While talking my dad the other day he recommended a book that he had heard talked about on one of the radio stations he listens to. He recommended I read it and wanted to know what I thought about it. The book is called Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel by David Limbaugh. I went to the public library after talking with my dad and put it on hold. The title intrigued me but might be a tiny bit misleading.
There is a lot I could say about this book and I don’t know where to begin. Part of the reason I will have difficulty looking at this from a certain standpoint is because I am a seminary student. I don’t think it is really written for us, but I will share my thoughts on it anyway. Before I do I want to highlight a quote that I wrote down from it. Throughout most of the book I already had been exposed to much of what he was asserting and due to this I had trouble engaging with it as much as I would have liked. However, this following quote is something I enjoyed being reminded of:
“because the Bible consists of so many individual books written over such a long time, in different languages, by so many authors who mostly didn’t know each other and were sometimes even from different continents, it’s amazing that any kind of coherence and ongoing strategy could be possible.”
This refilled me with awe at the vastness and the amazing quality of the Bible.
Now for the review.
Overall I was mixed on the book. As I began the book I found it enjoyable. There were a few stories of modern-day events and I appreciated these wishing for more but sad when I realized this would not be the case. Scripture was quoted a lot and this I appreciated, but so much of it felt like I was back in some of my seminary classes and I would start to gloss over the words. Near the middle of the book I almost gave up reading it because it had become uninteresting.
I called my dad to update him on my thoughts. My one problem at this point was that he was writing all his research based on the assumption that one took the Bible as a legitimate document. However, at this point in the book (at least 170 pages in) he had ceased to address this issue. I was pleased to see that this issue was addressed and enjoyed the evidence he gave for it. Part of the reason is because I had just heard a guest lecture about Sennacherib and the Assyrians documentation of their exploits written on Pillar 8. Once again I felt gripped by the subject matter, only to lose it again a chapter or so later. Overall the book is decent. It is well researched and looks to the claims and evidence of many others.
If you want an idea of what seminary can be like then read this book.