Read The Christ Files by John Dickson Online

Title : The Christ Files
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781921137549
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 108 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Christ Files Reviews

  • Legacy Dad
    2019-05-30 04:34

    I'm halfway through this great book on how scholars and historians evaluate the history of Jesus and the New Testament. What I really like is that Dickson chooses to stay away from the fringes that most of us hear about so often in the media and from books (Dawkins, Hitchens on one side and Strobel, McDowell on the other) and instead focuses on unbiased scholarly opinion on the writings of Jesus. Dickson also mentions the pagan, Greek and Roman writers who mention Jesus and also validate many of the stories in the New Testament. This book gives me further evidence that the current New Testament translation is historically accurate, peer reviewed and is one of the most authentic historical manuscripts in existence today. After reading the research and unbiased evidence presented, there is not much argument that the stories and accounts of Jesus given in the New Testament are anything but true and authentic.

  • David Sarkies
    2019-06-13 05:32

    An accessible book on the evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ8 May 2014 John Dickson has sure come a long way since he started a band to spread the news of Jesus to the people of Sydney. In the time that I spent away from the church he has gone from being a pastor of an inner city Sydney church to becoming an associate professor in ancient history and he has moved from writing books directed at young adults and teenagers such as 'A Sneaking Suspicion' to more academic, but still accessible, works. Anyway, in this book he looks at the mainstream scholarship on the historicity of Jesus in a way that is accessible to most of us. I found the book interesting and helpful, noting that he does try to take a middle road between hardened sceptics such as Spong and Dawkins, and rabid promoters such as McDowell. I don't necessarily agree with everything that Dickson writes, however much of my theorising is simply just that - theorising, without any real supportable evidence, whereas being a scholar as such he moves further to the evidence that is supported by, well, evidence. One of the problems that I find with books such as these is that the writers seem to sometimes get dragged too far into the secular sphere that they end up restraining God scientifically. For instance, when writing about the seven days of creation, John Dickson says “But mainstream Christians for decades have dismissed 6-Day Creationism as a misguided (if well-intentioned) project” which actually makes me balk a bit because by making that statement it sounds as if he is going down the path that the fundamentalists have taken when they say things along the lines of “unless you believe in a literal seven days of creation then you are not a Christian”, which, according to Dickson, somebody who says that is not a part of mainstream Christianity, but rather a part of a fringe group (or cult). As for me, with regards to the seven days of creation, my position is “I don't know”. God has the power to create everything in seven days, or he could have created it instantly, or he could have taken billions of years – the truth is that none of us were around at that time, and the only references that we have are myths and legends that have come out of the human collective – even the Biblical account is rather vague considering that it has been written in poetic form. With regards to the contents of this book, well, I am going to have to say that it is useful, and interesting, and as Dickson is able to do quite well, written in a brief and very readable way. The subject of the book can be very dry and academic at times, but Dickson is able to write in a way that the average person can have access to the information. Further, what he is intending to do here is to prove, based on historical evidence, that Jesus was a real person, and then goes further to prove that the claims that he made came about as he made them (that is that he is the Son of God, and that he died and came to life again). Personally, I am not necessarily convinced that any amount of proof is going to change people's mind; rather an intervention by God is required – and my supporting argument for a statement along those lines is that there are still holocaust deniers out there despite the fact of the overwhelming evidence supporting the fact the the Nazi death camps not only existed, but were used to kill anybody that the Nazi's did not like.

  • Emespre
    2019-06-23 02:46

    I wrote a long review but then accidentally deleted it, so I'll try to write down the main points.1. I hesitated to classify this under 'Christian' as it is aimed at people from any religious background, but decided to do so for my own records.2. I found this really interesting.3. My brother recommended this to me but said that it was only really useful as an introductory book. I can see where he's coming from, as he is really interested in history and studied it as part of his HSC and at uni before changing career plans. For him, it wouldn't be that useful except as a starting place from which to follow the references to other sources throughout the book. For me, though, it was really beneficial as I've only ever seen the New Testament as a whole, rather than as a collection of letters and biographies that were written independently by different people. One of the things that really hit me was how the Gospel writers used various sources and eyewitness accounts to verify what they were writing; I'd always seen it as something that God told them directly, despite the fact that they were present for it, but instead it was a process of verifying that they were recording what actually occurred and was taught.4. I would recommend this to anyone. I've said this on books like Deltora Quest before, but this time I really mean absolutely anyone someone could mention. Except maybe historians or people whoalready know which sources to go to. It provides a greater understanding of the New Testament and of how historians construct their understanding of the historical Jesus. Whether you're Christian or not, it really helps with how you look at the New Testament. I've never really wanted to read the Bible before in its entirety, except once in year seven or eight when I wanted to but didn't because Mum told me to read it at home rather than on the bus or at school, and after watching The Case for Christ and reading The Christ Files I have a desire to read it. The desire is mostly for the New Testament, admittedly, but still. There are some other things I want to investigate before doing so so that I can go into it with any questions, such as the reliability of the New Testament (for that, read this book), cleared up, but I'm actually excited to read it.

