This review appeared in the Apr-Jun 2012 vol. 169 no. 2 issue of Biblotheca Sacra, DTS’s quarterly academic journal.Subscribe Today
Jesus and History: How We Know His Life and ClaimsWestcliff Press, Amarillo, TX May 29, 2009
Waterhouse, pastor of Westcliff Bible Church, Amarillo, Texas, notes in his opening paragraph that many attacks agains the Bible include criticism of the reliability of the Gospel accounts. Critics claim the Gospel records were written long after the time of Christ, and early Christians made up stories about Jesus to persuade people to join the church.
In response to these criticisms Waterhouse discusses numerous points that argue in favor of the reliability of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life. He discusses the data that support the view that the Synoptic Gospels were written before AD 70, possibly in the 50s, with the Gospel of John having been written in the 90s.
Waterhouse notes the numerous references to Jesus in the writings of Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, Pliny, Suetonius, and others, thus showing that information about Jesus’ life is not mythological. Jewish and Roman leaders, places, cultures, and events mentioned in the Gospels are shown to be reliable records, not mythological references. In another chapter the author discusses the authenticity of Jesus’ miracles, including His resurrection. He concludes, “Historical evidence does not make faith unnecessary, but it does make it reasonable” (p. 181).
Waterhouse’s material is documented with an impressive number of 371 notes in 50 pages. This is a valuable, well-researched volume for anyone who may be doubting the reliability of the Gospel records about Jesus Christ.
—Roy B. Zuck