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Former reporter investigates Jesus’ resurrection in new book

NASHVILLE, Tenn.(BP)–It’s called the “Good News” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” but is the resurrection of Jesus Christ really newsworthy by today’s journalistic standards?
William Proctor, a best-selling author and former reporter for the New York Daily News, thinks so. He has issued a journalistic investigation of this central event of Christianity in a new book, The Resurrection Report, published by Broadman & Holman Publishers of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board.
“This is the greatest news story ever covered,” Proctor said from his home in Vero Beach, Fla.
In his work and as a speaker at churches and seminars, Proctor has examined for many years the gospel accounts of Christ’s death and resurrection. Using a journalist’s eye, he encountered facts that called for confirmation, so he put his professional standards to work and tested them.
“I’ve always been something of a skeptic and tackled issues of the Scripture with almost a ‘show me’ attitude,” he said.

treating the Gospels in general and the resurrection reports as journalism, they meet many, if not all, of the tests” that he posed to prove their accuracy, timeliness, impact and importance as a news story, he said.
“The Resurrection Report” put his analysis in logical form with compelling evidence that the “resurrection reporters” — Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul– wrote about an actual event. Proctor labels resurrection reporters as anyone “who made a significant contribution to the gathering and writing of information about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
He integrated the characters, facts and details of their accounts for an understandable and believable news story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Proctor employed the traditional newswriter’s formula to answer the “who, what, when, where and how” of the resurrection story, with Scripture references as a Bible study tool.
The journalist’s process revealed the excitement and turmoil of the era. Christ’s followers’ anguish and confusion are exposed in their quotes and circumstances.
“Because we read these passages so much, it’s easy to overlook the emotions that are present,” Proctor said.
As part of his preparation for the book, Proctor spent time in the Holy Land, walked its streets and climbed its hills. Observations of possible tomb sites and other locations provide rich background for “The Resurrection Report.” Though in development for many years, the idea for the book “really came to life for me after my first trip to Israel,” the author said. Fitting the pieces together for the rewrite took at least a year, he said, and the actual writing at least five or six months more.
His book is not intended to offer proof of resurrection events, Proctor stated, since “that must be a matter of faith.”
He would like for people to “read the resurrection account as they would their daily newspaper and see how it stands up,” he said.
“We’ll often look to scholars to interpret the Scriptures, and the ottom line is, we need to read them as news reports.
“That could be life-changing,” he said.
Proctor has authored, co-authored or ghostwritten more than 70 nonfiction books and is founder and editor-in-chief of “Church Business Report.” “The Resurrection Report” was released in January.

    About the Author

  • Lynn Stinnett Williams