Larry Hurtado expresses, today, shock and horror at the dealings of the Greens and their recently much ballyhooed (and gleefully reported) Justice Department problems. This shock and horror provokes two thoughts:
1- If Larry had bothered interacting with other scholars, particularly Roberta Mazza (who has been faithfully discussing the Greens and their doings for YEARS, long before the recent ‘investigators’ who have a book conveniently coming out quite soon on the subject), he would have, or could have, known what was what. But he hasn’t. He has engaged in monologue, not dialogue. Indeed, note that his twitter account is based on much speaking and no interaction as demonstrated in a simple comparison of those he follows versus those who follow him:
He follows no one. Did he, the number of followers would be displayed, as it is on the pages of all who follow anyone-
Academics who withdraw from the community of dialogue are bound to be ‘shocked and disappointed’ when they learn what others have known for years.
And, sure, to be fair, Larry can follow, or not follow, anyone he wishes. My point is simply that if scholars isolate themselves from their colleagues they are bound to find out things too late.
2- Scholars are far too often quite happy to go along with all manner of things as long as they are gaining either attention or an ability to publicize their latest book. Think of Karen King and the ridiculous fraudulent fragment she proffered to her ultimate humiliation or Margaret Barker’s continuing unhinged devotion to the Lead Codices. Think of all the academics who don’t mind promoting unprovenanced artifacts and textual objects as long as those objects gain them mention in the secular press.
These sorts of things are a grotesque blemish on the face of academia and they could so easily be avoided if scholars 1) paid attention to what others were saying; and 2) actually believed in peer review the way they say they do. King and Barker and all the rest who foist rubbish onto the world could be spared the embarrassment if they simply subjected their notions to their trusted friends in the academy first.
Larry should be shocked. Not because of what the Greens did, but because of what he didn’t do. Interact. Maybe if the Green fiasco teaches scholars anything it’s to pull their heads out of the sand and take note of what others are doing.
But it won’t.