Summary of Fabricating Jesus – how modern scholars distort the gospels


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Chapter 1

A lot of books appeared recently from Scholars coming out of a traditional fundamentalist background. The fundamentalist background is very rigid and ignores serious questions of issues such as who wrote the Bible, and with what purpose, and in what historical context. The majority of Christian scholars stay in the faith.

A popular defence of Jesus as the embodiment of Israel’s God go along the lines of C S Lewis’s famous “lunatic, liar or Lord”. However, this is overly simplistic and misses out several options such as (i) Jesus was Israel’s Messiah and the greatest Jewish prophet, but still only a man, or (ii) the New Testament documents we have are not reliable and so we can’t be sure who Jesus was.

Evans talks about misplaced faith and misguided suspicions. Misplaced faith refers to people having faith in the wrong thing such as an inerrant scripture or the gospels must be harmonizable. And in these cases when scholarly research shows these beliefs to be untrue, loss of faith can result. Misguided suspicions refer to the belief that Jesus contemporaries did not accurately pass on what he said, either incapable of passing on his words accurately or not interested in his exact words. So you have followers of Jesus who aren’t really interested in following him.