Craig Evans is at the top of the heap as far as scholars of the Gospels go, and he has a review at Christianity Today that eviscerates Reza Aslan’s book Zealot. Evans says Aslan’s book makes numerous historical errors, relies on an outdated thesis, ignores the testimony of eyewitnesses, and forces Jesus and Paul into a theological cagematch. In short, it’s a bad book. Here’s an excerpt from the review:
There are numerous problems with Zealot, not least the fact that it heavily relies on an outdated and discredited thesis. But it also introduces a number of its own novel oddities and implausibilities. Aslan has canvassed much of the responsible scholarship in the field, but he does not always choose his options prudently. He often opts for extreme views and sometimes makes breathtaking assertions. I cannot help but wonder if Aslan’s penchant for creative writing is part of the explanation. Indeed, Zealot often reads more like a novel than a work of historical analysis.
I would reiterate what I said in a previous post. Unless you’re engaged in apologetics with folks who have read and been influenced by Aslan’s work, I really can’t see any reason why anyone would take time to read this book. Read the rest of Evans’ review here.