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The Jesus Inquest Paperback – Jan 11 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W Publishing Group (Jan. 11 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849948118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849948114
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Charles Foster is a writer, barrister, tutor in medical law and ethics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford. He has written, edited, or contributed to over thirty books.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sam Lamenter on Dec 7 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary achievement: for something that's so well and comprehensively researched it manages to be a remarkably compelling and exhilarating read. If you've read the Da Vinci Code (or haven't) you should consider upgrading to The Jesus Inquest. This guy seems to have covered all the angles surrounding the death and resurrection of the Nazarene - the documentary sources, the medical causes of death, ancient Jewish burial practices, the Turin shroud; and also the various hypotheses about what happened to the body.... and there are PICTURES too. He's obviously done a lot of leg-work around the Middle East to research this. The format of the two barristers, X and Y, arguing their case in court and slagging each other off in their deliciously ungentlemanly way works really well. A great read for people tired of the usual one-sided pro- or anti-Christian fare and who want to get a serious handle on what might actually have happened 2000 years ago, without falling asleep at the wheel. Pugnacious, provocative.... and extremely informative. NICE ONE.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading The Jesus Inquest by Charles Foster, and was reassured that, indeed, religion is based on faith. I was drawn to this book because I, like many, sometimes struggle with my beliefs. I have found myself doubting, and I have found myself believing! Charles Foster is an astounding man; through his studies, expeditions, and all of his experiences, he has confronted mankind's numerous questions.

The Jesus Inquest is set up as an ongoing debate. Foster uses evidence, maps, artifacts, hypotheses, gospels, and more, to examine all facts, and then provides us with the debate "à la courtroom style". The debate is presented with arguments between X and Y. X the unbeliever, and Y the believer. Foster definitely gives his readers the "...tools necessary to debate the most remarkable and controversial event of world history...". Was Jesus Christ resurrected or not? Presented with "an unbiased examination of the facts", we are left to discover our answer.

This is not a light read in any way; however, I'd encourage both believers and non-believers, alike, to read The Jesus Inquest. Foster does an exceptional job at pulling in all the evidence neatly; in the end it is an undoubtably interesting, and compelling read. I found that The Jesus Inquest will test your faith ... that can give you quite a shake if you are already questioning your faith! The included photos provide the reader with 'tangible' evidence, while the opposing views may leave you a bit dizzy. A Christian might appreciate how at the end of each case, it is reenforced with a 'believers' view' ending ... my question would be: how truly unbiased is that? Nonetheless, this 'theological study' is worth giving a valiant look.
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Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary achievement: for something that's so well and comprehensively researched it manages to be a remarkably compelling and exhilarating read. If you've read the Da Vinci Code (or haven't) you should consider upgrading to The Jesus Inquest. This guy seems to have covered all the angles surrounding the death and resurrection of the Nazarene - the documentary sources, the medical causes of death, ancient Jewish burial practices, the Turin shroud; and also the various hypotheses about what happened to the body.... and there are PICTURES too. He's obviously done a lot of leg-work around the Middle East to research this. The format of the two barristers, X and Y, arguing their case in court and slagging each other off in their deliciously ungentlemanly way works really well. A great read for people tired of the usual one-sided pro- or anti-Christian fare and who want to get a serious handle on what might actually have happened 2000 years ago, without falling asleep at the wheel. Pugnacious, provocative.... and extremely informative. NICE ONE.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed tremendously the wry wit and cogent logic presented by the author in examining the evidence for and against the resurrection of Jesus. I was sufficiently impressed as to purchase six (6) additional copies to give to my fellow members of the Ontario bar who also gave favourable feedback: some were Christians and some were not.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 104 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Easily eclipses The Da Vinci Code Nov. 7 2006
By Samston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary achievement: for something that's so well and comprehensively researched it manages to be a remarkably compelling and exhilarating read. If you've read the Da Vinci Code (or haven't) you should consider upgrading to The Jesus Inquest. This guy seems to have covered all the angles surrounding the death and resurrection of the Nazarene - the documentary sources, the medical causes of death, ancient Jewish burial practices, the Turin shroud; and also the various hypotheses about what happened to the body.... and there are PICTURES too. He's obviously done a lot of leg-work around the Middle East to research this. The format of the two barristers, X and Y, arguing their case in court and slagging each other off in their deliciously ungentlemanly way works really well. A great read for people tired of the usual one-sided pro- or anti-Christian fare and who want to get a serious handle on what might actually have happened 2000 years ago, without falling asleep at the wheel. Pugnacious, provocative.... and extremely informative. NICE ONE.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A well researched and balanced presentation of the debate: let the reader decide March 27 2011
By A Borrowed Flame - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Charles Foster is a barrister, part-time Crown Court judge and teaches Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Oxford. In this book he uses two characters, X and Y, who argue opposing sides of the case of the resurrection of Jesus.

