The New Yorker’s biased journalism on Jesus



By Spencer D Gear

Andrew Gopnik wrote the article, “What did Jesus do?” (The New Yorker, 24 May 2010) in which he proceeded to give us his scepticism about Jesus with statements such as:

  • ‘The intractable complexities of fact produce the inevitable ambiguities of faith. The more one knows, the less one knows’;
  • ‘Belief remains a bounce, faith a leap’;
  • The reason for Jesus’ cry from the cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ was ‘the Jesus faith begins with a failure of faith. His father let him down’;

If you want comments from the sceptical left-wing of scholarship of Jesus and the Gospels, you’ll find it in this article with prominence given to people like, Bart Ehrman, who believes

that all the Gospels were written decades after Jesus’ death; that all were written in Greek, which Jesus and the apostles didn’t speak and couldn’t write (if they could read and write at all); and that they were written as testaments of faith, not chronicles of biography, shaped to fit a prophecy rather than report a profile.

Then you’ll find comments from the sceptical views of Jesus from people like L. Michael White, John Dominic Crossan co-founder of the Jesus Seminar, Philip Jenkins, Philip Pullman, William Empsom, Diarmaid MacCulloch and Paul Verhoeven.

There was not one quote from a biblical scholar who supported the integrity of Scripture and its reliable witness to the historical Jesus. So, I sent this….

Letter to the editor: The New Yorker



I sent this online, 24 May 2010, but the letter was not printed in the online edition that I was able to see. A Google search on 16 July 2012 has not been able to find the following letter or part of it:

Andrew Gopnik’s “What did Jesus Do?” (24 May online) is an example of one-eyed journalistic bias. Scholars who supported his skeptical view towards the Gospels were quoted.

Nowhere were contrary opinions quoted from historical Jesus’ scholars such as Drs. N. T. Wright, Richard Bauckham, Samuel Byrskog, Kevin Vanhoozer, D. A. Carson, Ben Witherington III, Craig Evans, Michael Wilkins, William Lane Craig, Craig Blomberg, Darrell Bock and others.

If you want me to believe The New Yorker supports balanced journalism, you’ll need to fix this prejudice.

After seeing this kind of journalism over a number of years from many news sources, I’ve grown used to the secular media taking it as par for the course that they will not deliver a reliable, biblically-based view of the historical Jesus.

Copyright © 2012 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 16 October 2015.