Clarity and evidence

A Short Book About Jesus – the Man from Heaven, by Paul Barnett
(Aquila Press)

Paul Barnett has once again provided us with a book that meets the need of the moment.

Just at a time when some are once again trying to suggest that Jesus didn’t exist at all or that there is no historical evidence of his life, miracles or resurrection, Barnett reminds us of the solid grounding of our faith in the life and ministry of Jesus, who was “genuinely part of history as a transcendent figure”.

God really did come among us in this man.

This book is characterised by Barnett’s clarity of thought, careful mounting of an evidence-based case, sound historical judgments and deep pastoral concern.

It is a book I want to give to those young Christians I know are regularly bombarded with pseudo-historical arguments which claim to have “disproved the basis of Christianity”. 

It is not cluttered with academic apparatus but it is obvious from the very first pages that every considered statement is supported by a lifetime of careful scholarship. Each chapter ends with discussion questions that provide an opportunity to think further about what has been said.

Bishop Barnett’s book looks at the integrity and reliability of the four gospels, and examines more specifically the miracles and the resurrection of Jesus. He looks at Jesus’ teaching and contrasts what the New Testament has to say about Jesus with what is written in the Qur’an.

The genuine humanity of Jesus – he is the bearer of the promises to David – and his genuine divinity – he is “the man from heaven” – are the only proper conclusions given reliable historical witness of the New Testament.

I enjoyed this book. It is worth reading and giving to others to read.