Last Days of Jesus Documentary: My views

Heya! How’s your Easter going? Mine’s been okay so far. Nothing special, but it’s nice to be able to actually go through Easter and remember what is – for Christians – the most holy day for us. And I’ve been able to do that with a much clearer mind than I have been able to for, well, forever really! *lol*

But there’s something else that I kinda wanted to discuss, and I dun want to turn it into a rant or anything, so I’m probably gonna be modifying this more than a few times before I actually get round to posting it! *grins*

So what’s this thing that I wanna “discuss”? Well, UK TV’s Channel 5 – and from what I’ve seen online, it was also shown on various channels around the world – has decided that, on Good Friday, they would show this documentary called “Last Days of Jesus”. From the description, I knew that it was likely to be fairly controversal, but in a way, I dun mind that – I like being able to see what people are saying, I like the idea of being made aware of various theories. It doesn’t means I have to agree with them, but hearing about these things does interest me. And this…

…Well, it was definitely controversal – they were basically saying Jesus was working with Herod Antipas and some Roman soldier called Lucius Aelius Sejanus, who almost became emperor, before being charged with treason and having his name almost completely scrubbed from history, in an effort to change how things were being done in Judea in those days.

The problem is… Despite it being something like two hours of them trying to persuade us that the theory they’re putting forward is something that is worth considering – and I won’t lie, in places, they were fairly persuasive – when I sat back to think about it, I found myself just thinking just how much proof did they actually give us? A few strange oddities in the Bible and trying to reconcile it with other sources (especially regarding Pontius Pilate), and one or two other bits and pieces that they gave out – the palm fronds, for example, and them saying that the only time that they could really do that moment of laying out the palm fronds in front of Jesus as he rode the donkey into Jerusalem was actually in Autumn, rather than Spring. And so they’re saying that the last week of Jesus should really be something like the last six months of Jesus, and aligning that with what’s been happening in Rome, when Sejanus’ involvement in the murder of Tiberus’ son was uncovered.

But… Again, for something that’s two hours in length (I’m presuming that in some countries it was split up into 30-mins segments or so, but for the UK, they decided to show it all in one go), they really didn’t actually give any definite proof that there was any corrolations between the three of them, and they only picked on a few short segments in the Bible, and nothing about the rest of what the Bible was saying, especially with regards to what happened after Jesus’ death.

Quite frankly, I was kinda disappointed. I think it’s fairly known that I do have my problems with the Bible, and that I am of the opinion that the Bible – and all the other holy books out there, whatever religion it may be – are written by imperfect humans, and we cannot take everything that’s been written in them as gospel, for want of another word. (Although, contrary to what I just said, I do firmly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who’d died and rose for our sins – and believe me, I am aware of the conflict because it’s hard to reconcile faith with proof sometimes!)

But when you are trying to put forward a new theory, you need to be able to give a lot of what you’ve found, not just two or three possible pieces of evidence, and why it all appears to match together – and most of all, you need to allow people to offer their counterarguments. Everybody in that documentary – which was, what, 5, 6 people? – were all on the same side, trying to put forward that theory. And sadly… What they gave in the end, in those two hours, were somewhat flimsy at best.

I dun really want to go through them, because there’s better people out there who can give much better counterarguments than I could, but let’s pick on a couple: First, their claim that Jesus was allowed to go into the temple and basically kick out the people who he accused of turning the temple into a den of robbers. They claim that the reason that Jesus was allowed to do that in the presence of the priests without any repercussions was because the Romans stopped them from doing so. But the Bible states that Jesus more or less went straight there while the whole city of Jerusalem was stirred from his entry. I would argue, rather, that the reason they “allowed” him to do that without any immediate repercussions would be more to do with the fact that there was a lot of people around – I don’t think anyone, soldier or priest or otherwise, would want to risk the ire of that many people, at least not without at least a roman legion backing them up.

And the connection between Jesus, Herod Antipas and Sejanus? I can see how there could be a connection between Herod and Sejanus, but Jesus and the other two? Their “proof” is that Jesus had a couple of Herod’s close relatives counted amongst his followers – but there’s nothing that specifically states that they were in there. Just that some of his followers were rich women, who allowed them to purchase food and the like. They’ve got that idea, but they haven’t been able to offer that definite proof of any link between the two.

And why was Pilate displayed in the Bible as different to how he’s shown to be in other sources? Well, they kind of touched on it in a different context – the Bible was written and disseminated and translated and passed around to various sources, primarily in Roman-dominated areas – if it’s getting given around to Romans, any representative of Rome in the Message being passed around are almost certainly going to be presented in a better light than they would normally be. Again, we’re talking about people who are basically translating and writing with the knowledge of who their audience are going to be, and while the main context of the message is the same, not everything that surrounds it will be.

It’s just… disappointing, really. I was hoping for something that would allow us to seek and question further, and maybe get closer to what things were like in the days of Jesus, but instead we have a few theories without very much proof, just more questions.

*shrugs* And those things are off the top of my head; like I say, I’m certain someone far more knowledgeable in history and Bible studies will be able to provide a much more comprehensive answer.

Okay… I’m gonna stop here for now. I dun normally like discussing religion too much because I think everyone should be free to believe what they want to believe, but I did want to try and put something down about this program, and why I wasn’t convinced about their theory in the end. Hopefully, I was able to do so without turning it into too much of a rant. I’ve skimmed and modified a few things here and there, so… Yeah, hopefully it’s all okay! See you guys soon!

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