Conclusion: Discovering the Real Jesus
Christianity’s traditional understanding of Jesus continues to be the most viable explanation of the evidence despite countless attempts to discredit it. A plethora of recent scholarship and popular works supports this conclusion. In this study, Lee Strobel demonstrates that each of the major contemporary challenges to the traditional understanding of Jesus can be resolved.
Are scholars discovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents just as credible as the four Gospels? No, these alternative gospels are dated far too late to be historically viable.
Is the Bible’s portrait of Jesus unreliable because of mistakes or deliberate changes by scribes through the centuries? No, the variants in the text do not compromise the basic reliability of the New Testament or jeopardize any essential Christian doctrine.
Have new explanations refuted Jesus’ resurrection? No, the resurrection can be established by considering the consequences of five particular facts that almost all scholars accept.
Were Christian beliefs about Jesus stolen from pagan religions? No, such accusations are based on poor scholarship.
Was Jesus an imposter who failed to fulfill the messianic prophecies? No, a good case can be made that Jesus was, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah.
Should people be free to pick and choose what they want to believe about Jesus? The freedom to believe what you want does not guarantee the accuracy or usefulness of what you believe. The actual identity of Jesus is not determined by our beliefs about him but rather, what he said and did two thousand years ago.
When the evidence is considered, there is still ample reason to accept the historic portrait of Jesus provided in the Gospels. Attempts to recast him with new and controversial theories are merely efforts to avoid the stark conclusion of the New Testament: if Jesus truly is the Son of God, how else could we respond but by following him?