While at first glance it may seem a stretch to make any comparison between the Titanic and Christian apologetics, a fundamental truth exists within that comparison: namely, that so-called experts do make mistakes, and that it is unreasonable and potentially misleading to assume that they are always correct. It should be noted that experts designed, built and sailed the Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage and that each of those disciplines had a hand in its ultimate destruction. For example, the ship’s design was compromised when the White Star Line (the owner of the ship) insisted that the sixteen watertight compartments, designed to prevent the ship from filling with water in the event of a hull breach, were shortened to allow for more first class living space. The building of the ship was compromised when substandard iron was used in the manufacture of the three million rivets that held the ship together. Finally, the operation of the ship was compromised when Captain Smith, after a lifetime at sea, and eager to set a trans-Atlantic record, ignored seven iceberg warnings, refusing to reduce speed in the face of potential danger.
Unfortunately, Christian tradition and its accompanying apologetics fare no better in their claims of unassailable accuracy in portraying the life of the historical Jesus. The insistence of apologists to rely on traditional interpretations of the historical records, and most especially the Gospels, has prevented an accurate understanding of the man for two thousand years. This reliance on the meme of Christian tradition is so invasive and influential that often times scholars of great repute fail to recognize its impact on their own works. It is only by subjecting the historical sources to critical analysis, free of Christian tradition, that the truth can be uncovered and the errors of so called biblical experts be brought to light.
The Gospel accounts of the beginning of Jesus’ life, and those at the end of his life, go to show how the acceptance of Christian tradition has completely rewritten the original intent of the writers of the Gospels. Apparently, the preservation of the accepted image of Jesus as a poor, itinerant preacher who was crucified and died on a cross has become so desperately important within New Testament circles that critical analysis showing that he was from a wealthy family has been ignored by Christian apologists and biblical scholars alike. However, if unbiased critical analysis is encouraged, a rather different image of the historical Jesus emerges. Within the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ nativity are clues to the truth of his birth and the social status of his parents. The Gospels, through their intended message, make it clear that Jesus came from a family of wealth and prestige.
The familiar account of Jesus’ nativity, so cherished as a Christmas staple, is full of deeper meaning and intent, yet it has been usurped in order to present the theologically desired image of a poor family struggling to find shelter before the birth of the son of God. Filled with wise men and shepherds and angels, it presents a pastoral scene of peaceful dignity and impending awe. Yet, was this the original intent of the Gospel writers?
The Greek word kataluma, translated into English as “inn” and used within the earliest editions of the Gospels to describe the place where Joseph and Mary sought shelter in Bethlehem, actually refers to the private dwelling of a person of some prominence. According to the biblicalencyclopedia.com site (a Christian run site), kataluma refers to a room in the house of a sheikh, to suggest the prominence of the house’s owner, though such usage must be considered metaphorical since the term “sheikh” did not occur during the First Century. Kataluma is the same word that is used in the Gospels to refer to the upper room in Jerusalem in which Jesus and his disciples share their last meal. As such, it was a room in the house of someone of prominence and prestige within the community, not the public inn suggested by the English translation. So Joseph, and a very pregnant Mary were attempting to gain entrance into the home of a wealthy individual who may have been a friend or acquaintance. Such a personal connection to the home’s owner is suggested by other elements within the nativity stories.
The Greek word poimen, translated as “shepherd” in English, is used throughout the New Testament over 20 times. However, what the experts conveniently ignore is that it is used in the NT almost exclusively to refer to a man in a leadership role, and generally of Jesus “shepherding” his flock or to leadership of the early church. The First Century historian Philo draws the connection directly, stating that “shepherd” was a term used metaphorically and specifically to refer to local leaders and rulers. Christian tradition, in its attempt to create a pastoral scene of the nativity, uses the term at its base definition: herdsman or husbandman. Yet given the preponderance of the use of the term as a metaphor for leadership within the Gospels and Philo’s works, it is singularly accepted in the nativity accounts as “herdsmen.” So the statistical suggestion is that the shepherds attending Jesus’ birth were, in fact, local leaders. Add to this the fact that actual herdsmen or shepherds were considered at that time to be the lowest rung of the social ladder (according to the Mishnah; San. 24A and San. 2A-25A), (possibly because they allowed their flocks to graze on the land and property of others without recompense) and it becomes clear that Jesus’ birth was more accurately attended by local leaders of some prominence and not by simple herdsmen.
