No matter the holiday, at least the Christian ones, our ‘educational’ channels which we pay for as consumers, like to pick apart those believes that we hold dear. Granted, it’s almost expected now. It’s like the Christmas lights – you just have to have them. This year, there is a move to undermine the ‘historical Jesus.’ Suddenly, everyone got it wrong, and history is a grand conspiracy by men in white hats.
Biblical scholar Rachel Havrelock is a MythBuster in her own right, dispelling popular beliefs about Christianity. The University of Illinois at Chicago professor traveled to the Holy Land to co-host the Discovery Channel documentary “Who Was Jesus?” which premiers April 5, Palm Sunday.
Havrelock recently sat down to speak with Discovery News’ Jennifer Viegas about the historical Jesus, what she feels are some common misconceptions, and the role women played during Christianity’s earliest years.
Discovery News: What do you think is the most common misconception today about the Bible and its teachings?
Rachel Havrelock: That it was meant to present a very conservative, traditional viewpoint. You must remember that the concept of God was, and perhaps still is, a radical social idea. Rather than being beholden to an oligarchy, an individual can now answer to a deity. It created the possibility of an egalitarian society.
The core of Jesus’ message was directed to the economically downtrodden, the poor farmers, laborers and others who had little power in their own lives. Jesus presented a radical social proposition that meant society could be reconfigured to allow for less inequity and more sharing.
Well, looks like they got the talking points right…
Most of these sites reporting the news of the documentary rarely report the other side of the debate, but MSNBC doesn’t do to bad of a job. One of the many issues I have is that they will take archeology and attempt to disprove the Bible, yet when archeology actually supports biblical claims, then it is roundly ignored.
“The Bible’s Buried Secrets,” premiering tonight on PBS, presents archaeological findings that will annoy believers as well as skeptics – which suggests the TV documentary just might be on the right track.
At least that’s the view of William Dever, a world-renowned archaeologist who worked on the show and calls it “the first honest film that’s been made” about the first books of the Bible. For Jews, those books make up the Torah and other early scriptures, while Christians would call them the early part of the Old Testament.
The two-hour show has already stirred up a backlash among some believers. For example, the program airs archaeologists’ assertions that:
The Bible’s first books have been traced back to multiple authors writing over a span of centuries.
There’s no evidence for the actual existence of patriarchs such as the biblical Abraham.
Some ancient adherents of Yahweh also worshiped his “wife,” a fertility goddess named Asherah.
The Exodus appears to have involved just a small segment of the Jewish population rather than all Jews.
The Land of Canaan was not taken over by conquest – rather, the Israelites actually might have been Canaanites who migrated into the highlands and created a new identity for themselves. “Joshua really didn’t fight the Battle of Jericho,” Dever said.
Well, it’s about that season again… Anyway, I am sure they will label it the same way they did the last one…you know, that it will not change your faith. The fact is, is that every holiday season, entertainment like this is produced, and with very little evidence except conjecture.
I didn’t watch, but I am sure that it Netflix will have it soon enough.
A two-hour program set to air Tuesday night claims to have “new discoveries that shake the foundation of biblical archaeology,” echoing claims by other contested documentaries such as “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” which aired last year on The Discovery Channel.
“The Bible’s Buried Secrets,” produced by Rhode Island-based Providence Pictures for PBS’s science series Nova, attempts to uncover who wrote the Hebrew Bible and whether it’s history or parable, delving into the origins of the Israelites to explore their gradual transformation into a monotheistic people.
I am sure that we will soon see another documentary from those great folks who brought us the ‘Tomb of Jesus’. Seems that the one thing that the Discovery Channel has not yet discovered is decency.
A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that, according to an expert epigrapher, could be engraved with the world’s first known reference to Christ.
If the word “Christ” refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.
The full engraving on the bowl reads, “DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS,” which has been interpreted by French epigrapher and professor emeritus Andre Bernand as meaning either, “by Christ the magician” or “the magician by Christ.”
“It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic,” Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology, said.
Here is the main problem – THIS IS NOT THE EARLIEST REFERENCE TO JESUS CHRIST. The Earliest reference is found in the Gospels. This is not a reference to Jesus Christ, not of the bible. Well, I guess I put the Discovery Channel up there with FoxNews now, on the do not watch list.