Seen on Fox News; Paul Verhoeven, the director of “Basic Instinct” and “The Terminator”, is publishing a biography about Jesus which he claims is the most realistic one ever released. In fact, he titles it Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait.
One major premise of the book is that the “Virgin Mary may have been a rape victim” under the oppression of Roman rule, and that’s how Jesus was born. Note the “may have.” Perhaps. Maybe. Hypothetically speaking. In unproven theory.
Tell me how this is the most realistic portrayal of Jesus ever published? “May have”? Someone took a guess?
I suppose I can understand why an unbelieving person would find it necessary to edit out Jesus’ supernatural birth. After all, accepting Him to be virgin-born also requires accepting Him as God, which is unthinkable to many people. I suppose I can understand why Verhoeven’s assertion would be considered “more realistic” if you view life through a paradigm which does not allow for miracles of any kind. People have been attacking Jesus’ birth narrative for centuries; this idea is really not that surprising.
What really baffled me was another claim of the biography: “…the book will also say that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot…” Um… why? If you’ve looked at the human race much, you’ll quickly see that betrayal is not beyond us. History is littered with two-faced comrades who will gladly turn against their leaders and friends if the price is high enough (Et tu, Brute?). As far as I can see, the only reason to dismiss Judas’ betrayal would be to dismiss the Book in which it is recorded.
Never has there been a Person in history more scrutinized and attacked than Jesus Christ. Think about it for a moment. No one is wasting years of their life in order to concoct an alternate personal history for Homer. Nobody cares about speculating over whether or not we know the real story of Aristotle or Plato. No other historical figure has drawn so much study, criticism, or creative re-writing of history as Jesus has. This alone should tell us something. We are not dealing with a nice philanthropist who had some good sermons and a messy death. We are looking at Someone whose identity determines the fate of humankind.
Jesus is the one Person in religious history who affects the world with more than just His teaching. He affects the world by who He is. If He truly is the God-Man, the Word who has become flesh, the Son of God who died and rose again, then everything about our lives, our ambitions, and how we see the world has to change. That’s an uncomfortable prospect for many people. And hence the attacks continue.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: We must know who this Jesus is. The rage against Him is only going to increase as the hour grows later, and we cannot afford to let our hearts be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. If you want to read a realistic portrait of Jesus, you’ll find it between the pages of Genesis and Revelation. Jesus Christ is real. He is who He says He is — fully and truly God and Man. He really was born of a virgin. He really lived and died and rose again. And He’s really coming back to this earth to set up a kingdom.
Jesus is Lord. Selah.