Who knew CNN could put together a miniseries about Jesus that is worth watching – and not heretical?
I certainly didn’t.
But CNN may have done just that with its second season of Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery, which explores biblical stories and historical artifacts surrounding New Testament events by interviewing experts across the theological spectrum. It debuts Sunday (March 5) at 9 Eastern on CNN.
I screened two of the six episodes – “The Pilate Stone” and “The Tomb of Lazarus” – and was impressed. Experts across the theological spectrum are interviewed, and the general tone is that the events in Scripture did, in fact, take place, although a couple of the theologians did say things that made me uneasy.
(One bright spot is Asbury Theological Seminary’s Ben Witherington, a prominent conservative scholar in the series who does a nice job.)
This is not a Sunday School class, though. It’s more like an archaeology session mixed in with stories from the Bible. But that’s fine.
For the episode about the Pilate Stone, the filmmakers examine a piece of limestone that has an engraving mentioning Pontius Pilate. In the episode about Lazarus, filmmakers explore whether a church in the Middle East has the actual remains of the man Jesus brought back to life.
Other episodes examine:
- The childhood home of Jesus.
- The tomb of King Herod.
- The bones of Peter.
- Relics related to Thomas.
I enjoy biblical archaeology, but we need to keep it in perspective. Archaeology does not prove Scripture. When something of significance is found, it simply affirms Scripture. (See the difference?) That is, the Bible is true even if every single relic that CNN explores is proven a forgery.
That said, some of them are believed to be authentic. And that is – in the 21st century vernacular – pretty cool.