Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham is a substantial read. It’s not a book that you would want to read in the bath or for light relief on a train journey. Unless you are a specialist in New Testament or classical studies you may well find it hard going; just over five hundred pages of thorough-going intellectual exercise.
However, if you do take the plunge and get to grips with what Bauckham has to say, you will be well rewarded. This is an excellent book and repays the time and effort it takes to read it.
This is not a field I am familiar with and this book answers a number of questions I’m not even clever enough to ask, but it makes fascinating reading. I stand in awe of Bauckham’s ability to draw in information from numerous different fields and to present coherent and very thorough arguments. It would be too much to say that this is a book that you can’t put down (it’s too heavy for that), but I did find myself reading a hundred pages or more at a sitting, simply because I didn’t want to lose the drift of the argument as it built up.
If you have any interest in how we received the Gospels or questions about the authenticity of the Scriptural record, then you should read this book. You can even get a Kindle edition which is very rare for theology books (and much lighter than the paper version.
Most people have some time away from work at Christmas, why don’t you do yourself a favour and do some serious reading?