The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ by Brant Pitre


A Review

Disclaimer: I ordered this book for myself after seeing several reviews.

Dr. Brant Pitre is Professor of Sacred Scripture at New Orleans’s Notre Dame Seminary.

Dr. Pitre begins his book with his experience as a young student at Louisiana State University. Entering his introductory class on the Bible, he was confronted by the teacher with several statements which, taken together, undermined trust in the Gospels as historical documents and biographies. After having completed advanced degrees, he also gained a crisis of faith in who Jesus claimed that He was.

His book, The Case for Jesus, is an attempt to give reasons that we can trust the Gospel accounts and answer one central question that lies at the heart of Christianity:

Did Jesus of Nazareth claim to be God?

The Case for Jesus is not a boring academic tome. It is an exciting adventure. Pitre begins with the Gospel accounts themselves and their authenticity. He makes the case that they are ancient biographies of Jesus written by those with first hand or investigative knowledge of the events.

One unique aspect of the book is that the author explores the Jewish beliefs about what the Messiah was supposed to be. He does an impressive job of going to the Jewish context of phrases such as “the Kingdom of God” and “the Son of Man” to see how Jesus fulfilled those familiar phrases.

A Messiah that was crucified was, according the apostle Paul, scandalous to the Jews and foolish to the Gentiles (I Corinthians 1:23). But, as Dr. Pitre points out, the crucifixion changes everything. It sets the stage for the greatest miracle of all, the Resurrection. The author reminds us that the Resurrection of Jesus actually fulfills the prophecy given by Jesus about the sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-41).

Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be God in human flesh. He was either deceiving, deceived, or Deity. The evidence, cited by Dr. Pitre, makes a compelling case that Jesus’s claim of Deity was correct.

I highly recommend The Case for Jesus.

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