Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Christian Apologetics Journal
Volume: CAJ 008:1 (Spring 2009)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

The Jesus Legend. Paul Rhodes Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd. Baker Academic, 2007, 480 pp. $24.99 (paperback). ISBN 0801031141.

Paul Rhodes Eddy is professor of biblical and theological studies at Bethel University. He received his Ph.D. from Marquette University. Gregory A. Boyd is the senior pastor at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul Minnesota. Boyd received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Together they have produced an excellent apologetic tool in The Jesus Legend. Their primary concern is to respond to the radical advocates of a Christ Myth perspective that has produced much literature denying the historical reliability of the Gospel tradition and arguing that Jesus Christ was a mythological figure idealized by early Christians and worshiped as a divine being. Eddy and Boyd take their opponents head–on, not shrinking back from the difficult questions and in the process provide a masterful analysis of the same historical material but demonstrating convincingly that, contrary to the Jesus Myth advocates, Jesus was not only an actual historical person but that the Synoptic Gospels are a reliable witness to His life, His miracles, and His resurrection. By directly challenging the conclusions of the Christ Myth theorists, they have effectively answered the suspicions of all those who fall anywhere between the casual street–corner skeptic to the radical doubters.

Although this text is produce by two scholars who are masters of the historical literature and contemporary scholarship, they write in a style that is accessible to most readers. At times the content is quite technical, and, although they attempt to provide definitions and illustrations, the material generally understandable to the lay person. Nevertheless, this book would make an excellent text for an apologetic course or supplementary reading in a study of the Gospels. One very helpful practice is how, at the beginning of each chapter and before beginning a new major section within the chapters, they clearly describe to the reader precisely how they are going to address the relevant material. They lay out what questions and/or issues they will discuss first and where they will go from there, so the reader always knows where he is in the process of reading and where he is going. Also, in the more complex chapters, they provide helpful summaries of their conclusions. These summaries provide helpful and manageable apologetic responses to those who challenge the reliability of the Gospels. Although they are always academically dispassionate and never disrespectful or bombastic, they do not hesitate to give hard–hitting analyses.

There seems to be a tendency for these authors to ignore and some times even implicit...

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