I read Jesus and the Eyewitnesses about 3 years ago and it was my first book on New Testament scholarship. It had fascinating arguments for the gospels being based on authentic eye witness accounts, ones even in my reasonably well-versed apologetics background, I had never heard before. It was in fact during this apologetics presentation that I first encountered, and it was so compelling I just had to get it. Ten years after the release of the first edition and three years after I read it, the author distinguished New Testament emeritus professor Richard Bauckham has released a second edition, and having learnt more about New Testament scholarship since then and I am in a better position to appreciate his work.
In the following The EerdCast interview about the second edition, he explains he was attempting to cause a paradigm shift in the field of gospel studies from the dominant form critical model of the last century, which he considers dead wrong (pun intended but you’ll understand later), to a new eyewitness model he is proposing. What is excellent about this exchange is that he clearly explains in layman accessible terms how historians have studied the gospels, what he thinks is wrong with it, how to remedy it as well as where scholarship is heading. It is a wonderful brief primer on the field of gospel scholarship, something I think Christians living in a postmodern world of repetitive books, news headlines, and documentaries claiming that we do not have the real Jesus need to be equipped with knowing that we actually do have him in gospels. As Dr. Bauckham puts it, the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith is the one Jesus of testimony.