On his television program last night, Glenn Beck dedicated his opening monologue to attacking and “exposing the truth” about Reza Aslan and his new book about Jesus. Of course, in the end, Beck’s exposé was reduced to nothing more than his standard boogeyman of progressivism, the Tides Foundation, and George Soros.
But in the middle of it all was a fascinating segment where Beck took Aslan to task for supposedly not even understanding the Bible or the Gospels. Seizing on a piece Aslan wrote for the Washington Post in which he stated that “the gospels are not, nor were they ever meant to be, a historical documentation of Jesus’ life. These are not eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ words and deeds,” Beck smugly declared that “this claim is flat out false.”
He then cited the first passage in the Book of Luke, which he apparently believes demonstrably proves Aslan to be wrong:
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
Of course, this passage actually reinforces Aslan’s point, as even the author of Luke is admitting that he has set out to write an account of event “just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses.” Luke is not an eyewitness account, as the very author admits; or as the “Introduction to the Gospel According to Luke” in the current ESV Study Bible put its: “It is known that the author was from the second generation of the early church, was not an ‘eyewitness’ of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 1:2) and was a Gentile.”
To make matters worse, Beck then bizarrely claimed that if a book like the Bible cannot be accurate, according to Aslan, because parts of it were written decades after the events they describe, then how could Aslan’s book be trusted when it was written two thousand years after Jesus’ death: