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Evidence That Demands a Verdict

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  9,541 ratings  ·  184 reviews
A classic, authoritative defense of Christianity containing arguments from the best apologetics of the ages. Scholarly, intelligent resposes for those who question or attack the basis of Christian faith.
Published December 1st 1986 by Nelsonword Publishing Group (first published 1972)
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Marilyn Basel One also has to consider that there were more than 500 eyewitness to the risen Jesus after he had been dead and buried for three days. A mere human co…moreOne also has to consider that there were more than 500 eyewitness to the risen Jesus after he had been dead and buried for three days. A mere human could not have done that, come back to life after it had been beaten out of him and sealed shut in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers. The eyewitnesses died painful deaths rather than change their eyewitness testimonies, so that their killers were in some cases convinced the Christ they proclaimed was real. Not only that, but there is the witness of people's hearts changed today from terrorism to followers of Christ by encounter with whom they say is the living Jesus. Would the author of life and death have kept the rights to His own natural laws? Yes. But if life itself came from The Almighty Father, what prevents Him from giving the power of life freely in abundance to His sacrificed Son Jesus? Also there is the proof of statistics and probability. The odds against one person being able to fulfill more than 300 specific prophecies given from a thousand to hundreds of year prior to his birth, which by the way are all fulfilled in the historical person Jesus, if the number was electrons, would take 19 million years cubed to count. So there is plenty of other evidence to consider. The reliability of the Bible is better than for any other book we have on earth. That's another fact to consider.(less)

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Mar 11, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not proven.

And I really got tired of him constantly referring to Christian apologists as "the famous such-and-such". If they're all so famous, how come I've never heard of them?
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the rational, the logical, the remotely interested in determining if Christianity is true
Recommended to jeff by: Jim Cuniglio
Shelves: read-again
This book is what convinced me that to believe that Jesus raised from the dead or that the bible is a reliable historical document can be a belief founded firmly in rational, logical thinking. This book, combined with The Case for Christ, set me off on a apologetics rampage that I am still on today and look forward to being on the rest of my life.

Easily over 700 pages, it covers nearly every objection to Christianity that I have heard. I only say "nearly" because I don't feel comfortable saying
Terry Morgan
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Have read this more than once, and several revisions. This is not a casual read. It is written more like a source book, or a thesis on the premises of who was Jesus Christ, and the claims of the Bible. Excellent read!
David Sarkies
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Christians and Non-Christians alike
Recommended to David by: My Church
Shelves: christian
Not the most objective book
18 January 2013

I have noticed that this book receives some bad responses, but then that is not surprising when you have a book that is purporting to outline all of the evidence supporting the authenticity of Christianity. Unfortunately it has been a while since I read it but it is one of those books that is ordered as notes as opposed to being written in prose to make it easier see the evidence that McDowell argues. However, the problem, as one person suggested, is th
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book while researching my (at the time) fundamentalist Christian faith. It was recommended to me when I began asking questions like "why do we just follow the books in the bible, who decided what was in here?" and "whats the basis for all this anyway?"

Josh McDowell prefaces the book saying he embarked on this research when he was not a Christian in an effort to disprove Christianity. When he was digging up all the "evidence" in the holy lands he was overwhelmed and converted.

The book
Jul 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
If I were a Christian, I would be insulted and embarrassed by the contents and presentation of this book. As an atheist, it is both hilarious and frustrating. "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell is, if I may be blunt, one of the biggest pieces of intellectually dishonest, self-serving tripe that I have ever read. The entire thing can be summed up with the old Sunday school song: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

Although the book is titled "Evidence That Dem
Best thing I can say is that Mr. McDowell has given an honest effort in gathering all the information he feels justifies his beliefs. The title of the book is misleading. Despite the impressive number of quotes and apologetics, evidence is lacking. This book suffers profusely from circular reasoning, "facts" with no support, and sources that don't matter. I love C.S. Lewis too, that doesn't mean his opinion carries any weight.
Gerald Curtis
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was my second reading.

I love this book, written in defense of Christianity by a former doubter, now turned apologist.

It is an amazing collection of evidence from history, world experts and even skeptics, and hundreds of presentations of logic and debate that are overwhelmingly compelling.

Apr 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: schmutzwasser
The verdict is in. This book is schmutzwasser. And I don't have to prove that it is, since he doesn't really prove his points, either.
Nikola Tasev
Lots of claims. And, I admit, lots of citations.
A lot of holes, though. Like, most of it.
McDowell claims the bible is exceptional, because it is written over a vast period and by many different people in different backgrounds, yet it is miraculously and divinely free of inconsistencies.
Then he says if you think you've found an inconsistency, there are 15 rules you have to check to see it it is an inconsistency or not. The most important one - "there are no inconsistencies, the bible can contrad
Charles  van Buren
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Charles van Buren

A very useful classic of apologetics

October 28, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

Review of Kindle edition
Publication date: October 13, 1999
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Language: English
ASIN: B007V8Z61M Sales Rank: 82114

I listened to this book or perhaps it was just parts of it on older tapes which I had obtained at no charge from Fire Fighters for Christ. Josh McDowell himself was the narrator/speaker. I say speaker because he did more than simply read the book. McDowell is a powe
Rock Rockwell
Oct 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Evidential apologetics to strengthen the faith of Christians. A good 'resource' to keep on your shelf.
Magnus Von Black
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastically well researched book and I enjoyed it, but there are a few things that severely weaken the case that McDowell is attempting to make.

