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The Bedrock of Christianity: The Unalterable Facts of Jesus' Death and Resurrection

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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 C 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's life and ministry that are held by virtually all scholars of religion. 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.


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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 C 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's life and ministry that are held by virtually all scholars of religion. 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.

39 review for The Bedrock of Christianity: The Unalterable Facts of Jesus' Death and Resurrection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt Pitts

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book on two fronts. First, it was immensely readable. The prose was vigorous and energetic to a degree I rarely encounter in theological books. The author's zeal for the truth came through on every page. Second, it was very scholarly yet not overly technical. Anyone could read this book and follow the argument. No one could read it and say he hasn't done his homework. This really was a wonderful and compelling book I would have no hesitation recommending to any I was pleasantly surprised by this book on two fronts. First, it was immensely readable. The prose was vigorous and energetic to a degree I rarely encounter in theological books. The author's zeal for the truth came through on every page. Second, it was very scholarly yet not overly technical. Anyone could read this book and follow the argument. No one could read it and say he hasn't done his homework. This really was a wonderful and compelling book I would have no hesitation recommending to any skeptic or doubting believer. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, but was not required to give a positive review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Justin Dillehay

    Tim Keller recounts how, as a Christian pastor, he had of course believed in the resurrection of Jesus, but that reading N.T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God made him sit up and go, “Oh my gosh, it really did happen!” That’s how I felt reading this book. Bass puts on a historian’s hat and demonstrates just how far you can get on historical evidence alone, even if you bracket the question of the Bible’s inspiration. Some Christians may not like the fact that Bass agrees to play by so Tim Keller recounts how, as a Christian pastor, he had of course believed in the resurrection of Jesus, but that reading N.T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God made him sit up and go, “Oh my gosh, it really did happen!” That’s how I felt reading this book. Bass puts on a historian’s hat and demonstrates just how far you can get on historical evidence alone, even if you bracket the question of the Bible’s inspiration. Some Christians may not like the fact that Bass agrees to play by so many of the broader scholarly guild’s rules (restricting himself to Paul’s seven “undisputed” letters, for example). But rather than criticize Bass for his methodology, we should thank him for showing Christians how much solid evidence for the resurrection we can produce even when fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Lee

    The Coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly left some thinking about the truths of God and Christianity. But whether or not you believe, there are some truths that agnostics and skeptics must also affirm. In The Bedrock of Christianity, Justin W. Bass shares the unalterable facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Bass is professor of New Testament at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary in Amman, Jordan. He has experience as a pastor, an adjunct professor, a debater, and an author. His background m The Coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly left some thinking about the truths of God and Christianity. But whether or not you believe, there are some truths that agnostics and skeptics must also affirm. In The Bedrock of Christianity, Justin W. Bass shares the unalterable facts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Bass is professor of New Testament at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary in Amman, Jordan. He has experience as a pastor, an adjunct professor, a debater, and an author. His background makes him well qualified to write this book with critical thinking and unwavering courage. History is Time Traveling After a brief forward by Darrell L. Bock, Bass introduces us to the concepts of bedrock sources and facts. Jewish, Protestant (Liberal and Conservative), Catholic (Liberal and Conservative), Atheist and Agnostic historians do have consensus on the bedrock facts concerning Jesus and early Christianity. The first and most foundational is that Jesus existed. In a memorable way, Bass helps us understand that studying history is actually time traveling. He helps us think like a historian, looking at early dating, eyewitnesses, corroboration, and unbiased sources. This helps us see the knowable past, specifically through the eyes of the Apostle Paul. Captivating and Compelling Paul’s autobiography and history helps us see his background and spiritual transformation, allowing us to turn to the bedrock text of 1 Corinthians 13:5-7. An in-depth look at creedal tradition, specifically regarding the death, burial, resurrection, and appearances of Jesus are captivating and compelling. The most moving chapter for me was on the crucifixion, and how it was such a barbaric practice in history. Interestingly, Bass writes that crucifixion as a capital punishment came to an end only by the orders of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great in the early fourth century AD after he converted to Christianity. This chapter allowed Christ’s crucifixion to sink to the bottom of my heart, knowing and feeling it’s truth. Open Eyes and Open Hearts Chapter 6 is a standout chapter, examining the appearances of the resurrected Christ to Peter, the Twelve, more than 500, James, and Paul. I had not given much thought to the importance of these appearances, but I am now convinced that they are especially crucial to our faith. Fittingly, the book concludes by recounting the bedrock facts while pondering divine intervention and miracles. Bass calls us to open our eyes and our hearts to the person of Jesus. History points to him. You need only to believe. I received a media copy of The Bedrock of Christianity and this is my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Graieg

