Summary and Critical Evaluation
A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the gospels on the ground
Bruce Fisk’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground, takes readers on a journey through the Holy Land from the perspective of Norm, who sets out to study both what is behind the Gospels while following the path of Jesus and scholars before him. Norm looks to determine a first-hand perspective of the historical Jesus and of the Gospels, not accepting or denying previous teachings, but hoping that he can determine the validity of his own beliefs as he determines what they may be. Contrasting historical text with New Testament scholars, the book gives readers an enjoyable perspective on a subject that has tirelessly been taught throughout the ages. As the story begins, Norm finds himself on an airplane on his way to Israel, where he meets passengers and takes part in various discussions about faith, the historical Jesus, and the New Testament. Curious as to why Norm is reading Pliny the Younger, a passenger named Dorothy gets into a discussion with Norm and states “The Bible is a matter of faith. If we have the Spirit, it makes sense. If we don’t, it won’t.”1 Agreeably, this makes for interesting dialogue, as her words reverberate through many aspects of life. However, not everyone holds the same opinions, but Norm’s journey seems to allow for a much broader interpretation of what is considered historical religious scholar. The dialogue on the airplane allows the author to set the reader’s mindset in a direction that allows them to consider the accuracy and points of debate in religious scholar that has existed for centuries. It is not the foundational truth of existence that is being questioned, but the degree of embellishment. It is obvious from the start that Norm possesses a critical mind that examines many perspectives, and “refuses to choose between curiosity and conviction.”2 As Norm mentioned, “the day I sat down...
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