The Credibility Battle Between Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith Gets a Pure Historical Treatment in Tom Hobson’s Latest Book

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Author Tom Hobson’s latest work, The Historical Jesus and the Historical Joseph Smith, delves into the search for indisputable facts on both Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith together in one concise volume. This book uses historical tools and is designed to be user-friendly for Christians and Latter-day Saints and for investigators who are considering the claims of both men.

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“I want to be right about Jesus and about Joseph. If Jesus is not who I think he was, or if Joseph Smith is who his followers think he is, I am in big trouble.”

Who bears the true message of God and which is the false prophet is a controversial, age-old argument between Christian believers and followers of the Latter-Day Saints. With both churches having passionately devout flocks all over the world, the author does not dwell on the subject of faith but rather examines the evidence for the trustworthiness and consistency of both men. To keep things fair and factual, Tom Hobson focuses on historical information available about Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith, how their legacies shape their respective churches, and which ultimately aims to answer the question, “Can we trust these two men?”

Among the other questions examined are: Why and when did wine get taken out of the Latter-day Saint sacrament? How do we know whether important doctrines were taken out of the Bible? Do we possess genuine words of Jesus that are not in our Gospels? How do we know that the resurrection of Jesus was not a shameless con job?

As the author writes, “None of us has direct access to human figures from the past. We cannot touch them in the flesh. We have no video or sound recordings. All we have is the traces or memories they leave behind, chiefly written records of oral testimony about them. Nevertheless, what we do have is enough to construct an adequate picture of what they said and did, enough to make the faith decisions we must make about Jesus and about Joseph.” As a further guide, a chapter-by-chapter summary of the book can be found on the book’s website, http://www.historicaljoseph.org.

Tom Hobson is retired from over thirty-five years as a Presbyterian minister and four years as professor of Biblical studies and languages at Morthland College. He holds degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv) and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (PhD). His publications include What’s on God’s Sin List for Today? and numerous articles and columns linked on his website, http://www.biblicalethic.org, including his Patheos blog “Biblical Words and World.”

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