Yes, the Fox “News” “Interview” with Reza Aslan is laughable, but

shameless plug… my book speaks about this somewhat, but using actual documents and historical evidences. I do not arrive at the same conclusions as Dr. Aslan.

Let us not forget the substance of his book.

If you haven’t seen nor heard of this interview, Fox News’ “religious correspondent tries to savage Reza Asland, author of a new book about the historical Jesus in which he claims Jesus was a political revolutionary.

‘This is an interesting book. Now I want to clarify, you’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?’ she said.

He said: ‘Well to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees — including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades — who also just happens to be a Muslim.’

Yes, the interview is awful, but from some accounts, so is the book. See a review posted on Keith and Le Donne’s blog

I am not writing this post to support Fox News. Instead, I am seeing people now offer support for a book they’ve never read simply because of this display of stupidity.

Another thought, of why this approach was taken is this: You know Billy O’Reilly has a book due out soon, Killing Jesus, right? Could it be that this book is pitted against Billy O’s as a way to drive Bill O’s sales? I mean, Bill O, despite divorce, lies and others things is still considered a public Christian figure. By Green’s standards, he and not the academic is qualified to write about Jesus.


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9 Replies to “Yes, the Fox “News” “Interview” with Reza Aslan is laughable, but”

  1. Joel,

    I’ve ordered a review copy to see for myself.

    I’ve met Reza. He’s Muslim, but not of a typical sort. I doubt very much it’s a Muslim version of Jesus, which would draw upon the Quran and some of the non-canonical books for support. He’s an interesting character, but something of a gadfly. He is a good writer though!

    I’ll hopefully offer my own take soon. Starting out, I have my questions about what he comes up with since he claims to write the life of Jesus without consulting the New Testament. That would make for an interesting exercise!

    1. I don’t believe he does make that claim, Bob. Rather, I recall that he correctly approaches the New Testament books for what they are, which is to say, not sources of history, but rather testaments about Jesus from the communities that followed him. Indeed, they weren’t intended to be historically accurate by their authors, and nor did their original audiences understand them to be such.

      Intellectually honest scholars of the historical Jesus similarly do not approach the New Testament books as straight-up history. This has been true ever since the dawn of historical and textual criticism.

  2. To quote George Takei — “Oh, My.” I guess I hadn’t realized O’Reilly was writing about “Killing Jesus.” Now that would be an interesting face-off — Reza and Bill. Both are full of themselves so it might be an even debate! My sense though is that in neither case will we encounter Jesus!

  3. Is the you tube post the entire interview or just a selected part by the person posting to you tube? I can’t view on my iPod and my desktop is down. If it is a selected segment, as usual I don’t believe that is sufficient for meaningful comment.

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