Added to these points are the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were costly gifts to be given to a poor family, yet the experts fail to discern what might have happened to a poor family from out of town if they were given such gifts. First of all, their lives would have been in immediate danger from theft and possibly murder. The landscape was alive at that time with robbers and thieves who would not have thought twice about killing someone to obtain such gifts. A poor family was ill suited to receive such gifts publicly, and would not have had the means to protect that wealth or defend themselves against possible theft. A wealthy family, accustomed to the dangers of the times, would have felt reasonably at ease receiving gold, frankincense and myrrh as part of the ritual of the birth of a son into a prominent family connected to the Davidic line, as the Gospels indicate Jesus’ family certainly was.
So there are three easily deciphered items within the nativity accounts that point to Jesus’ family being one of wealth and prominence: they sought out the kataluma of a prominent citizen upon reaching Bethlehem; the birth was attended by local leaders; and they were given gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts, possibly for a royal birth. Another telling argument confirming their status as wealthy and prominent is that nowhere in the Gospels do the writers indicate that Jesus was poor. The association of Jesus and his family to poverty is strictly a tradition drawn from his preaching about the poor and from the conclusions drawn by experts that carpenters or tektons were generally poor. However, the Greek term tekton, rather than simply indicating a carpenter (as two thousand years of Christian tradition has suggested), more correctly stands for “builder” in a more general sense. So it might also have been used to denote those specially chosen priests trained as builders to work on the building of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem. In point of fact, Jesus and Joseph may well have been prominent members of the priesthood working on the Jerusalem Temple.
In light of such careful analysis, I contacted Dr. Gary Habermas, currently the Distinguished Professor of Apologetics and Philosophy, and chairman of the department of philosophy and theology at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He holds a PhD. In History and Philosophy of Religion from Michigan State University, and an M.A. from the University of Detroit in Philosophical Theology. He is considered one of the nation’s leading Christian apologists with an international reputation, and an acknowledged expert on Jesus’ resurrection and on Near Death Experiences. I asked him about these discrepancies between tradition and fact. In an e-mail dated April 1, 2014 Dr. Habermas responded:
Thank you. I know my answer was not entirely pleasing to you [in regard to his review of my work], but thanks for understanding. BTW, I don’t think that Jesus & his family were poor, anyway, so I don’t need to be convinced there. (italics mine).
Now, I know Dr. Habermas only slightly and only through e-mails, and in our limited contact I have found him to be a sincere and thoughtful man of some education. However, what is troubling, and what should be troubling to anyone interested in the historical Jesus, is that Dr. Habermas, a very well known apologist and educator, apparently believes something about the historical Jesus that profoundly contradicts Christian tradition, and yet he says nothing about it in either his books or lectures (at least as far as I can ascertain). He remains silent about his true beliefs, I assume, in order to maintain Christian tradition, so his agenda seems to be focused more on preserving tradition than on uncovering the historical truth. That shouldn’t be too surprising for an apologist, except that by withholding what he truly believes, he stops being an apologist, a defender of his faith and beliefs, and becomes a propagandist, someone who publicly promotes and disseminates messages calculated to assist the Christian cause. There is a big difference between someone who defends their point of view by using historical data and someone who chooses to ignore the historical data in order to promote their cause.
Why is a correct understanding of the nativity accounts important? Because understanding the intent of the Gospel writers is essential to understanding the historical Jesus. If, rather than the traditional Christian view of a poor Jesus coming from a poor family, the Gospels indicate that Jesus was from a family of wealth and prominence within their community, all the subsequent Gospel stories about him must now be viewed through that new awareness. He becomes a wealthy individual preaching poverty as the key to the Kingdom of God, an educated man from a prominent family. The dynamics of his words and our historical view of him change completely. He has wealth behind him for support, so his preaching of poverty as the way to the kingdom of God must be seen in a different light; it is easy to preach poverty when one has never fully experienced it, so his agenda must be reexamined. Such wealth means that the term tekton, applied to Jesus and Joseph must mean something other than “poor carpenter.” It also makes things possible for Jesus that might have been impossible if he were poor. His ability to survive while traveling (where did the money to eat and lodge come from?), his ability to create magic tricks (turning water into wine) that are presented as miracles, his ability to control circumstances and events, all become clear once the wealth of his family is understood. He is no longer the poor carpenter of Christian tradition, he is now the wealthy and prominent heir to the throne of David, and as such, a greater risk to the house of Herod than a semiliterate carpenter from Galilee could ever be.
