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Pitts column hits mark on Aslan's credentials

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August 5, 2013

Leonard Pitts Jr. was right in strongly criticizing Lauren Green’s interview with biblical scholar Reza Aslan about his recent book on the historical Jesus, “Zealot” (Page 4A, Monday).

I have read “Zealot” and previous work by Aslan and find him to be a competent historian and biblical scholar in the mainline of biblical criticism. His recent book’s premise that Jesus was a member of the Zealot movement in 1st century Palestine is open for debate among scholars and the believer but certainly not highly controversial. There is nothing in this book that has not been stated elsewhere, but Aslan makes his case very well and in a highly readable style.

Those who have a problem with historical biblical criticism in general will find some major bones to pick with Aslan; and that is fine. But Green’s interview was motivated by sheer Islamophobia and needs to be discredited.

THE REV. JIM MELVIN

Senior pastor

First Lutheran Church, Janesville



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