August 30th, 2012
On September 11th, 2001, Islamic extremists hijacked American commercial airplanes and flew them into the twin towers and the Pentagon. Another hijacked plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Many commentators claimed that these terrorists had “hijacked” the Islamic faith. In reality, these Muslim terrorists seemed to take the violent commands of the Koran very seriously. They had not hijacked the Islamic faith; instead, they passionately obeyed the unethical commands uttered by Muhammad in the Koran.
However, the past few generations have witnessed a real hijacking: the hijacking of the historical Jesus. The historically reliable New Testament portrait of Jesus has been replaced with varieties of a politically-correct Jesus, New Age Christs, and other false Christs. In most cases, these false Christs were created in the image of the people who promote them.
Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene and did He appoint her to lead His church? Or, was Jesus merely a man who never claimed to be God? Maybe Jesus was merely a legend or myth—He never really existed? In short, is traditional, biblical Christianity a perversion of first century Christianity? Today the traditional view of Jesus has been replaced by a myriad of false conceptions of Christ that look nothing like the true Jesus of the Bible. The traditional view of Jesus has been hijacked, and the Christian church needs to respond. We need to defend the true Jesus of history—the true Jesus of the Bible.
Today, two of the leading false pictures of Jesus in the Western world are being proclaimed by Dan Brown, author of the best-selling novel The DaVinci Code, and by the radical left-wing scholars who comprise the Jesus Seminar—a think tank dedicated to presenting an alternative, politically correct Jesus to the world. The next two chapters will examine their work and refute the false Jesuses they promote. Other false portraits of Jesus will be refuted as well.
In this chapter, we will examine ancient Christological heresies (i.e., ancient false views of Jesus), the liberal “Christian” view of Jesus, the cultic views of Jesus, and the mistaken views of Jesus found in the world religions as well as in postmodern circles. We will then briefly discuss the true biblical view of Jesus. In later chapters, after refuting the work of the DaVinci Code, the Jesus Seminar, and other recent attacks on the historical Jesus, we will build a strong case that the true Jesus of the Bible is identical with the real Jesus of history.
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is fully God and fully man. He always existed as God the second Person of the Trinity, but at a point in time He added a human nature. Throughout the history of the church there have been those who have rejected this biblical view of Jesus and have instead promoted false Christs who cannot save.
An excerpt from “The True Jesus of the Bible”, chapter one in the Institute’s latest book: Hijacking the Historical Jesus.