Don’t Miss Episode 4 of Bible Secrets Revealed: “The Real Jesus” Tonight on History

Don’t miss episode 4 of the six-part series “Bible Secrets Revealed” on History.

The fourth installment, entitled “The Real Jesus“, debuts Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013 at 10/9c .

The episode explores:

“For billions of people around the world he is known as “The Son of God” — the Messiah — whose teachings have inspired one of the most powerful and influential religions in the world. Nearly everything we know about the life of Jesus comes from the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But just how accurate are these sacred texts?”

And if you missed the first three episodes, you can watch them for free online at History‘s “Bible Secrets Revealed” website.

Tweet your feedback with the hashtag #BibleSecretsRevealed.

(This has become a lot of fun, as many of the show’s participants are live tweeting the episodes. Don’t miss out on your chance to ask questions and make comments with the over 1.3 million people who watch the show each Wednesday night.)

And send your questions to Bible History Daily, where I’ll be answering some of them and providing more in depth explanations of the material covered in the show.

23 Responses

  1. Looking forward to it. Episode three was great, easily the best one so far.

  2. Dear Dr. Bob Cargill,
    Is it possible to provide your audience outside USA, with a transcript of the episodes like “”,
    As long as they are not available for us to watch here?
    Thanks for considering this option or alike as the content is much awaited here also and we can’t have access to these very important info, unfortunately!

  3. Uh, oh….be careful, Doc. The Fundies are going to throw a major wobbly over this one. They will go absolutely ballistic! Should be fun. :)

  4. Marcu,

    The transcripts require typing up the narration, and that is not provided to me. I’m sure someone out there is working on this.
    Thanx for the comment!


  5. I was surprised that they had a regular (McGowan) author of fictional Gnostic Magdalenia on last week. I was quite disappointed (shakes head — I guess the producers still feel they still have to cater somewhat to the unwashed). I never stopped the learning process once I got my second Masters (MLS), so nothing on the show has been much of a “revelation” for me. I shake my head whenever someone finds another apocraphal legend that made it into the secondary canon (Enoch) and starts to create more monstrosities. I wonder why it was only the religions of the Abrahamic tradition which insisted upon calling their writings about their Gods/God holy? It would have been far better (my editorial opinion) had they not and in addition not created a dogmatic canon.

  6. Dr. Cargill,

    Kathleen McGowan? Really? In multiple episodes even?

    I assuming you tried to talk the History Channel out of putting her on there with you. Or did they sneak her in on the final cut? I would have MUCH preferred to hear you more.

    Please tell me it was a mistake.

  7. Dr. Cargill,

    While I was aware of pretty much everything in this episode, I have to say this episode was better by leaps and bounds than episode three. Is there a curse of the odd-numbered episodes like there supposedly was a curse of the odd-numbered Star Trek movies? LOL!!!

    There was so much that was potentially misleading in that episode. For one, were I Enoch, The Life of Adam and Eve, The Apocalypse of Peter, or The Gospel of Peter ever truly declared heresy and forbidden to be read or were they generally considered not to be inspired, not put in any canon (except for the case of I Enoch in that of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church), and not endorsed but could still be read? I know the gnostic books were forbidden, but I am unaware of any of the books mentioned above being forbidden. To be honest, I find it hard to believe I Enoch was ever forbidden or declared heresy whereas The Epistle of Jude quotes it.

    Also, Kathleen McGowan said “There were a group of men with specific agendas determining what would and what would not become canon. And this agenda was about preserving of the church. The agenda here is politics and economics. It’s not spirituality.” Where can I find proof of this and who were these men? Was there evidence given in the show other than what the books mentioned happened to contain and what Bishop Athanasius wrote?

    Another question, is there debate within the scholarly community over which Mary is claimed to be the author of The Gospel of Mary as Wikipedia claims or has it been determined as a 100% fact that Mary Magdalene is the one claimed as its author?

    I hope I haven’t come off as a “hater”, because by no means do I hate the series. I just find the third episode, and to a lesser extent, the first, to not have been as well made as they could have been. They seemed somewhat one-sided and as I wrote above some of the statements made I found to be potentially misleading because important details were left out or things weren’t adequately explained, whereas the second and fourth episodes seemed to be more objective and fair and explained things better.

