The Search For Jesus
Staten Island NY
I thought that the first 3/4s of the show was a pretty fair treatment of historical information. But I don't think there was enough examination of the resurrection myth!
Entered on: Monday, June 26th at 8:14PM PDT
I was pleasantly surprised by this evening's program, although it did not get to the root of the problem and admit that there is really no credible evidence to suggest the existence of a historical Jesus. Also, even were there such a person (or possibly a group of persons who were self-annointed "Messiahs"), this certainly does not prove any sort of connection with a deity, that this "Jesus" was the son of a god.
My guess is that this program will take a considerable amount of heat from fundamentalists and hard-shell evangelicals, and maybe even from some mainstream Christian groups as well. I was impressed by the willingness to bring someone like Marvin Meyer ("Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World") who said outright that the notion of a resurrection was something adapted from ancient Mystery Cults.
Entered on: Monday, June 26th at 8:23PM PDT
cudahy wisconsin usa
I watched the show this evening and found it to be very controdictive.the theists on the program clearly disagreed with alot of the things that were written in the bible, they clearly stated that alot of the bibles context were wrong or just added fiction.
Entered on: Monday, June 26th at 8:30PM PDT
Sumner, WA USA
Frankly, I was surprised. After the half-dozen religious specials aired in the past few months (the claymation Jesus thing, the CBS Jesus thing, the Mary, Mother of Jesus thing, and a few more), I certainly didn't expect something -critical- of the Jesus story, especially on a Disney-owned station. I hope ABC airs it again, so I can set my VCR.
Early on in the story, Jennings rather dismisses the people who think Jesus simply didn't exist as, as I remember it, 'real skeptics.' He didn't have any of those 'real skeptics' on the special, or even any non-theists, which came as a disappointment. Of course, perhaps it's because the 'real skeptics' couldn't interpret the Jesus story much, since they think it was a complete fabrication. Some non-theist viewpoints would have been nice, but I can see why they didn't include any; to have even -one- atheist on, saying only one line, would have branded the entire special as 'Anti-christian' and 'proof of the continuing repression of Christians.' But, reading the message boards provided by ABC and beliefnet, many are branding it that anyway. ABC will get a lot of flak over this, especially from the religious right.
Personally, I thought they could have spent time talking about the supposed 'sacrifice' Jesus made for our sins, and why his claimed ressurection and ascension to heaven doesn't constitute sacrifice.
What I'd like to know is just how many people actually began to question their beliefs after watching it. If I had been a Christian before the special, I'd certainly be asking myself some tough questions.
Entered on: Tuesday, June 27th at 3:48AM PDT
Bloomfield, New Jersey USA
I was unable to watch the entire television special; however, I caught enough to recognize that Peter Jennings, a professional journalist, could not have equipped himself well enough to create an interesting program.
To try to fashion a historical event without proper knowledge of the topic, is similar to stating one’s own hypotheses on the process of a single celled organism’s reproductive methods without attending The Darwin School of Monkeys.
In order to actually “search for information,” the sincere desire must propel the investigation. Not just the results of television ratings.
Allowing ABC and Peter Jennings to provide a thorough documentary or examination is like my four-year-old daughter explaining the parts and operation of my automobile.
Let ABC just stick to soap operas and Oprah. That is what kept them in business up until now!
Entered on: Tuesday, June 27th at 10:33AM PDT
A big standing ovation to you and your comments . How wonderful it is to know we as Christians are not alone in the belief that the media has no idea on how to portray the truth about Jesus.
What a better world it would be if people took the time to search for the TRUTH!
Entered on: Wednesday, June 28th at 6:55AM PDT
Carmel, CA USA
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the program did not wallow in religious hype. However it could have had more information about the Messiah mythe and the role of the prophets in establishing the idea that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. It should have pointed out the differences in the gospels and the reasons for them. Matthew was written by someone who was trying to establish the Jewish point of view while Luke was writing for gentiles. John was written long after the events, and expresses a Greek viewpoint. The program was about as good as one could expect from an organization that cannot go to far in upsetting the religious majority.
Entered on: Wednesday, June 28th at 6:07PM PDT
While I could nitpik, in general I thought
the show was a quantum leap compared to the
pro-religion tripe the networks usually air.
There were some important subtleties I wish
were universally used by newscasters, such as
the statement "according to the gospels..such and
such occured" rather than just stating such and such
The gross commercialization of the "historic" sites
also carried a very negative message...it would have
been nice if he had tied this in with the important
statement that the sites had been chosen by
Constantine's representative. She no doubt had
to chose between competing claims for authenticity
due to the potential financial windfall the designation
In general, ABC should be commended.
Entered on: Thursday, June 29th at 3:46AM PDT
San Jose, CA USA
Coming from a purely atheistic and former xtian point of view, I would've preferred to see the issues of historicity addressed with a more skeptical vision.
However, ABC is a Mass-Media Corporation, and as such, must address a mass audience. Given that fact, I thought that the piece was fairly even-handed.
ABC is not in the business of converting people to one belief or another. If there were viewers who were 'fence-sitting' regarding the issue of whether Jesus actually existed as a person, my opinion is that these viewers would only be confused by the presentation of 'evidence.'
Knowing that Mr. Jennings is a christian, the piece was surprisingly un-pious.
Those of us seeking 'Truth' as a poster naively states above should probably seek our information from more objective sources.
Entered on: Thursday, June 29th at 10:48AM PDT
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