Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Case for Jesus (Image Books)

Some of my favorite books in recent years are Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist and Jesus the Bridegroom. Both were written by Dr. Brant Pitre and both are available from Image Books. Luckily for me, he has now released a third book called The Case for Jesus, so sit back and let me tell you about it.

The Case for Jesus begins with Dr. Pitre telling us about his time in undergraduate classes at LSU and how he was blown away and confused when his professor told him that the Gospels were all anonymously written and that it wasn't until centuries later that the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were added to them. He then tells us about how he graduated from Vanderbilt being a bit lost and confused with his faith. Thankfully for the Catholic Church, he did not, or else we would not have his great mind and book. Instead, he entered a PhD program in New Testament studies. Through those studies, he learned three things. 1. The Gospels were not anonymous. 2. Jesus did claim to be God. 3. The confusion about Jesus and who He claimed to be is everywhere! Years later, he decided to write this book for anyone who has ever wondered, "Who did Jesus claim to be?"

The book then takes us through early Christianity and the Gospels. Dr. Pitre tells us that the Gospels were not anonymous, who the authors actually were, what the Early Church Fathers had to say about the Gospels, the dating of the Gospels, and apocryphal gospels. The chapter "Jesus and the Jewish Messiah" was the most fascinating to me, In this chapter, Dr. Pitre walks us through the Old Testament book of Daniel and how these prophecies related to Jesus. There are sections on the Kingdom of God, the Son of God, and even the Death of the Messiah. Truly a fascinating chapter and one I had to read again and will have to visit again the next time I read through the book of Daniel. The book then concludes with chapters on who Jesus thought He was, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.

This book is a solid read for those looking for who Jesus was. It is straight-forward, but intelligent, and you can read it at two different levels. The first level is just reading the book. The second level is turning to the notes at the end and diving deeper by reading some of the sources that Dr. Pitre used in writing this book. I personally loved the book, and it is a great book for Catholics. At the same time, this book is a bit like preaching to the choir. Catholics will have a great book to bolster their faith and be more informed on a subject they didn't know a lot about before. Conversely, atheists and skeptics will see the title for this book, and dismiss it without even giving it a chance, which is a shame, but reality.

This book was provided to me for free by Image Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!