In one of their songs, the Canadian rock band downhere asks, “Can anybody show me the real Jesus?” For two millennia, Christians have turned to the New Testament to answer this question. But in the modern era, doubts have been raised about the New Testament’s canon, text, originality, and truthfulness.
Lee Strobel thinks these doubts can be overcome, and in The Case for the Real Jesus, he sets out to do so using the format he popularized in The Case for Christ. For each doubt raised about the New Testament’s portrait of Jesus, Strobel interviews a scholar with relevant expertise.
Strobel and his panel of experts consider six issues: (1) the extent of the New Testament canon, (2) the reliability of the New Testament text, (3) the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, (4) the independence of the Gospels’ portrait of Jesus from pagan rites and ideas, (5) the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in Jesus’ life and ministry, and (6) the exclusive truth of the Christian faith. For each issue, Strobel and his experts offer reasonable arguments for their positions, as well as consider and rebut opposing arguments. Their final conclusion is that the New Testament portrait of Jesus is the real one.
This book is geared for a popular audience, but each chapter concludes with a list of suggested readings for people interested in further investigation of the issues. I highly recommend it as an introductory text for people with doubts about Christianity, as well as for Christian small groups, book clubs, and Sunday school classes.