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Old 09-27-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
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Default Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus

Bill O'Reilly claims the Holy Ghost told him to write it. Nevertheless, it is being panned by a variety of commentators.

On Amazon: Killing Jesus (or via:

Bill O'Reilly's new book says Jesus died to free the Jews from taxation

Candida Moss on what else the Fox host gets wrong—and what he leaves out.

... without a method, Killing Jesus has all the critical rigor of your local church’s Nativity play.

The basic argument of the book is that Jesus died because he interfered with the taxation-heavy Roman revenue stream. The reason the Jews eagerly anticipated the Messiah, writes O’Reilly, is, “When that moment arrives, Rome will be defeated and their lives will be free of taxation and want.”

It’s true that the people did long for the Messiah, that the majority of them were poor and oppressed, and that very few benefited from Roman occupation. But even if the Romans had been overthrown the people would have still been paying tithes to Jewish authorities to sustain the Temple, as Biblical and Jewish laws demand.

O’Reilly argues that Temple taxes and profits from the moneychangers were back-channeled to Rome. Thus when Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers he “interrupted the flow of funds from the Temple to Rome.”

He’s right: the Temple incident led to Jesus’s arrest and execution and the Romans were responsible for killing Jesus. But there is no evidence that the Romans benefited from the financial affairs of the Temple during Jesus’ lifetime. Pilate didn’t get dibs on the lamb shanks some used to pay the priests. Jesus died because he was a rabble-rouser who disturbed the peace and challenged the authorities. Jesus didn’t die for our W2s.
Joel Watts gave it one star on Amazon and a thorough go-over on his blog Chapter 1: could you be more wrong?

Bill O'Reilly is #killingjesus scholarship

The notes for the first chapter contain almost no scholarly records, save one related to the Star of Bethlehem (more on that below). So it seems the authors have not engaged in the sorts of works that would have been need to understand a 2000 year old book. I’m not going to read Homer without some help understanding its cultural background, so why do the Gospels get a pass?

The background info that the authors establish is also not great. For example, they claim that the Magi “stud[ied] the world’s great religious texts”. How do they know this to be true in the time of Jesus? Besides, why would Zoroastrian priests care so much about Jewish scripture? Seems that because there is a story of Magi coming to a Jewish king/messiah means that they must have had such an interest; without evidence, all I see is circularity. Bill also says that the Magi had stopped by to see Herod and pay their respects to him before finding Jesus. Well, I don’t know where he gets that. It’s not in my Bible, and I can’t think of an apocryphal tradition that suggests this either.

More there on Billo's views on the star of Bethlehem.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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All of O'Reilly's books have been panned by critics. His books sell for only one reason, his constant exposure on Fox, which is free advertising. He could write a book about underwater basket weaving and keep it on the best seller list.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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The text on the right-hand side of the picture is definitely true.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Bill O'Reilly's new book says Jesus died to free the Jews from taxation
Aren't all these views shared by outhouse here at the forum? Maybe Bill O'Reilly is a member of our forum.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:12 AM   #5
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I expect his books are supported by a staff of researchers and writers. I would not be surprised if the book is a collage of ideas from religious discussion boards.

O'Reilly shows himself to be yet another goofy Christian whining that anti religious forces do not respect his religion. Indignant over those 'without any consistent belief system'
attacking his beliefs.

There will be a 60 Minutes segment o him and the book Sunday. He is stoking teh fires.

There was discussion on the temple and Rome in past threads. Rome thrived on conquest and taxation. Hard to imagine there not being political corruption and influence pedaling on the part of both Jews and Roman administrators with the temple being a 'profit center'.

If you go by the general gospel tales, the JC character was in the face of the Jewish power elites. The irony is the modern equivalents would be the wealthy Christian elites in collusion with govt and economic interests. You attack them today on the basis of religion and morality at your political and social peril.

'...Rome's involvement in the area dated from 63 BCE, following the end of the Third Mithridatic War, when Rome made Syria a province. In that year, after the defeat of Mithridates VI of Pontus, the proconsul Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) sacked Jerusalem and entered the Jerusalem Temple. Subsequently, during the 1st century BCE, the Herodian Kingdom was established as a Roman client kingdom and then in 6 CE parts became a province of the Roman Empire.[1]

Judea province was the scene of unrest at its founding during the Census of Quirinius and several wars were fought in its history, known as the Jewish-Roman wars. The Temple was destroyed in 70 as part of the Great Jewish Revolt resulting in the institution of the Fiscus Judaicus, and after Bar Kokhba's revolt (132–135 CE), the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed the name of the province to Syria Palaestina and Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina, which certain scholars conclude was done in an attempt to remove the relationship of the Jewish people to the region.[2][3]..'
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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According to gJohn (the thinker's gospel) Jesus had a fruitful three year career after cleansing the temple and didn't overstep the mark until raising Lazarus.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:01 AM   #7
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Jesus had a three year career cleaning temples?

I learned something today
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:21 AM   #8
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My First Thought was, 'What did O'Really? do, bore him to death?'

Eldarion Lathria
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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If we are to trust the gospels, Jesus repeatedly urged his followers to abandon, families, homes and farms to await for the end of the world. A disruptive person who's activities would have made him ripe for opposition by a government that valued order. But his execution was caused by his messianic claims, heresy. His swift execution would have seemed to offer a quick solution to everybody's problems.

The book, Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus by Richard Horsley is a very good book on the subject, far better than what O'Reilly seems to be offering.

Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus (or via:

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Old 09-28-2013, 01:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Daily Beast
There’s no mention of the free health care offered by Jesus and his followers or the insistence that the wealthy give away their possessions. The single most consistent social teaching in the New Testament is that Christians must support the poor, widows, and orphans, but this hardly gets a mention in Killing Jesus.
GOP Jesus:

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