For one, it is written in an evangelical style. The introduction and first chapter sound like something you would hear at church; they are about his personal experiences and personal faith, and are very enthusiastic. That's fine, but he essentially begins the book by alienating skeptics and broadly trumpeting that his perspective is not even
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, religion, reviewed
Great book, all 600 or so pages were worth it. Amongst other things, it pulls together a bundle of evidence that the Bible is historically accurate and that Jesus was a historical figure by the methods of our day. Also debunks some misconceptions and alternate resurrection theories, etc. Has a great section on the basics of philosophy which helps with understanding the illogical bases for mysticism, post-modernism, and skepticism. There's a lot more, but I'd be here forever explaining it.

A great
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I read it page by page this is more of a reference resource. The chapter on the resurrection is worth the price of the entire book.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
you need this book in your library! You cannot find a more articulate defense of the truth.
Pete Bartel
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent arguments for Christianity based on history.
Donnie II
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the outset of the massive undertaking that Evidence That Demands A Verdict has taken, Josh McDowell has been about sharing the word of God. “Evidence is not for proving the word of God, but rather for providing a reasoned basis for faith,” claims McDowell.

The original Evidence was drawn up from a deep struggle Josh shares regarding the tough years he faced, and no doubt our own youth will face, while at college. Mad at God and mad at past abuse, Josh took up a challenge to consider the Chri
Sep 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great reference book.
Molly Rose
May 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book reads as if it was written by someone who has never in their life even read the Wikipedia page on Biblical Archaeology (it's here:, and if you want to know anything about the Bible that's ACTUALLY backed by evidence, I'd recommend reading through that page and from the scholars it cites instead of reading McDowell's book).
This book so thoroughly misses what the Bible actually is and how it got that way, as generally outlined by the scholars of s
Jun 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Every piece of "evidence" in this book is support (from the Bible) for McDowell's foregone conclusion. As far as I can tell, this book doesn't contain a single piece of actual evidence toward anything other than McDowell's delusion.
Dec 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great apologetics reference with lots of fascinating material.
Dec 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
The worst of Christian apologetics. If taken seriously, it accomplishes the exact opposite of the authors goal.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
When this showed up today as one of my recommendations, I remembered I read this book many, many years ago. Don't remember much about it and nowadays I don't think I'd be impressed with it.
Michaël Wertenberg
Jul 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was a born-again fundamentalist when I read this book, and I still found it laughable.
It almost reads like a parody.
Andrew King
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bible-based
Such a complete work that provides answers for many of skeptics' questions. What struck me, though, was the lack of the type of 100%, mathematical certainty for the Christian faith. And it makes me wonder if that's precisely how God intended it. If there were such crystal clear answers, we wouldn't see very many skeptics. God wants us to have a measure of faith like a child (Matthew 19). While we must always be prepared to give a defense (I Peter 3:15), and I'm indebted to this book in helping m ...more
Chad Warner
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: When Skeptics Ask by Norman Geisler
Not as helpful as I expected, based on references to it in other books. It's not very easy to follow. Maybe that's just because I'm weak in philosophy, and the book gets fairly philosophical. I skimmed large swaths of the book that are about areas I'm not interested in, such as establishing the authorship of the Pentateuch.

There are 3 parts, each making a case: the case for the Bible, Jesus, and Christianity. Topics include how we got the Bible, historical reliability of the Bible, support for J
Dec 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Patty by: family
Shelves: 2018
First of all. This book is obnoxiously long. I feel no shame in admitting I skimmed this book since this is the second book that I read at the request of my family members. (See "Case for Christ" review) I did my part, but our conversation following really had nothing to do with this book, so just watch out for that if you haven't fallen for that book swap trap before. (ugh!) So let's just say, I'm done reading religious books for other people. I mean, that's probably a good rule of thumb anyway ...more
Brian Chilton
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The updated classic is the new standard in apologetics. As good as the original Evidence that Demands a Verdict (ETDAV) was, this updated and revamped edition is even better. With new sections on the historicity of Jesus' existence, evaluations of the historical data, updated scientific information, and new updated stats on biblical manuscript evidence; this updated addition with insights from Dr. Sean McDowell makes this revision of ETDAV a must-have for anyone serious about Christian Apologeti ...more
Michael O'Brien
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found it to be a stirring defense of the Christian faith, and this book does do an outstanding job in also exposing much of the circular thinking and inconsistencies in critics of Christian doctrines and the Bible. My only criticisms are that it does tend, toward the end, to get bogged down in philosophy, and I do wish it had gone into more detail exposing inconsistencies in evolutionary theory as well.
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Since beginning ministry in 1961, Josh has given more than 24,000 talks to over 10 million young people in 118 countries. He is the author or coauthor of 112 books, selling over 51 million copies worldwide, including More Than a Carpenter (more than 15 million copies in print worldwide), which has been translated into over 85 languages, and The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by Wo ...more

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“Este Jesús de Nazareth sin dinero ni armas, conquistó a más millones que Alejandro, César, Mahoma y Napoleón; sin ciencia y sin erudición derramó más luz sobre las cosas divinas y humanas que todos los filósofos y eruditos combinados; sin la elocuencia de las escuelas, habló tales palabras de vida como nunca antes o después fueron dichas, y produjo efectos que yacen más allá del alcance del orador o poeta; sin escribir ni una sola línea, y proporcionó temas para más
sermones, oraciones, discusiones, volúmenes de erudición, obras de arte , y cánticos de alabanza que él ejercito completo de grandes hombres de los tiempos antiguos y modernos”.”
“Apologetics is not listed as a spiritual gift for teachers, preachers, or evangelists, as though only some ought to become apologists. Rather, all Christians are called to be ready with an answer (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3). We all make a case for Christianity in some fashion or another—but are we doing it well?” 1 likes
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