Last Days of Jesus

Documentary Review: “Last Days of Jesus”

In the documentary, The Last Days of Jesus, a few well-known (thanks to the History Channel H2) liberal scholars collaborate to weave a “new” narrative about the Crucifixion based on extra-biblical sources: secular historical records, select pseudepigraphal writings, and recent archaeological discoveries.

Last Days of Jesus

Produced by Simcha Jacobovici (“The Naked Archaeologist”)—featuring local UNC Professor James Tabor and numerous international scholars—this recently aired documentary (April 4, 2017) approaches the story of Jesus from a Scripturally skeptical, yet historically intriguing point of view.

Although I do not agree with each of their conclusions (which is my right based on my own research), the documentary is saturated with excellent historical reminders and re-enactments, fantastic footage filmed throughout the Holy Land and the ancient Roman Empire, and an extra-biblical perspective on the story of Jesus. 

I rather enjoyed this documentary. As an INTJ, I appreciate learning from a variety of scholars and perspectives—especially when their views are filmed on-site in Jerusalem, Galilee, Caesarea Maritima, and Rome!  I always gain knowledge and interesting insights into the culture and time of Jesus and His followers. 
This is NOT a Scripture-centered approach to the Passion story, so only watch it if you’re interested in understanding how some skeptics explain the crucifixion of Jesus in first-century Judea.

The last 30-minutes of the documentary gives Jacobovici a platform to weave together a fanciful theory of the Passion based on nothing but speculation and potentially correlative events. (They only correlate provided you completely disregard the timeline presented in the Gospel accounts—most of which were written either by eyewitnesses or based on eyewitness testimony.) Jacobovici’s theory rests on the expansion of the Passion timeline: placing Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem six-months prior to Passover. In other words, “Holy Week” becomes “Holy Six-Months.” 

The Last Supper may very well be that ‘doomed’ strategy meeting where they were looking for a way out and they couldn’t find one.” Jacobovici

His theory is that Jesus was arrested after the Temple cleansing during the Feast of Tabernacles (not Passover, as Scripture clearly states in ALL four Gospel accounts) and left to rot in jail for six months, thus losing popularity with the masses.

By tossing out the Bible, liberal scholars create a new Passion narrative based on pure speculation and trumped-up correlations. Click To Tweet

Expanding the timeline provides these scholars ample room to invent attractive, completely unnecessary theories to explain the “sudden” change of heart of the crowd towards Jesus.

Click here to hear my explanation for the crowd’s
supposed “sudden” change of heart during Holy Week:
From “Hosanna!” on Sunday to “Crucify Him!” on Thursday
What happened? Was it really the same crowd?

My Opinion on the “Last Days of Jesus” Documentary 

When it all comes down, the conclusions reached by Jacobovici and the other scholars are based on a logical fallacy: argumentum ex silentio (argument from silence). The unnecessarily expanded timeline, the Triumphal Entry dated to six-months earlier than every recorded account places it, Jesus’ six-month imprisonment (nowhere mentioned or hinted at) and subsequent loss of popularity (again, nowhere mentioned or hinted at), the critical role of Aelius Sejanus in the politics of Judea—ALL of this is based on speculation and conjecture. I’m so disappointed with the ending of this documentary. 

Oh well. It is what it is. I enjoyed most of the documentary🤔, learned a couple new things 🌴🌴, and LOVED seeing some of my favorite places in the Holy Land

Be encouraged by the following facts:

Many knowledgeable, liberal scholars used to deny vehemently that Jesus ever actually existed—they don’t deny it anymore! Many intelligent, liberal scholars also used to deny that He was crucified (or that anyone was ever crucified, for that matter)—they don’t deny that anymore either! Many liberal scholars still deny that He was raised from the dead—stay tuned… 

Click here to purchase the DVD: Last Days of Jesus DVD 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About the author: Laura Zielke

Laura Zielke (ZELL-key) is a deep thinker and Bible scholar. She is not afraid to question tradition and challenges people to evaluate their beliefs according to the Scriptures. Laura earned her M-Div. from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with an emphasis on Biblical Studies, Archaeology, and Languages. She has been blessed to serve as a lay leader in local churches for more than thirty years. Having been recognized as an outstanding leader, teacher, and entrepreneur, Laura serves as the Community Manager for the Nonprofit Leadership Lab (an organization dedicated to helping nonprofit leaders worldwide accomplish their mission). She and her husband of 22 years have one son who is in the 11th grade and homeschooled. Laura is an INTJ on the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and 1w9 on the Enneagram. She enjoys helping people discover more about themselves, the Lord, and their purpose in life. Connect with her on social media: @thezwomann (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest).

3 comments to “Documentary Review: “Last Days of Jesus””

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  1. David Lee - April 1, 2018 at 5:02 pm Reply

    Their time line requires the crucifixion to be around 31 AD. They theorize the Sejanus death resulted in a change of fortunes for Jesus resulting in his crucifixion. It is generally agreed that the old Herod died around 4 BC. Jesus was apparently born prior since the old Herod tried to kill him. If we agree that Jesus was born before 4 BC, and that Jesus was crucified at around 33 years of age, their theory could not work since he would have been gone well before to Sejanus death.

  2. george scott - December 18, 2018 at 9:49 pm Reply

    I watched this so-called documentary and found it to be so much typical libspeak by a gaggle of self impressed tongue wagggers. It’s really hard to believe they are paid educators.

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