[ Author Bio ]
For those convinced that Christianity was founded by the disciples of a charismatic rabbi called Jesus of Nazareth, Gerd Lüdemann's Jesus After 2000 Years offers a plausible sorting of fact from fiction. The book is accessible, but difficult to evaluate, as it largely represents Lüdemann's own verdict on which actions and sayings attributed to Jesus are authentic, mentioning other scholars' verdicts only in passing. Moreover, Lüdemann merely outlines how he sorts authentic from inauthentic history in the Gospels, using at least one criterion this reviewer finds dubious. The main problem, however, is how Lüdemann attempts to get from "it could have happened this way" to "it did happen this way." Finally, some readers might find Jesus After 2000 Years wanting for failing to offer grounds for believing that a historical Jesus ever existed in the first place, or if he did, for believing that any of the sayings or actions attributed to him had anything to do with anything he actually said or did.