The Annual Debunking of Jesus

By Eric Metaxas

When I was a kid, every Easter, I think it was NBC, played the miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth.” It had a bunch of well-known stars like Anthony Quinn, Anne Bancroft, and my favorite, Ernest Borgnine. Sure, there was some extra storytelling going on, but it was a moving account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. And for the most part it was sympathetic to the gospels and to Christian sensitivities.

Well, those days are pretty much gone.

Whether it’s the Discovery Channel’s airing a show on the supposed lost tomb of Jesus (they actually claim to have found His bones), or Newsweek (while it was still in print) featuring a cover photo of a cool-looking Jesus on the streets of New York City, or simply one of the major news networks interviewing a “modern” biblical scholar, Easter has become prime time for reconstructing the historical Jesus.

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Gone also are the days when the main argument about Jesus was whether He really was (and is) the Son of God, or just a great moral teacher. No doubt you’ll remember C. S. Lewis’s famous quote that Jesus was either who He said He was, or he was a madman (“on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg”) or a liar or something worse.

But today, the arguments focus more on the reliability of the gospels themselves. It’s hard to use Lewis’s excellent response when someone flings back in your face, “Well, we don’t really know what Jesus said after all”—or if Jesus even existed—because Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were all just propaganda pieces for a growing social and cultural movement.

But what if the Gospels are indeed what they claim to be? Eyewitness accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth?


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