Reading Matters

Dr. Stephen Shoemaker: Five things to know about Jesus

Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker, assistant professor of Religion at Johnson C. Smith University, will talk about his new book, “Jesus Stories: Traveling Toward Testimony,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Park Road Books.

Here are five things about the historical Jesus as revealed through the historical Jesus scholars in Shoemaker’s book.

1. Jesus grew up in Nazareth , a small town of 200-300 families. But only four miles away was the bustling Roman-Hellenistic city of Sepphoris, which could have brought the larger world to Jesus.

2. Jesus’s life was proved or attested in five non-Christian sources at the time he lived.

3. Jesus was raised as an observant Jew and was called Rabbi by some of his followers.

4. His ministry lasted 18-36 months.

5. He was crucified by the Romans – not the Jews – as a would-be “King of the Jews” and disturber of the Roman “Peace.”

Dr. Shoemaker, who has previously taught at Wake Forest Divinity School and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is the author of six books, including “GodStories: Scriptural Narratives for Today.” He will autograph copies of his new book following the free reading.

Park Road Books: 4139 Park Road, Park Road Shopping Center, Charlotte.