I must admit I started this book with doubts. Not doubts about the integrity of the Bible but rather doubts as to what the author meant by Searching for Jesus. From my layman’s point of view it seems that far too often “scholarship” is used as a tool to undermine reasonable faith with convoluted arguments and over analyzation of the minutia.
Frankly, after the first few chapters it seemed my doubts were confirmed. It appeared to me that the author was almost apologetic concerning his arguments for the veracity of the New Testament. Almost like a referee trying to moderate an important disagreement but unwilling to make the game changing call.
In any case I stuck with the book because I love to learn about the history of the Bible. Even if the book seemed to get off on the wrong foot (from my perspective) Mr. Hutchinson provided such a wealth of information about Biblical archeology and Biblical textual criticism that I couldn’t help but read on.
Gradually, I found myself seeing the subject through Mr. Hutchinson’s eyes. To my surprise my appreciation for the authors approach grew. I realized he was taking his reader on a personal journey in search of the New Testament Jesus. A journey characterized by lifelong scholarship and a faith which fought and ultimately concerned reasonable doubts.
I like to be challenged and Searching for Jesus surely did that. To be sure I didn’t agree with all of Mr. Hutchinson’s conclusions but in the end this book strengthen my faith in the Bible and gave me a new appreciation for many of the complicated issues involved in Biblical textual criticism.
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Author: Robert J. Hutchinson
Book Title: Searching for Jesus: New Discoveries in the Quest for Jesus of Nazareth – and How They Confirm the Gospel Accounts
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Book Reviewed by: William Struse