He was “directed” by the Holy Spirit to write his new book: Killing Jesus: A History, staunch Roman Catholic author, Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News O’Reilly Factor fame, proclaims on CBS’s 60 Minutes last Sunday.
O’Reilly insisted that it’s not a religious book. It’s a history book, he claims. The introduction explains that he and his co-author are Roman Catholics but see themselves as "historical investigators… interested primarily in telling the truth about important people, not converting anyone to a spiritual cause."
This is the third work in his trilogy of so-called best selling “history” books after “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy,” which together have sold more than 5 million copies thanks solely, in my opinion, to his status as the host of the number one rated cable news show on television, where he is free to tout them at will to an audience of millions.
On his show, O’Reilly told his guests, a priest and a pastor, that the book is already creating a lot of controversy and there are some people who believe he’s “going to hell for writing it.”The pastor said that evangelicals “ought to love this book.” O’Reilly replied that “the anti-Christian people” don’t want anyone to read it.
The priest told O’Reilly that people won’t like it because it defends the Bible’s accuracy. O’Reilly then assured his audience that the book is footnoted with the facts. “I learned a lot,” gushed the priest.
But the only real controversy stems from the fact that Bill O’Reilly has demonstrated the unmitigated nerve to call his work a history book when all he does is regurgitate selected portions of the biblical stories found in the Gospels of the New Testament, and embellishes them with some accurate history of the Roman Empire, together with his own entirely speculative narrative of the “events.”
There is absolutely nothing original here.
So, in the final analysis, Killing Jesus: A History is, in reality, nothing more than fiction dressed up as history.
Bill O’Reilly knows better.
He knows that there are billions of his fellow Christians out there desperately clinging to faith that Jesus Christ was a real human being, the son of God, born of a virgin and sent by the Father to show the faithful the way to eternal life with God in heaven. These people already believe in their hearts that Jesus is an historical figure. O’Reilly is cynically capitalizing on that religious belief to dress the fictional Gospel stories up as legitimate history.
As such, O’Reilly’s book represents not only unethical and irresponsible authorship; it is downright fraudulent, deceptive and dishonest. It is full of inaccuracies, anachronisms and outright non-existent historical falsehoods.
Anachronisms, such as calling John the Baptizer (or, as they call him later in the book, John the Baptist) a young man at 40, abound. They call the Apostle Paul a “former Pharisee who became a convert to Christianity.” This is impossible due to the fact that Christianity was still very much Jewish while Paul walked the earth.
The undeniable truth of the matter is that the Jesus of Nazareth, referred to in the Gospels, is NOT an historical figure. Outside of the New Testament of the Holy Bible, there exists not a shred of credible contemporary evidence whatsoever in book, inscription, or monument, archaeological or otherwise, supporting the existence of an historical Jesus or any of the apostles for that matter, and Bill O’Reilly’s book fails dismally show otherwise.
The Gospels, upon which O’Reilly completely relies for his “history,” contain historical falsehoods – “events” that never happened” – far too numerous to mention fully and in context here; mythological “events” which were never documented or recorded by any of the known historians who lived during the relevant periods of time. Thousands of criminals, for example, were crucified by the Romans and documented in historical records, but there is no record of Jesus.
Most legitimate biblical scholars agree that none of the Gospel stories had even been written until at least 60 or more years after the supposed crucifixion, and in the case of the Gospel according to John, upon which O’Reilly especially relies, until at least 80 years after. Furthermore, there exists no historical mention of Jesus or Christianity at all until well into the 2nd century AD.
In the writings that come from the early stages of Christianity, the Gospels are not mentioned until long after the works of Paul; not until the middle of the Second century A.D. The Gospels are not biographies in any historical sense at all, but rather storytelling; preaching if you will, to an audience about the new religion. Even early Christians regarded the Gospels as purely symbolic. The crucifixion of Jesus also was unknown to early Christians until as late as the Second Century.
Any honest reliable historian knows these facts. They know that Jesus and Christianity are based entirely upon faith; not historical facts. Bill O’Reilly knows it too but deliberately chose with his book to depict the Gospel stories of the killing of Jesus dressed up as history.