Thursday, April 24, 2008

Paul Verhoeven, The Jesus Seminar, and "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait"

Film Director Paul Verhoeven, who brought the "Robocop" and "Basic Instinct" movies into the world, happens to be a member of the controversial Jesus Seminar group. They're also known as the Westar Institute. (See Blogroll to your right.)

Verhoeven is making a movie called "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait". Among the many ideas resurrected by the movie will be some anti-early church propaganda that Mary was raped by a Roman soldier. This soldier, instead of Joseph, was the father of Jesus.

That should get 'em fired up.

There will be a swarm of publicity about the Jesus Seminar as a result of this film. The group is comprised of top-notch Biblical scholars whose major work concentrates, not on What Would Jesus Do, but on What DID Jesus Do. What did he really say.

For instance, if you look at the last half of the last chapter of the Gospel of Mark, you'll notice that there is usually a page break of a few lines before the last eight or nine verses. The footnotes (in the newer Bibles) claim that these last verses aren't in the oldest manuscripts, but are of a more recent vintage.

The Jesus Seminar scholars believe that these additions to ancient texts were a widespread practice.
Please allow me to recommend the following: The Five Gospels: What did Jesus really say? The search for the authentic words of Jesus, by seminar member (and founder, I think) Robert Funk. Interesting stuff. The passages that they believe are most authentic are printed in a darker color, the least authentic are another color. Various shades are used to show the ones in between. Detailed reasons are given for these choices.

Or don't read the book. Don't see the movie. Remain fiercely loyal to your current beliefs, and refuse to have them challenged.

By the way, a good friend of mine has loaned me an actual Geneva Bible. Printed in 1610. Fascinating book. People risked their lives to get this book printed and distributed.

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