Newsweek has a cover story by that title this week. Two questions come to mind?

1. I know there’s no statute of limitations on murder, but after 2000 years, does it really matter?

2. As I understand the theology, the entire purpose of his existence on this planet was to get himself executed to atone for mankind’s sins. So, didn’t whomever it was that was responsible help accomplish this mission?

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    Newsweek should have titled the story: “It’s Lenten season, so we’re trotting out the Jesus story to sell magazines.”

    Seriously, between them and Time, I’m amazed at how many times they can do the story – christmas and easter – and get away with it.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Heh. Well, now they Mel Gibson movie is out there stirring up the controversy.

    And, really, churches have been telling the same story–well, more or less–every Sunday for a couple thousand years.

  3. jen says:


    Your point #2 is exactly correct – Jesus’ main purpose in coming to earth was to die.

    Who killed Jesus?

    I did.

    You did.

    We all did.

    How’s that?

  4. Kate says:

    Hey, speak for yourself. I wasn’t born yet.

  5. melvin toast says:

    Everyone knows the Jews rule the world. They’re so powerful they killed god. Guess he wasn’t as all mighty as they say he was. Course the Jews with all their clout couldn’t protect themselves from Hitler. So by deduction Jesus vs. Evil, Evil wins.

    Proof by stupidity… the question of who killed Jesus is just an excuse to kill Jooos.

  6. McGehee says:

    Your Honor, I move for a dismissal of all charges in the death of Jesus, on the grounds that, just a few days after the alleged killing, Jesus was seen alive and walking around by a number of reliable witnesses.

  7. mg says:

    Does this mean that O.J.’s heroic work is now finished?

  8. “…So, didn’t whomever it was that was responsible help accomplish this mission?…”

    Your question reveals a distressing degree of naivete regarding human nature.


  9. lj says:

    “the Christian narratives have sometimes been contorted to lay the responsibility for Jesus’ execution at the feet of the Jewish people, a contortion that has long fueled the fires of anti-Semitism.”

    Where? When? This is an ambiguous statement. I’m sure that there are people who use the Bible to contort what they want it to say, and I don’t know who they are referring to because all they do is make a claim, but most bible believing Christians you will talk to will agree with what Jen said, we all killed Him.
    1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Christian say, “Those Jews. They killed our Lord.” In fact most realize the gravity of what His death meant.
    2. How is there anti-semitism coming from Christians who believe Christ’s death essentially saved them from eternal damnation and whose resurrection signified His victory over death?
    I think it’s made up to stir up. Especially with the recent popularity of the passion and the attacks that Mel Gibson and his family have come under.

    Unfortunately, Time/Newsweek and others only view it from a historical perspective. Through those eyes, they’ll never get the answer they’re looking for.

    Not to split hairs but I wouldn’t use the term “get himself executed.” That sounds as if He intentionally tried to provoke others when really He just came and lived as God incarnate, and that was all that was necessary to make people mad.
    Although you are technically correct. 🙂

  10. norbizness says:

    I know there’s a movie out and all, but I’m thinking there could be productive uses for national news-magainze cover space.

    Look, the best they could pin on anyone is attempted murder if he got all resurrected and shit. I’ve seen enough “Law and Order” episodes to know that.

  11. mark says:

    After 2000 years, yes it does matter. Although the only suspect left to consider alive back then would be Dick Clark.

  12. As an atheist, can I just say that this all just sounds crazy as hell to me.