The Latest Religious Darling in the Media: The Muslim Writing about Jesus

By now, many or most have heard of Reza Aslan’s book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.  A rather strange interview on FOX didn’t hurt and of course NPR had an interview with him.  For the most part, the media storm took off in a frenzy without consulting other biblical scholars.  Yet, as more scholars look it over and read through it, concerns are increasingly coming to the fore.  Check out this review, for instance:

http://historicaljesusresearch.blogspot.ca/2013/07/a-review-of-reza-aslans-zealot.html

or this one:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-loconte-phd/reza-aslan-zealot_b_3707276.html

Even a generally positive review noted that Aslan was repeating older scholarship [scholarship that is mentioned in the two reviews above]:

http://chronicle.com/article/Attack-on-Religion-Scholar/140821/

In sum, I think the general lesson from this may be not to get too excited over “new” readings of Jesus.  Honestly, the hype surrounding this book reminds me of the hype surrounding the finding of the Gospel of Judas, except that the Gospel of Judas got its own History Channel air time.  Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Aslan in future History Channel documentaries on Jesus or the early church, should the History Channel ever decide to return to doing such things.

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