|5.25 in x 8.0 in
|November 30, 2018
Is there evidence to believe the Gospels?
The Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, John—are four accounts of Jesus’s life and teachings while on earth. But should we accept them as historically accurate? What evidence is there that the recorded events actually happened?
Presenting a case for the historical reliability of the Gospels, New Testament scholar Peter Williams examines evidence from non-Christian sources, assesses how accurately the four biblical accounts reflect the cultural context of their day, compares different accounts of the same events, and looks at how these texts were handed down throughout the centuries. Everyone from the skeptic to the scholar will find powerful arguments in favor of trusting the Gospels as trustworthy accounts of Jesus’s earthly life.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
1. What Do Non-Christian Sources Say?
2. What Are the Four Gospels?
3. Did the Gospel Authors Know Their Stuff?
4. Undesigned Coincidences
5. Do We Have Jesus's Actual Words?
6. Has the Text Changed?
7. What about Contradictions?
8. Who Would Make This All Up?
“The wild and unscholarly yet widely accepted assertion by Richard Dawkins that the only difference between The Da Vinci Code and the Gospels is that the Gospels are ancient fiction while The Da Vinci Code is modern fiction deserves a measured and scholarly response. There is no one better qualified than Peter Williams to provide it, and this book is a masterly presentation of a compelling cumulative case that ‘all of history hangs on Jesus.’”
John C. Lennox, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford
“This much-needed book provides a mine of information for Christians wanting to know more about the historical background to the Gospels and offers a series of challenges to those skeptical of what we can know about Jesus. Peter Williams has distilled a mass of information and thought into this short and accessible book, and it deserves careful reading both inside and outside the church.”
Simon Gathercole, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of Cambridge
“Despite the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, Christians today find themselves unwilling to testify to their faith, as much from confusion as from fear. To this puzzled, anxious flock, Peter Williams offers liberation in the form of a concise yet complete education. His powerful instruction manual on the reliability of the Gospels escorts the ‘faithful seeking understanding’ through a series of historically responsible explanations for questions they have and questions they never imagined. This highly detailed, accurate, and eminently readable volume—rich in charts and tables—strikes a chord so resonant, Christians and skeptics alike can profit. An up-to-date apologia and superlative guide—unbelievers, beware!”
Clare K. Rothschild, Professor of Scripture Studies, Lewis University; author, Luke–Acts and the Rhetoric of History; Baptist Traditions and Q; and Hebrews as Pseudepigraphon; Editor, Early Christianity
“With his expert knowledge and skill, yet in a remarkably easy-to-follow way, Williams, one of the world’s leading authorities on the text of the New Testament, takes the reader through various lines of evidence supporting the historical reliability of the Gospels. This books shows why it is rational to trust the Gospels.”
Edward Adams, Professor of New Testament Studies, King’s College London
“This book is superb, a simply wonderful resource. I have bought five copies and will buy more to give away. Clear, insightful, scholarly, thought provoking—just the kind of book to give to believers and skeptical friends.”
Christopher Ash, Writer in Residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge
“I am amazed how much helpful material is packed into this slender volume. Well done!”
Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California