Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment -- By: Henry B. Smith Jr.

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 25:4 (Fall 2012)
Article: Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment
Author: Henry B. Smith Jr.

Beneath The Surface, An Editorial Comment

Henry B. Smith Jr.

No matter how tentative and flimsy the evidence, liberal scholars and atheists glory in any item that might discredit Christ and Christianity.1 – David Miller

A study on a papyrus fragment apparently making mention of Jesus and a “wife” was recently published. Professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School presented a paper at the International Association of Coptic Studies in Rome, making public a fragment of papyrus that seems to infer that Jesus had a wife. This fragment she titled, The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. While King has been commended by other scholars for immediately publishing her analysis and for accuracy in her technical analysis, intentionally naming this papyrus The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife is a vapid and transparent attempt at being provocative. It also serves to undermine the clear teaching found in the canonical New Testament that Jesus did not have a wife.

Though the authenticity of this fragment is disputed and the evidence is extremely scant, media outlets wasted no time using this discovery to impugn orthodox Christian faith. The Smithsonian serves as a quintessential example of media cooperation with secularist academia, declaring that the discovery of this minute papyrus was “apt to send jolts through the world of biblical scholarship—and beyond.” With an upcoming TV documentary, they also excitedly proclaimed that “the announcement at an academic conference in Rome is sure to send shock waves through the Christian world.”2

The media worldview through which discoveries such as this one are viewed is demonstrably anti-Christian. Additionally, scholarly research in institutions such as Harvard is conducted in an environment of virulent secularism and anti-theistic bias. This becomes particularly apparent when research has a direct bearing on the history of Christianity and the Bible. The massive worldview shift in academia primarily began about three centuries ago during the so-called Enlightenment, inculcating scholars with a worldview that simply does not see Christian theism as a viable intellectual option. Therefore, the interpretation of evidence from the ancient world is seen through a somewhat complex but definitively non-Christian prism.

The media, by and large, has adapted the same worldview as academia, treating the Christian worldview as anti-intellectual, closed-minded and backward. This has been witnessed first hand in recent years in their very positive and breathlessly welcoming reactions to Bart Ehrman, The Da Vinci Code, and the so-called Jesus Family Tomb. The media and the academy work hand in hand with one another to und...

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