Questioning Jesus’ Existence: An Eastertime Media Tradition
by John Stonestreet
Ah, springtime. Flowers blooming, birds singing, and articles questioning the historicity of Jesus hitting the newsstands.
Insurance company Geico has done a lot of funny commercials, but our editor at BreakPoint has a favorite. A group of teenagers are running through a dark forest being chased by a killer. After debating whether to hide in the basement, the attic or make a quick getaway in the nearby running car, they decide to hide behind dozens of chainsaws dangling from a barn door.
“When you’re in a horror movie, you make poor decisions,” says the narrator. “It’s what you do.” And this week I found myself paraphrasing: “When you’re CNN, you publish annual articles suggesting Jesus never existed. It’s what you do.”
Every year around March and December, this and other news outlets exhume the long-dead thesis that the New Testament is based on a mythological figure, not a Man who really lived, died, and rose from the grave two-thousand years ago. This year, CNN even republished an article from 2012 at CNN.com. In the piece, entitled, “Decoding Jesus: Separating Man from Myth,” John Blake suggests that Christ’s historical existence is an open question. CNN featured it at the top of their homepage as part of the push for their new series, “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery.”
Blake quotes the likes of Timothy Freke, author of “Jesus Mysteries” and former Baptist pastor Robert Price, author of “Deconstructing Jesus,” who both claim that the Gospels are forgeries or misunderstood allegories, and that the story of Jesus was copied from legends about pagan deities.
“In the age of the Internet and self-publishing,” writes Blake, “these arguments have gained enough traction that some of the world’s leading New Testament scholars feel compelled to publicly take them on.”
Now let me be clear: This is the very definition of fake news…
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