We see the same misinformation and misdirection of the historical facts of the Christian traditions surrounding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Dr. Habermas, as an acknowledged expert on these Gospel accounts is no less culpable in distorting the facts as he is in his views of the nativity. He knows the truth but continues to espouse the Christian tradition.
For example, his lengthy and in depth study of Near Death Experiences (NDE) must have informed him at some point of the difficulty throughout history in accurately pronouncing a person dead. People and societies throughout human history have had a fear of premature burial, to the point that some cultures have developed methods for circumventing such mistakes. For some societies, simple devices like an above ground bell tied to a string that reached into the coffin, allowed a prematurely buried victim to ring for help. In other societies, a waiting period before burial was required to ascertain that the person was actually dead. This was so that the decomposition of the corpse could be witnessed before it was placed in the grave. Such was no doubt the case in Jesus’ time. The three days “in the ground” and the subsequent preparation of the corpse after those three days was intended as a means of verifying decomposition of the body. If the facial features had changed substantially, the attendants could be reasonably certain the body was dead.
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So premature burial, as a result of coma-like states and NDE, has been a part of human history since in ground burials have been a part of a given culture, yet Dr. Habermas never (again, at least as far as I can determine) associates the possibility of an NDE with Jesus on the cross. Dr. Habermas’ rejection of the swoon theory is well known in his works, lectures, and videos, but he never touches upon his extensive knowledge of NDE as a possible and reasonable explanation for the postburial sightings of Jesus. He relies upon other evidence to ascertain the “death” of Jesus, evidence that is in some cases wholly concocted by Christian apologists in order to conform to Christian tradition. Again, agenda trumps truth in these analyses, and apologetics become propaganda.
Jesus’ death and resurrection have been the focal point of intense study by experts for nearly two thousand years, and even those experts not dependent on Christianity for their lifestyle or educated through Christian colleges, have come to rely on Christian tradition in their analyses of the data. It is so pervasive, that it is almost impossible to find scholars who study the data absent of Christian influence. However, the Gospels, if read carefully and without bias, clearly indicate the true sequence of events, and point to their true purpose.
The passion of Jesus begins (for the sake of brevity) before his arrest in Gethsemane. His sweating, like drops of blood, mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, 22:44 indicates a physical event brought on by severe stress
“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
This event, while apparently ignored by most Christian apologists, was based upon a very real medical condition known as hematohidrosis (also hemidrosis, hematidrosis). It is the inclusion of red blood cells, often ruptured, into the sweat glands, mucous membranes surfaces, and tear ducts, etc., that causes blood to be mixed with various bodily fluids. It is one of many forms of hemolytic anemia and can be brought about by severe stress, or in some cases by disease (favism). The presence of hematohidrosis in Jesus hours before his impending execution plays a large part in our understanding the correct interpretation of the Gospel accounts of his death on the cross, and should be included in any reputable analysis of the data.
Christian apologists, especially in the last few years, have made it a point to declare that Jesus’ death on the cross is one of the most unquestionable facts in all the Gospels. His death was so certain, they claim, that other theories that suggest alternative outcomes, in particular the Swoon Theory, cannot possibly be true, or even possible. They have even gone so far as to fictionalize the accounts by creating and adding the idea that when the Roman soldier pierced Jesus’ side, his spear point went deep enough to go through the lung, and the pericardium and pierce the heart as well in an apparent death blow. No one could survive such a spear thrust, the apologists insist.
This creativity, by known experts, has been designed by apologists to explain the flow of water and blood mentioned in the Gospel accounts. Since they refuse or are unable to take the account in Luke 22:44 seriously, they are forced to invent the piercing of the pericardium/heart as an explanation for the flow, yet the Gospels do not indicate such was the case. They indicate that Jesus’ side was “pierced” by the spear, which, taken on its face, means merely that the skin was pierced. The idea that the spear thrust was deep enough to pierce the lungs, pericardial sac and the heart is merely a fiction invented by propagandists to strengthen their case that Jesus was really, truly dead.
