Alan Dershowitz, Jesus Christ, and Logic

By Wayne Jackson

Alan Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard University. He is regarded as somewhat of an authority in appellate procedure (i.e., appealing a disputed legal decision to a higher court). Perhaps his greatest claim to fame is that he was one of the battery of attorneys employed in the defense of O.J. Simpson. (You remember O.J.—he’s the one who is vigorously attempting to find the murderer of his wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ron Goldman!) At any rate, had Simpson been found guilty, Dershowitz would have handled the appeal.

Mr. Dershowitz is an ardent defender of President Clinton, appearing frequently on the evening talk news programs. Since Dershowitz is a Jew, he is very sensitive to any mention of the Jews that casts them in an unfavorable light. He was, therefore, highly agitated a few weeks back when Jerry Falwell, president of Baptist-affiliated Liberty University, publicly made the statement that the “Antichrist” mostly likely is alive somewhere today, and is a Jew. [Note: Falwell’s idea of a so-called “Antichrist” has no biblical support whatsoever. See Jerry Falwell and the Antichrist.]

Anyhow, Dershowitz and Falwell appeared together on the Geraldo Rivera show on Tuesday evening, January 26. During the program Dershowitz felt obliged to make a comment regarding Jesus Christ. Ever trying to be the “politician,” the Harvard professor praised Jesus very highly as an enlightened Jewish rabbi, then added: “He’s just not my Messiah.”

I want to use this statement to demonstrate just how illogical one can be—even though trained as an attorney—when he is not consistent with truth. Consider the following facts.

Jesus Christ claimed to be the promised Messiah of Old Testament literature. A woman of Samaria once said to the Lord: “I know that Messiah is coming (he that is called Christ): when he is come, he will declare unto us all things.” In response to her, Jesus said: “I that speak unto you am he” (John 4:25-26).

In logic there is a maxim called the law of the excluded middle, which argues that a thing either “is” or else it “is not.” There is no middle ground. A line is either straight or it isn’t straight. A matter is true or it is not true. The claim that Jesus here made, of being the Messiah, was, therefore, either true or not true. Logic demands that.

If there is evidence to support the claim that Jesus made (and certainly there is), and he is the true Messiah, why does Dershowitz not accept him as such?

On the other hand, if there is no evidence that Jesus is the Messiah (a position which Dershowitz accepts), then how can one logically praise this Jesus, who must have lied about his identity? If Christ was not who he claimed to be, but rather was a deceiving charlatan, he becomes one of the most despicable characters ever to disgrace human history. Multiplied thousands have gone to their deaths for their belief in his claim. If, then, Jesus was a false “Messiah,” he cannot be praised. He must be condemned.

If Dershowitz reasoned logically, he would be obligated to denounce Jesus Christ as an imposter. He would not praise the Lord in one breath, and disown him as Messiah in the next. That is not a consistent position.

What does all this prove. Simply this—I suppose. Just because one is a prominent, Harvard lawyer, does not mean he can think straight! Alan Dershowitz is educated beyond his intelligence. Or else, he secretly can see the fallacy of his position, and is an outright hypocrite! In either case, the gentleman is not complimented.

But what should one expect from a man who told Yale University law students last week that, had he been granted the opportunity to defend Adolf Hitler, he would have done so—and he boasts he would have won the case!

Dershowitz’s ignorance is eclipsed only by his ego.

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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.