Dethroning Jesus

Dethroning Jesus

Exposing Popular Culture's Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ

Book - 2007
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New York Times best-selling author Darrell Bock teams with Daniel Wallace to help lay readers separate fact from fiction and help from hype in the recent best-selling Jesus books and television specials.

There is a quest going on. It's the quest to reduce Jesus to a mythic legend or to nothing more than a mere man. Scholars such as Elaine Pagels and James Tabor are using such recent discoveries as the Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of Thomas to argue that the Christ of Christianity is a contrived figure and that a different Christ-one human and not divine-is the "true" Christ.

In his trademark easy-to-understand style Darrell Bock takes on these attempts to redefine Jesus in a convincing, winsome way that will help readers understand that the orthodox understanding of Christ and his divinity is as trustworthy and sure as it ever was. Joining Bock for the first time is fellow scholar Daniel Wallace.

Publisher: Nashville : Thomas Nelson, c2007
ISBN: 9780785226154
078522615X
Characteristics: ix, 237 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Wallace, Daniel B.

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Andrew Kyle Bacon
Mar 16, 2018

In Dethroning Jesus, authors Darrell Bock and Daniel Wallace tackle some of the common claims made against The New Testament, early Christianity as a whole, and Jesus specifically. On this level, the book is an excellent primer that thankfully avoids ever feeling dull or dry. But it is only a primer. Because the book takes on six topics, devoting one chapter to each, there is not much room for delving very deep into the subjects.

The topics are: (1) The original New Testament has been corrupted by copyists so badly that it can't be recovered, (2) Secret Gnostic gospels, such as Judas, show the existence of early alternative Christianities, (3) The Gospel of Thomas radically alters out understanding of the real Jesus, (4) Jesus' message was fundamentally political and social, focusing on justice, against domination systems such as Rome or any current global power, (5) Paul took captive the original movement of Jesus and James, moving it from a Jewish reform effort to a movement that exalted Jesus and included Gentiles, and (6) Jesus' tomb has been found, and his resurrection and ascension did not involve a physical departure.

Overall, authors Bock and Wallace do a good job of summarizing these views, offering up what those views hold as proofs, and then examining those proofs to see if they hold up. It is good to know that these authors are professors of theology, with Daniel B. Wallace being one of the most well-respect New Testament textual critics in the world (his Greek grammar is one of the most thorough works you'll ever pick up on the subject). These guys aren't slouches; they know their stuff, and they do a good job presenting it. Truth be known, I would read a whole book about any of the individual topics addressed in this book, in particular of the first three chapters, which I felt were the most engaging by far. If I do have a complaint, it's actually related to the last three chapters. They simply aren't as interesting, if only for the reason that the claims being investigated are so outlandish as to be ridiculous. Part of what makes Bock and Wallace's treatment of the first three so engaging is that they are seemingly (on the surface) legitimate claims that might have some historical backing. Yet in every chapter the authors do a good job of showing the short comings of the views being explored.

All-in-all, this book is just an entryway into these apologetic topics, with a very light academic tone that makes it very easy to read. Dethroning Jesus is a good book, and I highly recommend it.

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