The problem with this flight of fancy is that it is not supported anywhere by the historical data. In a normal heart, the amount of pericardial fluid is very small, perhaps 2 to 3 tablespoons of fluid, or 30ml to 45ml. The size of the average heart is about the same as an average fist, so the pericardial fluid, under normal circumstances, is little more than a thin coating of fluid between the layers of the pericardial sac. It is a lubricant to prevent the heart from abrading against other organs when it beats. To propose that such a small amount of fluid could have traveled through the wound made by a spear point is ludicrous. It would have mingled with blood and been absorbed into surrounding tissue, like the lung, before it ever reached the surface of the skin.
Knowing this, Christian apologists invented a further explanation: that Jesus was suffering from pericardial effusion, a filling of the pericardial sac with blood and fluid. The apologists assured everyone that this would neatly explain the water and blood flowing from Jesus’ side since it involved much greater fluid amounts. Unfortunately, the Gospels make no mention of any physical trauma severe enough to induce pericardial effusion. Undismayed, the apologists/propagandists immediately claimed that when Jesus fell while carrying the cross it was enough to induce the necessary trauma for their fictional outcome. What they didn’t say was that unless the trauma was severe, like a car crash or blunt force trauma to the chest, it takes some time for the blood and fluid to accumulate in the pericardium. Many hours, perhaps days, are required before a sufficient amount gathers to explain blood and water flowing from a spear wound. If Jesus simply fell on his face there was hardly enough force to induce pericardial effusion. If such were the case, many of our professional football players would have suffered pericardial effusion from the beginning of the game of football.
If the episode in Luke 22:44 is taken into account, however, the possibility exists that the flow of water and blood from Jesus’ side was directly connected to Jesus’ hematohidrosis. In other words, the piercing of the skin was enough to bring forth watery blood based upon the hemolytic anemia Jesus was then suffering. The two events were intrinsically related: his bloody sweat accounts for the flow of water and blood. If such was the case, there is every reason to believe that the experts have got it wrong and that there is every reason to suspect that Jesus was still alive on the cross.
The problem for the apologists/propagandists is that if there is some other explanation for the water and blood from Jesus’ side, other than a spear thrust to the heart, they can no longer claim with absolute certainty that Jesus was actually dead on the cross. The fact remains that if the blood and water are the result of hemolytic anemia, as evidenced by the bloody sweat, there is a chance that Jesus was still alive since no deathblow to the heart had been necessary to account for the flow. This no doubt explains their reluctance to draw connections between Luke 22:44 and the blood and water from the spear thrust.
The creativity continues, with apologists delighting in the embellishment of the beating and whipping of Jesus before the crucifixion. The Gospels say that Jesus was: scourged (Mt 27:26, Mk 15:15) and flogged (Jn 19:1). There are no gruesome details related in the Gospels, just those simple designations, scourged and flogged. The closest we can get to any informative detail is in 1Peter 2:24; “By his wounds you have been healed…”, “wounds” in this sense refers to the Greek molops, meaning “a bruise, welt, wound that trickles blood” (Strong’s), (hardly the flesh shredding, bloody mess recounted by the apologists). Granted, all historical reconstructions rely on a certain amount of supposition and creativity in order to understand the data or postulate a theory, but the particular problem with this Christian reconstruction is that it goes too far in its assumptions. We have no way of knowing the extent to which Jesus was flogged and in fact, there is some suggestion that he may have only suffered the thirty-nine lashes prescribed by Jewish law in the event the scourging took place after late 31CE (once Tiberius’ decree regarding respect for local customs had made the rounds of the empire). If such was the case, Jesus may very well have avoided a near death flogging and survived the flogging just as Paul had survived several such whippings. The point is, in historical reconstructions, it is better to avoid the overly dramatic hyperbole if it lacks direct corroborating data, e.g., witnessed accounts.
So Jesus might well have been still alive on the cross, and a NDE may well have explained why he was taken down so soon during his crucifixion. Crucifixion was designed by the Romans to be a long-lasting source of punishment, one that struck fear into the bravest of hearts. The idea that it ended quickly for anyone defeats its purpose; the victim was supposed to hang there for many hours, even days, moaning and half out of their mind from thirst and pain, to instill in the local populations the power of Rome and the uselessness of rebellion. People needed to walk by the crucified victim, to see them close up crying out for relief, and to relate to the victim’s suffering on a very personal level. Why go to all the trouble in time and manpower of hanging someone on a cross only to have the victim die within a few hours. It is an inefficient way to punish and lacks the impact of prolonged suffering to drive home its point.
