Can we all agree on some things about Jesus, regardless of our belief—or unbelief?
Perhaps surprisingly, there is a lot upon which all scholars can agree. When surveying historical scholarship, there are certain truths about Jesus that Christians, agnostics, and skeptics must affirm.
In The Bedrock of Christianity, Justin Bass shows how—regardless of one’s feelings about Christianity—there lies a bedrock of truths about Jesus’ life and ministry that are held by virtually all scholars of ancient history, classics, and biblical studies. Through an examination of each of these key facts, readers will encounter the unalterable truths upon which everyone can agree. Useful for both Christians and non-Christians alike, this study demonstrates what we can really know about the historical truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Very highly recommended
–Gary R. Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor & Chair, Philosophy Department, Liberty University
Justin Bass offers a delightful excavation of the historical foundations of the Christian faith pertaining to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
–Michael F. Bird, Academic Dean and Lecturer of Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia
Justin Bass serves as your expert guide through the maze.
–Michael Licona, Associate Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University
This is an excellent defense of the essential, historic foundation of Christianity.
–Trent Horn, Staff Apologist, Catholic Answers; author of Counterfeit Christs
Justin Bass takes us down to the core historical facts which have to be explained, surveys the best historical scholarship on each, and shows why ultimately they point towards a risen Lord.
–Andrew Wilson, Teaching Pastor, King’s Church London; author of If God, Then What
Accessible to the lay reader but written with the acuity of a New Testament scholar.
–Mark Penick, Senior Pastor, Metro East Baptist Church
“What is a bedrock fact is that the early Christians believed and proclaimed that they saw Jesus risen from the dead.” (Page 134)
“The second unparalleled innovation was the claim that this crucified Messiah had risen from the dead” (Page 126)
“history is the ‘knowable past,’ the people and events of history for which reliable sources have survived.” (Page 27)
“Many Jews at this time believed in a future, bodily resurrection. Many Jews expected a Davidic Messiah figure to arrive and rescue them from their pagan oppressors. Yet not one of them envisioned a two-stage resurrection in which the Messiah would die and be resurrected first, and then the general resurrection would take place at the end of this present age, let alone a Messiah that would be crucified by their pagan oppressors! According to N. T. Wright, ‘There are no traditions about a Messiah being raised to life: most Jews of this period hoped for resurrection, many Jews of this period hoped for a Messiah, but nobody put those two hopes together until the early Christians did so.’” (Page 115)
“In sum, a coming Messiah, resurrection, and monotheism were all concepts known in the ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman world. Yet no one mutated them and put them together the way the early Christians did concerning Jesus. They uniquely, with unparalleled innovation, proclaimed that the crucified man Jesus was the Messiah, whom God raised from the dead, and was also Lord of the world.” (Page 131)
Justin W. Bass is professor of New Testament at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary (JETS) in Amman, Jordan. Before moving to Jordan, he and his family lived in Frisco, TX, where he was a pastor of a church for six years and an adjunct professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and Dallas Christian College. He has a PhD in New Testament Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary.