Lead Codices to Be Tested

Todd Bolen reports today that the lead codices already widely considered to be fraudulent will be undergoing testing by antiquities authorities. For those of you just getting up to speed on this, here’s a link to an overview of the reasons they are considered fakes.

I can only hope that the results of scientific materials testing isn’t allowed to trump the other data. What I mean here will be familiar to anyone who has ever read (or remembers the TV mini-series back in the 70s I think) a book by Irving Wallace called “The Word.” In that thriller, a fake Aramaic gospel was produced on authentic manuscript material via authentic ink dating to the first century. How it was pulled off in the story was ingenious, but relatively simple. So if the lead materials date to the first century, that settles nothing. The other data are still telling.

Urban Legends (Unconscious Lies) Preachers Tell

Had to direct you all to this succinct list of spurious material that many of you have probably heard from a pulpit or on the radio. Kudos again to Todd Bolen for alerting me to this. Here are some that made the list, along with some links for more detail):

  • The “eye of the needle” is a city gate.
  • The high priest had a rope tied around his ankle. (See Todd Bolen’s post here.)
  • Scribes washed before and after writing the name of God.
  • Gehenna was a perpetually burning trash dump.  (See Todd Bolen’s post here.)
  • NASA scientists have discovered a “missing day.” (See snopes.com on this one)

It reminded me of my days as an undergrad in a historiography class. I went to a school that required a Sunday Vespers attendance, and it never seemed to fail that Monday morning our professor would express some point of (righteous, in my view) indignation over some item in the Vespers service lacking historical merit (or any sort of theological propriety given the school’s traditional Christian orientation).  It was entertaining listening to him dissect a chosen hymn, illustration, or ancient anecdote and demonstrate its fallacious or ill-chosen nature. One of my favorites was the session where the professor really went off on how Julia Ward Howe’s Battle Hymn of the Republic (“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord…”) was glorified for its theological weightiness. Howe was a transcendentalist Unitarian deist — all ideas that the school would have opposed. What fun.

Dating the Last Supper

An interesting article today. Wednesday date has been argued before, and also on the basis of the use of different calendars, so none of that is new. Maybe Humphreys has something different to add to it, but my guess is that he doesn’t. This has nothing to do with DaVinci’s painting, but I guess that’s posted to get people to look at it.

Nailing $imcha Jacobovici

A few more posts by scholars still engaged with Simcha Jacobovici. Talk about shooting fish in a barrel.

Here’s one more from Mark Goodacre, who discusses the non-extant textual material that $imcha uses to build his vacuous argument.  And then Todd Bolen reports on the work of Gordon Franz, who’s looked into $imcha’s theory.

More Jesus Tomb Nonsense — Just in Time for Easter

Simcha Jacobovici, the man who brought us the feast of non-sequiturs known as the Jesus Tomb, has a new “discovery” for us, just in time for Easter. That’s so weird! Jacobovic now claims he has found — get this — two nails from Jesus’ cross in the tomb. The holy grail can’t be far behind (just a little more digging . . . I think I can, I think I can).  And when you find the crystal skull after that, there’s only one more prize to go — the real pay day — the alien body.

Simcha, you’re a man born out of time. Or maybe you’re a time traveler from the Middle Ages, when bogus relic hunting and gathering were where the action was for manipulating the minds of the masses. And now you’ve also found a way to monetize it. Sweet.

I have to wonder how long James Tabor is going to allow his name to be associated with this P.T. Barnum for our time.

Thorn from Jesus’ Crown on Display at the British Museum

I guess they’re using the rest of the thorns collected by medieval relic-hoarders to built a replica of Noah’s ark in Kentucky. Oh, wait — I got the thorn mixed up with pieces from the cross.

At least this piece of paleo-nonsense involved a journalist who has grown enough of a conscience to tell us that, “while no one can doubt the item’s rich history, there is less evidence to support the claims of its provenance.” No kidding. What has the British Museum come to?

My thanks to Melania for this!

Lead Codices Update

Here’s a post from the Bible Places blog that offers a couple links summarizing the lead codices fraud.  Here’s a paragraph:

Let’s take stock. The Greek is lifted nonsensically from an inscription published in 1958. The forger couldn’t tell the difference between the Greek letters alpha and lambda. The Hebrew script is taken from the same inscription. The Hebrew text is in “code,” i.e., is gibberish. The “Jesus” face is taken from a well-known mosaic. The charioteer is taken from a fake coin. The crocodile has a suspicious resemblance to a plastic toy.

It also has some links to material that gives the media a spanking for perpetuating its own blather without apology. Another paragraph:

The only other noteworthy news is the lack of it. Trust me, the mainstream media have been informed about the true status of the fake codices. The lack of coverage is not due to ignorance, it’s due to unprofessional indifference. Think about that. When the media report a sensationalist story and it proves to be bogus, they feel no responsibility to inform their readers of the truth. I suppose they might if they think they can get another sensation out of the correct story, but if not, they can’t be bothered. Journalists used to feel a professional obligation to their audience. No more.

Davila is actually too kind there.