A second Gabriel Stone, the controversial tablet discovered 13 years ago which raises the prospect of a messiah-like figure that predated Jesus, may exist, according to a world-renowned Israeli scholar. Professor Israel Knohl, a Bible scholar at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem told The Telegraph he believes a second “Gabriel Stone” fragment is still out there, waiting to be discovered.
Really? So, why not a third, and a fourth, and a fifth? Why not as many ‘Gabriel Stones’ as there are pieces of the ‘True Cross’?
When did it happen that scholarship (dealing with evidence in hand) became speculationship (dealing with evidence that’s maybe possibly potentially out there somewhere waiting to be discovered)? Where does it end? What limits does it endure? This is madness. And maddening, really.
Little wonder academics are looked at askance these days. They’ve left the realm of research and become witch-doctors casting spells and inventing theories whole cloth out of nothingness.
The “Gabriel Stone,” a three foot tall tablet found 13 years ago in Jordan by Bedouin tribesmen, dates back to the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Second Temple period. It was recently put on display for the first time in Jerusalem’s much-vaunted Israel Museum, reigniting controversy over the precious artefact among rival scholars. Prof Knohl has been at the centre of the controversy ever since 2008, when he deciphered a crucial line overlooked by other academics where God calls upon his “son” to “come back to life” – an indication of clear Messianic overtones.
No provenance, no value. Period.
I miss the days when scholarship was scholarly. Now it’s Barnum and Bailey. (Just watch a tv ‘Bible Special’ and you’ll know what I mean).
The film-maker behind a BBC4 documentary about ancient Jewish history that was shelved last week has accused the corporation of a “mixture of incompetence” and “political naiveté”. Ilan Ziv, the Israeli-born documentary maker behind Jerusalem: an Archaeological Mystery Story, which questions the scale of the exodus of the Jewish people from Jerusalem in AD70, also said the official reason given by the BBC for pulling it from the schedules contradicts the one made to him in private.
“This is ultimately a sad saga of what I believe is a mixture of incompetence, political naiveté, conscious or subconscious political pressure and ultimately, I believe, a lack of courage of broadcasters when they are faced with the complexity of the Middle East issue and the intense emotions, fears and aggression it generates,” Ziv wrote on his blog. He also accused the BBC of trying to “camouflage” the real content of the documentary by changing its title and of secretly planning with one of the film’s co-producers to remove Ziv’s name from the programme and to present it as an “adaptation” of his work.
The BBC is simply afraid to rile the Christian Zionists and others who have a pro-Israel anti-Palestinian segments of society. Their calculations were purely political. And it’s shameful. Especially given their tendency to air programs about the bible and archaeology which aren’t simply inaccurate, they’re wrong.
And report Michael Fazio. He’s a real and present danger, and perhaps even more unhinged than Little Honey Tee Tee. That gun… that’s a threat. And Unhinged Fazio is communicating a threat and that’s a crime.
Ever wonder what you might have looked like thousands of years ago? A new documentary series called Lost Faces of the Bible uses what its proponents call “myth-busting archaeology” as well as cutting edge facial reconstruction to offer a picture of life during Biblical times.
“Delilah,” the first episode of the series, which airs Saturday night on Canada’s Vision TV, reconstructs the head and face of a Philistine woman the show’s producers compare to the Biblical Delilah. The original skull, part of a collection at Tel Aviv University, was from 3,000 years ago. By the end of the program, the skull becomes a vividly-detailed model of a woman’s face that features a prominent nose and an elaborate hairstyle.
Oh come on. Reconstructing facial features has come a long way but it’s passing absurd to suggest, even hint, remotely, that one has or can reconstruct the faces of particular historical figures WITHOUT any skulls to work from and without even claiming to have the actual skulls identified…. IMPOSSIBLE. And, consequently, rank speculation.
But doubtless some uninformed git will watch the series and tell his co-workers at the water cooler that he ‘knows what Delilah looks like’ regardless of how many pseudo-disclaimers the program is laced with (if it even is).
In spite of yet more claims to the contrary.
Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at the University of Padua, announced the findings in a book that hit shelves Wednesday in Italy, reports Vatican Insider. Fanti has written several papers about the shroud, including one in 2011 that hypothesized how radiation could have caused the image of a man’s bloody face and body to appear on the cloth.
In his most recent effort, Fanti and a research team from the University of Padua conducted three tests on tiny fibers extracted from the shroud during earlier carbon-14 dating tests conducted in 1988, according to Vatican Insider. The first two tests used infrared light and Raman spectroscopy, respectively, while the third employed a test analyzing different mechanical parameters relating to voltage.
