"Man Myth Messiah", by Rice Broocks (book review)

"Man Myth Messiah" is the second book by the author of "God's Not Dead", Rice Broocks.  Broocks’s intent is to provide a defense for the historicity of Messiah Jesus.  The book consists of 10 chapters broken up according to the various topics, and is 250 pages long.

“Man Myth Messiah” is an OK book – from an apologetics perspective.  I liked it, and I think Broocks had many worthwhile ideas.  Broocks is definitely correct in writing, "When it comes to Jesus Christ, there has definitely been a higher standard, unreasonably high at times, for establishing the facts surrounding His life, works, and words" (p.9).  And this thought serves as the main premise of the entire book.  He provided some basic facts that help readers understand how historical evidence is scrutinized and weighed: (1)multiple independent witnesses and (2)sources that originated shortly after the events being described.


Overall, I think this book fell short of providing any real meat, especially when compared to scholarly apologetic works.  There were a few instances where a topic would be introduced and followed up with very short, shallow support.  For instance, page 29 began the presentation of facts that Jesus was indeed crucified.  Broocks wrote, "Not only do all four gospels report it, but virtually all early church writings are filled with references to this event.  On top of this evidence..." (p.30).  But the following evidence of support consisted of three brief paragraphs that merely introduced Josephus, Tacitus, and Lucian – three non-Christian historians – rather than detailing to any significant depth any of their writings.

Other areas of weak support came on page 54, when Broocks explained that the gospels were written a shorter time after Jesus's life than was Alexander the Great's biography, and that more gospel manuscripts survived than did many other ancient writings, such as the Iliad.  That was just about the depth of coverage, which spanned just a little over one full page.

In both instances, I would have preferred that Broocks provide more researched information supporting his arguments.  After all, most readers do not have the time (or maybe even interest) to conduct our own research of these claims, so we rely on well-documented research to be conducted for us.  Instead, issues like the ones mentioned came across to me as a simple, “Take my word for it…there’s more out there.”  I don’t find that sufficient, to be honest.


What I TRULY like about Broocks's writing is that while he may be a little too surface level regarding apologetics (at least in this book, anyway), he is a clear presenter of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Broocks clearly explains that we are sinners in need of a savior, and that that Savior is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Chapters 4 and 5 are wonderfully written, dealing well with the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, and their theological implications.

RATING / RECOMMENDATION:  Someone looking for an in-depth, academic book providing support for   the historicity of Jesus will not find it in this book.  It might be a good introductory book for someone just beginning to dig into apologetics, as I think the intent was to write a basic primer, rather than a doctoral dissertation.

I give "Man Myth Messiah" just 2 ½ stars out of 5.  It wasn’t my favorite, yet it wasn’t my least favorite.  Instead, it was simply a let-down.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book free of charge from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine, and I was not required to submit a positive review.

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