LETTER FROM A MINISTER

Fake News vs Truth

In recent years fake news has become a buzz word. It refers to fabricated news that is presented as factually accurate, although it has no basis in fact. But fake news is by no means a recent or modern phenomenon. The question whether a news item is true or false has been around for centuries. It generally boils down to the trustworthiness of the source of the news. We, for instance, trust the reporting of the BBC, because it goes to great lengths to establish facts (and a lot of fuzz is made if they get something wrong).

At the end of the month we will celebrate Holy Week and Easter and remember the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Christians these events are extremely important, for our whole faith hinges on them. So how can we know 2000 years later that what we celebrate is based on accurate historical facts?

The simple answer is that it comes from reliable sources and was written down by holy men who were prayerfully seeking the truth.

Before being included in the Bible, the accounts of Jesus' life, or the gospels, were checked by the Christian community and then passed down the generations to our time. There were, in fact, quite a few unreliable accounts of Jesus' life, that were not included in the Bible. And scholars today, even those critical of Christianity, accept that Jesus is a historical figure.

And we can be sure that the events in Jesus' life are accurately reported in the Bible and have nothing whatsoever to do with fake news. That gives us the reassurance to celebrate with confidence Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection as the foundation of our Christian faith.

Deacon Klaus Reidel 
St Bede's Catholic Church
March 2018

 

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