    Well written, easy to read, and yet has sufficient depth and references. Bass argues that the following facts, primarily from First Corinthians 15, are supported by 99% of scholars (making them bedrock facts) (p. 200–201): 1) "Jesus’ death by crucifixion in the early 30s ad 2) The claim that Jesus was raised from the dead is an unparalleled, threefold innovation: a) A positive interpretation of a crucified Messiah b) A two-stage resurrection, Jesus raised now and the general resurrection still to c Well written, easy to read, and yet has sufficient depth and references. Bass argues that the following facts, primarily from First Corinthians 15, are supported by 99% of scholars (making them bedrock facts) (p. 200–201): 1) "Jesus’ death by crucifixion in the early 30s ad 2) The claim that Jesus was raised from the dead is an unparalleled, threefold innovation: a) A positive interpretation of a crucified Messiah b) A two-stage resurrection, Jesus raised now and the general resurrection still to come c) This crucified Messiah is claimed to be divine, even Lord of the world 3) Soon after Jesus’ death, his earliest followers, individuals and a group of them, and at least one enemy became convinced he appeared to them alive, raised from the dead 4) These individuals included Peter, James, Paul and at least one group, the Twelve 5) Paul was a Pharisaic persecutor of the church who was transformed into Paul the apostle after becoming convinced Jesus appeared to him 6) Paul spent two weeks as Peter’s houseguest and also met with James, Jesus’ brother 7) Within a decade of Jesus’ death, either after Paul’s conversion or at this meeting with Peter and James in Jerusalem, Paul received traditions and hymns concerning the historical Jesus. The most significant of these was the creedal tradition quoted in 1 Corinthians 15:3–7, which could be multiple independent traditions, but even so they all date to within a decade of Jesus’ death 8) Last, these individuals who believed Jesus appeared to him formed a movement that, through love and sacrifice, went on to overtake the Roman Empire, built Western civilization, and continues to extend overwhelming influence over nations and billions of individuals across the world. This movement known as Christianity is still the largest religion in the world." Bass thinks that the best explanation of these facts is that "Jesus did in fact rise from the dead" (201). Although he considers other views and considers the question of miracles. Recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adam Thomas

    Using the "bedrock tradition" found in 1 Corinthians 15 as a starting point, Bass carefully enumerates the historical facts that all (or, at least, 99% of) scholars in relevant fields would agree with concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus. Quoting from a wide range of evangelicals, liberals and skeptics, Bass demonstrates the implausibility both of mythicism, and of denying certain "bedrock facts" - in particular the death of Jesus on a cross, the claims of resurrection appearances to b Using the "bedrock tradition" found in 1 Corinthians 15 as a starting point, Bass carefully enumerates the historical facts that all (or, at least, 99% of) scholars in relevant fields would agree with concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus. Quoting from a wide range of evangelicals, liberals and skeptics, Bass demonstrates the implausibility both of mythicism, and of denying certain "bedrock facts" - in particular the death of Jesus on a cross, the claims of resurrection appearances to both followers and enemies, and the unlikely origins of Christianity. Bass restricts himself to a very limited scope and method, so this has a different feel at points to similar apologetic works on the resurrection. But this is definitely a valuable book, perhaps especially for doubting believers or heralds of the resurrection.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    This is a solid book. But, I found other books attempting to do the same thing more engaging and convincing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Davis

    I have been using 1 Cor. 15 as a go to text when I did not think I had time to make a full case for Jesus' resurrection for some time. Many books on the resurrection say that the creed is the earliest evidence we have for the event. This book is the first one that I have read that makes that passage the central part of the argumment. This book is well researched, well argued, and well written I have been using 1 Cor. 15 as a go to text when I did not think I had time to make a full case for Jesus' resurrection for some time. Many books on the resurrection say that the creed is the earliest evidence we have for the event. This book is the first one that I have read that makes that passage the central part of the argumment. This book is well researched, well argued, and well written

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cam

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rhingst

  10. 5 out of 5

    E

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nate Claiborne

  12. 4 out of 5

    George P.

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    Nick

  14. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell East

  16. 4 out of 5

    Keith

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aaron and Megan Massey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Todd Miles

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nick Teoh

  20. 5 out of 5

    Miep1

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alistair Chalmers

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mu-tien Chiou

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike Berry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cole B

  25. 5 out of 5

    Allison

  26. 4 out of 5

    Salem

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gomez

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    Stacie Mae

  29. 4 out of 5

    Isaak Fehr

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alan Beam

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    Jonathan

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    Rowan

  33. 4 out of 5

    Brett Balsley

  34. 5 out of 5

    Billy

  35. 4 out of 5

    Randy

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    Jan Bochat

  37. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  38. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Harvey

  39. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Rowland

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