These are some of our favourite books for investigating the historicity, or historical authenticity, of the claims, life, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
⭐️It’s helpful that we have a firm foundation of what constitutes evidence in order to gain the assurance that Jesus did rise from the dead, which the first three books on this list address
⭐️This list isn’t exhaustive, only meant to be an introduction to each level of writing: both layman or beginner and academic
⭐️The #1 place to learn about Jesus is in the Gospels, and this list is especially helpful as a place to start for anyone struggling to “get there” or is doubting whether Jesus really is who the Bible says he is
⭐️ Some of these authors began as skeptics and atheists, and in some cases were even hostile to Jesus or Christianity, then became Christians through examining the evidence for themselves.
So with that in mind, here’s the list:
The Case for Christ – Lee Strobel – a popular-level book from the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune cross-examines scholars to uncover evidence supporting Jesus’ claims.
Cold Case Christianity – J. Warner Wallace – an easy-to-read, illustrated, accessible, and riveting journey through Christianity using the analytical lenses of a former atheist and L.A. County homicide detective
The Son Rises – William Lane Craig – the shortest of the bunch, but dense, and written in scholarly English. Using ten lines of historical evidence, Dr. Craig defends the probability that Jesus was resurrected following his crucifixion.
The Historical Jesus – Dr. Gary Habermas – examines archaeological, textual and extra-biblical evidence, and provides a strong foundation for the existence and deity of Jesus.
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses – Richard Baukham – argues that the four Gospels are based on the eyewitness testimony of those who personally knew Jesus, and challenges the prevailing assumption that the stories about Jesus circulated as “anonymous community traditions,” asserting instead that they were transmitted in the names of the original eyewitnesses.
To drive home this point, Bauckham draws on internal literary evidence, the use of personal names in first-century Jewish Palestine, and recent developments in the understanding of oral tradition. Bauckham’s book also taps into the rich resources of modern study of memory, especially in cognitive psychology, refuting the conclusions of the form critics and calling New Testament scholarship to make a clean break with that long-dominant tradition. Finally, Bauckham challenges readers to end the classic division between the “historical Jesus” and the “Christ of faith,” proposing instead the “Jesus of testimony” as presented by the Gospels.
The Resurrection of the Son of God – N.T. Wright –
Why did Christianity begin, and why did it take the shape it did? To answer this question-which any historian must face-renowned New Testament scholar N. T. Wright focuses on the key question: what precisely happened at Easter? What did the early Christians mean when they said that Jesus of Nazareth had been raised from the dead? What can be said today about this belief?
Which one catches your eye for your next read? Any you’ve read before? Let us know in the comments below!