“It is Scripture that taught us the literal word of God that is the biggest challenge to God in the 21st century. Over this upcoming century I hope that humanity will evolve to recognise…and I stand here as a religious leader who believes that this is my role as such, to teach that Scripture has the human hand in it and therefore it is neither a mutable nor the exclusive word of God, it is the word of human beings, our ancestors, trying to understand what it means to be part of God’s creation.” – Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, from Emanuel Synagogue.
(First published as First Century Pulp Fiction: CBS at the Manger
A review of the recent CBS 48 Hours special “Birth of Jesus”)
Once again the American media and a few scholarly mercenaries have tried to focus attention on New Testament mythology as though startling historical facts are waiting to be discovered beneath the layers of legend.
It happens every year, at Christmas and Easter: new revelations, startling discoveries (often described as “archaeological” to give a scientific ring), the latest scholarly finds, expert opinion. Given the lineup on CBS’s recent 48 Hours special on the birth of Jesus—John Crossan, Elaine Pagels, Michael White, and Ben Witherington (appropriately the gamut from skeptical to credulous in their approaches)—the ready supply of expertise (read: informed opinion) is no more in doubt than a burned out bulb in a marquee display.
But the opinions are…
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