Michael White proposes to do just that — to take them seriously as stories. He argues that in order to understand the earliest gospels one must look at them the way they were originally intended, rather than newspaper-like historical accounts in any modern sense. In Scripting Jesus, Michael White, famed scholar of early Christian history, reveals how the gospel stories of Jesus were never meant to be straightforward historical accounts, but rather were scripted and honed as performance pieces for four different audiences with four different theological agendas.
Michael : "The gospel writers were storytellers, and the stories they told about Jesus and his followers have shaped the beliefs of almost two-and-a-half billion people. Scripting Jesus explains how the gospel writers "honed their pitch" about the life of Jesus and the birth of Christianity for the greatest dramatic effect. White demonstrates that each of the four gospel writers had a specific audience in mind and a specific theological agenda to push, and consequently wrote and rewrote their lives of Jesus accordingly—in effect, scripting Jesus to get a particular point across and to achieve the desired audience reaction.The gospel stories have shaped the beliefs of almost two and a half billion Christians ... Misconception: Some argue that Jesus must have been of African descent because the book of Revelation compares his hair to wool and his feet to "burnished bronze." —Revelation 1: 14, 15, The New Jerusalem Bible.