Sunday evening at 7, (Utah time) on CNN we watched the Segment of "Finding Jesus" concerning the Shroud of Turin. (If you missed it, you can watch it HERE) and the 6 part series is set to conclude on Easter Sunday. Today I finished the book "Finding Jesus: Faith . Fact. Forgery.: Six Holy Objects that Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels", by David Gibson and Michael McKinley (St Martin's Press, 2015).
The book covers 6 of the mysteries that have plagued the church for many centuries. They're things that are important to believers: either that they are true, or that they aren't true. Thus the FAITH. Although they are alluded to, or have some basis in scripture, they're things that are very difficult to prove, mainly because there is no chain of custody, no provenance to prove that they really do date from almost 2000 years. And in the case of the gospels of Judas and Mary, which seem to date from a couple of centuries after the time of Christ, where is the supporting evidence that they were based on fact?
The authors have done extensive research into the research that has been done concerning the Shroud of Turin, a piece of the True Cross, the Ossuary of James, brother of Jesus, relics (bones) of John the Baptist, and the two extra-biblical gospels, considered to be Gnostic writings. They address tradition from over a millennium ago, and findings from as recent as a couple of years ago.
If you enjoy The History Channel , or Discovery, this book ( and the CNN series) will appeal to you. If you're a Christian, you will appreciate the work that has gone into trying to clarify the questions that so many of us have about how new archeological finds are vetted and determined to be authentic or a forgery, and if you are questioning the Christian Faith, you will be glad to find that theology and doctrine are derived from more than personal opinion which can't be verified.
I am more impressed with the fact that the authors acknowledge that there is still no scientific way of proving or disproving many of the questions that the church has been dealing with for years. What remains is the Bible and what it does or doesn't say, plus the various discoveries that have been found or invented over the years.
This is thought provoking, and believers or questioners should find it interesting.
Watch one or more of the episodes and leave a comment (here or on FaceBook) The week after Easter I'll randomly select one person to receive a copy of the book, compliments of Grace Hill Media and AmbassadorInExile
I received a copy of this book from Grace Hill Media in exchange for the review.