The Berkeley Project

By Wayne Jackson

Everyone has heard the phrase, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” I was recently reminded of that saying when I heard of a so-called “Christian” project that apparently originated out of Berkeley, California. (Can anything sane come out of Berkeley?) This bizarre movement is dubbed “The Second Coming Project.” It is so utterly ludicrous as to invoke both pity and rage.

The Second Coming Project purports to be a not-for-profit enterprise “devoted to bringing about the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, as prophesied in the Bible.”

Here is what this lunatic project involves: a group of grossly deluded souls want to “bring back” Jesus as a cloned monstrosity of sorts.

Employing the techniques pioneered at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, these mad “scientists” propose that they will extract DNA from certain alleged “relic” remains derived from the body of Jesus.

Supposedly, in certain Roman Catholic depositories, there are preserved remnants of the Lord’s earthly body (hair, blood fragments, etc.). From these, we are told, the DNA will be taken. Theoretically, then, this substance would be inserted into an unfertilized human egg. The fertilized egg would then be implanted into the uterus of a young virginal woman who would subsequently give birth to the new “Messiah.”

According to the plan, the process would be precisely timed so that this new “Jesus” would be born on the two-thousandth anniversary of his original birth, December 25, 2001.

Reputedly, the instigators of this project are tired of “waiting around futilely [sic]” for Jesus to return; they, therefore, want to “bring him back right now.” For what purpose? They claim: “In order to save the world from sin.”

The only thing almost certain about this project is that it is a reflection of someone’s money-grubbing, soul-blighted con game. It does provide, however, an interesting exercise in biblical and logical dismantling. Think about the following points:

(1) There is no credible evidence whatever that any fragment of Christ’s body or blood exists anywhere in the world today—despite the absurd claims of superstitious religionists.

The alleged preservation of relics during the first century was “contrary to the practice of the primitive Church, and irreconcilable with common sense.” This practice eventually became a means of raising money in that apostate deviation from genuine Christianity (McClintock and Strong 1969, 1028).

The “veneration of relics” had its genesis in paganism and is mere mythology, yet the practice was affirmed by Romanism at the Council of Trent (Sess. XXV).

(2) Scientists are unable to clone a new, living human from DNA extracted from a corpse whose spirit departed last week, let alone achieve that feat from a fragment of hair or a speck of dried blood of twenty centuries ago. To even think of attempting such an act reveals a depravity that is as spiritually bankrupt as it is intellectually barren.

(3) To suggest that the second coming of Christ is an illusion “futilely [sic]” entertained by Christians is an expression of consummate blasphemy. We patiently await the Lord’s return. Just as Old Testament prophecy regarding his first coming was precisely fulfilled, even so, the declarations concerning his second coming shall not fail.

(4) In the Scriptures, the second coming is explicitly disassociated from any redemptive (from sin) activity on the part of the Savior (cf. Hebrews 9:24-28). The persons who fabricated this infantile hoax were bereft of any semblance of Bible knowledge.

(5) Since the exact year of Jesus’ birth is unknown, no one can possibly compute when the two-thousandth anniversary of that event will be. And it certainly is not provable that Christ was born on December 25.

It is believed that this date was adopted, possibly in the second century A.D., because it corresponded to the winter solstice—when the daylight period begins to lengthen. December may have been adopted at that time as a symbol of the coming of the “sun of righteousness” (Finegan 1998, 321).

Clement of Alexandria set the date of Christ’s birth at November 18, 3 B.C. Other ancient writers placed the time at May 20, 3/2 B.C., or on April 19 or 20 of the same year. The ancient record is a mass of confusion relative to the date of Jesus’ birth.

Most scholars now suggest that the Lord’s birth had to have been at least as early as 4 B.C., since that is the date generally ascribed to the death of Herod the Great (who killed the infants in attempting to eliminate the baby Jesus [Matthew 2]).

The promoters of this clone-Jesus fantasy are urging gullible folks to send money for the implementation of their Second Coming Project, and they provide a post office box number in Berkeley.

They may also have magical beans for sale, which will produce a giant beanstalk ultimately leading to a pot of pot, upon which these hucksters already seem to be a bit high.

Follow-up note: Several readers have expressed concern that the “project” is a hoax. As indicated in this article, the fraudulent motives and intentions of the perpetrators are fairly transparent. Still, the subject matter warrants our brief attention in that it raises issues of concern to many who may be deceived about the possibility of such a scheme being worked out. Thank you for your attention to this timely topic.

Sources/Footnotes
  • Finegan, Jack. 1998. Handbook of Biblical Chronology. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.
  • McClintock, John and James Strong. 1969. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. Vol. 7. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
Small f26f621c f6aa 4d2b 853d 24e53c812a17

About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.