Review: The Case for the Real Jesus Student Edition

There she was, thrown at the feet of a man whom the crowd sought to condemn. A prostitute caught in the act and her captors were all in. They wanted her blood to flow in the streets for defiling their people with her disgraceful acts. What was this man gonna do? Who was this man? Was he the coming Messiah talked about in the Scriptures? Was he a man trying to overthrow the king and take the throne by force? They weren’t sure, but they were willing, literally, to throw this woman at his feet to find out his ruling on the issue. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Could there be someone who really said that? How do we know? Here’s the million dollar question, what evidence do we have for a historical Jesus? That’s what Lee Strobel investigates in the student edition of The Case for the Real Jesus.

Opinions on who Jesus really was abound in today’s culture. Everyone has an answer to the age old question of who or what this man was. Strobel is one of the most ablest men to investigate the subject. A former Agnostic and Journalist Strobel was in search of the facts and didn’t want to muddy the waters with fanciful recreations of narrative but was searching for real Jesus through logic and, as he tells us, “painstaking research”. Strobel addresses the issue by tackling 6 challenges;

Challenge #1: Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus through ancient documents just as credible as the four gospels.

Challenge #2: The Bible’s portrait of Jesus can’t be trusted because the church tampered with the text.

Challenge #3: New explanations have disproved Jesus’ resurrection.

Challenge #4: Christianity’s beliefs about Jesus were copied from pagan religions.

Challenge #5: Jesus was an impostor who failed to fulfill the prophecies about the Messiah.

Challenge #6: People should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus.

Strobel puts together an impressive lineup of scholars in order to address the challenges and questions that have been raised by various groups under the umbrella of religion. Names like Craig Evans and Daniel Wallace take the debates head on and show from the Scriptures that Jesus is who he said he was and who the Scriptures say he was. They do this by investigating the claims and counterclaims alongside documents and worldviews in order to present the reader a fuller understanding of the topic.

Labeled on the cover of this book is the words, student edition. The topics covered are weighty and require some heightened research and study. That being said, Strobel does an excellent job of taking a major subject and presenting it in minor terms. He does this through clear writing and defining his terms. He draws the reader in far enough to have an understanding of the material and leaves them longing for deeper study. I think this resource would be an excellent tool for small groups across the country as the culture is constantly trying to tear down the faith of the Church. In a time where the trajectory of Christianity is uncertain to many this book might be a good place to start in order to see the minds of Christians raise above the cultural standards of our day.

Strobel, L., & Vogel, J. (2014). The Case for the Jesus Student Edition (p. 208). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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