A Skeptic’s Investigation into Jesus
By J.P. Hannah (Wipf & Stock)
After bestsellers like Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ and Josh McDowell’s New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, is there still a need for books on apologetics? And what does J.P. Hannah offer that others have not?
As helpful as popular defenses of Christianity can be, they often are published by popular Christian publishing houses with all the requisite marketing—a fact not lost on skeptics. From the start, Hannah’s book grabs a skeptic’s attention, because it isn’t overtly trying to close a sale.
Hannah does not set out to defend the Christianity, its creeds, or even organized religion in general. Rather, she invites the reader to join her on her own “journey of independent investigation” of “facts relevant to the ongoing debate between atheism and faith in general, and Christianity in particular.” The reader is led to deal for him or herself with Jesus’ question, “Who do you say I am?”
The journey to that question takes place in three parts: an examination of the New Testament, a consideration of the implications of science for faith, and a quick summary of the Old Testament’s foreshadowing of Jesus.
Hannah covers many details and none exhaustively. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be possible to be more complete in a single volume. Nevertheless, she treats each sufficiently.
Those in doubt about the historicity and divinity of Jesus, as well as the reliability and veracity of Gospel accounts about him will find a thorough consideration of arguments for and against Christianity’s claims.
Chapters are broken into sections, each focused on a single question, such as “What is the manuscript evidence for the Gospels?” After laying out her findings, Hannah concludes each section with a review of the evidence and a call for the reader to come to his or her own verdict on that question.
A Skeptic’s Investigation into Jesus could serve well as a reference book for teachers, preachers or friends, family members or coworkers of people asking questions contained in the book.
Eric Black, executive director, publisher, editor