Nothing New Under the Sun?

canaanite-Jesus Interesting news article that I found on Yahoo. It seems that the director of the movie Basic Instinct is writing a book.

“Basic Instinct” director Paul Verhoeven will publish a revisionist biography of Jesus in September, following more than 20 years of research.

The Dutch filmmaker, who has had a lifelong ambition to make a film about Jesus based on scientific research, claims that Jesus’ father was probably a Roman soldier who raped Mary during the Jewish uprising in Galilee. He also claims that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot.

Verhoeven decided to write the book to raise interest in his film project. Verhoeven, who turns 70 in July, has been a regular attendee of U.S. scholar Robert W. Funk’s Jesus seminars, which question miracles and statements attributed to Jesus.

There are a couple of interesting points here.

First, the qualifications of this person to do this kind of work is…?

  1. He is a film maker. Oh yes, that gives him a lot of credibility. What I like especially is that he decided to write the book to raise interest in his film project.
  2. He is a follower of Robert Funk and the Jesus Seminar.

Please forgive my cynicism, I have seen people with excellent investigative skills whose work is overlooked because they lacked the necessary pedigree, but this is a bit much. This kind of expertise is a Monty Python exercise in logic.

But the part I find interesting is the premise of his book, that is, Jesus was the bastard child of Mary, who was raped by a Roman soldier by the name of Panthera.

According to the discussion, for example, in Mary in the New Testament, By Raymond E. Brown and Paul J. Achtemeier (p262), there may some concurrence with or familiarity with biblical traditions, but these polemics contain little history.

Verhoeven’s claim that the Roman soldier named Panthera is probably based on a corruption of the Greek word for virgin (parqenoß), an accusation found in Celsius, and quoted in Origen:

“But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that “when she was pregnant she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera;”

But, the book will probably receive it’s 30 seconds of fame for its bold and daring premise, and will put Verhoeven along that other great biblical scholar, James Cameron.


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