The first essay in the section “Archaeology and the Media” is Eric Cline’s powerful piece—“Fabulous Finds or Fantastic Forgeries? The Distortion of Archaeology by the Media and Pseudoarchaeologists, and What We Can Do About It”—criticizing the media for its participation in the dissemination of false or misleading information. The fact that reputable outlets continue to follow reports about the discovery of “biblical artifacts,” such as Noah’s ark or the ark of the covenant, or “biblical sites,” such as Sodom and Gomorrah or the Garden of Eden, shows how ill-informed the media is about current scholarship on the Bible and archaeology. In offering numerous examples of this sort of reporting, he chides both the press and the academy for its lack of courage in addressing the sort of misrepresentation of what is otherwise presented responsibly in hundreds of colleges, universities, and seminaries worldwide. He even engages with the popular magazine Biblical Archaeology Review and its role in the claims that an inscribed ossuary bears the name of James, brother of the Jesus of the New Testament. Cline concludes by offering a helpful strategy that scholars might use in the difficult terrain of working with the media.
And second, you should know that the entire volume is noteworthy and accessible. I recommend it- not only for Eric (Clines) piece but for the whole.
- The Politics of Israel’s Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Philip Davies is Talking the Bible and Archaeology (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)