With the onset of Lent, a new CNN series on Christ called, Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery, premieres on March 1 at 9 p.m. ET. With the objective of discovering new insights about the historical Jesus, the series utilizes the latest state-of-the-art scientific techniques and archaeological research.
Each episode of the six-part series investigates the value and authenticity of a historical object which is connected to Jesus: the Shroud of Turin, relics venerated as part of the True Cross, the gospel of Judas, relics believed to be of John the Baptist, the burial box of Jesus’ brother James and the gospel of Mary Magdalene.
Part documentary – part emotional drama, the series not only examines some mysterious artifacts from the world of the Bible, but also the Gospel characters and stories related to the artifacts. In the episode about the Shroud of Turin, their dramatized reenactment of the Passion of Christ packs a powerful punch. As the narrator says, “the Shroud of Turin appears to be a silent witness to all the final sufferings of Jesus.”
“It is extraordinary to find an archaeological piece that is proof of his existence, his death, and his resurrection,” said Erwin MacManus, one of CNN’s panel of experts.
The panel includes academics from the world’s best universities including Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Oxford, providing historical and theological insight and also features Father James Martin SJ (the editor of ‘America’ the United States’ national Catholic magazine), the Rev. Paul Raushenbush (executive religion editor of the Huffington Post), and Erwin MacManus, senior pastor of MOSAIC Los Angeles.
These are not necessarily the theologians I would have chosen, but after watching The Shroud of Turin, I can vouch for their scholarly and respectful treatment of the fascinating material.
The series also features award-winning journalist and filmmaker David Gibson, who specializes in covering the Catholic Church.
Gibson co-wrote the series’ companion book from St. Martin’s Press, also titled Finding Jesus, that was released on Feb. 24.
Here is the Trailer:
Again, this premieres Sunday, March 1 at 9 p.m. ET. I’ll definitely be tuning in with my family.
Father James Martin, CNN: Five things you didn’t know about Jesus