Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'The Historical Reliability of the Gospels'

As the son of an historian, and a man interested in history myself, I find the question of the historical reliability of the Scriptures, and especially the Gospels, to be of great interest. We have all heard people telling us that the Gospels are not history, but legend, written up later (well, I have, but then I come from a liberal Anglican background). How do we respond to this?
Craig Blomberg's book The Historical Reliability of the Gospels has been a standard work on this subject for two decades. While it has been of great usefulness, these two decades have seen new challenges to the historicity of the Gospels, or rather, new forms of the old challenges. A great deal of material has been written on both sides of the debate. In 2007 a new, completely revised and updated, edition of Blomberg's book appeared, now with references to Bart Ehrman and to the Jesus Seminar, as well as other developments in this field. The book is quite welcome, as it brings togther in a useful single volume a huge amount of important research. For the reader who knows that there are answers to the challenges of the sceptics, but does not know what they are, this book will be extremely helpful. It is my favourite book on the subject - not that the opinion of an assistant pastor in South Wales should count for very much, of course!
Blomberg considers the question of historical methodology, the history of the question, and such questions as miracles, differences between parralell accounts of the same events, and apparent contradictions. This is a very thoughtful book, and at 416 pages, inluding indices and a fifty-six page bibliography, certainly weighty! It is published by IVP Academic in the US and Apollos in the UK.


Evangelical books said...

Hi Gervase,

What other books would you recommend? The only reason why I am asking is at £18, it is not exactly a "bargain". The cheapskate in me is showing through again.

Yours sincerely,

TimothyPaulJones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TimothyPaulJones said...

You can pick up Conspiracies and the Cross for 5-10 pounds; it covers many of the same issues. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conspiracies-Cross-Intelligently-Counter-Theories/dp/1599792052/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238013537&sr=8-2

Highland Host said...

I got 'The Historical Reliability of the Gospels' in the IVP sale! I'm rather cheapskate too! But I would actually go on to recommend the book 'Conspiracies and the Cross', which is a simpler book, but cheaper.