Ehrman's and Pagels' books or "The Da Vinci Code", and not books like this one. If this trend continues, millions of people may end up hopelessly misled into ignorance. We must not become complacent, but we must try to educate others who may be ambivalent or indifferent about the exhaustive contemplation and deliberation out of which the Christian religion emerged. This book is an excellent tool for that task.