This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," April 4, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Monday I interviewed the author of a new book, "The Jesus Papers," which puts forward evidence that Jesus Christ did not die on the cross and ascend heaven, but survived and escaped to Europe with his wife Mary Magdalene and their daughter. Today, fair and balanced, the other side of the story: believers.
The book is "The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ." Its author, Randy Singer, joins us now.
So, Randy, what is the cross-examination of Jesus Christ? What questions do you want to put to him?
RANDY SINGER, AUTHOR, "CROSS EXAMINATION OF JESUS CHRIST": Well I put the same questions to him that the Pharisees and lawyers put to him 2,000 years ago. And the first thing I wanted everyone to understand is Christ didn't unveil the greatest teachings of all time in three-point sermons.
It all began with the same letter, with soft music playing in the background. He was under the crucible of cross-examination his entire ministry, people trying to trip him up with the best questions they could think of. And he would turn the tables on them with these most incredible truths. So those are the questions that I put forth in the book.
But the second thing, John, I did in this book is I used the rules of evidence and basically courtroom evidentiary issues to say, who is the historical Jesus? Is it the same Jesus that is the Jesus of faith or is it somebody else?
GIBSON: Well that's what Michael Baigent said Monday, the historical Jesus is different from the Jesus of faith. Obviously, you think Michael is wrong. Why?
SINGER: Well I'd love to have him on the show so I could cross-examine him the way the Pharisees and lawyers cross-examined Christ. But basically, when I looked at Michael's book, "The Jesus Papers," John, I realized that when he says he's got incontrovertible proof that Christ survived the crucifixion, he actually is just rereading and recasting the gospels, misinterpreting the gospels themselves.
For example, what he says in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 15, he said when Joseph of Arimathea came to ask for the body of Christ so he could give Christ the proper burial, the Greek word for body could be corpse, but it could mean live body. But that Pilate responded saying you can have the corpse.
But what Baigent doesn't tell his readers is the very next two verses say Pilate wanted to certify that Christ was dead, so he had the centurion go out and check and the centurion came back and certified that Christ had in fact died. And so my point is, if you're going to use the gospels to try and prove your case, you need to use all the gospels and put into context.
GIBSON: Baigent said Jesus was a revolutionary against the Romans, that he was a zealot, and that Pilate wanted him dead. Is he right about those facts?
SINGER: Well, you know, that's the first half of the book. And the second half of the book Baigent actually switches that and says that when Christ was asked, "Should we pay taxes to the Romans?" Christ said, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's."
And then Baigent says that the zealots turned against him and Pilate wanted him alive. You know, Christ was revolutionary, but it wasn't in the political sense at all. Chris brought in the kingdom of heaven. He ushered in the kingdom of heaven, John. When he talked about revolution, he talked about a revolution of the heart.
And it's clear that the reason that Christ had to face the cross was because the leaders turned against him when Christ made it clear that he was the Son of God. He claimed deity and he went to the cross, you know, to die for our sins, as the messiah. That's why he went there. Not as a political zealot.
GIBSON: The book is "The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ." The author is Randy Singer. Randy, thanks very much, appreciate it.
SINGER: Thank you, John.
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