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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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