June 6, 2020

Recommendation: Can We Trust The Gospels? by Mark D. Roberts

9781581348668.jpgThis recommendation will be short for three reasons: 1) Mark Roberts is a fantastic pastor/apologist/scholar, and if you don’t already know that, what blogosphere are you living in? 2) Much of this book has already appeared on Roberts’ outstanding web site. 3) If you need this book to answer your questions, someone is probably going to give it to you soon, so pretend to be a curious unbeliever and you might see one appear inexplicably.

Can We Trust The Gospels?
is worth your money because it handles a difficult and controversial subject in a cogent, interesting and persuasive manner. Roberts is a Harvard Ph.d, but he’s not hung up on showing you how much he knows. As in all his writing, he’s focused on helpful communication for people asking the questions that matter.

I’ll give Roberts a huge endorsement: He ought to be on the team with Ravi Zacharias. He has the pastoral touch, but his scholarship is every bit the equal of the guys Lee Strobel interviews. In other words: world class scholarship, popular “blog level” writing.

It’s a perfect book for a college student. It’s got wonderful illustrations- visual and verbal. It doesn’t waste your time. It can be favorably compared to Metzger’s classic book The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? For today’s reader, it’s probably more accessible and just as thorough.

By the way, Roberts is a really nice man, but he still hands Bart Ehrman his…uh….hat…on a plate several times. Aside from that, I have to say that all of us who love the Bible can profitably spend a lot of time at Mark’s site. What a wonderful mixture of scholarship and devotion, and this book reflects that kind of approach. Even when Roberts steps outside the lines of some conservative interpreters, you know you are in the tutelage of a trusted shepherd.

It’s cheap and Crossway has two entire chapters on line for free. Great book. Not too long. I read it in two hours. Your college freshman- or college professor- needs this book. Acquire and enjoy. Give away and pray. Whatever you do, several copies of this book should be on your shelf.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the review, I am very intrigued now.

  2. My blogosphere just got bigger. Thanks, Michael.

  3. I just noticed this book for the first time a few days ago and read a bit of it. I also appreciated the further reading that he offers through all of the reference footnotes.
    thanks for the review

  4. Thanks Michael for this recommendation. Someone who can survive Harvard Divinity School during the period in which he attended is to be more than commended…he obviously learned a “trial-by-fire” methodology of dealing with the extremes of neo-orthodox tomfoolery.

    I have one question. I have ordered the book after reading the first two chapters. I notice in his explanation of how to evaluate ancients texts that he says nothing about the value of the “shorter” text in the variants. Since this is the second criteria of the United Bible Societies in their rating system of variants (behind age), does Roberts deal with that aspect later in the book? Just curious.