Jesus, What a Cover!

Time and Newsweek compete over their go-to religious cover boy.

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As reported by publishing trade mag Folio, magazines that feature Jesus on their covers see their issue sales jump by as much as 45 percent. (Putting the Bible front and center can boost sales as much as 51 percent.) In the past couple of years, magazines such as Wired and Popular Mechanics have tried to cash in on this miracle of marketing, but the most persistent devotees are Time and Newsweek, which have spent the last decade competing over who can squeeze Jesus on the front most often.

1996
Apr 8 Time cover

April 8
Time fires the opening salvo of the Jesus wars during Holy Week.

Apr 8 Newsweek cover

April 8
Newsweek shoots back with “Rethinking the Resurrection.”

1999
Mar 29 Newsweek cover

March 29
More than six months early, Newsweek celebrates “2000 Years of Jesus.”

Dec 6 Time cover

December 6
Time reminisces about “Jesus at 2000.”

2004
Dec 13 Newsweek cover

December 13
Newsweek looks into “The Birth of Jesus.”

Dec 13 Time cover

December 13
Time reveals “Secrets of the Nativity.”

2005
Mar 21 Time cover

March 21
Time goes for broke with “Hail, Mary.”

March 28 Newsweek cover

March 28
Newsweek intercepts with the backstory of “How Jesus Became Christ.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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