This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?: A Debate between William Lane Craig…

by Paul Copan, William Lane Craig, John Dominic Crossan

Other authors: Craig L. Blomberg (Contributor), Marcus Borg (Contributor), William F. Buckley, Jr. (Moderator), Robert J. Miller (Contributor), Ben Witherington III (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
216293,669 (3.88)None
Based on a debate between John Dominic Crossan and William Lane Craig, this book provides a forum for evangelicals and members of the Jesus Seminar to dialogue.



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 2 of 2
This debate reflects the distinction that is made between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of faith. Over the past two hundred years, the traditional supernaturalistic understanding of the Gospels has been challenged by those who propose that the message of the Gospels is contained in myth. They say that the Bible represents important moral truth but not historical accuracy, in the sense that Jesus was resurrected but not physically. The events recorded in the Gospels, especially those that involved violation of natural laws, did not happen but represented the beliefs that the church projected
backwards. This view was first proposed by David Friederich Strauss (1808-1874) and developed by Martin Kãhler and most recently by Rudolf Bultmann, who suggested that even searching for a historical Jesus was in fact anti-thetical to Paul's justification of grace through faith. Seeking historical verification represents failure of faith.

The pendulum swung back when Ernst Kãsemann delivered a lecture in 1953 that rejected these arguments. He proposed that without a historical grounding Christianity "would collapse into docetism — a faith in a chimera." Crossan, former co-chair of the Jesus Seminar, sides with the earlier thinkers, reiterating that Jesus must be separated from theological encrustation, that the Gospels contradict each other on significant historical descriptions, and that believing in the traditional supernatural events becomes an obstacle to faith.
Craig, an evangelical, supported by Buckley, of course, argues that if we cannot believe in the virgin birth, the physical resurrection, the miracles, then the foundations of belief will come crashing down. If any of those events can be disproved, faith is destroyed.

Crossan uses Aesop's Fables as an example of his position. Animals speak in those stories. We accept today that animals can't speak now, but we can't prove they couldn't in ancient Greece. To debate whether they could or could not may be fascinating, but it obscures the real point and moral messages Aesop was trying to convey. Jesus and the Gospels similarly used fables and parables to convey a truth. Did the
Good Samaritan really exist as a person? The debate can go on ad infinitum, but whether he did or not misses the point. To debate the historical accuracy of Jesus' life, Crossan suggests, also misses the point. We get lost in the debate and are distracted from the moral of His message. As Crossan states, "When I look a Buddhist friend in the face, I cannot say with integrity: 'Our story about Jesus' virginal birth is true and factual. Your story that when the Buddha came out of his mother's womb, he was walking, talking, teaching, and preaching (which I must admit is even better than our story) — that's a myth.
We have the truth; you have a lie.' I don't think that can be said any longer, for our insistence that our faith is fact and that others' faith is a lie is, I think, a cancer that eats at the heart of Christianity."

Marcus Borg, in his commentary on the debate, provides a valuable insight regarding how we understand resurrection. He states that resurrection as understood by the Jews and Romans of the first century is different from common interpretation today. Modern Christians confuse it with resuscitation, i.e., the restoration of life to the corpse that then goes on as before requiring sustenance, elimination, etc. Crossan prefers the first century interpretation that meant moving on to a new life, something different, a spirituality not requiring a body or physical existence. Hence the presence of Jesus’ corpse in the tomb is irrelevant for Borg and Crossan. The visions seen by the Apostles and Paul do not require a physical being.

This debate, which was held at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, and the essays from other scholars reflecting on the debate, are fascinating and a model of how a reasonable dialogue can be conducted between two diametrically opposing viewpoints.

Of course, it's all non-sense, but enchanting, nevertheless.

P.S. William Lane Craig has gained a reputation recently for trying to take on Richard Dawkins (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/richard-dawkins-william-lane...) and his debate with Christopher Hitchens is available on YouTube. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Showing 2 of 2
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paul Copanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craig, William Lanemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossan, John Dominicmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Blomberg, Craig L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borg, MarcusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buckley, William F., Jr.Moderatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, Robert J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Witherington III, BenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Based on a debate between John Dominic Crossan and William Lane Craig, this book provides a forum for evangelicals and members of the Jesus Seminar to dialogue.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.88)
2.5 1
3 3
3.5 1
4 4
4.5 1
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 155,584,008 books! | Top bar: Always visible