On Mar 1, CNN will premiere a 6 part series from NUTOPIA Productions called 'Finding Jesus' (you can watch the trailer here). The subtitle is simple: FAITH - FACT- FORGERY, and explains what they are trying to decide as they look religious relics including the Shroud of Turin, a piece of wood said to be from the cross, the gospel of Judas, relics presumed to be part of John the Baptist, the burial box of James the brother of Jesus, and the gospel of Mary.
I had the opportunity to watch the first episode, and think this is a show that should appeal to Christians and also to those non-Christians who happen to be interested in history and the use of science to try to prove or disprove widely accepted information.
The first episode concerns the Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth that since its appearance in a small town in France in the 13th century has been recognized as the burial cloth that Joseph of Arimathea used to wrap Jesus after the crucifixion . Several decades later, carbon dating showed that the cloth was a clever forgery, dating by the way, from the 13th century. But there are many who refuse to believe science and continue to venerate the cloth as the one that held the body of our Lord.
That might be the end of the story except for the face that another cloth what was tested and dates 700 years earlier, also seems to have been used for the burial of Jesus. And remember that the Gospel of John mentions a burial cloth that was put around Jesus' head, and was separate from the linen cloth used on his body.
Because of the graphic depiction of the flogging and scourging, you might want to think twice about letting children watch it with you. The information presented is interesting and it's brought to life with gospel characters and stories connected with the artifacts. Guest commentators include academics, theologians and pastors.
You'll want to be in front of your TV when "Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery", a CNN original series premiers on March 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT