Jesus Before the Gospels is now the seventh book I’ve published with HarperOne; two of the others have also involved issues related to historical problems posed by the New Testament Gospels. And so I have been asked recently a very fair question: how does this book differ from the others I’ve written?
The short answer is that it is dealing with a completely different topic. But to explain that at greater length, I should explain what the others focused on. First, I should say that four of my Harper books were on other things.
- Did Jesus Exist was an attempt to show why scholars in the fields of New Testament, early Christian studies, and antiquity in general are convinced, and do not even question, that Jesus actually lived as a real human being. There I try to mount the arguments that almost no one has ever bothered to mount because they are so obvious to most people working in the field
- Forged was dealing not with the contents of the New Testament writings so much as with their authorship. It tried to show why scholars since (by and large) the nineteenth century have maintained that some of the books of the New Testament (e.g. the letters of “Peter”; six of the letters of Paul) were not actually written by the persons who claimed to be writing them.
- God’s Problem was focused on the problem of suffering – how can there be so much pain and misery in this world if God is in control of it? – especially as it is dealt with in so many different ways by different authors of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament.
- How Jesus Became God, my most recent book till now, is not interested in problems with the Gospels but with how the central affirmation of Christian faith – that Jesus is actually God on earth – came into existence, how the early Christians came to think that Jesus was not just an apocalyptic prophet or a messiah, but actually a divine being, eventually the second member of the Trinity.
So none of those books is…
THE REST OF THIS POST IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY. If you don’t belong yet, Wake Up and Shell Out!!! It doesn’t cost much money, and every bit goes to charity. So give yourself and the world at large a break!!!