Tuesday, July 23, 2013
New Word Magazine (7.23.13): Review of Reza Aslan's "Zealot" Interview and Attacks on the Historicity of the Gospel Birth Narratives
Image: Reza Aslan, author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth"
As I note in the program, I hope no one falls over when they hear I have recorded and posted a Word Magazine two weeks in a row. This edition is a review of another Reza Aslan NPR interview (this one on the "Fresh Air" program from 7/15/13). Last week's episode has nearly a hundred downloads (as of this afternoon), so there must be some interest in the topic. In this episode I focus on Aslan's challenges to the historicity of the Gospel birth narratives, including his charge that the historical Jesus was born in Nazareth rather than Bethlehem and that the Gospel birth narratives are "ridiculous" and "unhistorical to the extreme." Along the way I point out a few of Aslan's factual (like the obvious misstatement that "Bethlehem" is only mentioned in three verses in the NT) and philosophical/theological errors (e.g., false dichotomies between the "Jesus of history" and the "Christ of faith").