Sunday, October 24, 2010

Attempt to discredit Christ falls short

Last year, author Tony Bushby came out with a book called The Christ Scandal which was an attempt to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ among other things. It is billed on his website as "one of the most explosive books of our generation!"

I did not read the entire book. But I did read excerpts available online and I'll limit my response to a couple of the claims he made there. My purpose in this post is simply to show the erroneous way Bushby cited the Early Church Fathers in that excerpt.

On page 608, Bushby wrote, "Bishop Irenaeus, denied both a virgin birth and a resurrection..." However, St. Irenaeus, writing in the 2nd century, referenced the Virgin birth well over a dozen times just in Against Heresies III.21 alone. He also referred to Christ's resurrection multiple times in Against Heresies V.7, a discourse on rising from the dead.

Bushby also claimed on page 608 that the 2nd-3rd century Church Father Tertullian denied the crucifixion and instead believed Jesus was stoned. To support that claim, Bushby cross-referenced Tertullian's Answer to the Jews 9 which reads:
...which works not even you deny that Christ did, inasmuch as you were wont to say that, on account of the works you stoned Him not, but because He did them on the Sabbaths.
But this quotation is not a denial of Jesus' crucifixion. It is a reference to when the Jewish Pharisees actually went to throw rocks at Jesus (cf. John 8:58-59)!

Tertullian, of course, referred to Christ's crucifixion multiple times (e.g. On the Flesh of Christ 5, Of Patience 3, The Prescription Against Heretics 13, etc...)

If the rest of Bushby's book is anything like the above excerpts, then it is simply a 600+ page book of sloppy and false interpretations.

1 comment:

  1. I am interested in the study of early christianity, especially the creation and formative years. perhaps the first 200. To show you some of the stuff I have been collecting, and trying to organize, take a look at these two pages, and see if anything interests you;

    I am interested in convos on anything in the early christianity general areas, what are you interested in at the moment? If this is something you are interested in feel free to contact me by email.