Links and Further Reading 

Please find below a list of books and web-links that you might find useful if you’re interested in the whole topic of evidence for Jesus. 

Web-links

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Alpha.org

Over 32,000 Alpha courses will have been run in nearly every country in the world. Alpha touches on some of the material on “Jesus: The Evidence” - and then goes on to explore Christianity in depth. It’s an ideal way to understand Christianity and gives you an opportunity to ask all the hard questions you may have. The Alpha website will give you more details.

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www.streetpastors.org.uk

On Friday and Saturday nights, in town and city centres throughout the UK, Street Pastors are providing practical help and support to those who need it. For a short video on what Street Pastors is all about, go to http://www.streetpastors.co.uk/ProjectArea/Aberdeen/tabid/246/Default.aspx

To me, this is Jesus' teaching and message in action.

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www.publicchristianity.org

The Centre for Public Christianity is an Australian "Research and media organisation promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith". Their website has an accessible, but academically rigorous, historical approach to Jesus and Christianity. They even offer a one year postgraduate MA in Early Christian and Jewish Studies (at Macquarie University, Sydney). The site contains articles and videos that would be of interest to atheists, agnostics and Christians.

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www.bethinking.org

Another site containing useful articles and reviews that would be of interest to atheists, agnostics and Christians. It's regularly updated and tackles the key issues and questions non-Christians have about God, Jesus, science versus religion etc.. 

 

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Reading List

Here is a selection of books that I (Derek McIntyre) found helpful with my own investigation into whether Jesus is the Son of God.

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Lee Strobel: The Case for Christ (Zondervan 1998)

Former atheist Lee Strobel, provides an excellent introduction to the evidence for Jesus being the Son of God. This is the first book I read when I started my journey from agnosticism to Christianity. 

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Geza Vermes: The Changing Faces of Jesus (Penguin 2000)
Geza Vermes: The Authentic Gospel of Jesus (Penguin 2003)
Geza Vermes: “Who’s Who in the Age of Jesus” (Penguin 2006)

Geza Vermes is one of the most respected academic authorities on 1st century Palestine alive today. As a Jew, Vermes clearly does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. His task (as he sees it) is to strip away the layers of theology and tradition surrounding Jesus so that we can see the actual Jesus of history. His books contain a lifetime of study on Jesus – from a non-Christian perspective. Although academically rigorous, Vermes’ books are very readable. 

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A.N. Wilson: Jesus (Pimlico 2003)
A.N. Wilson: Paul: The Mind of the Apostle (Pimlico 1997)

Two excellent biographies by sceptical journalist, A.N. Wilson. I found these to provide illuminating insights into the lives and times of both Jesus and Paul.

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E.P. Sanders: The Historical Figure of Jesus (Penguin 1995)

Sanders is another respected academic in the field of Jesus research. This non-Christian biography convincingly separates the theology from the history. I found it useful to compare and contrast Sanders’ view of the historical Jesus with that of Vermes and Wilson.
 

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Charles Foster: The Jesus Inquest (Monarch Books 2006)

Barrister Charles Foster puts the case for and against Jesus being the Son of God in a law court setting. Although a Christian, Foster puts up a convincing case against Jesus being the Son of God.

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The Bible (New International Version 1973)

Last, but not least.

My view is that there is no substitute for actually reading the gospels and letters of Paul to help you decide what you think about Jesus being the Son of God. The Bible I was given when I was an agnostic is a version called “The Journey” and is published by Zondervan. I haven’t seen it in bookshops in the UK – but it is available for purchase on the Internet. I found it useful as it has explanations and reflections next to some of the Bible text. These are written specifically for agnostics and atheists. I have seen other, similar Bibles with explanatory text for sale in the UK. If you’ve never read the Bible before, my suggestions for a starting point would be:

Use a version of the Bible written in contemporary English.
Start by reading Mark’s gospel. It’s the one written closest to Jesus death and therefore likely to have the most accurate picture of Jesus and His message.
Next, read Matthew and Luke. This gives further insight into Jesus and His message.
Next, read Acts (also called The Acts of the Apostles). This describes the development of Christianity, from the Resurrection to the establishment of early Christianity in the Roman world (AD 30 to around AD60).
Next, read the gospel of John.
I would then read Paul’s letters. His letters to the Corinthians and Romans are a good start.