Contrary to Christian tradition, then, Christianity is not founded on Jesus’ resurrection, as Paul would have us believe, (and as apologists still insist), but on the ability of a First Century Roman soldier to accurately determine the death of Jesus. In light of the difficulties in accurately determining death for modern day medicine, as evidenced by numerous NDE, it seems absurd to claim that such a soldier was any more qualified to accurately determine the death of a victim of crucifixion.
While Christian apologists are quick to point out that Roman soldiers of the First Century were under the threat of death themselves based upon military law should they err in making that determination, it is necessary to point out that laws are seldom enacted for events that never happen. The reason there was such a law in the first place was because such mistakes were made. At various times and places in our own society, the death penalty was on the books for various crimes, yet those same crimes still occurred. Laws may modify the behavior of some, but they cannot obliterate the crime for which they are enacted. The Roman guard could easily have made a mistake in claiming that Jesus was dead (per a NDE), and if his spear thrust was only skin deep then Jesus may well have survived his crucifixion.
It is not enough, however, to claim that Jesus survived his crucifixion. Such a statement, even though supported by data from the Gospels, modern medicine and critical analysis, does nothing to explain the postburial sightings, another key factor in the establishment and continuation of Christianity. It is necessary to show how a man who was crucified could be seen three days later as strong and free of suffering.
Jesus was a magician, (as suggested by early Jewish writings) and like a magician, he had assistants to help him perform his tricks. These were people who worked behind the scenes and their presence is noted in the Gospels (the man with the upper room in Jerusalem was one such assistant). These people were a group apart from the disciples, and whether the disciples knew of their existence and the part they played is impossible to determine, but their presence is certainly noted in the Gospels.
One of the first tricks that Jesus performed was turning water into wine. This is a simple trick, based upon the work of Heron of Alexandria. Heron developed many mechanical devices that were used to amaze and confound the people of his times. He was the creator of possibly the world’s first vending machine, a coin operated device for measuring out holy water and other such devices that moved and mimicked the sounds and actions of birds and animals and humans. One of his devices was an amphora designed to miraculously change water to wine based upon the principle of fluid dynamics. This device was carefully copied by Jesus’ assistants, and made out of stone jars that looked like the typical stone jars of the time. With Heron’s jars, it was a simple matter to seemingly turn water into wine. This trick is often cited as the miracle that started Jesus on his career. The trick that completed his career was only slightly more complicated. Modern magicians use it all the time. It is know as the empty box trick.
The empty box trick is a staple of magicians and is used today in many forms and in many levels of complexity. It can be used as a simple, fun way to make small objects seemingly disappear or it can be used to make a human disappear. It is primarily based upon two principles: a known psychological deficiency in humans called change blindness, and the magician’s oldest friend, distraction. The trick begins with the magician showing the audience that the box is completely empty…
Matthew 27:57-60, Luke 24:53, and John 19:41 all make it clear that Jesus’ body was laid in a new tomb where no one had yet been laid. This was the same as a magician declaring that the box was completely empty. If it was a new tomb, a tomb that had not yet been used, it was the same as declaring it empty. There could be no confusion, Jesus would be the first body placed into the tomb.
It must be remembered that it was very late in the day when the burial party reached the tomb. We are not told in the Gospels how many persons made up the party, but it can be reasonably deduced that there were at least several men in attendance, possibly more. The light was fading as night approached and the burial party carried the body towards the tomb, perhaps slung from a length of cloth. What witnesses there were (mainly the women supporters of Jesus) were at a distance, according to the Gospel accounts, and no doubt they would have been crying and perhaps wailing. It would have been necessary for at least two of the burial party to crouch down, even crawl, to drag the body through the small, rectangular opening of a First Century Jerusalem tomb. The others would have waited outside, at least until the body was through the opening. Once inside, the men would have laid the body on a rock cut bench, where under normal circumstances it would remain for a year until it had completely decomposed and only the bones remained. The bones would then have been gathered and placed in a stone ossuary and the ossuary placed in a small niche within the tomb. The men would have exited the tomb, and as the Gospels inform us, rolled a round blocking stone across the entrance to the tomb. Jesus was buried.
