Thursday, July 18, 2013

Postscript to the Reza Aslan Interview

Here's an interesting postscript to the July 14, 2013 NPR Weekend Edition interview with Reza Aslan, which I reviewed in the last Word Magazine (7.16.13).  NPR has now put up a "correction" note which reads:
Correction July 15, 2013

In the audio of this story, as in a previous Web version, our guest incorrectly says the first Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, contains no statement of messianic identity from Jesus. In fact, in Mark 14:62, Jesus responds affirmatively when asked if he is the son of God.

The note comes in response to Aslan's statement that Jesus in Mark nowhere claims to be the Christ.  In my response I noted that Aslan completely misses the point of the Gospel which opens, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (1:1), reaches a high point when Peter affirms, "Thou art the Christ" (8:29), and closes with a Roman Centurion affirming, "Truly this man was the Son of God" (15:39).  As I overlooked but apparently other listeners pointed out, Aslan's point is completely refuted by Mark 14:61-62 when Jesus is asked, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" and he replied, "I am."

BTW, the NPR correction also erroneously calls Mark "the first Gospel."  Not only is this incorrect in that no one knows with certainty which Gospel was written first but also because scholars (whatever their view on Gospel origins) typically refer to Matthew as "the first Gospel" due to its first place in the canonical order.


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