Is Jesus History?

An exploration of the historicity of Jesus and whether he is relevant today

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What can we really know for sure about the past? Can anything from ancient history be regarded as ‘fact’? In particular, how seriously can we take the historical sources for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth? Did he really even live in first-century Galilee and Judaea, or is he a figure of legend?

In this timely book, historian Dr John Dickson unpacks how the field of history works, giving readers the tools to evaluate for themselves what we can confidently say about figures like the Emperor Tiberius, Alexander the Great, Pontius Pilate, and, of course, Jesus of Nazareth.

He presents the evidence, methods, and conclusions of mainstream scholars—both Christian and not—and asks some pertinent contemporary questions, without offering any pushy answers: If Jesus really did exist, what are we to make of his own claims and those of his followers, and what would any of it mean for us today?

Product details


  • Introduction: Christianity’s Problem
  • 1. History And Reality
  • 2. “Faith” in History
  • 3. How To Make Me Eat My Bible
  • 4. Historical Quests For Jesus
  • 5. Liberal Prophet, Sacrificial Martyr
  • 6. What Alexander The Great Can Teach Us About History
  • 7. Scraps About Jesus
  • 8. Paul: Skeleton Key To Jesus
  • 9. Digging Stuff Up
  • 10. Raised Expectations
  • Epilogue: Is Jesus History?


Look Inside

(446.1 KB)


Author John Dickson
ISBN 9781784983659
Format Paperback
First published 2019
Dimensions 5.1" x 7.8" x 0.5"
Language English
Pages 160
Publisher The Good Book Company

Even a brief encounter with the written works or videos of John Dickson hints of his serious scholarship, willingness to engage the toughest critics of Christianity, and winsome ability to communicate. But Is Jesus History? is worth more than a cursory glance—you might even find yourself dog-earing page after page filled with archeological gems and historical insight. This is a book you will want to pass on to both your skeptical and believing friends. But keep a copy for yourself.

Ravi Zacharias

author and speaker

John Dickson is one of our most reliable guides today to the historical background of the life of Jesus. He blends the scholarship of an academic with the down-to-earth accessibility of the best of teachers. This book is full of insights; it may well surprise many to know how much the historical record actually shows us about the man who stands at the center of the faith of over two billion people today.

Sam Allberry

Author and Speaker

John Dickson combines top-notch scholarship with an accessible, conversational style as he explains the ancient evidence surrounding the historical Jesus. Is Jesus History? compares how we trust statements from our family, friends, and news outlets with how we trust ancient testimonies of all sorts, including Aristotle’s The Art of Rhetoric, Luke’s Gospel, and Pliny the Younger’s Letter 6 about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Dickson’s even-handed approach towards the evidence invites readers to draw their own conclusions about the Jesus of history.

Dr Lynn Cohick

Provost and Dean, Denver Seminary

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Is Jesus History? | John Dickson | $12.99 $11.04