Several scholarly books handle subjects such as the transmission of the text, canonization, identifying genres, or even discussing miracles. Craig L. Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, seeks to address all of these topics in a detailed manner in just one book: The Historical Reliability of the New Testament.
To do so he divides his book into six parts: (1) the Synoptic Gospels, (2) the Gospel of John, (3) Acts and Paul, (4) the Rest of the New Testament, (5) Canonicity and Transmission, and (6) the Problem of Miracles.
Within these sections, Blomberg tackles topics such as source criticism, apparent contradictions, the connection between Jesus and Paul, Pauline forgeries, textual criticism, etc.
I personally enjoyed reading the section on the resurrection, in which Blomberg points out the resounding evidence for a bodily resurrection:
“Even the boldness of the disciples to preach Jesus in the temple precincts in the presence of the Jewish leaders who executed Jesus shows such a turnabout from their cowering behind locked doors immediately after his crucifixion as to demand an explanation along the lines of a resurrection.”
Academics will likely use his book, but Blomberg also hopes that Christians outside of academia will find it helpful too. Lee Strobel interviewed Blomberg in The Case for Christ, which in turn has directed more laypeople to Blomberg’s books.
“Lee is the consummate popularizer,” writes Blomberg in an interview. “He knows how to paraphrase an interviewer’s words and simplify their answers to his questions in order to create books that almost anyone can understand. Popularizing, however, doesn’t tend to include clarifications, qualifications, caveats, exceptions to rule, etc. So various people have responded to Blomberg as interpreted and digested by Strobel and pointed out potential and real fallacies in what they think they’ve heard or read, some of which are in fact legitimate.”
The Historical Reliability of the New Testament will resonate with people looking for in-depth and detailed answers. Few will read it in one sitting (it’s almost 800 pages), but it works well as a reference book for pastors, teachers, students, or anyone interested in Christian apologetics.
(Disclaimer: This book was provided by B&H Publishers in exchange for an honest review.)