Recommended Books on Historical Apologetics

I am often asked which books I recommend for defending the reliability of the Gospels/Acts and Christianity in general, so here is my list. It is not exhaustive, but it will definitely give you a good start.

The categorized as “mandatory” are more basic, while some of those labeled as “recommended” or “supplementary” delve into more profound and scholarly content. Any item marked with a * can be accessed for free online as PDF files. A significant number of these works are downloadable from,, or

Mandatory Reading:

AuthorBook Title
Bennett, Edmund* The Four Gospels from a Lawyer’s Standpoint
Lewis, CSModern Theology and Biblical Criticism (Essay in Christian Reflections)
McGrew, LydiaTestimonies to the Truth: Why You Can Trust the Gospels
Paley, William* A View of the Evidences for Christianity
Pitre, BrantThe Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ
Williams, Peter J.Can We Trust the Gospels?

Recommended Reading:

AuthorBook Title
Bauckham, RichardJesus and the Eyewitnesses, 2nd edition
Blomberg, Craig
The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel
Blomberg, CraigThe Historical Reliability of the New Testament
Boyd, Greg & Eddy, Paul RhodesThe Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition
Hill, Charles E.Who Chose the Gospels?: Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy
Kennedy, TitusExcavating the Evidence for Jesus: The Archaeology and History of Christ and the Gospels
Kruger, Michael J. & Kostenberger, AndreasThe Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity 
Luuk Van de WegheThe Historical Tell: Patterns of Eyewitness Testimony in the Gospel of Luke and Acts
Luuk Van de WegheLiving Footnotes in the Gospel of Luke: Luke’s Reliance on Eyewitness Source
McGrew, LydiaHidden in Plain View: Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels & Acts
McGrew, LydiaThe Eye of the Beholder: The Gospel of John as Historical Reportage
McGrew, LydiaThe Mirror or the Mask: Liberating the Gospels from Literary Devices
Paley, William* Horae Paulinae, or the Truth of the Scripture History of St. Paul
White, JeffersonEvidence and Paul’s Journeys: An Historical Investigation into the Travels of the Apostle Paul

Supplemental Reading:

AuthorBook Title
Bernier, JonathanRethinking the Dates of the New Testament: The Evidence for Early Composition
Ramsay, William* St. Paul the Ancient Traveller and Roman Citizen
Smith, James*The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul 

Reference Reading:

AuthorBook Title
Carson, DA and Moo, DouglasAn Introduction to the New Testament 
Hemer, ColinThe Book of Acts in the Setting of Hellenistic History
Lardner, Nathaniel* The Credibility of the Gospel History, 17 volumes
Norton, Andrews* Internal Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels
Norton, Andrews* The Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels
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