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A&E Program

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  • Jim West
    Fellow listers-- I pass this note along FYI.... Best, as always, Jim ... WESTAR INSTITUTE UPDATE ... Sunday, February 7, 9:00pm ET/10:00pm PT, the A&E TV
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 1999
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      Fellow listers-- I pass this note along FYI....

      Best, as always,



      Sunday, February 7, 9:00pm ET/10:00pm PT, the A&E TV
      Network will present a special on "THE UNKNOWN JESUS."

      Film Roos, producer of the special, has interviewed Robert
      Funk for the program, and has had access to archival tape
      of the Jesus Seminar in session, including tape of the
      inaugural Jesus Seminar session in Berkeley, California in

      The text of the A&E promotional description of the
      program is reprinted below; it is also available on their
      Web site at

      Based on the description, the show appears to be
      attempting a very wide-ranging and balanced approach to
      historical Jesus research---which often results in no
      particular aspect getting very much air time or depth (note
      that a broadcast "hour," minus commercials and other
      breaks, is closer to 40 minutes than 60). As always, the best
      hope is that the Jesus Seminar and those who work with the
      Seminar will be treated as fairly and fully as possible.

      If you do watch the program (or even if you don't) your
      thoughts about it are welcome and appreciated. Please send
      any messages to:


      A final word: it is encouraging to see that the historical
      Jesus is now such a popular figure that television networks
      use him as a featured attraction for their all-important
      "sweeps" rating period in February.

      From the A&E Web site:


      In the name of one man, some of history's greatest
      accomplishments and most horrendous tragedies have come
      to past. This two-hour A&E SPECIAL PRESENTATION:
      THE UNKNOWN JESUS explores the life and legacy of
      the man whose message was "love one another" but in
      whose name there have been wars, persecutions,
      inquisitions and executions by fire. And today clinics are
      bombed and people are murdered for a crime he never
      mentioned. Homosexuals are persecuted and killed for a
      lifestyle he never condemned. There is not a single etching
      nor one contemporary description of what he looked like,
      yet thousands have claimed to have seen his image in rocks
      and trees, on hillsides, in broken plaster and even in
      tortillas. Some claim Jesus never intended to found a
      church. And it is argued that there's no evidence in the
      scriptures that Jesus ever claimed to be divine, a belief
      Christians hold as a sacred truth. During his lifetime, he
      was never mentioned in the secular writings. Skeptics say
      he never lived at all. Some say he lived most of his life in a
      small village. Others insist he couldn't have because he
      knew too much of the world and was too insightful. They
      believe he traveled extensively.

      points out there is one thing we know for certain -
      his name was not Jesus Christ. Never during his lifetime
      was he known as Christ. "Christ" is from the ancient Greek,
      Christos. It means "the anointed one, the savior." The name
      Jesus was common. In the sacred writings he is referred to
      as "Jesus of Nazareth." And now even that seems to be an
      error. For Jesus did not grow up in a place called Nazareth.
      He never even lived in Nazareth. Archeologists have
      proven that the town of Nazareth did not exist until three
      centuries after Jesus died. For 20 centuries the life of Jesus
      has been hidden. Now, modern archeology, new discoveries
      and space age technologies shed new light. As the
      millennium approaches, questions long debated in scholarly
      circles are coming to the fore. Armed with ancient sources
      like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the papyrus books at Nag
      Hammadi, and long overlooked writings from the early
      church, modern scholars are making an impact with new
      theories on the most important figure of the Western
      World. Those who contribute are the co-author of Holy
      Blood, Holy Grail Michael Baigent, author of The Birth of
      Christianity John Dominic Crossan, author of James the
      Brother of Jesus Robert Eisenman, co-author of The Hiram
      Key Christopher Knight, author of the Jesus Conspiracy
      Holger Kersten, founder of the Jesus Seminar Robert W.
      Funk, the directors of The Turing Shroud Center John and
      Rebekkah Jackson, and editor of the Biblical Archeology
      Review Hershel Shanks.

      PREMIERE: February 7 at 9pm/1am ET (6pm/10pm PT)
      LENGTH: 2 hours
      PRODUCED BY: FilmRoos, Inc. for A&E Network

      Jim West, ThD
      Quartz Hill School of Theology

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