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The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition

The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition

Paul Rhodes Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd

| Baker Academic | 2007

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Much New Testament scholarship from the last two hundred years has seen fit, to one degree or another, to relegate the Jesus tradition as recorded in the Gospels to the realm of legend. But is this really what the evidence points to? By drawing together recent scholarship from a variety of fields, including history, anthropology, ethnography, folklore, and New Testament studies, Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd show that the evidence actually supports—rather than refutes—the historical reliability of the Gospels and the existence of Jesus.

Eddy and Boyd present the cumulative case argument for the “legendary Jesus” thesis and proceed to put it under the microscope—and seriously bring into question its viability. In the process, they range through issues such as the historical-critical method, form criticism, oral tradition, the use of non-Christian sources, the writings of Paul, and the Hellenization of Judaism. They come to the conclusion that the view of Jesus embraced by the early church was “substantially rooted in history.” Here is an important book in the field of Jesus studies, with potential use in New Testament and apologetics courses.

Author Bios

Paul R. Eddy

Paul Rhodes Eddy is professor of theology at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. His books include John Hick's Pluralist Philosophy of World ReligionsAcross the Spectrum: Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology , and Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views.

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Greg Boyd

Gregory A. Boyd graduated with honors from Yale Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary, and he was a professor of theology at Bethel University for 16 years. He is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Boyd has also authored or coauthored numerous books and academic articles.

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