We’ve recently, in my Apologetics class at church, been placing a big emphasis on the historicity of Jesus, the resurrection and biblical reliability. The reason for that becomes apparent when you take a look at the type of content the public is being served up on our (partially) publicly funded television PBS:
Last Days of Jesus: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365987523/
This was playing on Arizona PBS yesterday afternoon. From what I could see, there was not a single known conservative scholar on the show (e.g. Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. Michael Licona, Dr. Ben Witherington III, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Dr. N.T. Wright, Dr. Craig A. Evans etc), but rather a whole load of liberal scholars (Dr. James Tabor – co-author with Dr. Bart Ehrman, Simcha Jacobovici who was co-author of the Lost Gospel, and others). Of course, they were coming up with all sorts of speculative theories about Jesus’ last week – namely that it was not a last week, but more of a 6 month period and that it couldn’t possibly have been at Passover time because it would’ve been so difficult to harvest the palm branches for Palm Sunday triumphal entry.
They also mention that all the disciples and their wives were with Jesus, although the New Testament says that the disciples left their wives. It also says that the Last Supper Jesus told them to drink this cup and eat this bread to remember me, which is accurate, but they left out the part about the cup being the New Covenant in His blood. They also seem to indicate that Jesus had influence at the highest levels of government because of the wife of Chusa, and that that is the reason why when He overturned the money changers in the temple, the authorities did nothing about it, however the New Testament records Jesus as saying that His kingdom is not of this world and that He was so poor that He had no place to lay His head.
The show ended with no talk of the resurrection. There were all sorts of weird theories about Jesus’ motivations. To be honest, I was not surprised. I’m always on alert whenever watching any public / secular television programming about Jesus or Christianity in general.
We pay public funds for PBS. Since that’s the case, shouldn’t they be providing equal time to material presented by conservative scholars who hold the traditional (supported by evidence rather than speculation) view? Well, that’s why it’s important for me to provide content for believers in the apologetics class, where they’ll hear the other side of the story. Recently we’ve reviewed the following material:
(yesterday) Sean McDowell, on the Mystery Religions and dying and rising gods in the ancient near east:
Lecture – Dr Peter Williams – Things Which Ought To Be Better Known About The Resurrection Of Jesus
Dr. Craig Hazen – Evidence for the Resurrection:
Tim Barnett – is the Bible Full of Contradictions:
Remember, your neighbors and family who are curious about Jesus at this time of year are possibly watching these PBS, History Channel and NatGeo shows to get their information about Jesus from “reputable” scholars. As always, the words of the Apostle Peter are applicable:
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15)
That is what we’re doing each week in the Apologetics class, getting ourselves ready. Best not to “wing it” on this…
Blessings to you all