In a day of skepticism where the historicity of Jesus and the Gospel records are being called into doubt, Bock’s work is a welcomed voice of expertise, balance, and reason. The author shows that there are valid ways of assessing the sources of knowledge concerning Jesus that uphold the reliability of the biblical record. In the era of the Jesus Seminar this is vitally important. Many people hear the outrageous claims of this group and others of their ilk without understanding their philosophical biases or their research methods. Their conclusions that seek to undermine confidence in the historical reliability of the Gospel records and that disfigure the biblical portrait of Jesus may sound compelling to one untrained in biblical research methods. It is here that "Studying the Historical Jesus" proves its value. Bock has supplied beginning students of the Gospels with a helpful overview of the techniques and tools available for the pursuit of discovering the historical Jesus. He couples this with a demonstration of each method’s strengths, and limitations. He skillfully interacts with the different expressions of the critical method, showing that one need not shy away from these tools when thoughtfully used. He aims to help the student understand the world into which Jesus came and the ways the Gospels came to us (p. 214-15). Bock does more than demonstrate that the historical Jesus is the same as the Jesus of faith; he shows the student how to come to this reasoned and studious conclusion for himself. This book is both a response to the critics who deny the congruity between the Jesus of history and the Jesus of the Gospels as well as a primer for students who want to evaluate the evidence for themselves. There is no doubt that Bock holds a high view of the Scriptures and wants to aid the Gospel student to have confidence in them. Knowledge of these methods will aid the student as he interacts with the biblical sources. Awareness will also prove invaluable as he interacts with technical commentaries on the Scriptures enabling him to grasp the methods and biases of the scholar. As one reads this book he gains an awareness of the debates and methods used by scholars in attempts to discover the historical Jesus, thus arming himself with a basis upon which to evaluate the conclusions. One of the most helpful aspects of Bock’s work is the wealth of information provided to the Bible student concerning the biblical background and culture of Jesus’ day, especially the chapters on the basic chronology of Jesus’ life, the political and sociocultural history that shaped Jesus’ world. The author’s analysis of the cultural context of Jesus helps the student appreciate the differences between Jesus’ culture and our own. This information proves invaluable to one who aspires to accurately interpret Scripture. To be a good expositor of the Gospels one must first be a skilled exegete of Scripture. Bock supports this pursuit by clarifying the cultural setting of the Gospels and the life and ministry of Jesus. Armed with this knowledge the Bible teacher or preacher can accurately interpret the biblical narratives and communicate the original meaning to a modern audience. The insight contained in this section alone makes this book deserving of a place in every preacher’s library.