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Review – The case for the real Jesus

March 2008 | by Conrad Pomeroy

The case for the real Jesus

Lee Strobel
Zondervan; 311 pages; £12.99;
ISBN: 978-0-310-24210-9

The author is a converted atheist who decided to use his investigative skills in journalism to find out the truth about Christianity. His earlier books trace that journey. This book faces up to some recent challenges to the biblical picture of Jesus.

Strobel identifies six current attacks on the person of Jesus Christ arising from areas such as alternative ‘gospels’, doubts about the resurrection, and allegations that Jesus does not fulfil Old Testament prophecies.

Strobel presents his case in the form of a dialogue between himself and certain scholars or experts whom he has interviewed. This has the advantage of making sometimes complex subjects more lively and accessible, as well as giving the reader a sense that this information is coming from the ‘horse’s mouth’.

Conversely, it can seem a little contrived at times – the development is too smooth, too convenient to be merely conversational. The hard-nosed sceptic might question how much editing there has been.

Having said that, this book is an excellent tool for the evangelist. It gives you an answer to the cocky teenager who says, ‘What about the gospel of Judas?’, or the thoughtful Jew who claims that Isaiah 53 is not about the Messiah.

It could be very useful for helping earnest seekers to overcome common obstacles. It is also wonderfully confirming to the Christian, full of fascinating information. We may not agree with every detail, or the stable from which it comes, but those are not reasons to neglect this excellent material.

Conrad Pomeroy