The results date the cloth to between 300 B.C. and 400 A.D., per The Telegraph.
I would hate to be at Antonio Lombatti’s house today. His head must be exploding all over the place. (Actually I’d like to be at Antonio’s house so I could hear his remarks concerning this absolute nonsense).
Having produced a film it’s just natural that these ‘experts’ on the Bible turn their ‘explanation’ into a book…
via Bryan Bibb on FB
I doubt the book will be an improvement on the film. The disinformation, misinformation, and downright falsehoods propagated by the tv special can hardly escape being absent here. If you can hold off a month or two you’ll find plenty of copies on ebay for a dollar if you just enjoy reading garbage.
A bit of prophecy from their facebook page…
So we are now 4/5 of the way through the OT/HB in “The Bible,” and Solomon was just born. So they’re now going to cover 900 years in one hour. Here’s my approximation of the voiceover that’s coming: “Solomon built temples for the foreign gods of his many wives, and he abandoned the Lord…” <Scenes of gilded buildings and lots of horses.> “There were some other kings and they did bad things, too.” <Bearded man yelling in a town square.> “The prophets tried to warn the kings and the people, but they would not listen…” <Jerusalem burning> “…so the Babylonians destroyed the City of David. After hundreds of years in which the Jews waited for a messiah to restore them, a man named John the Baptist began preaching in the wilderness…”
They’ve probably hit the nail on the head. So, according to Downey and Burnett, wisdom literature won’t exist (I can’t imagine that they’ll cover Proverbs or Ecclesiastes or the Wisdom Psalms or Job). Their Bible has been, to this point, oddly unbiblical. We would surely be deluding ourselves to imagine that the Prophets will fare better and Ezra/Nehemiah and the Chronicler probably don’t exist for the series’ producers.
The Bible indeed. The bad version of the bad version of the Reader’s Digest bad version perhaps. But definitely NOT the Bible. #HistoryChannelFail.
From the folk at Fuller (on facebook), who really are keeping a good eye on it-
Scathing, and if it didn’t make you uneasy when you watched it, you should really read this:
“The choice to cast Nonso Anozie (a black man in a bad dreadlock wig) as Samson as is in no way an attempt to demonstrate the visual and ethnic diversity of the ancient Near East in which this story set, specifically the West Asian, East and North African context of the scriptures. The absence of characters of African descent up to this point makes that clear. (Just as the use of Black and Asian actors for angels makes them wholly “other” in the cast and not legitimate human bodies.) That Samson is a big black man with brutish strength with a predilection for white women is no accident in this casting or production. One of the hallmarks of Rona Downey’s and Mark Burnett’s vision of the Bible is the erasure of the Afro-Asiatic Israelite ethnic identity and its replacement with a white, American fundamentalist Christian identity.”
Here’s the full essay to which the Fuller folk link. On the twitter last night there were numerous comments about this- none of them complimentary. And rightly not. This is the crassest sort of unacceptable racism we should have left in the past long ago. This is not, further, the tale the Bible tells. #HistoryChannelBibleFail
The folk at Fuller have been documenting (on facebook) the many errors of ‘The Bible” on the History Channel. This one is so absurd that it deserves wider mention:
This is supposed to be the letter written from David to Joab to have Uriah killed… a garbled and fragmentary version 2 Sam 11:15. It also uses an anachronistic script (with wrong letters in places) and misunderstands how stamp seals were used. (It should be used to seal strings that wrap around a scroll.) It makes no sense–the letter, or the lack of attention to detail.
Come on. If they had consultants (and listened to them) then how tough would it have been to use the proper script and the proper sort of seal? I’m not just being pedantic. This is just wrong. It’s inaccurate. It’s false. Consequently, it’s deceptive.
GMA has it right- this series is ‘Gold’. And that’s the producer’s aim.
I’d have no issue whatsoever with it if it were called ‘The Bible Fictionalized’. At least that would be true. ”The Bible”? Not really.
I’m not sure which is worse, the feckless ignorance of the mythicists or the feckless dilettantism of Mr Ellis. It’s a toss-up really. As Antonio informs us
Following 25 years of research, Ralph Ellis has discovered that Jesus was a prince of Edessa in northern Syria. The Edessan monarchs were Nazarene Jews who helped build the Temple of Jerusalem and saved Judaea from starvation during a great famine. But, just like Jesus, they were also religious and political revolutionaries who tried to take control of Judaea, but were thwarted by the Roman Army. Thus there are many links and similarities between the biblical accounts and the princes and kings of Edessa.
That coin, yeah that’s Jesus, the King of Edessa…
Sigh. Up next, a History Channel special on the ‘discovery’ no doubt.