Other Public Commentary
THE JESUS PAPERS: EXPOSING THE GREATEST SPINNER IN HISTORY
By Marsha West
Recently I heard an interview with Michael Bagient on a local talk show. He was promoting his new book, The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History. The greatest cover-up in history? My interest was piqued. What I learned is that Bagient asserts that Jesus survived the crucifixion and escaped to Egypt with his wife, Mary Magdalene. I�m intrigued by conspiracy theories�UFO�s, JFK, Abraham Lincoln, September 11, Halliburton--but this one cast doubt on the validity of the Gospel accounts of Christ�s life and death. I�m a Christian, so Baigent�s ramblings got my dander up.
Michael Baigent�s theory about Jesus is at the very least controversial, not to mention that most serious scholars think he�s not only an opportunist; they think he�s dead wrong. (Some scholars say he�s a kook.) I didn�t hear the entire interview; but the segment I heard gave Bagient plenty of time to spew his lies and half-truths -- and the host of the show failed to ask hard questions! Now I was livid.
In his book, The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction?, Hank Hanegraaff asks, �What is truth?� He explains it this way: �Truth is anything that corresponds to reality. As such, truth is not determined by the popularity of a book...Norr is it a matter of preference or opinion. Truth is true even if everyone denies it, and a lie is a lie even if everyone affirms it.�
Michael Bagient co-authored the 1982 bestseller, �The Holy Blood, Holy Grail,� an alleged book of nonfiction. Unfortunately he has succeeded in palming off his grand conspiracy theories on a gullible public. In 2005 Baigent and one of the co-authors of Holy Blood filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Dan Brown, noted author of The Da Vinci Code. (Brown�s novel portrays the Gospels as �fabrications� and the deity of Christ a mere myth.) Bagient and his partner in crime lost the lawsuit, but the suit gained them a ton of media attention. This isn�t surprising, as the liberal media love to sink their fangs into anything that might discredit the Gospel accounts in the New Testament. Satan�s been busy.
According to Laura Miller, �The publicity surrounding the trial has not only driven up sales of the 20-year-old book Baigent accuses Brown of ripping off, it seems to have given "The Jesus Papers" a healthy boost as well. Last week, Baigent's new book climbed to the sixth slot on Amazon's bestseller list.�
Filing a lawsuit against the renowned Dan Brown got Michael Baigent recognition and a ton of face time. The man�s a genius!
So, were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married as Baigent speculates? Nope. Not one scintilla of evidence from antiquity has been discovered that says Jesus was ever married to anyone. Even as God�s wrath was being poured out on the Son of God as he hung on the cross to pay mankind�s sin-debt, He showed concern for his mother. �Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother�s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, �Dear woman, here is your son,� and to the disciple, �Here is your mother.� From that time on the disciple took her into his home� (John 19:25-27).
If Mary Magdalene was Mrs. Jesus, why didn�t He ask John to care for her? Seeing that His wife was taken care of would have been His highest priority!
So, have Christians been duped? The evidence Baigent offered for his historical revisionism is a set of �shocking documents� he calls the Jesus Papers. He claims he saw and photographed the documents but somehow they slipped through his hands and into the stealthy Vatican�s. In an interview on Dateline NBC, Baigent offered this tidbit of speculation about the ppers: �You can make sure they never see the light of day�that they�re destroyed. That they�re lost. That they�re hidden away. And this is the situation that I�ve found.�
Which is it? Are the papers destroyed, lost, or hidden away? And what proof does he offer for the evil Vatican�s cover-up? None!
Baigent accepts the fact that Jesus was crucified, but he says He didn�t die on the cross. He was taken down and revived; thereafter He fled to Egypt with his wife. Is it plausible that Jesus survived the crucifixion? You decide. From historical and eyewitness accounts we know that Jesus was severely beaten by Roman guards and the beating was followed by a flogging that few men survive. After having terrible violence inflicted on His body, Jesus had nine-inch spikes pounded into His hands and ankles. You�d have to agree that He lost a lot of blood during his ordeal. To top it off, He was pierced in the side with a spear. Medical pathologists maintain that Jesus would have experienced rapid fluid loss, resulting in organ failure from the severe beating and nail wounds. Thus, He would have gone into hypovolemic shock.
The Romans knew a thing or two about inflicting pain. They wanted Jesus dead. End of story.
� 2006 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved
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Marsha West resides in historic Jacksonville Oregon. She is the Founder and Editor of E-Mail Brigade News Report, a news service for conservative people of faith. EMB News has been in circulation for almost a decade.
Marsha is both designer and webmaster for On Solid Rock Resources, a Christian apologetics website. She is a contributing writer to bibleteacher.org and the E-Mail Brigade News Report. Marsha is currently writing a series of children's books for homeschoolers.
So, what's behind the effort to turn our kids into good little hedonists? Hollywood knows that if they can win our children over to their depraved worldview, they win the country. Make no mistake about it: The anti-God crowd is winning our children.