Making Sense of the Historical Jesus Debate
Check out the interview I did with my mentor, Dr. Darrell Bock, after his presentation on “Making Sense of the Historical Jesus Debate” at the Table Conference in Carrollton, Texas.
In this video clip, I ask him three questions about orality in the New Testament, the claim that there were many Messiahs in Jesus’ day and how to proceed in a spiritual conversation with someone who rejects the idea of Jesus’ Resurrection.
The Table Conference – Interview Video
3 Questions for Dr. Darrell Bock
1. Can songs help us explain orality?
This question was about illustrating how people remember things in an oral culture. I asked this because of his response to the “Chinese Whispers” challenge, or the idea that stories about Jesus got totally changed over time while people were passing on the tradition orally in the 1st century. Here, I asked him if the idea of song lyrics might be a useful illustration.
2. Were there really so many Messiahs?
Next, I asked Dr. Bock about Michael Shermer’s claim on Penn and Teller’s Showtime series: “Jesus was not the only Messiah at the time. There were lots of Messiahs.”  I was wondering how exaggerated this claim was, and if it really even matters given the kind of Messiah Jesus claimed to be. You’ll want to remember his answer to this one in case it ever comes up in conversation.
3. What can I do when someone rejects the Resurrection?
Finally, I asked him about how to proceed in a conversation where someone rejects the Resurrection, not primarily because of the evidence, but because of the theological implications of this historical conclusion. I loved hearing more about Dr. Bock’s faith journey in his answer to this one. It’s a great reminder to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you discern when to press and when to give space that allows an ongoing conversation to stay alive.
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This clip was part of just one plenary session at the Table Conference: Presenting God to Those Who See Christianity Differently.
This event was put on by the Howard G. Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement at Dallas Theological Seminary featuring Lee Strobel, Dr. Dan Wallace, Dr. Darrell Bock, and more.