The Apologetics of Jesus-being equipped to model the greatest Apologist who ever lived!

PrintThe book, The Apologetics of Jesus–A Caring Approach to Dealing with Doubters, by Norman Geisler and Patrick Zukeran, is a milestone in the discipline of Christian apologetics. As Josh McDowell states in his cover comment, “it is one of the most important books on apologetics.” It is a must read for the current day Christian apologist, and in my opinion, every Christian who is engaged in the proclamation and defense of the Gospel of Christ.

Among the other works that I have studied in relation to the apologetic methodology of Jesus’ ministry, I must say that this book is truly exceptional. In just 207 pages, Geisler and Zukeran bring Jesus’ use of apologetics to life, presenting eight apologetic models used by the greatest Apologist who every lived, which can be applied today, in the communication and defense of the Gospel in our relativistic and post-modern culture.

In the introduction, Geisler and Zukeran state:

“That Jesus is one of the greatest teachers who ever lived is not in dispute, even by most non-Christians who are aware of his teachings. Certainly he is the ultimate model of Christian teaching. Given this fact, we can only conclude that Jesus was also the greatest apologist for Christianity who every lived…Those who oppose apologetics in favor of a leap of faith without evidence will be disappointed in Jesus. Nowhere does he call on anyone to make an unthoughtful and unreasoned decision about his or her eternal destiny. Everywhere Jesus demonstrates a willingness to provide evidence for what he taught to every sincere seeker…The study of Jesus’ apologetics yields some rewarding results. It provides an example to follow, since he is the greatest of apologists. In so doing, such a study benefits not only the apologists but also every Christian who wants to be an effective witness for Christ to an unbelieving world.”


Geilser and Zukeran cover eight ways in which Jesus used apologetics in His ministry:

Jesus’ Apologetic Use of:

the Resurrection
Arguments for God


They conclude the book with the following four insightful chapters:

Jesus’ Alleged Anti-Apologetic Passages
Jesus’ Life as an Apologetic
Jesus and the Role of the Holy Spirit in Apologetics
Jesus’ Apologetic Method


In their conclusion of the book, Geilser and Zuckan offer the following:

“In conclusion, Jesus was not only the master teacher, he was also the master apologist. He did not expect people to believe without evidence. He never commended anyone for blind faith. Indeed, they were condemned for refusing to accept the evidence he offered. Of course, Jesus knew that evidence alone could not convert anyone. It could provide a basis for rational belief that he was the Son of God, but only the Holy Spirit, with the cooperation of the human will, could persuade a person to believe in him. Nonetheless, apologetic evidence provides the necessary condition for salvation, while only Spirit-induced saving faith produces the sufficient condition for it. In practice, Jesus offered many different apologetic techniques, depending on what was needed on the occasion. Nonetheless, when an attempt to make an overall synthesis of Jesus’ apologetics, Jesus fit better in the category of classical apologetics that incorporates both rational and historical evidence. And on any counting, Jesus’ methods of attempting to convince people of his claims were not only multiple but masterful. Like his teaching techniques, Jesus’ apologetic strategies are a model for all others who with to fulfill the biblical imperative to be set in “defense of the gospel” (Phil. 1:16) and to “contend for the faith” once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).”


Norman Geisler-How I got into Apologetics

Key apologetic issues of our time?-Norman Geisler

Other Resources:

The Apologetics of Jesus and Paul–by John W. Robbins, here

Jesus: Philosopher and Apologist–by Douglas Groothuis, here

Jesus the Logician–by Dallas Willard, here

Leave a Reply


captcha *