The time is ripe for a new account of the life of Jesus. It’s been over 25 years since an evangelical New Testament scholar has written a textbook survey of this type. Today the landscape of Jesus and Gospel studies has been radically transformed by new questions and critical challenges. No less remarkable is the contemporary renaissance of our knowledge of the world of Jesus.
In Jesus the Messiah Robert Stein draws together the results of a career of research and writing on Jesus and the Gospels. Every episode in the life of Jesus is here treated with historical care and attention to its significance for understanding the life and ministry of Jesus. Clearly written, ably argued, and geared to the needs of students, Jesus the Messiah will give probing minds a sure grounding in the life and ministry of Jesus.
“There are six positive criteria: multiple attestation; multiple forms; Aramaic linguistic phenomena; Palestinian environmental phenomena; dissimilarity; divergent patterns from the developing tradition. The primarily negative criteria number three: the tendencies of the developing tradition, environmental contradiction and contradiction of authentic sayings.” (Page 31)
“Attempts to strip the supernatural from Jesus’ life can only produce a Jesus so radically different that he is unrecognizable and his impact on history unexplainable.” (Page 16)
“Where a person starts powerfully shapes where he or she finishes.” (Page 12)
“Pagan sources for the life of Jesus are few in number and secondary in nature. Rather than providing eyewitness accounts or reports, these sources give information that has been acquired from contact with Christians at least two or three generations removed from the actual events. Thus they are more valuable for studying the history of the early church than the life of Jesus.” (Page 19)
“The Gospels contain more than thirty miracles associated with the life and ministry of Jesus. In Mark alone 209 of the 661 verses deal with the miraculous.” (Page 12)
Robert Stein is gifted with the ability to discuss difficult issues in a simple and attractive manner. His book on the life of Jesus assumes the reliability of the Gospels and the reality of the supernatural, and on this basis he discusses the story in adequate detail for the beginning student, with an admirable refusal to be dogmatic about historical questions where the evidence does not warrant it. This is a helpful modern restatement of a traditional approach by a scholar who has already put students in his debt with his more detailed books on the Synoptic problem and on the teaching of Jesus.
—I. Howard Marshall, honorary research professor of New Testament, University of Aberdeen
Jesus the Messiah is the book for which I have been waiting. It will make a superb textbook for university and seminary students. All of the important issues are treated fairly and are laid out with clarity. What we have here is a sane alternative to the sensational and iconoclastic writings produced by members of the Jesus Seminar and others.
—Craig A. Evans, Payzant Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College
In an era when we have one critic after another hailing a newly discovered revolutionary Jesus, pacifist Jesus, unknowable Jesus or various other Jesus’ made after our own modern likenesses, it is refreshing to read a book that presents and explains the biblical Jesus. In Jesus the Messiah, not only does Stein give us the Jesus of Scripture and explain his ministry, he also interacts with a variety of critics concerning the details of his life. It is an instructive and useful work that puts a library full of information about Jesus compactly in one place.
—Darrell L. Bock, research professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
In an age of polemicists, Stein is an irenic and careful scholar. Here in this book we have the distillation of many years of work on the Synoptic Gospels and the life of Jesus. Eminently readable and with helpful bibliographies at the end of each chapter, this survey is both coherent and cogent, both sound and sensible. The educated layperson will find this a helpful and useful guide to what we can know about the historical Jesus.
—Ben Witherington III, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary
Combining in an admirable way attention to detail with clarity of writing, Stein’s work is both a good read and suitable for a classroom text. It surveys the life of Christ with faithfulness to the Evangelists’ accounts and with a good historical sense.
—E. Earle Ellis, research professor emeritus of theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
In teaching a course that surveys both the teachings and the life of Jesus I found no book that did the job. Now I have found it. This book is an extraordinary effort. It is both comprehensive and clear. In addition, . . . this book does not get tangled in the suffocating web of criticism and debate about what happened and whether or not Jesus said this or that. Jesus the Messiah will become a standard for evangelicals for years to come.
—Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park College
A sober yet powerful version of the life of Jesus, informed by a deep knowledge of contemporary critical biblical scholarship, but also profoundly shaped by the faith of the church. Stein shows a clear awareness of the importance of the philosophical assumptions that biblical scholars bring to their work, and he provides an unapologetic account of what can be known about the ‘real Jesus’ when one is willing to take seriously the possibility that God was really at work in the life of Christ. A work like this demonstrates that biblical scholarship can be ‘critical’ in the sense of being meticulous and responsible to the evidence without being anti-supernatural.
—C. Stephen Evans, professor of philosophy, Calvin College
In the Logos edition, this digital volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Citations link directly to English translations and original-language texts, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.