3 out of 4 stars
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Dave Strickland’s The Gospel Resurrected is an attempt to reconstruct the record of the life of Jesus Christ. The author tries to fuse the accounts of the four canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the New Testament, blends them with the Aquarian and Nazarene gospels and adds information from other minor ancient texts. He also refers to the private revelations of Marilynn Hughes and Rudolf Steiner.
Strickland believes that the real Gospel has been suppressed and needs to be restored. The reasons offered by him sound bizarre. Although the book is meticulously written in academic language, he does not mention his qualifications in the field of biblical studies. He comes across as a conspiracy theorist who wishes to make the world believe in his subjective interpretation of history, much like what he is condemning about other scholars. I think it is important to remember that divine revelation to the Church as a community is larger than an individual’s private interpretations and preferences. There may be thousands of men and women like Strickland who believe in their own combination of personally selected source materials. One could ask why the author chooses the gospels mentioned above and not some others.
The book describes how digital channels have made it possible for people to access resources that were formerly available only to researchers. They question how the biblical canon (a set of texts certified as authoritative) was decided and whether the councils of the early church did so under the influence of the Holy Spirit or because of vested interests and ulterior motives. People might make similar statements about the credibility of Strickland’s theory. How can he prove that he is guided by the Holy Spirit and does not have ulterior motives?
The Fathers of the Church have left many volumes of exegesis of biblical accounts which are not mentioned in this book. Thus, Strickland seems to reject Sacred Tradition. I think my faith as an individual is very small in front of the immense treasure that the early Christian communities received under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Millions of people have been touched by the four gospels in the New Testament. On the contrary, the Gnostic writings have created a lot of confusion in the minds of the followers of Jesus Christ. They go against the core of the Christian faith and revelation.
The Gospel Resurrected seems to have been professionally edited because I found only one typo. There is nothing specific that I liked about its contents. However, the artistic font is very difficult to read, and this is what I most disliked. I hope the author will change it. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Biblical scholars and theologians will find it interesting and may wish to respond to the author’s arguments. The points mentioned by Strickland are controversial, but they are questions anyone serious about his or her faith could raise. In fact, reading the book and facing the challenges could deepen the convictions of those who research and reflect on its contents.
The Gospel Resurrected
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