Since I posted a bit on my book Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium, several people have asked me if I’ve ever written an evaluation of Bill O’Reilly’s blockbuster hit, Killing Jesus. It turns out, I did so, here on the blog, right after it came out in 2013. I call it a blockbuster because it was: it rose to become the #1 book (in the world!) on Amazon, and had a long run at the top of the New York Times bestseller list — staying on the list for a full 52 weeks!
I’ve looked over my posts back then, and think they are still useful. Here is the first of my posts. I wrote it before I had actually starting reading the book. As you’ll see, it’s horribly elitist while explaining why it’s not elitist. I used to write posts about that on the blog. It was one of my endearing qualities that I seem to have tempered a bit. Still, I get a laugh out of thinking about my knee jerking the whole time….
First, O’Reilly “wrote” the book with the assistance of an author named Martin Dugard, as he has done before with his other massively popular books. I take this to mean that O’Reilly himself did not actually do much of the writing. Did he do any of it? Maybe someone on the blog knows. More important, did he do any of the “research”? I put research in quotation marks because it is not clear to me at this point how much research was done.
The excerpt from the book printed on Amazon does not inspire me with much confidence. It is basically a fictionalized version of the story of Jesus’ birth from Matthew, where Matthew’s account is taken at face-value as being historically correct and all the details (i.e., most of the account that O’Reilly and Dugard present) are simply made up out of their own imagination. This is not a good start for a book that claims to be a historical account. Precisely the *problem* with knowing about the historical Jesus is that
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