Skip to comments.‘Explorer: The Secret Lives of Jesus,’ Dec. 17, National Geographic Channel
Posted on 12/16/2006 5:18:34 AM PST by NYer
Last April, the National Geographic Society made headlines with a completed translation of the second century gnostic text known as the Gospel of Judas financed by the society and heavily promoted with tie-in books and a TV documentary that would challenge Christianity's traditional understanding of the relationship between Jesus and his betrayer.
Its new special, "The Secret Lives of Jesus," makes similar sensational claims, airing as part of the "Explorer" series Sunday, Dec. 17, 9-10 p.m. EST on cable's National Geographic Channel.
Despite its provocative title, however, the program as with the Judas expose provides no explosive revelations but merely rehashes the same old theological chestnuts refuted by the church over the centuries.
Examining the so-called "lost gospels" through re-enactments and interviews with scholars, the film asks if Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell the "whole" Jesus story, suggesting that these alternative versions which offer a radically different portrait of Christ -- may help "fill in the blanks." The idea that these ancient texts provide startling new information is a bit misleading. Church fathers such as St. Irenaeus, who wrote against the Gospel of Judas in 180 A.D., knew of many of these and rejected them as false.
Among the manuscripts considered is the apocryphal infancy Gospel of James, a second-century collection of miraculous tales about Jesus' youth that lacks the historical veracity of the canonical Gospels. (The book was regarded as spurious by Origen of Alexandria in the third century.) One episode dramatized involves Jesus bringing clay pigeons to life. Another has a young, rather malicious Jesus striking a boy dead for bumping into him.
Of equally dubious purview is "The Unknown Life of Jesus," a 19th-century translation of an ancient Tibetan scroll which allegedly chronicles Jesus' travels through India during his "hidden years" (between the ages 12 and 30) to learn from Hindu mystics.
Given the popularity of "The Da Vinci Code," it's not unexpected that the survey includes discussion of gnostic texts such as the Gospels of Mary and Philip that allude to Mary Magdalene's special, possibly intimate, relationship with Jesus. But unlike Dan Brown, this program does not attribute any conspiratorial villainy to the church, and even counters many of Brown's bogus assertions: One expert, for instance, stresses that there's no credible evidence to support the Jesus-Mary Magdalene theory.
It is, however, suggested that these alternative versions constituted a pluralism of valid competing forms of Christianity vying for dominance in the first centuries after Christ. While doctrinal questions continued to be refined among the early Christian communities, this image hardly does justice to the capacity of those communities to sort out and affirm the essentials of the faith authoritatively taught from the beginning.
Even more disputable is the contention forwarded that the gnostic texts, though written much later than the canonical gospels, have something of equal value to say about Jesus. While these texts are of certain historical interest, they tell us more about the people who wrote them than about Jesus.
I don't know who owns National Geographic. But, I'll bet it is owned by those who ain't partial to the Bible :)
I whole heartedly agree.
That's probably a safe assumption. Here's the bio of the President, for what it's worth:
John M. Fahey
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John M. Fahey, Jr. became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Geographic Society in 1998, succeeding Reg Murphy, who served as president of the Society as well as the United States Golf Association. Murphy previously served as President of the Sun Newspapers in Baltimore and the San Francisco Examiner. He was Editor of the Editorial Page of the Atlanta Constitution. Fahey also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees, as well as Chairman of its executive committee.
Fahey received his bachelors degree in engineering from Manhattan College and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He was previously president of Time-Life Books.
Are you surprised by this?
No ... just angered by the relentless attacks on my Lord and Savior.
I'm sure the National Geographic Society will be putting out a special during Ramadan exposing the life of Mohammed, since those facts are definitely known. After all, these anti-religious hacks would want to debunk ALL religions, not just Christianity, right?
Just as the airing of such "specials" tells us more about the people who are doing them, then about Jesus.
There is a small, but concerted and well organized, well financed, persistent and aggressive cabal of influential organizations and individuals (Soros, Elaine Pagels & al, etc.) which have unceasingly been on the forefront of Christ-bashing through books, and especially several TV channels (Discovery, National Geographic, History, etc.), that can be commonly called the Satanic Network, with Lucifer at its undisputed CEO.
The timing, just as with the "Gospel" of Judas, is not a coincidence. Christ-bashing one week before Christmas is a well planned and organized attack with Antichrist and his angels behind the agenda.
The master deceiver and the father of all lies uses academic and historical "evidence," with few professors who sold their souls to darkness, to make it look all very believable and genuine. But pay attention and see how many of those interviewed are really representative voices of the Church, Easter or West, and whether their statements are in context or represent only a suitable segment. As always, when tuning into these satanic episodes from hell, watch it at your own risk and make sure you wear a crucifix!
The ear of Malchus twitches in the grave while Saint Peter shouts Glory Glory Glory!
Take comfort, you are in good company and we know the final fate of the deceivers.
That's good to know. It's important to watch with a critical eye, although it can be exceedingly annoying.
The ownership is not in the president of the society, but its shareholders and the policies are determined by the executive steering cmmittee. The president is there to serve the corporation, and make sure the business brings profit.
What amazes me is that it is actually profitable in America to bash Christ! A country where nearly 80% of the population declares to be "Christian!" Yet, common sense tells us that, just as drugs and pornography would not be a money-making business without customers, likewise there are enough people who will watch Christ-bashing to make it a worth-while endeavor.
Yes. I wonder how that poll was taken/information was gathered, because it makes no sense.
Nothing but damnable, soul destroying heresy! What is the motivation of these people who peddle this evil? Power, pure and simple!
"The desire to rule is the mother of heresies." +John Chrysostomos
"All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me."
Absolutely correct! How many lapsed christians, listening to Christmas carols on the radio, have had their hearts stirred and contemplate returning to Church on Christmas day. Programs such as this are intended to lead the weak, astray. They continue down a path of diabolical darkness towards the total loss of their souls. May God have mercy on them!
The source of the problem is modern biblical scholarship, which from its origins in the 18th Century posited that the Four Gospels were written long after the lifetime of Jesus and therefore have no historical value. The fact is that it is likely that all four were written before the destruction of the Temple, that Matthew was written within a decade of the crucixion.