Harvest House Publishers
Every Christmas and Easter much attention is given to answering the question of who Jesus was. If one were only exposed to popular periodical articles, such as Newsweek or Time, a very distorted image is likely all that would be found. Even the discerning Christian can often find himself challenged over what to do with the citations of various scholars who claim that Jesus was not God, He was not perfect, and that the Gospels provide information that is historically untrustworthy. Blessed are those pastors who are willing to take the challenge head-on and provide their churches with sound, biblical teaching that counters this false information. Blessed are those authors, such as Wayne House, who have labored to provide those pastors---as well as lay people---solid apologetic information.
The Jesus Who Never Lived by Wayne House is divided into three sections: The Importance of Knowing the Real Jesus; Distortions of Jesus Throughout History; and, Finding the Real Jesus. Each section contains significant information. In section one, for instance, House explains how Jesus' family and disciples viewed Him, what the Roman and Jewish sources said about Him, and what the early church believed about Him. In the second part, the author writes about various unbiblical teachings that have attempted to distort what the New Testament writers wrote about Him. Chapter 8 is devoted to looking at the Jesus of world religions, while Chapter 12 focuses on the Jesus of popular religion. And then in the third section, Chapter 13 considers the question, Who Is the Real Jesus?
With all the false information there is about Jesus today, House wants to explain who the real Jesus of history was, and expose the false messiahs that have popped up throughout history. He also takes the time to explain what is behind current thinking among secular scholars who have an anti-supernatural presupposition, and therefore reject that Jesus was God in the flesh.
The book is easy to read, yet for those not terribly familiar with such things as church history, various heresies that have existed over the centuries, and the anti-supernatural presuppositions of the Jesus Seminar, it will be slow going. A novice reader in this area will likely need to take their time so as to digest all that is talked about.
One thing that anyone will appreciate about this book is the amount of information found in it. House does an exceptional job of discussing a large variety of related issues, and doing so in a way where the reader gets enough to understand his points, but not so much that is overwhelming. Between learning how Jesus' family viewed Him (p. 27ff), to answering the question of who the real Jesus was (p. 257ff), there is no shortage of relevant material on the subject. For the serious student this will be a valuable resource that can serve as a solid foundation for further study. – Ray Hammond, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Biblical scholar Wayne House uncovers the various depictions of Jesus in the unorthodox communities within early Christianity, in other religions, and within Western civilization today. He shows readers that the Jesus who presented Himself in history can be correctly known only through the documents written by eyewitnesses of the Christ and by those who were disciples of those eyewitnesses, documents that were attested by the early church and became a part of the New Testament canon. Among the false Christs exposed by The Jesus Who Never Lived are:
To believe in these false Christs is to believe a lie. But as readers discover the real Jesus, they will find the One who is the truth and the life and the only way to the Father.