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A Doubter's Guide to Jesus: An Introduction to the Man from Nazareth for Believers and Skeptics

(Doubter's Guides)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A Doubter's Guide to Jesus is an introduction to the major portraits of Jesus found in the earliest historical sources. Portraits because our best information points not to a tidy, monolithic Jesus, but to a complex, multi-layered and, at times, contradictory figure. While some might be troubled by this, fearing that plurality equals incomprehensibility or unreliability, ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Zondervan Academic
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Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good introduction to the reasons why Christianity is reasonable. It’s up to date, and the author covers recent scholarship in an evenhanded way, but I didn’t feel that I learned a great deal. It’s probably just because I’ve read too many books of this type, and not the fault of the author. It’s definitely one of the better ones in the bunch. He also does a great job of directing the reader to other books for more in-depth analysis of certain topics. I think it could be very helpful for ...more
Timothy Goldsmith
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A handy, helpful and easy read. This book is not looking to make any categorical statements about whether Jesus actually rose from the dead or not. Rather, Dickson seeks to look at all the historical evidence for the life, teaching and crucifixion of Christ. He certainly looks at the claim that Jesus also rose, but his focus is more on the reality that this has been part of Christian history from the beginning, not just a Constantinian addition.
If you want to cut through the "Dan Brown" mess and
Patrick S.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is a good example of what it means to give the other side a foothold and pretend there is neutral ground. For any of the good point Dickson makes it's underscored by giving up the traditional and biblical standpoint in favor of natural history. This is a stance that shouldn't be taken up by the Christian and is not genuinely made. While Dickson makes some valid points about what you bring in from your worldview says about the evidence presented to you, he does not make the point ...more
Carey Nelson
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
We've been working through this book in a small group at my church. I was a little confused by the title at first. I'm not a doubter; why should I read this book? I was encouraged, however, to join the investigation of Jesus, and we were off.

I'm told John Dickson is a historian as well as a pastor. He spends each chapter focusing on an aspect of Jesus' time on earth and examining it through available records. Some of the chapter topics surprised me. Those chapters often held the most surprises
Tom Goodwin
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoughtful, honest and informative. I enjoyed seeing Jesus clearly as a historical figure with so many dimensions and so many names and titles. Exploring each one challenges my faith and inspires me to worship more fully knowing what I’ve learned from these pages. John Dickson writes in a way that my most content and spiritually uninterested friends would be intrigued and willing to read.
Luke Koskinen
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Equal parts academic and simple, which is hard to do. This is the kind of book that is enjoyable and though-provoking to read through once, and will be a great resource to have and pick up from time to time when thinking about specific qualities of Jesus.
Nate Clark
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great book providing evidence from multiple sources (historical, Christian, Judaism, Muslim, etc). John Dickson stays fairly neutral in his investigations while providing details and points of evidence that lead toward discovering Jesus more or for the first time.
Joe Haack
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dickson is one of my favorite writers. He is humble, clear, rigorous, and pastoral. 5 stars because there are so many bad "biographies of Jesus" out there. This manages to be fresh and ancient, interesting and orthodox. I would hand this to anybody.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
About half this book is interesting and convincing. Represents ancient historians well. The other half is padding.
Pam Zeiler
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
It was full of historic content, just not really the guide book I was expecting
Josie Martin
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book for those who are looking for some answers in regards to faith and Jesus. It is a great read to do with a group or bible study!
Jacqui Eames
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Faith Ganchua
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Prompted some good discussions in my small group but the book itself wasn't engaging for me.
Brian Duchek
Oct 01, 2019 added it
Shelves: forget-it
Just not worth the effort.
Heather Mayle
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very good! It really helps you learn a lot about different characteristics of Jesus.
Molly Sawyer
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on the Christian and secular history of Jesus.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Solid and well-researched guide to Jesus. Informative and helpful for skeptics and believers alike. A very engaging read.
Venn Hardy
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David Korff
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Matthew Simpson
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Aug 31, 2019
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Feb 26, 2018
Peter Talbot
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Nov 22, 2019
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John focuses on the big ideas that have shaped our world.

His journey is an eclectic one. Starting out as a singer-songwriter, he now works as a writer, speaker, historian of religion (focusing on early Christianity and Judaism), media presenter, Anglican minister, and director of a multi-media think tank.

With an honours degree in theology from Moore Theological College Sydney, and a PhD in history

Other books in the series

Doubter's Guides (3 books)
  • A Doubter's Guide to the Bible: Inside History’s Bestseller for Believers and Skeptics
  • A Doubter's Guide to the Ten Commandments: How, for Better or Worse, Our Ideas about the Good Life Come from Moses and Jesus