It is a rather extraordinary book, in that he manages to really get under the skin and argue both sides of the debate. He has clearly done a lot of research both in terms of historical data and the advocates of both sides. This is no Lee Strobel or Josh McDowell apologetics.

There are sections covering issues such as the crucifixion (did Jesus die?), the burial, the empty tomb, and origins and expectations of resurrection belief, as well as issues such as the alleged 'Jesus Family' tomb. In each case X and Y both have their say, and Foster leaves it to the reader to make their own mind. X argues against the resurrection, using a number of arguments that anyone who has read Robert M Price or Richard Carrier will be familiar with, though he did put forward some that I had not come across before. Y argues for the resurrection and there are traces of N.T. Wright and others in there. However, Y holds a few views that some evangelical apologists may not agree with (such as arguing that certain inconsistencies in the gospel narratives are not able to be harmonised).

The appendices are very helpful and deal with arguments relating to the medical cause of death, the issues relating to the Shroud of Turin, and the Gospel of Peter.

One would be hard pressed to find another book on this issue anything like this, offering a broad and fair portrayal of both sides of the argument while leaving the reader to decide which they find more persuasive (it is testament to the author - or perhaps his barristerial skills - that he can actually manage to argue a view which he doesn't actually hold in a way which can be rather persuasive). If one is at all interested in this historical issue, and wants to see both sides of the debate via a work that has a broad and deep understanding of the literature and evidence, then this book is highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is just the beginning of your questions on this subject March 22 2011
By Richard Dedor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For a few years now I have been looking for interesting books on religion that will guide me in my personal quest for understanding God and my place in religion. While The Jesus Inquest by Charles Foster did not exactly fit that bill, it was certainly an interesting read for a life-long Christian.

Foster, a lawyer, does what few have attempted: show both sides of the Jesus resurrection story. With the death of Jesus two millennium ago, much has been made about the location itself and the tomb that Jesus was to have laid for Friday and Saturday nights before his reported resurrection on Sunday morning.

While he tries, it is pretty easy to get a feel for which side Foster falls on, and when it comes to religion, it is no surprise that we all have sides. Each side presents quite compelling evidence to support their claims and I must say that it was quite interesting to read about the history of the Gospels and the general history of 1st Century Palestine. Those were things not taught in Sunday School or in sermons I listened to for nearly 20 years.

What did I learn from it? I learned there is a lot not being talked about in regular religious discussions. In fact, after finishing the book, I got into a discussion about one argument posited in the book: that those who believe the Bible to be absolute truth must agree that somewhere there is a mistake in the Gospels. What?! Where!? The accounts don't match in relation to who was first to the tomb on Sunday morning and what they saw. I had never thought about it before, but it is true. Thus, we, and I have come to believe that because these stories were written down decades after the actual Passion events, not everything written down is accurate. And if that is the case, what else is just story? Tough questions that I have yet to find an answer to.
Why You Should Read It:

* It presents compelling - sometimes far-fetched - arguments for and against the story taught to millions each year.
* It tears down some of the arguments as to the far-fetched arguments about Jesus (that he faked his own death).
* It can deepen your faith or at least, force you to ask key questions (and it is okay to question!).

