‘Q & A’ books are as good as the questions they pose and the answers they give. I enjoyed Marvin Tate’s book exploring Paul’s eschatology (Apostle of the Last Days, Kregel Academic, 2013), but I was uncertain what I would think of his take on ‘historical Jesus.’ Yet 40 Questions About the Historical Jesus does a great job of summarizing the quest for the historical Jesus and answering questions about Jesus’ life from a confessional perspective.
The forty questions are organized under four headings, each with two sub-sections. Part 1, tackles background questions about the “historical Jesus.” The first subsection summarizes the quest for the historical Jesus. The second subsection examines the source material for Jesus (the Old Testament, Jewish and non-Jewish sources, apocryphal gospels,oral tradition, the New Testament and archaeology). Part 2 explores the birth and childhood of Jesus, delving into Jesus’ birth, family of origin (i.e. questions about the virgin birth and Jesus’ siblings) and childhood. Part 3 examines Jesus’ life and teachings while Part 4 discusses Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
This user-friendly book is a good apologetic resource for exploring the reliability of the Gospels and who Jesus was. Pate synthesizes insights of confessional scholarship (i.e. I.Howard Marshall, N.T. Wright, Craig Evans, Darrell Bock, etc). This is a quick-at-a-glance resource more than an in-depth exploration. I recommend this book for pastoral ministry and campus ministries. I give it four stars.
Note: I received this book from Kregel Academic in exchange for my honest review.