After that Sunday's message, I received a request for the top three names of books by reliable authors about the authencity of the Gospels that I would recommend. It was suggested that others in might be interested in such list as well, so I thought I would post this list on my blog. Here's a list of five excellent books. The first two and probably the fourth are the most readable for the general public. The first two books are the best books to start with and the best for anyone who is still a seeker or is struggling because of questions raised by misinformation in popular press books or TV shows.
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. Strobel was a journalist and atheist who discovered Christ. He interviews many of the best scholars in their fields of expertise and writes in a very readable format. This book gives a great overview of the evidence for Jesus and the Gospels to be considered.
Dethroning Jesus: Exposing Popular Culture's Quest to Unseat the Biblical Christ by Darrell L. Bock & Daniel Wallace. Darrell Bock is Research Professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is probably the premiere evangelical theologian spokesman right now. Daniel Wallace is a Professor of New Testament at Dallas as well and is an authority on the study of New Testament manuscripts. This book is excellent because it deals with contemporary popular press attacks on orthodox Christianity.
The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig L. Blomberg. Craig Blomberg is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver seminary. He is one of the most important apologists of our day. This book is not light reading. It goes in depth into the differences among the gospels and proofs for the reliability of the gospels. One way to use this book is to use the scripture index in the back of the book to find discussions on particular passages that one might have a question about.
The Origin of the Bible edited by Philip Comfort. This book contains chapters written by some very prominent theologians like F.F. Bruce and J.I. Packer. It contains three sections: the authority and inspiration of the Bible, the canon of the Bible, and the Bible as a literary text. The chapter on The Canon of the New Testament is exceptional on understanding the history of the acceptance of the 27 books of the NT as authoritative by the early church.
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham. Richard Bauckham is Professor of New Testament studies at the University of St. Andrews in Scottland. This is the most academic read of this list and most people would probably find it laborious to read. However, it provides a very important discussion of the use of eyewitnesses in the writing of the Gospels that I found incredibly insightful.
I encourage you to not only read one or some of the above books but even more importantly, go to the primary sources yourself. Read the four gospels. Look at the life of Jesus through the glasses of the gospels and study for yourself this Jesus of history.