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The narrator said that "archaeologists must sift clues and scholars decode the stories told by the first followers of Jesus" in order to find the truth.It was suggested that the differences between Mark's and John's reports about Jesus' arrest is evidence that they aren't historically accurate accounts.The views aired on "From Jesus to Christ" are widespread among mainline scholars, and they are the views typically heard on college campuses and in the media.Two assumptions are made about the life of Jesus, and they are considered such common knowledge that they typically aren't defended.Since the PBS program focused on historical issues, we'll concentrate our attention there and leave the matter of the supernatural for another time.But before making a case for the historicity of the Gospels, we should have some background information on the project of searching for the historical Jesus.As time went by, legends began to develop as words and actions were attributed to Jesus which weren't really his.The new Christians needed Jesus to speak to their own difficulties, so they put words in his mouth or invented miracles to address whatever the difficulty was.
As philosopher Stephen Evans says, "The quick answer is simply 'modernity.'" In the era of the Enlightenment, optimism about the power of human reason quickly led to the renunciation of the supernatural, so that reports of miracles and resurrections were now to be considered pre-scientific and mythological.(4) Since so much of the Gospels deals with the supernatural, the documents were no longer to be trusted historically.One participant said that the Gospel writers were only giving their own theology using Jesus as a spokesman.For the scholars on "From Jesus to Christ," Jesus was just a man who preached about the coming kingdom of God. But he had enough charisma that he was able to gather about himself a group of people who were attracted to his ideas, and who sought to keep his memory and teachings alive after he died.The first indication that "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" might not be presenting historically orthodox views of Jesus is the title of the program itself.The viewer might have thought that "From Jesus to Christ" referred to what Peter said in Acts : "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ this Jesus whom you crucified." The scholars on "From Jesus to Christ," however, weren't thinking of the position to which Jesus was exalted by God the Father; they were thinking about the position Jesus' followers gave him through the development of the Christian religion.