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Can we trust the Gospels?

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An accessible introduction to the historical and theological reliability of the four Gospels

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The Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—tell the story of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ while he was on earth. But how do Christians know if they are true? What evidence is there that the events actually happened?

This accessible introduction to the historical and theological reliability of the four Gospels, written by New Testament scholar Peter J. Williams, presents evidence from a variety of non-Christian sources, assesses how accurately the 4 accounts reflect the cultural context of their time, compares different accounts of crucial events, and considers how these texts were handed down throughout the centuries.

Written for the skeptic, the scholar, and everyone in between, this book answers common objections raised against the historicity of the Gospels in order to foster trust in God's Word.

Product details


  • Introduction

  • 1. What Do Non-Christian Sources Say?
    2. What Are the Four Gospels?
    3. Did the Gospel Authors Know Their Stuff?
    4. Undesigned Coincidences
    5. Do We Have Jesus's Actual Words?
    6. Has the Text Changed?
    7. What about Contradictions?
    8. Who Would Make This All Up?

Free extras


Contributors Peter Williams
ISBN 9781433552953
Format Paperback
First published November 2018
Dimensions 133mm x 203mm x 10mm
Weight 0.18 kg
Language English
Pages 160
Publisher Crossway

John Lennox

Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford

The wild and unscholarly yet widely accepted assertion by Richard Dawkins that the only difference between The Da Vinci Code and the Gospels is that the Gospels are ancient fiction while The Da Vinci Code is modern fiction deserves a measured and scholarly response. There is no one better qualified than Peter Williams to provide it, and this book is a masterly presentation of a compelling cumulative case that ‘all of history hangs on Jesus.

Simon Gathercole

Reader in New Testament Studies, University of Cambridge

This much-needed book provides a mine of information for Christians wanting to know more about the historical background to the Gospels and offers a series of challenges to those skeptical of what we can know about Jesus. Peter Williams has distilled a mass of information and thought into this short and accessible book, and it deserves careful reading both inside and outside the church.

Clare K. Rothschild

Professor of Scripture Studies, Lewis University; author, Luke–Acts and the Rhetoric of History; Baptist Traditions and Q; and Hebrews as Pseudepigraphon; Editor, Early Christianity

Despite the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, Christians today find themselves unwilling to testify to their faith, as much from confusion as from fear. To this puzzled, anxious flock, Peter Williams offers liberation in the form of a concise yet complete education. His powerful instruction manual on the reliability of the Gospels escorts the ‘faithful seeking understanding’ through a series of historically responsible explanations for questions they have and questions they never imagined. This highly detailed, accurate, and eminently readable volume—rich in charts and tables—strikes a chord so resonant, Christians and skeptics alike can profit. An up-to-date apologia and superlative guide—unbelievers, beware!

Customer reviews

20 Jan 2019

“Best book on reliability of the Gospels”

Peter Williams offers a clear, coherent, compelling argument for we can have rock solid confidence in the Jesus of our Bibles. Williams starts from what we can learn from non-Christian sources, and then steadily builds his case to show the reliability of the gospel accounts. This will now be my default book to go to when someone wants to know if the New Testament can really be trusted. It's short too. Buy loads. Give 'em away far and wide. Masterful.

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Can we trust the Gospels? | Peter Williams |
£10.99 £8.99