Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Case for the Real Jesus by Lee Strobel - Book Review

I have now read all of Lee Strobel's "case" books. Like the others, "The Case for the Real Jesus" is set up as a dialogue between the interviewer (Strobel) and the interviewee.

This one was by far a lot easier to read than "The Case for a Creator" or "The Case for Christ". "The Case for Creator" was a really tough book to read because of the amount of scientific and biological information. Strobel interviews super intelligent men that are bordering geniuses in their fields and some of the jargon is hard to grasp. So it was a breath of fresh air that "The Case for the Real Jesus" wasn't so tough to read.

This book combats a lot of new questions that have lately arisen within the past couple of years regarding Jesus. It also helps in rebutting against post-modernist and universalists.

Here is a list of the 6 challenges Lee Strobel stresses in his book:
 1. "Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents as credible as the four Gospels"
2. "The Bible's Portrait of Jesus Can't Be Trusted Because the Church Tampered with the Text"
3. Part 1: "New Explanations Have Refuted Jesus' Resurrection"
    Part 2: "The Cross Examination"
4. "Christianity's Beliefs about Jesus Were Copied from Pagan Religions"
5. "Jesus Was an Imposter Who Failed to Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies"
6. "People Should Be Free to Pick and Choose What to Believe about Jesus"

If you have asked your self any questions regarding the statements listed above, then this book is going to help tremendously.

I do recommend that this book be read by Christians that are firmly founded in their faith and love the Bible. I will be blunt regarding the 2nd challenge about the Church tampering with the text. Reading this chapter, I found out that Mark 16:9-20 was most likely added on later and not by Mark. Although, these particular verses are most likely true, they were still not written by the original author. The person who added these verses most likely thought that Mark finished his Gospel to abruptly and decided to elaborate on what else had taken place after the women saw Jesus. Granted, there is a footnote in everyone's Bible pointing out this truth, but it never registered completely as it did when I read "The Case for the Real Jesus". I also found out John 7:53 - 8:11 was also most likely added on later and not added by John. The story probably happened, but by the time it was written down it was probably already aggrandized, as most history is if written to many years after the actual event happened.

This information does not in any way prove that the Bible is fallible. On the contrary, the verses cited that are in question, do not change any doctrine or theological core. The essence of the Bible is never lost or compromised, it just adds to our knowledge of all our Bible has gone through, and how it is still an alive and authoritarian teacher.

Warnings: It can shake your faith briefly. But we must remember that all Biblical knowledge brings glory to the Father.
Pages: 277
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars - The book can get a little boring towards the end. The dialogue and the physical details can also get a bit frustrating.

If you would like to order this book, click here.


  1. Hi Anna,

    Regarding Mark 16:9-20: it's not really unique for a book of the Bible to have more than one human being involved in its production; we routinely accept parts of Proverbs that were not written by Solomon, and parts of Jeremiah that were not added by Jeremiah (including all of Jeremiah ch. 52). Various researchers suspect that John 21 was attached to the rest of the Gospel of John by someone other than John, too (since chapter 20 ends so elegantly).

    Regarding what brother Lee Strobel wrote about Mark 16:9-20, I advise caution. New Testament textual criticism is not his area of expertise and he has had to rely on experts' opinions like many other folks. A measure of caution is needed when assessing the evidence about the ending of Mark, not only because there are a lot of false claims being circulated (even by well-meaning commentators) but also one-sided and inaccurate claims, very many of which indicate that the writers responsible for them have simply paraphrased Bruce Metzger's rather one-sided comments on the subject in his "Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament" instead of looking into the evidence for themselves.

    Mark 16:9-20 is supported by 99.9% of the existing Greek MSS of Mark 16, and the attestation for it is older than the two fourth-century Greek manuscripts that stop the text at 16:8. I invite you to where a detailed online presentation begins on this subject.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

    1. James,
      Thank you so much for your comment. It is interesting what you pointed out about Proverbs. I had never thought of that. I just expected Mark would have written all of Mark is all. I look forward in looking you up. You were very gracious in your comment. I am still learning in my faith and I hope to continue to learn until I see our King. Blessings.