One hardly knows where to begin in response to a recent letter writer concerning Reza Aslan's new book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth."
Aslan does indeed have four degrees and is a scholar. In no way does he "discredit the founding principles of Christianity." The contributor needs to become more familiar with the Quran to discover that much of the background to Islam and Christianity have a kinship. For instance, both Moses and Jesus are mentioned many times in the Quran.
In addition, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were not written as eyewitness accounts. That's why they were written in third person. Matthew and Luke wrote from an accumulation of sources, including copying Mark's Gospel, which was the first Gospel and written in about 60 A.D. Matthew copied about 90 percent of Mark and Luke about 65 percent of Mark. Neither Matthew, Luke nor Mark were eyewitnesses to Jesus' ministry, but they used the best traditions available to them.
Why would the author of Matthew's Gospel use the disciple's name? To give his Gospel authority, which was commonly done in that day. By the way, Paul writes in first person because he was an eyewitness; Jesus appeared to him (1 Cor. 15:8). I wish the four Gospels were written by eyewitnesses of Christ, that is, those who traveled with him throughout his incredible ministry.
Aslan's faith does not discredit his scholarship. Jesus suggested that we pray for the offender.
Hilton Head Island