The Case for the Real Jesus, A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ by Lee Strobel


The Case for the Real Jesus,

A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ


Lee Strobel



As in Lee Strobel’s other “The Case for…” books, he has interviewed several biblical scholars and Christian apologists to gather the information contained in The Case for the Real Jesus. Lee Strobel is a former atheist who trained and worked as a journalist. He used his journalistic training to try to prove to his wife that Jesus was a fraud, but instead came to realize that Jesus had to be the Son of God and the savior of the world.

The author asks, “Is it possible to find the real Jesus? That depends on how you answer a more foundational question: Are you willing to set aside your preconceptions and let the evidence take you wherever it will? And what about me--am I willing to do the same?”

Skeptics have stepped up their attacks on Jesus with several challenges that Lee Strobel covers in The Case for the Real Jesus:

  1. Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents just as credible as the four Gospels.
  2. The Bible’s portrait of Jesus can’t be trusted because the Church tampered with the text.
  3. New explanations have refuted Jesus’ resurrection.
  4. Christianity’s beliefs about Jesus were copied from pagan religions.
  5. Jesus was an imposter who failed to fulfill the Messianic prophecies.
  6. People should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus.

Lee Strobel interviewed the following scholars who presented evidence to counter those claims.: Craig A. Evans, PH.D., Daniel B. Wallace, PH.D., Michael Licona, M.A., PH.D., (CAND), Edwin M. Yamauchi, PH.D., Michael L. Brown, PH.D., and Paul Copan, PH.D. They were asked to answer questions that have been raised as a result of these six claims made by skeptics. Other apologists were quoted as well.

One of the scholars interviewed, Dr. Brown, was born into a Jewish family and converted to Christianity. His family challenged his new faith so he “pursued years of education that ultimately led to a master’s degree as well as a doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures.” “Over the past thirty years, he has debated and dialogued with rabbis and leaders of the Jewish community on radio, television, college campuses, and even in synagogues.” I found his interview to be the most revealing regarding the prophecies about the Messiah that could only have been fulfilled in Jesus.

In addition to expounding on the prophecies regarding the Messiah, he also spoke personally about what Jesus means to him, “Yeshua is the right continuation of my Jewish roots,” Brown said. “He’s the Messiah of Israel and the savior of the world. He’s the one to whom I owe my life, and through him I’ve come to know God. He is the one who provided me complete forgiveness of sins, who loved me when I was a miserable, ungrateful, rebellious, proud wretch. He put a new heart and a new spirit within me; he has turned my life around and given it meaning. He’s the fullness of God in bodily form. He’s the very expression and image of the Father--in seeing him, I see and know God.” Any Christian in whom the Holy Spirit dwells can say a hearty “Amen” to his statement of faith.

Very few of us have the time or aptitude to search out ancient documents or delve deeply into research that could resolve the doubts that have been raised by these allegations that Jesus is not who he said he was. The scholars who were interviewed by Lee Strobel have made this study their life work and we can benefit from their efforts.

Lee Strobel in his conclusion wrote: “Not only had the six challenges been answered, but my journey also had yielded a fresh and powerful affirmative case for the overall reliability of the four Gospels, Jesus’ fulfillment of the messianic predictions, and his resurrection. For me, it was further confirmation that the traditional view of Christ is amply supported by a firm foundation of historical facts.”

His book has done the same for me.

Book Review
By Scarlett Stough
Title: The Case for the Real Jesus, A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ
Author: Lee Strobel copyright 2007,  copyright 2000
Publisher: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530
ISB-13N: 978-0-310-24210-9