The scholars who go to great lengths trying to show Jesus to be someone he was not do no justice to history or to their profession, argues James Glass, the leader of Glasgow Elim
Sommersby, a 1993 film loosely based on the true 16th Century French story of Martin Guerre, tells the tale of Jack Sommers-
by’s return home from the American Civil War. The story is based around one key question: is the man who claims to be Jack Sommersby really Jack Sommersby? The same question could be asked about the way Jesus is presented in the media: is he the real Jesus or is he some sort of invented impostor? ‘Five hundred people say they have met crucified Jewish prophet who they claim came back to life’ is, after all, not the kind of headline you are likely to read in any newspaper.
Unfortunately, you are more likely to read the following: “Is this proof Jesus married and had two sons? Ancient manuscript said to be ‘lost gospel with a sensational twist’ or ‘The Lost Gospel: The ancient manuscript that claims Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children’.” Then there was the ‘Jesus’ wife papyrus’. In September 2012, Professor Karen King, of Harvard Divinity School, authenticated a fragment of papyrus that bore the words “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife’. Four years later, after a thoroughgoing piece of investigative journalism by the Atlantic Monthly, she finally acknowledged that it was a forgery, and Harvard Divinity School held up its hands in a statement posted on its website.