This recommendation will be short for three reasons: 1) Mark Roberts is a fantastic pastor/apologist/scholar, and if you don’t already know that, what blogosphere are you living in? 2) Much of this book has already appeared on Roberts’ outstanding web site. 3) If you need this book to answer your questions, someone is probably going to give it to you soon, so pretend to be a curious unbeliever and you might see one appear inexplicably.
Can We Trust The Gospels? is worth your money because it handles a difficult and controversial subject in a cogent, interesting and persuasive manner. Roberts is a Harvard Ph.d, but he’s not hung up on showing you how much he knows. As in all his writing, he’s focused on helpful communication for people asking the questions that matter.
I’ll give Roberts a huge endorsement: He ought to be on the team with Ravi Zacharias. He has the pastoral touch, but his scholarship is every bit the equal of the guys Lee Strobel interviews. In other words: world class scholarship, popular “blog level” writing.
It’s a perfect book for a college student. It’s got wonderful illustrations- visual and verbal. It doesn’t waste your time. It can be favorably compared to Metzger’s classic book The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? For today’s reader, it’s probably more accessible and just as thorough.
By the way, Roberts is a really nice man, but he still hands Bart Ehrman his…uh….hat…on a plate several times. Aside from that, I have to say that all of us who love the Bible can profitably spend a lot of time at Mark’s site. What a wonderful mixture of scholarship and devotion, and this book reflects that kind of approach. Even when Roberts steps outside the lines of some conservative interpreters, you know you are in the tutelage of a trusted shepherd.
It’s cheap and Crossway has two entire chapters on line for free. Great book. Not too long. I read it in two hours. Your college freshman- or college professor- needs this book. Acquire and enjoy. Give away and pray. Whatever you do, several copies of this book should be on your shelf.