“The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ” challenges both the atheist and the agnostic, as well as the convinced or full-of-questions Christian, to look at the person of Jesus of Nazareth in a new light.
Dr Brant Pitre, who earned his PhD in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, is a Distinguished Research Professor of Scripture at Augustine Institute, in Denver, Colorado, and the author of several titles that focus on Jesus Christ. He begins the volume of “The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ” by honestly describing his inner struggle during his student days, when his faith was thrown off balance for the first time, while attending New Testament classes.
Choosing to personally research the ideas presented to him, Pitre studied in detail the original manuscripts of the four gospels, as well as the writings of the church fathers and other documents of the time. Eventually, his faith grew stronger, and this volume is his case for the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth.
The exposition starts from the famous conundrum of C.S. Lewis: since Jesus claimed to be God, He was either mad, a liar, or telling the truth. The author points out that Lewis’s trilemma was challenged by contemporary theologians such as Bart Ehrman, who questioned the accuracy of the biblical account and the fact that Jesus considered Himself divine, starting from the observation that the Saviour does not seem to remember anything about His divinity in the first three gospels (the synoptic gospels). Pitre aims to show that such conclusions are unfounded and that a careful analysis of the available evidence will only strengthen one’s faith.
In the first chapters, Pitre addresses several fundamental questions about the four gospels, pointing out that, despite the prevailing opposing views in academia, they were not initially anonymous, and their traditional authorship is indisputable. At the same time, it is very reasonable to believe that they were dated to the first part of the first century, during the life of the apostles.
Furthermore, the author points out that Jesus asserted His divinity many times, but not as a contemporary Western reader would expect, but by addressing a first-century Jewish audience, basing His arguments on the Old Testament Scriptures and using riddles, metaphors and parables. Finally, the book offers historical evidence of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.
The book is both extremely accessible and erudite, being suitable for any kind of reader. Both the atheist and the agnostic, as well as the convinced or questioning Christian will be challenged to look at the person of Jesus of Nazareth from a new perspective. In the end, the reader will have to give a personal answer to the question that Christ once asked His disciples: “But what about you? … Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15)
Dani Tudorie has a degree in Pedagogy and Theology, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the Department of International Relations and European Integration of the National School of Political and Administrative Studies.