Deity of Christ: Divine Life and Doctrine
Question and Answer: What is “The Beast”?
Are you aware of the movie that is scheduled for release next summer called The Beast? I heard it was filmed in an effort to convince people that Jesus never lived. Is that true?
According to the movie’s Web site (www.thebeastmovie.com), The Beast is scheduled to be released in theaters worldwide on June 6, 2006 (or 6/6/06—which I can assure you is no accident). And, yes, it does appear that the movie’s main focus will be to persuade audiences of the alleged “fact” that “Jesus Christ never existed.” It is a story about a young person named Danielle whose father mysteriously disappears after stumbling across “a cover-up of Christianity’s best-kept secret: That Jesus Christ never existed.” Brian Flemming, the movie’s director, supposedly dives “into factual territory” that is “well-explored by scholars but largely hidden from the view of the public” (http://www.thebeastmovie.com/about/index.html). Although The Beast is listed as “fictional,” based upon the movie’s Web site, the director’s aim will be to persuade his audiences that Jesus is equally fictional.
While I have not seen the movie (and certainly do not encourage Christians who are simply seeking to be entertained to view and support such an anti-Christian film, which will simply poke more fun at “fundamentalist Christians”), I can only imagine how the many sources that do testify to Jesus’ historicity will be critiqued. The historically reliable (not to mention inspired) New Testament documents likely will be dismissed with the slightest of ease. Even though every one of the New Testament writers testified to the reality of Christ, they must be rejected as liars or lunatics. Similarly, statements about Jesus from such reputable first and early second-century historians as Josephus, Tacitus, and Seutonius will also have to be explained away somehow (if even mentioned at all).
Who knows if this movie will even make it into theaters next summer? (My prayer is that it will not.) But, if it does, Christians do not have to be alarmed about some new piece of evidence that supposedly proves Jesus never lived. When all of the facts are gathered, the honest individual will come to the same conclusion that the French humanist Ernest Renan came to more than 100 years ago: “[A]ll history is incomprehensible without him [Jesus—EL]” (http://www.lexilogos.com/document/renan/life_jesus.htm).
By the way, Apologetics Press is scheduled to release a new book on the historicity and deity of Christ in the spring of 2006—sometime before the release of The Beast.