Has anyone other than me been watching, Jesus: His Life? It’s being shown on the History Channel on Monday’s. Before anyone thinks I’m just going to trash it overall, let me start by saying it’s actually a well produced, well acted docu-drama. Of course it’s based on the four Gospels of the New Testament. It’s interesting to watch how they attempt to weave the four narratives into a single story. Of course, as far as I am able to tell, it’s never pointed out the difficulties between those same Gospels. That’s okay I guess because the show isn’t meant for viewers like me, a non-believer, it’s directed at those that are believers and familiar, to a degree, with the life of Jesus.
There’s a lot of commentary throughout each episode: Priests, Pastors, religion professors, and apologists that are the ones attempting to explain the critical events portrayed in the mini-series. Not a single dissenting voice. Of course that would have been a surprise if there were any, but for accuracy I think it would have been a lot better had the producers included a few of those people to stop and say, None of this can be proven. It’s even more disturbing, if only slightly, that this is being shown on a channel called History. They long ago deserted what that name was supposed to represent. It’s now a channel about sword and knife making competitions, and of course, probably one of their largest draws, Ancient Aliens.
So maybe it fits they present more fairy tales. I know of some that I’ve spoken with have told me that there must be something historical about the story. I agree. Some names and of course locations are indeed historical, but the story itself? Of course those commentators on the show never actually talk about the difficulties of that, just gloss over any inconsistencies as if they don’t exist. Do any come to mind for anyone immediately? How about Joseph having to return to his ancestral home for the census? Every classical historian extant say that didn’t happen. What about the differences in genealogy, between Matthew and Luke where in one, Joseph’s is given, and the other, Mary’s? It’s never given a moment’s thought as to why Joseph’s genealogy is given since Joseph is not Jesus’ father, and as to Mary’s? A woman’s ancestry was irrelevant in those times.
That’s just in the beginning, and should be troublesome to all viewers. If those two cannot be resolved, how could anyone believe the remainder of the story? I looked the series up on IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and it’s described as a
Comprehensive retelling of Jesus’ life story from a historically- and Biblically-accurate perspective. Live-action storytelling interspersed with brief commentary provides context about the world as it was during the early Christian era.
Biblically? Yes. Historically? Not so much. Not to mention there is a lot of extra-canonical information presented to try to explain more of those inconsistencies.
If anyone is looking to see an entertaining show, I would recommend it. Really. Just don’t expect to learn anything new or even slightly controversial.