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Dr. Brant Pitre Introduces His New Book, The Case for Jesus

by Brant Pitre January 25, 2016 0 Comments


Transcript - Introductory video for The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ.

I've been teaching the Bible as a professor now for a long time, and over the years I've noticed that many of my students believe in Jesus, but they don't necessarily know why they believe in Jesus, they don’t know why they think he’s the Messiah, the son of God.more  Lots of other people I know don't believe in Jesus, but they don't necessarily realize who Jesus claimed to be.  For example, lots of them will say “oh well Jesus was just a good moral teacher,” or “Jesus was just an ordinary Jewish rabbi,” or “Jesus was just a great prophet.”  Still others will say, “well how do we even know what Jesus did and said, we can't really understand him, we can't really have access to him, it was so long ago.”  Some of these people, for example, compare the Gospels to the end product of a game of telephone.  Maybe you’ve played the telephone game when you were a kid, they’ll say, “well the Gospels are like the telephone game, you know ,where one child tells a story to the next child, who tells it the next child, and it gets changed over and over again, until, at the end of the game, the story that you end up with is nothing like what you heard in the beginning.  Is that what the Gospels are like?  Are they just a long chain of anonymous traditions about Jesus, which may or may not be accurate.  And what about those documentaries that come on every year, around Easter and Christmas, that ask questions like: did Jesus really claim to be divine?  What about the lost Gospels, like the Gospel Thomas? Or a so-called Gospel of Q?

How does all this factor into the reliability of the accounts that we find in the New Testament?  In my new book,  The Case for Jesus, I look at these questions head on, and I want to ask ourselves, what exactly is the biblical and the historical evidence for Christ, for who He claims to be?   We’re gonna look at questions like:

How did we get the Gospels?  So were they really originally enormous, or were they written by the apostles and their followers?  What about the the genre of the Gospels, what kind of books are these?  Are they like folklore or fairytales?  Are they myths?  Or are they history?  Are they biographies?  And also too, what about the identity of Jesus?  Who Jesus really claim to be?  Was he just a prophet, or a great teacher, or a rabbi?  Or did he fulfill the prophecy of the Messiah?  And, most of all, did he actually claim to be God?  Did he claim to be divine?  This is going to be one most important points we have to deal with, because, you may have heard this before, there are lots of scholars out there who say that Jesus only claims to be divine in the Gospel of John.  That he doesn't claim to be divine in the three earlier Gospels, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  So what about that?  Is the score 3 against 1?  And when were these books written?  Are they too late to actually be reliable?  How do we know what we know about who Jesus was, and what he did and said, and that's what I’m going to be looking at in this book, The Case for Jesus. 

Now what’s unique about this book, is that, their are of course thousands and thousands of books out there on Jesus, and lots of them, especially the more skeptical ones, tend to give you just one side of the argument.  They’re gonna tell you why you shouldn't trust the gospel, why Jesus didn't claim to be the Messiah, or claim to be divine.  In this book I’m gonna give you both sides of the argument.  I'm gonna give you arguments for and against the reliability of the Gospels.  I’m gonna give you the arguments for and against Jesus claiming to be the Messiah, and claiming to be divine, and I'll let you decide, what is the evidence for Christ?  And there are also lots of books out there that claim that Jesus never said that he was Divine, never claimed to be God.  Well one of the things I try to show in this book is, that when you look at the gospel evidence, when you look at the question of Jesus’ divinity, you’ve got to pay attention to his Jewish context.  Over and over again I've noticed that books by skeptics often will ignore the Jewish roots of Jesus’ divinity.  In other words, you only will be up to see how he is identifying himself as divine, if you read His words in the first century Jewish context.  So if you've ever been interested in the question of the origin of the Gospels, of the divinity of Christ.  If you've ever wondered who was Jesus, and how do we know.  Whether you're a Christian or non-Christian, Protestant or Catholic, whether you’re Jewish, Muslim, atheist, or agnostic, believer or nonbeliever, or maybe a little bit of both.  If you've ever wondered who was Jesus, then this book, The Case for Jesus: the Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ, is for you.

Brant Pitre
Brant Pitre