Lord or Legend?: Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma
Authors: Gregory A. Boyd and Paul Rhodes Eddy
Publisher: Baker (2007)
Topic: Apologetics: Are the Gospels historically reliable? (Written for a popular audience)
Description: The Christian apologetic of Lord, Liar, or Lunatic made famous by C. S. Lewis has gained recent skepticism. Many twenty-first century critics of Christianity believe the biblical portrait of Jesus Christ is based on myth. Lord or Legend? puts skeptics claims to the test against multiple scholarly disciplines — including history, ethnography, anthropology, and folklore — to uncover fascinating truths about the historical Jesus. Authors Gregory A. Boyd and Paul Rhodes Eddy address pressing questions like: Was first-century Judaism an environment for pagan mythological beliefs? How are the Gospels accurate if they originated through oral tradition? Do similarities between Jesus and other myths discredit Christianity? Are the Scriptures historically accurate? Biased? Translated accurately? Do archaeological findings support or refute biblical accounts? Lord or Legend? is written in an accessible format for all lay readers whether they are believers in or skeptics of Christianity.
Greg’s story behind the writing of Lord or Legend?: Following a debate on the historical Jesus with Robert Price in 2003, Paul Eddy and I started planning a 150-200 page popular level book refuting the Legendary Jesus Hypothesis. As I mentioned in the “story behind the writing of The Jesus Legend,” this book evolved into a 400 + page academic book. When it became evident that this project was nothing like the short popular level book we’d initially envisioned, Baker suggested we think about two separate books. Lord or Legend? is the popular version of The Jesus Legend.
Our goal in this popular work has been to retain as much of the persuasive strength of our longer academic work as possible while not burdening lay readers with the wealth of scholarly research and argumentation that support our longer work. Judging from the reviews thus far, it seems we’ve succeeded. Our hope is that believers and non-believers alike will find in this work a very compelling case for accepting that the Jesus of the Gospels is rooted in history, not legend.