18 May 2014

Book Description-268: THE HISTORICAL RELIABILITY OF THE GOSPELS (Prof. Craig L. Blomberg, Ph.D.)

Christians believe that the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the New Testament are the true revelation of God, but other people are doubtful about that. Some people say that those Gospels are unhistorical books. How can we answer that?

Get the answer in the

by: Prof. Craig L. Blomberg, Ph.D.

Publisher: InterVarsity Press Academic, Downers Grove, Illinois, U.S.A.

Foreword: Prof. F. F. Bruce, D.D., F.B.A.

In the first chapter, Dr. Craig L. Blomberg explained traditional approaches to the reliability of the gospels, such as harmony in the gospels (some people try to harmonize gospels into one in order to avoid some differences in the gospels), dissonance in the gospels, etc. Then, in the next chapter, Dr. Blomberg explained new methods in gospel study, such as form criticism (how to understand the form in the Gospel: prophecy, narration, etc), redaction criticism (how gospel writers write the gospel using the source of the gospel in order to be appropriate with the gospel writers’ purpose), the gospels as midrash (the gospel writers try to create narration according to the Old Testament passages, so that people understand what is written in the gospels are appropriate with the Old Testament), and some recent hermeneutical developments (i.e. the new hermeneutic, structuralism, post-structuralism {and reader-response approach}, and social-scientific methods). After that, Dr. Blomberg explained about miracles. In this third chapter, Dr. Blomberg explained about many hindrances for many people to believe in the miracles, such as: scientific objection, philosophical objection, and physical objection. Then, Dr. Blomberg answered those objections and linked the case of miracles with the case of resurrection. If someone do not believe in the resurrection, it’s difficult for them to believe in miracles. In the fourth chapter, Dr. Blomberg tried to answer objections from many people about contradictions among the Synoptics with the conclusion: we should understand the differences in the Synoptics are not contradiction, but complement each other. Then, how about the Gospel of John? Can we believe in this Gospel? Dr. Blomberg explained it in the fifth chapter about distinctives of John’s Gospel, similarities between John’s Gospel and Synoptics, authorship and date, etc. The conclusion is the Gospel of John is a unique Gospel which does not contradict with the Synoptics. In the sixth chapter, Dr. Blomberg explained about the historical reliability of the Gospels according to the testimony of non-Christian writers (i.e. Graeco-Roman sources, Jewish sources), extra-biblical Christian traditions (i.e. the apostolic fathers, the Nag Hammadi library, and other apocryphal gospels), and the Jesus tradition in Acts-Revelation (others book in the New Testament except the Gospels). In the last chapter, Dr. Blomberg explained about how to apply historical method to examine the Gospels. Let this book leads us to understand the Gospels are reliable as the true revelation of God.

Biography of Dr. Craig L. Blomberg:
Prof. Craig L. Blomberg, Ph.D. is distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Colorado. He joined the faculty of Denver Seminary in 1986. He received Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Summa Cum Laude from Augustana College; Master of Arts (M.A.) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He was an assistant professor of Religion at Palm Beach Atlantic College from 1982–85 and took a leave of absence to accept a one-year research fellowship in Cambridge, England with the British wing of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from 1985-86. During this time, he co-edited Gospel Perspectives, vol. 6: The Miracle of Jesus and wrote The Historical Reliability of the Gospels. 
Blomberg stands in the conservative evangelical tradition, but has been known for his wide interaction with mainstream scholarship and his willingness to challenge the evangelical status quo. For example, he chided some evangelicals for their blanket condemnation of Liberation Theology, in " 'Your Faith Has Made You Whole’: The Evangelical Liberation Theology of Jesus,” in Jesus of Nazareth, Lord and Christ, ed. Joel B. Green and Max Turner (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 75-93. and he controversially fostered a dialogue with Mormon professor Stephen E. Robinson of BYU, which resulted in the book How Wide the Divide? An Evangelical and a Mormon in Conversation (see the bibliography below). He was also one of several scholars interviewed for The Case for Christ, a popular book by Lee Strobel, and has served on translation committees or as a consultant for the New Living Translation, the English Standard Version, the Holman Christian Standard Bible and the updated New International Version.
Blomberg has written on a diverse range of issues including wealth and poverty, parables, eschatology, hermeneutics, and women in ministry. However, his academic work has tended to focus on the Historical Jesus and Gospels research (see the bibliography below).
Blomberg regularly speaks and teaches at home and overseas at a variety of churches and educational institutions. In Denver, he is involved with Scum of the Earth Church, where his wife Fran Blomberg also volunteers her time while also pursuing a doctorate in missiology and teaching occasionally as an adjunct in that field at Denver Seminary. The Blombergs have two grown daughters.
His works:
Gospel Perspectives, vol. 6, The Miracles of Jesus (co-ed. with D. Wenham), 1986, repr. 2004
The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, 1987, rev. 2007
Interpreting the Parables, 1990
Matthew - The New American Commentary, 1992
Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, with W. W. Klein and R. L. Hubbard, 1993, rev. 2004
1 Corinthians - The NIV Application Commentary, 1994
Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, 1997, rev. 2009
How Wide the Divide?: A Mormon and an Evangelical in Conversation, with S. Robinson, 1997
Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Material Possessions, 1999
Heart, Soul and Money, 2000
The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel: Issues and Commentary, 2001
Two Views on Women in Ministry, co-ed. with J. R. Beck, 2001, rev. 2005
Making Sense of the New Testament: Three Important Questions, 2004
Preaching the Parables: From Responsible Interpretation to Powerful Proclamation, 2004
Contagious Holiness: Jesus' Meals With Sinners, 2005
From Pentecost to Patmos: An Introduction to Acts Through Revelation, 2006
James - Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, with M. J. Kamell, 2008
A Case for Historical Premillennialism, co-ed. with S. W. Chung, 2009
A Handbook of New Testament Exegesis, with J. F. Markley, 2010

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