  8. Dr. Cargill,
    Um . . . Hezekiah?? Jerusalem under siege?? Were you thinking of Isaiah 37 instead of Isaiah 7?

  9. Correct. The ‘time of Hezekiah’ clip should more technically say Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father. Jerusalem is under siege (2 Kgs 16:5), and the Isa 7 prophecy addresses the threat against Ahaz, while the similar prophecy of Isa 37:30ff addresses the threat against Jerusalem while Hezekiah is king. The point remains the same, however, that the prophecy addressed a threat in a specific context (the sack of Jerusalem), offering reassurance that the city would survive (Look, a woman is with child and life will be good for him (curds and honey) by the time he knows good from evil (i.e., adulthood)), which was then reinterpreted at a much later date to apply to a Messiah and/or a virgin birth. Good catch. -bc

  10. The narrator said that “recent historical research” has discovered that Jesus was not born in A.D. 1, but earlier. Wasn’t this already known, and written about, by James Ussher in the mid-1600’s?

  11. The narrator always says ‘recent research’. The calendar has been screwed up for a long long time. Some people have known this for centuries, but many people still don’t recognize this. Listen to people talk about the year 1 Anno Domini and we can see that most people just assume Jesus was born in calender year 1.

  12. Reza Aslan said that many of John’s disciples thought that John was greater than Jesus, and said, “After all, as they argued, who baptized whom?”. Is such an argument by John’s disciples to that effect documented to exist somewhere?

  13. The narrator said that the Romans had John the Baptist arrested, imprisoned, and executed. Shouldn’t he have been referring to Herod, instead?

  14. Chris Keith said that the execution of John the Baptist “provided the inauguration of Jesus’ kind-of-solo ministry. Doesn’t Luke 7:18-23 prove otherwise — showing that Jesus was preaching and healing, etc., during John’s imprisonment?

  15. Dr. Cargill,
    If my research serves me well, Kathleen McGowan is the widow of Philip Coppens, who frequently appeared on the Ancient Aliens show, another Prometheus Entertainment product. Can you explain why she was in this series?

  16. As you are probably well aware, Luke’s chronology is suspect in relation to the other Synoptics. It does appear that the disciples of JtB join up with the Jesus movement after JtB’s death.

  17. Dr. Cargill,
    In Episode 4, the narrator repeatedly asked questions to the effect of, “Did Jesus really think he was the Messiah?”. Why did the program not include any mention of Jesus’ statement to Caiaphas at the Sanhedrin trial, when Jesus was asked if he is the Messiah? Why was the entire scene, and Jesus’ answer, not mentioned in the show?

  18. Many people appear in the show for many different reasons, to address many different subjects, etc. These choices are the purview of the executive producers and the network.

  19. I believe it safe to say that Herod did little without the consent of the Romans, for whom he worked.

  20. There do originally appear to be two separate ministries – one of John and his disciples, and one of Jesus and his disciples – recorded in the Bible. Acts 10:37-38 appears to speak to this order of the ministries. The issue of John baptizing Jesus (and not the other way around) and for what reason has caused much ink to be spilled throughout history. Of course, this fact that JtB baptized Jesus could be interpreted as one of the greater baptizing the lesser – an argument that the NT authors would be certain to dispel with stories like those found in Matt. 3:14, Luke 7:18-22, Mark 1:7//Luke 3:16//John 1:27, etc. I know of no written source articulating the specific argument of “who baptized whom”.

  21. The show already raised doubts about the historicity of the trial of Jesus, questioning whether it actually happened, or happened as recorded. Indeed, the entire trial episode may be a later addition and embellishment of the story of Jesus, in which case Jesus’ admission in Mark 14:62 would be a later Christian addition (as scholars argue we find throughout the NT, especially at climactic scenes and the ends of the gospels). Certainly it would be different from the expected norm within the Synoptics, where Jesus never regularly refuses to claim to be the Messiah.

    The problems about the historicity of Jesus’ trial and confession are compounded when we realize that the gospel witnesses differ regarding what Jesus said during the trial, specifically during his supposed ‘confession.’

    Mark 14:61-62 states that the high priest then asked Jesus: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus is said to have replied, “I am, and you will see…”, whereas in Matt. 26:63-64 the high priest asks: “Tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God,” and Jesus responds “You have said it”, turning the confession into a “You said it, not me” moment.

    Thus, the greater mystery is why Jesus regularly refuses to confess himself as the Messiah in the Synoptics.

  22. BTW, I’ve answered a LOT of questions for you personally here, so apologies if I get back to my regular job and don’t respond to other inquiries. I hope you appreciate the individual time and attention I’ve set aside for you here. Cheers. bc

  23. Dr. Cargill,
    I was going to ask, since you seemed to draw Luke’s chronology into question, if you also question Mt. 11:1-6, since that passage, too, plainly implies that Jesus’ solo ministry had begun well before the execution of John the Baptist.
    I have several other questions about the series, but I understand the need to get back to your regular job; I too am no stranger to that. Thanks for answering as much as you did.

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