Investigating the Resurrection
There's a wide spectrum of beliefs about the physicality of the resurrection, says the host of an ABCNews show on the topic.
ABCNews correspondent Elizabeth Vargas is the host of Resurrection, a 20/20 news special that asks: What really happened after Jesus' crucifixion? Vargas talked with Beliefnet about the show, which airs on Friday, May 20 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.
What led you to start working on this special?
I first got the idea to do this hour after the movie "The Passion of the Christ" came out. There was talk about the fact that it focused solely on the crucifixion and that only at the very end of the movie is there a fifteen-second, tantalizing hint at a resurrection. I remember reading in all the newspapers and listening to everybody debating about the fact that it's the resurrection that is so important and central to Christianity, not the crucifixion.
You've interviewed a range of Bible scholars. How did you choose them?
We very carefully selected the most respected scholars and leading theologians from the evangelical world, from the Jewish world to the Catholic world to even the liberal Christians--the Jesus seminar is represented as well. Even one of our Jewish scholars has studied the resurrection. I found it an interesting thing for a Jewish man to study and dedicate his life to, but that's what he's done. I'm very proud of the evangelicals who we have represented in this special. They were absolutely wonderful and brought the story to life.
How would you answer critics who would say it's insulting to believers--or just pointless--to "investigate" a matter of faith like Jesus' resurrection?