Simcha’s Lawsuit Against Joe Zias Hits Ha’Aretz

Journalist and filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici is suing anthropologist Joe Zias, who in recent years has been doing his utmost to disprove his provocative theories on early Christianity.

Further on

Jacobovici’s suit states that following Zias’ accusations, the Discovery Channel and National Geographic canceled the broadcast of his films, which cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. He also says Zias is not an expert in archaeology as he presents himself, and never formally studied the subject.

“Let him say what he wants, I’m not arguing with him. Let him find 100 professors who say I’m talking foolishness. He said I am a forger, that I planted discoveries, that I invent Holocaust stories. I am a son of Holocaust survivors! So I’m invoking my right to defend myself. Let him prove that I am a forger or let him pay,” Jacobovici told Haaretz.

Zias and his attorney, Yehonatan Zvi, want the dispute moved to the academic arena. In the defense brief submitted to the court, Zvi compares the current suit to the 1925 “monkey trial” in which a teacher, John Scopes, was tried in Tennessee for teaching evolution. According to Zvi, his client, like Scopes, is fighting to protect scientific research.

And further

Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University, one of the two senior archaeologists who submitted their opinions, compared Jacobovici’s films to the “Indiana Jones” movies – “although this image does great injustice to the latter,” Goren noted. “Steven Spielberg never tried to claim that the discoveries of Dr. ‘Indy’ Jones were scientific truth or had any factual basis” Goren wrote. He added that he felt the suit was intended to “silence legitimate scientific criticism.”

Prof. Amos Kloner, a former Jerusalem district archaeologist for the antiquities authority who took part in some of the excavations that appear in Jacobovici’s films, attacked the latter’s methods in the opinion he submitted to the court. “These films do not present all the findings or the whole story with the accepted detail required and essential in critical research.”

I’ve said all along, and I will continue to say, that suing someone for an academic opinion is unacceptable.  Many, many have criticized Simcha’s work with good reason.  And though Simcha asserts that he’s suing Zias because Zias suggested he planted things and forged stuff, I’m not buying it.  If all the stuff Simcha has filmed is the real deal, scholars would have supported him and his findings.  That those findings were weighed in the academic balances and found wanting isn’t Zias’ fault.  He doesn’t have that much influence.  Nor does he have, in my opinion, sufficient influence to get tv channels to pull Simcha’s work.  Simcha’s work was pulled for reasons known only to the networks he’s worked with and if he sues anyone it should be them.

I sincerely believe (though I don’t know it for a fact because I can’t read minds) that Simcha is suing Zias out of spite.

Theological Truth

I can’t for the life of me recall which Post-Reformation 17th century Reformed theologian said this, but I’ve had it in mind nearly every day of my life since the first day I saw it.  It seems particularly relevant now- especially in light of misrepresentations of God currently floating around as postulated by Mike Huckabee et al-

Providentia Dei malum non est.

The Dumbest Argument Being Offered…

Do you know what the stupidest argument being made is in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut?   That if someone at the school had a gun everyone would be alive except the shooter.

Idiocy.   Ronald Reagan was shot by a gunman and he was SURROUNDED by secret servicemen WITH GUNS.

Those making this moronic argument need to pick up a history book.  It’s both false and profoundly stupid.

I Don’t Often Agree With Peter Enns, But I Do This Time

Peter writes, among other things

I didn’t sleep well last night and I woke up sad and unsettled. For some reason, killing these 20 children and 6 adults in Connecticut yesterday burrowed deep into my heart and has decided to stay put for a while.  What kind of a God would let…..  This sort of thing happens all the time. We all know that. In recent months the news has been full of these “stories.”

But it’s actually far worse. Violence against innocents–whether at the hand of individuals, groups, tribes, or nations–is as old as recorded time. Violence and the drama of human history go hand in hand.  And people have been asking, in one way or another, “Uh, excuse, me, God?” ever since learned scribes began writing about God/the gods on rock, clay, animal skin, and papyrus.

It’s an age old question that no one can solve, but that every college philosophy student and seminarian has to take a deep look at: If God is all loving and all powerful, why do things like this happen? Why does God let them happen? Why doesn’t he do something–now, right here?

Indeed.  Read the rest.  Peter’s right.  We are in one accord.

If I Go Missing…

I think the authorities should look into as chief suspect David ‘Little Honey Tee’ Tee of South Korea.  Below is a screenshot of a not so thinly veiled threat which he sent the other day and which I post here for a number of reasons:

First, internet trolls need to be exposed for what they are to the full light of day.
Second, veiled threats need to be made public because maniacal people often first merely hint before they act in violence.
And third, so that WordPress and the authorities might take the appropriate action in his case.

Given the events of recent days, no threat should be considered innocent. And I certainly do not take Mr Tee’s as an innocent aside. I take it as a personal threat. And not the first.

teetee