But was he? Lets critically analyze the data with the knowledge that Jesus and his assistants knew magic. First of all, the timing of Jesus’ death seems to be planned. Although Jesus was offered a drink of gall (a mixture of vinegar and some soporific) by the guard, he refused it and only accepted such a drink when he called for it; “I thirst.” He was then given a drink by a bystander and almost immediately succumbed. The timing of this drink was controlled by Jesus and was late in the day, as though it was part of a plan. The bystander gave him what was most likely a potent drug strong enough to render Jesus into a coma like state. He appeared dead to the Roman soldier and was ultimately taken down from the cross.
The burial party carried the drugged Jesus to the new tomb. The witnesses moved some distance away and began to cry and wail, as was often the custom in the Middle East. This worked as the distraction or misdirection that magicians count on to distract their audiences. The burial party moved to the entrance of the tomb and gathered around it. This was where the change blindness occurred. Distracted by the women and peering through the near dark, no one bothered to count the number of men in the burial party. Clustered close by the opening to the tomb, it would have been difficult to clearly see the body of Jesus being dragged through the opening. Inside, the men quickly cleaned Jesus, shaved his beard, cut his hair and dressed him in clothes identical to the ones they are wearing. They revived him somewhat from his coma-like state with the scent of vinegar and helped him to the opening. With great care they eased him through the opening to the men outside who gathered close around him and supported him as if he were a member of the burial party. The men in the tomb came out and gathered closely to the others, making it impossible to tell how many men went into the tomb and how many came out. The tomb was closed and the men slowly moved away, carefully supporting the wounded Jesus between them as they went.
Three days later, the tomb was found empty. The revived and cared for Jesus, with the wounds of his crucifixion still plainly visible, made his post burial appearances. Those who saw him swore that he had risen from the dead. Those who helped him knew the truth. The trick of the empty box is that whatever is put into the box first is taken out immediately and hidden so that when the box is reopened it is actually empty.
Christian apologists find it easier and more reassuring to believe in the miracle of the resurrection, but for those who can critically analyze the data, the more naturalistic explanation makes more sense. It is reasonable and believable. It didn’t require a miracle to account for Jesus’ death and resurrection, it merely took the knowledge of drugs and a familiarity with magic to make it happen. For that, the Swoon Theory works quite nicely.
There is a perception in our society that the label “expert” suggests an infallibility and greater knowledge than the average person might be expected to achieve or fully understand. As a result, the common person might be inclined to accept the findings of such experts at face value, absolving the expert and their theories from further scrutiny or question. Yet it is clear that in the field of research on the historical Jesus at least, such should not be the case. The personal, religious, and theological agendas held by many of the scholars and experts who do the majority of research and publication on the historical Jesus play too great a part in the public’s ultimate perception of one of the most significant individuals in Western culture to be allowed to go unchallenged. To pre-empt unwanted scrutiny, experts, and those individuals too emotionally invested in the subject, often attack the educational background of those who propose alternate theories without first critically analyzing the proposition at hand. For those Christian apologists and their followers, it is easier to attack and discount the person than it is to analyze and refute their works. To attack the data directly is counterproductive, and would require an objectivity unavailable to them, and so it becomes necessary to attack the person, but considering what experts with degrees have missed or failed to examine I would suggest that the educational background of any scholar has less to do with the accuracy of their findings than does their ability to critically analyze the data.
The experts have compromised the design of the Gospel accounts by misinterpreting the nativity stories, and changing Jesus from a wealthy scion of a prominent family to a poor carpenter from Galilee. They have poorly constructed their historical view of Jesus by failing to examine the correlation between his bloody sweat and the flow of water and blood from his pierced side, and the repercussions that such a connection makes to our understanding of Jesus’ condition on the cross. They have continued to steer the course of historical Jesus studies away from naturalistic explanations in favor of the miraculous because their agendas are propagandist in nature instead of unbiased examination. Christian apologists have a lot in common with the men who designed, built and sailed the Titanic. They are responsible, each in their own way, for misleading the public on a catastrophic scale.