02 March 2007

More Of The Titanic Tomb Tale.

On Opinion Journal, Ben Witherington III reflects on the latest historical Jesus silliness (the James Cameron-perpetrated bit), and what it says about American culture:

In a surreal moment on "Larry King Live" earlier this week, the film's producer, James Cameron (of "Titanic" fame), told us with a straight face that we should all be thankful that we now have tangible evidence that Jesus existed. Actually, no serious historian of biblical antiquity has ever doubted that there was a historical Jesus. Yet it tells us a lot about the state of our culture that Mr. Cameron's remark, backed by pseudo-science, could be seriously made on national television and that the film's companion book has already shot up to No. 5 on Amazon's rankings. We are a Jesus-haunted culture that is so historically illiterate that anything can now pass for knowledge of Jesus.

No doubt there are those who welcome "evidence" that undermines the foundation of Christianity. Many people, though, are simply beguiled by the "obsolescence factor" in our technologically driven society--the "newer" must be "truer" and "better." This outlook, when applied to a subject like the historical Jesus, attracts all sorts of unbridled speculation, and worse.

Here's the whole thing.
 

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