Candida Moss goes Mano E Mano with Bill O’Reily

Cool video where Candida Moss takes it up to Political Conservative Commentator Bill O’Reily on his book Killing Jesus. I’ve only seen excerpts of the book, so I can’t comment too much just yet, but it looks to me like this book is not “really” about Jesus. It is the adaptation of the Jesus story to fit the narrative of US Republicans that Jesus was killed by big government and for opposing taxes.

Also, can someone explain to me why Americans are buying a book about Jesus allegedly written (I suspect that O’Reily’s co-author or minions probably wrote most of it) by a guy who does not know what the word “anachronism” means and does not the difference between a parable and a beatitude.

I hope to write my own full length response to Bill O’Reily’s Killing Jesus soon enough.

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  • CPS

    Wow. It’s difficult for me to tell from this video which of these people has a WORSE understanding of the Gospel. Deeply saddening.

  • Michael C

    “In order to go to heaven you had to give away your possessions…”,
    apparently Dr. Moss doesn’t understand the nature of the upside down Kingdom of
    God. She might want to re-read the Gospel narratives again in light of the inbreaking reign of God and not a socialistic paradigm. Or at least pick up a N.T. Wright book!

  • Richie


    You can be so good when you stick responsibly to your field of expertise and you can be so bad when when you then start to speak “from the chair” on other subjects with your apparently unperceived own ideological planks in you own eyes. As a historian myself for as long as you’ve been alive, who has lived in both the communist world and several parts of the western world, and who has taught at both the university and high school level, I can only shudder at the sloppiness and simplistic nature of your comments here. You certainly would not be allowed to get away with such comments in my history classes or, for that matter in the living rooms of so many people whose lives you denigrate by your careless and uncaring statements. To start with, apparently, you not only haven’t read O’Reilly’s book – despite commenting on it anyway – but you also apparently didn’t watch the video yourself either – or else you watched only through your own ideologically foggy lenses. Though neither O’Reilly nor Moss acquits him or herself very well O’Reilly was certainly far better. And, Professor Moss – after making several blunders in what she said – even ended up by endorsing his book!

    This of course just builds on the several obvious mistakes (driven by her own ideological lenses) in her CNN website 5 points review of O’Reilly’s book. Of course, she pretends that what she says is “received knowledge” in the academic community. It is not, except in her ideologically driven part of it. So, for instance, according to Moss no one was called a Christian in the first century despite the clear testimony of Acts and I Peter. Of course, all one has to do to get away with such nonsense – against clear and sound historical evidence – is to relegate those books to the second century. All in all her disingenuous scholarship in the review of O’Reilly’s book is just as bad as it is in her celebrated recent book on the Myth of Persecution. But, despite her ideological motivations she has succeeded in becoming famous – in fact, she’s even made on the O’Reilly show! She can now take her place along side that other great disingenuous, though celebrated, biblical scholar Bart Erhman whose professorship at UNC-Chapel Hill is partially paid for by my NC state taxes so that he can – on the basis of ‘academic freedom’ – also pretend to be presenting academic historical truth and, thus, rescuing us from a church that has deceived us all along. At least she is doing it at a private institution that is not supported by taxpayers.

    As to your alleged “narrative of US Republicans that Jesus was killed by big government and for opposing taxes” I personally know thousands of US Republicans but, sorry, not a single one who thinks as your stereotype above would indicate. Those of them who are Christians – which is in fact the vast majority of them in contrast to the US Democratic Party – are devoutly sincere people who work hard, try to love their neighbors as themselves, and would help someone in need at the drop of a hat. Yes, with apologies, they do indeed mostly oppose abortion on demand and homosexual marriage, but then, so do I – a US Independent. They also believe that Jesus died out of love of his own free will, according to God’s plan of salvation, for the sins of the world – not, because of big government (though the Roman Empire was indeed, admittedly, pretty “big”!).

    That these “US Republicans” don’t want to pay excessive taxes to a government whom they believe, on the basis of overwhelming evidence, all too often wastes much of it and uses much of it to support causes/programs that they believe are either immoral or inefficient or break down personal responsibility – or, even, are simply better handled by state/local government or by civic/religious organizations I certainly don’t deny. In fact, that’s why so many of them are my friends – mostly, Christian friends. Fortunately, I know also a great number of US Democrats – especially here in the South – who think for the most part in similar ways. That’s why they’re also my friends – sometimes even, Christian friends. But what is amazing to me is that despite having lived now 58 years both in America and in Europe, having friends all over both continents, having traveled all over both continents, and having taught both American and European history for many, many years I still seem to be unacquainted with the America of which you so often speak. It is, however, very familiar to the media caricature that I sometimes, though not often, run into in Europe – though only amongst the European enlightened elite, who thankfully, know what is best for us all.