Nicky Campbell’s heated exchange over Bible claim: ‘Gospels weren’t with Jesus!’

Nicky Campbell jokes that 5 Live guest has ‘scared’ him

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The television presenter has been the central figure of the BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast programme since 2003 and BBC One’s Sunday morning show ‘The Big Questions’ since 2007. But tonight he will join co-host Davina McCall in an episode of ITV’s ‘Long Lost Family: What Happened Next?’ The programme aims to reunite close relatives after years of separation and is a topic particularly close to Mr Campbell, who traced his own birth parents after he was put up for adoption as a child.

The 60-year-old is renowned for speaking his mind and he did just that during an episode of ‘The Big Questions’ pondering an apparent dip in religious beliefs.

Speaking during the show he said: “2021 is a census year here in the UK and it’s planned to still go ahead online on March 21.

“Now, one of the areas probed is a religious belief and 10 years ago, 59.3 percent of those who chose to answer the question identified as Christians.

“That was a drop of over 12 percent from 2011.

“Now this year, it’s expected the numbers will fall below 50 percent because far more of the elderly follow a faith than young people.

“But although younger people may not belong to a form of religion, the key messages of Jesus, love, acceptance and forgiveness are still highly relevant today.”

The cameras then turned to Louise Davies, Director of Christians on the Left, who was asked whether Jesus was the Son of God and about the origins of the Gospels.

She said: “I think the danger of taking the Son of God out of the argument is that we have to morally work our way to the presence of God.

“If we are a good person, then we can earn that, but that is not the Christian message.

“The Christian message is that we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and at that moment we are in Communion with God.

“They walked with Jesus, they noticed the miracles, noticed the educating.”

It was at this point that Mr Campbell intervened.

He said: “No, it wasn’t written by people who were there with Jesus.

“It wasn’t, according to most biblical scholars.”

And Philosopher Julian Baggini agreed, adding: “Most biblical scholars accept that.

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“I am surprised when people claim these were eyewitness accounts.”

The four Gospels in the New Testament were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Most experts agree that the Gospel of Mark dates from 66–70AD Matthew and Luke around 85–90AD, and John 90–110AD.

These texts do not claim to provide an exhaustive list of the events in the life of Jesus.

They were written as theological documents in the context of early Christianity and their authors showed little interest in an absolute chronology of Jesus.

Nevertheless, the Gospels provide some details regarding events that can be clearly dated, so one can establish date ranges regarding major events in Jesus’ life by comparison with independent sources.

Using these methods, most scholars assume a date of birth between 6BC and 4BC, and that Jesus’ preaching began around 27–29AD and lasted one to three years.

They calculate the death of Jesus as having taken place between 30AD and 36AD.

Long Lost Family: What Happened Next? airs tonight from 9pm on ITV.

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