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Baker Academic The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition

Much New Testament scholarship of the last 200 years has seen fit, to one degree or another, to relegate the Jesus tradition as recorded in the Gospels to the realm of legend, i.e., to the realm of fiction. But is this really what the evidence points to? By drawing together recent scholarship from a variety of fields, including history, anthropology, ethnography, folklore, and New Testament studies, Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd show that the evidence actually supports, rather than refutes, the historical reliability of the Gospels and the existence of Jesus.

After first presenting the cumulative case argument for the 'legendary Jesus' thesis, the authors proceed to dismantle it and seriously bring into question its viability. In the process, they range through issues such as the historical-critical method, form criticism, oral tradition, the use of non-Christian sources, the writings of Paul, and the Hellenization of Judaism. They come to the conclusion that the view of Jesus embraced by the early church was 'substantially rooted in history.'

Gregory A. Boyd, formerly professor of theology at Bethel College, is senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church. He is the author of many books, including the critically acclaimed Seeing Is Believing and the best-selling Gold Medallion Award-winner Letters from a Skeptic.

Paul R. Eddy is assistant professor of biblical and theological studies at Bethel College and coeditor of Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views.

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