Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams in Search for Jesus and Papyrus 45

Somewhat surprising, Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams is involved in the search for "the real Jesus of the Gospels" as part of a new seven-part television series for Channel 4 called "The Bible: A History." Adams is one of seven commentators who will explore the Bible "from their own, very personal, perspective". Adam's episode will focus on Jesus' teachings on "love, forgiveness, and repentance". Adams will both meet scholars who put Jesus in historical context and victims of violence in Northern Ireland.

In a statement Channel 4 says that Mr Adams, "as a former supporter of political violence" would also examine the "contradiction between Jesus' teachings and the involvement of Christians, and followers of other faiths, in conflict the world over. Further, Ralph Lee of Channel 4 says the programme will "offer an insight into how a man so strongly associated first with conflict and then with peace in Northern Ireland, has reconciled his religion with the decisions he has taken in his life".

Read the whole story at BBC News here.

The Daily Mail, on the other hand, reports on the outrage it has caused as "Channel 4 invites Gerry Adams to preach... on forgiveness." Apparently, the former Tory minister Lord Tebbit, who was injured in an IRA bombing in 1984, burst out laughing when he heard about Gerry Adams's programme, and said: 'I wish him well. And I hope he also comes across the doctrine of hell and the consuming of pernicious unrepentant murderers and sinners in general by the fires of hell for all eternity."

It has come to my knowledge that the English film crew that produces this particular episode has recently visited the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin to shoot the significant Gospel MS Chester Beatty Biblical 1 (P45). (Note that the proper designation is Chester Beatty Biblical 1, or I, not Chester Beatty 1; the latter is in fact another manuscript, an ancient Egyptian Love Poem, published in the 1920's.)

See image and brief description of P45 here.

See also the on-line exhibition of Chester Beatty Biblical 2 (P46), "In the Footsteps of Saint Paul" including manuscript images.


  1. "It has come to my knowledge ..." You are so mysterious Tommy!

  2. You have to protect your sources you know.

  3. Thanks for blogging this, Tommy. I am series consultant on this one. Minor correction -- "BBC Channel 4" is an error -- it's Channel 4. (The series is made by Pioneer TV).

  4. Believe me, I did NOT enjoy the experience and had little choice in the matter. I can assure readers that he did not handle the scared texts.
    Charles Horton

  5. The texts themselves were scared of him?

  6. Thanks Mark, I have corrected that now. I took for granted that it was BBC since I read it on a BBC newspage.

    Thanks Charles for your inside comment.