After reviewing ‘Killing Jesus’ I thought it could be laid to rest for this writer and I could move on to more serious critiques, perhaps those written by people whose theological foundations were more solid.
O’Reilly continues to answer those concerned enough to send him emails about the last words spoken by Christ on the cross and he insists that because no other record besides the biblical record speaks to the subject, that the bible record must be wrong.
O’Reilly has said that because he is Catholic it must have been the Holy Spirit that prompted him to write his book, but unless he was appointed as the new modern or last day’s apostle he is skirting the realm of high pride and pretentiousness.
We are not sure if O’Reilly was chosen to scrutinize the record of the apostles but we are sure that the apostles were chosen to be eyewitnesses to every word and deed that Jesus Christ uttered or performed for a solid three year period.
We also know that neither he, nor Martin Dugard were on the scene and the historians they choose to present as authorities on the subject were not present as eyewitnesses to the events.
If the twelve were hand-picked to be eyewitnesses would it not follow that they were also ‘earwitnesses.’ Did God miss this one? Had he simply forgotten that these chosen men were all hard of hearing or given to exaggeration and hyperbole that could only be corrected when in time, O’Reilly and Dugard would arrive on the scene to set the record straight?
Before calling in the biblical record to answer O’Reilly’s assertions let’s look at the O’Reilly record on other subjects. For the first two years of the Obama administration, O’Reilly often declared that Barack Obama was a ‘very smart man.’ Now five years underway with IRS scandals, Benghazi, failed bailouts, Solyndra and all the rest of the whopping big snafus of the Obama legacy along with the famous failed rollout of Obama’s signature legislation, ObamaCare, who should we believe history or O’Reilly?
If O’Reilly could be so wrong about Obama why would he venture out to correct twelve hand-picked apostolic messengers who lived two millennia before he and Dugard took their first breaths?
Has the Harvard education gone to his head, has the Holy Spirit decided to contradict himself, or should we feel lucky that O’Reilly has finally reached the heights and is now able to see that God himself made a bit of a mistake in choosing these ‘liars’ or bombastic fools given to exaggeration and fibbing, to follow his Son around and set the record straight?
Did these common men take it upon themselves to alter the record like some wannabe script writers for the great narrative they knew would traverse the ages and become the most repeated story on the planet earth? Why does the word ‘pompous’ keep coming to mind when we think of O’Reilly’s assertions?
The Foundations of Heaven Witness against O’Reilly’s Assertions
Heaven is described in the book of Revelation. The same book that alone contains a strong warning that anyone who deletes any part of it, or adds anything to it will be cursed forever. Call it allegory or figurative or wishful thinking to your own peril. (Rev 22: 18)
In Revelation is a description of the final resting place of all redeemed men and women. It is not a pie in the sky kind of fifth dimensional paradise where spirits and angels float around clouds with nothing to do. Rather, it is a majestic city on a new earth where Christ is the ruler and the light of his Father replaces the sun.
God shows particular honor to those people who stood with him and represented him to the world in the giving of the law (Rev 21: 12) and in the age of grace. (Rev 21: 14) The names of the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel are inscribed on the twelve gates to the city. Finally the names of the twelve apostles are found on the foundations of the city.
Obviously the names of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard are not found on the foundations so we have to wonder, if God chose to honor the twelve apostles, shouldn’t we ask the question – whose writing, record and testimony about the events of the life of Christ would God honor?
Does permanently etching the names of poor mistaken or overly emotional apostles, or outright liars, on the foundations of the city, seem to anyone, like something the God of truth would be apt to do, other than Bill O’Reilly? The word of the day, Mr. O’Reilly is, ‘pompous,’ please, go look it up.
How Many Times does God have to say Something – to Make it True?
O’Reilly contends that since the record of Christ forgiving his crucifiers is only found in one gospel rather in all four synoptic gospels it is cast into doubt. In fact many of Christ’s sayings are not part of the synoptic. That kind of reasoning is almost comical, it is the equivalent of saying that unless a thing can be found twice in the scriptures, it can’t be trusted.
God gave only Ten Commandments, once, he gave the message of salvation, once and he gave his only begotten Son, once – if that is not enough for O’Reilly and his trusted historians – the problem is his – not the biblical record.
Christ’s last breath Vs. O’Reillys Hot Air – A Case of Taking Care of Mom
Bill O’Reilly may not want to check the biblical record against the historians he relied on to write Killing Jesus, but that was his first and worse mistake. New Testament history far surpasses all other historical records of the events in question, but NT history is also used to correct many false historical assertions from the same period.
What both O’Reilly and Dugard failed to notice is that when Jesus said “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” (Lu 23: 34) it was far from the last words he spoke before dying. He went on to promise one of the thieves crucified with him that he would arrive in paradise that very day (Lu 23: 43) and then he addressed his Father and commended his spirit into his father’s hands. (Lu 23: 46)
But that’s not all. Jesus also used his last breath to take full care of his mother. He looked down from the cross and in keeping with his servant hood and loving spirit he assigned the apostle John to be the caretaker of his mother until the day of her death – with his last breath.
“When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” (Jn 19: 26, 27)
In the very next verses of the preceding passage it is recorded that he then ‘gave up the ghost.’ (Jn 19: 30)
Sorry O’Reilly the biblical record says you are blowing a lot of hot air.
In summary, as a general narrative of events, Killing Jesus is not bad, but I would strongly advise that you do not trust your theological underpinnings to haggling, hacking historians or the nascent noodling of newsmen – trust the Bible, that alone is God’s plan.
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