What You Can Expect to Walk Away With:

* More questions than answers.
* A desire to talk this over with yourself ... making arguments and rebutting them.
* I did also leave a bit confused as I'm not well versed on the Bible itself and the history of the time.

Let me just ask you this, have you ever questioned what you believe, no matter what side of the fence you fall? This book is a good starting point for those questions.

(*This book was given to me as part of the BookSneeze.com review program.)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Did Jesus really rise from dead? Jan. 2 2011
By Keith G - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
What would happen if the resurrection of Jesus Christ was taken to a law court today? This is the premise behind the "Jesus Inquest". This book by Charles Foster attempts to fairly represent both sides of the "Did Jesus really rise from the Dead?" debate. The book reminded me of the constant debates behind the Jesus Seminar and the likes of John Shelby Spong and those who wish to counter point that group such as NT Wright.
Written on a much more accessible level than many of the more scholarly accounts on both sides of the fence, the author (Charles Foster), presents the evidence in an X versus Y mock trial. For many, their thinking will be expanded and grown and their beliefs tested. For others the book may stretch them too far and they may end up getting more confused or upset. Either way, Foster attempts to give an accurate, detailed and fair account of what really happened when Jesus died on the cross and what happened thereafter.
As a Christian, a strong belief in the reliability and inspiration of the Bible will be important as the two sides are presented. Without believing in the divine inspiration of the Bible and believing every account of the Bible to be historically accurate and true, I feel many will begin to question their beliefs while reading this book.
So, in my opinion, this is a fairly good read on Jesus' Resurrection, but as with many of the same type of books, it needs to be read with a grain of salt and deep conviction of Bible truth.
(Please note that the publisher of this book has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through Booksneeze.com)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Praise for the Jesus Inquest Feb. 5 2011
By David Kenney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Just a few chapters into this book, I was already thinking, "I love this book and I know exactly who I would recommend it to." Going through the chapters, I was never tempted to gloss or skim anything, I wanted to read each line carefully and when I came to the end of a chapter, I found myself continuing on - almost like I was reading fiction.

That is very rare.

The Jesus Inquest is a different kind of apologetic book, and if you're not "into" apologetics, this is probably the book for you. And if you ARE into apologetics - this is EXACTLY the kind of book for you.

I guess I have to go into a little of Foster's bio so that you can fully grasp the vision of this book. Charles Foster is a barrister in Oxford (which is kind of like being a lawyer in the U.S.) and so he approaches this book as both the prosecution and the defense in the case of "Did Jesus Die and Rise from the Dead?"

Foster writes in his preface, "Some have said that the book should have been written by two authors - one committed to the Christian position and another to the non-Christian position...only then... can we be sure that each case is argued as passionately as it should be. Only then can we be certain that the proponents positions are not diluted consciously or unconsciously." And certainly that is a logical argument, but reading through this book I can honestly say that Foster does an amazing job arguing both sides.

Reading the prosecution argue against the death of Jesus, I found myself seeing the "other side" of the coin and even at times agreeing with the non-Christian voice. Later reading the prosecution argue against the burial of Christ, I found myself getting tense and hostile towards the author and I had to remind myself that THIS was the same voice who will later argue in defense of it. Foster does an amazing job of speaking logically and clearly for both sides - and I think anyone who reads this book (despite their beliefs) will come out agreeing that the Christian side seems "more plausible" to have actually happened. More so than any other book I have read on the Passion story (including More than A Carpenter or The Case for Christ) the Jesus Inquest is certainly the book for the reader of logical modern thought (if that makes any sense).

Foster breaks the argument down into the categories of death, burial, resurrection and post resurrection appearances. Then within each chapter the argument is broken in half with the prosecution arguing first as voice "X" and the defense presenting second as voice "Y." Each chapter addresses known historical discoveries and traditions, the biblical voice, support from outside sources, and logic and reason. Plus, to make the book even more thorough, Foster includes four appendices, notes and a bibliography.

I could not recommend this book more highly and I know that I will go back to this one again and again; especially when preparing notes for easter sermons and apologetics classes.


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