  • Luke
    2019-06-24 05:38

    John Dickson's book is a nice introduction to the scholarly viewpoint on the canonisation of the bible and alternative views on biblical and non-biblical scripture. Although the book would be well-received among most Christian audiences, I feel it would not be well-received by non-believers as it seems to be an apologist response to mainstream anti-Christian viewpoints such as The Da Vinci Code. Therefore, I think the biased apologist approach will help Christians dipping their toe into this area for the first time, or if they only want to feel more confident about their belief in the bible as the Word of God.-55AD, a pagan historian Thallos mentioned an eclipse of the sun which was not a supernatural event and coincided with the death of JC. The original was lost, but quoted by Africanus, a Christian historian in 160-240-Talmud reports J's crimes and execution in 100-200. "Eve of passover was hanged on a cross...practiced sorcery...led Israel astray"**

  • Micah
    2019-06-10 01:56

    Dickson gives a good overview about the different sources scholars use to form a larger picture of Jesus. However, there are a few areas which seem problematic. He contradicts himself when he claims that we know that the authors of the four gospels did not copy from each other and then later says that sections of Matthew are almost word for word taken from Mark. He also seems to take the claimed authorship of the books of the new testament at face value. This topic might be too in-depth for such a brief overview but it doesn't receive any mention whatsoever in this book. I would recommend this book as a decent introduction for those wanting to learn more about the new testament and its historicity.

  • Jade Enright
    2019-06-23 04:46

    Pretty basic but a good intro

  • Eddie Beal
    2019-06-16 03:56

    The subtitle of the book, "How Historians Know What They Know about Jesus", is a great little read. The author writes from a historical perspective, not taking a stance on the miracles or other religious elements of the life of Jesus. Instead, he focuses on the basic facts that most historians have come to accept and, specifically, why they accept them. This includes looking at references outside of the New Testament writings, from Roman and Jewish sources, and then looking at the New Testament documents themselves. He also includes a chapter on the oral tradition and why that would have been more significant for the 1st century than it is today.While there may be those who want to disagree with some of his statements from both ends of the spectrum (those he refers to as skeptics and apologists), he largely avoids controversy. It is a short book, but he includes references to more detailed works for those who might want to dig deeper on a particular points. He also quotes from many of the original sources to help illustrate his points.The conclusion is simple. Modern historians do not doubt that there was an itinerant teacher named Jesus in 1st Century Palestine nor that his ministry and death sparked a movement that took up the name Christianity. But the book does not attempt to persuade, in either direction, on the central point of the New Testament: Jesus' resurrection from the dead. If that bothers you (whichever side you are on) you might not enjoy the book. But as a purely historical look at the evidence, this is a great read.

  • James M. Hobbs
    2019-06-06 23:49

    Book?I wouldn't necessarily qualify this as a "book" per se; more like a well researched graduate paper. It would have been very nice to know, prior to getting to the end of the text, that this was meant to be read while working ones way through an accompanying video series. I'm also skeptical of the authors views as they relate to Constantine. Scholars have also proffered the opinion that Constantine was combining the teachings of numerous popular religions at the time and combined the most revered components of each into his own model of Christian doctrine. It is opined that this was done as a means to more easily control his people as Christianity was growing in it's popularity throughout the Roman Empire.

  • Daniel
    2019-06-22 03:46

    This is a concise and easy to digest summary of the key historical sources for the life of Jesus Christ. The most useful sections for me were (found from page 33 to page 70):-chapter 4 on how the New Testament gospels are accepted by mainstream scholars as historical sources, and what factors make the gospels trusted by scholars; -and chapter 5 which discusses historical oral traditions which were trusted as a method of passing on important knowledge. The remaining sections were helpful in giving an idea of the scope of other reliable or less reliable historical sources. This book does not set out to convince anyone of why they should follow Christ- but it does help with understanding that the New Testament itself is a trustworthy source for understanding who Jesus of Nazareth was.

  • Dana
    2019-06-20 22:41

    This is GREAT little read on how historians know what they know about Jesus. It includes a chapter on what was written about Jesus by secular Greek and Roman historians of the first century and also a chapter that really drives home what a oral society is. After reading this illuminating chapter you will be asking the question why were the gospels written down so soon after the death of Christ rather than the typical why did it take so long to write them down. I also learned a lot and understand much more about historians and their jobs after reading this book. If you can get a hold of this book, do!!

  • Allen
    2019-06-15 06:38

    This was a quick read. Unfortunately this book feels like a apologist view masquerading as a neutral listing of historical sources. I don't think that the author does this on purpose. I think ultimately this is a symptom of the fact that the author provides a lot of facts but since no real context is given it fails to transmit any information. This is an introductory text that is likely to appeal greatly to believers and calm their sense of turbulence that serious questioners create when disrupting the mythology of Christian origins. But for true skeptics of Christianity (not necessarily atheists) there's not much to find here.

  • Johnina
    2019-06-14 04:31

    Good, easy to understand and outlines basic sources.

  • Bill
    2019-05-24 22:32


  • David
    2019-06-16 04:34

    An excellent and quick read that outlines what we know and how we know so much from ancient history about the life of Jesus. A short book that packs in a lot of information.