Zwinglius Redivivus

“His eye and his arm were everywhere.”

Archive for the ‘media’ Category

If You Missed Episode One of ‘Finding Jesus’…

with one comment

You can watch it here.  Candida and Mark did a good job and Mark tells me that at some point there are to be ‘interviews with scholars’ on the CNN website.  I haven’t been able to locate it but if you have I’d appreciate the link.  My live-blog (of a sort) review is here.

Written by Jim

March 3, 2015 at 07:59

Posted in media

Live Blogging (From the DVR) the First Episode of ‘Finding Jesus’

with 3 comments

The shroud of Turin is featured in this opening segment of the series.  I’ll be viewing it and ‘live blogging’ (as it were) – updating during commercial breaks.

The first part of the hour long special is filmed in quite a lovely way really.  Mark Goodacre is the first talking head and Candida Moss the second.  They simply state the significance of the shroud were it authentic.  BWIII shows up next and asserts that Jesus had a face.  So he must have looked like something.  Indeed.  I think we can all agree that Jesus had a face and must have looked like a person.

Then a brief retelling of the crucifixion followed by a description of the burial cloth is next up.  Goodacre on Joseph of Arimathea.  James Martin stresses the importance of encounters with Jesus in the Gospels and thus Joseph’s interest in Jesus.  Moss rightly describes the risk Joseph takes in requesting Jesus’ body from Pilate.

And thus endeth segment one.  [I have to interject here that I think it’s fun that Christian Mingle is the chief sponsor…]

The next part opens with Jesus on the cross.  Jesus’ body is, unlike other victims of crucifixion, wrapped in a burial cloth.  Talking heads include a book author I’ve never heard of named McManus and a Presbyterian pastor along with Martin and Moss.  The latter discusses the practice of embalming.

John’s Gospel mentions the linen cloths and then the shroud disappears until it reappears (miraculously) in Europe.  Someone named David Gibson suggests that if you prove the shroud is real, you prove that Jesus existed…  [That’s odd, because even if you proved the shroud were authentic you have absolutely NO WAY to connect it to Jesus].

Shroud people have their say next and they’re kind of creepy in their zeal.  For them, the ‘blood’ on the shroud and the image prove it was Jesus’s…

Goodacre describes the process of Jesus torture and execution.  He has a British accent so he’s very convincing.  The crown of thorns shows up just as the segment ends.

Part three opens with the aforementioned thorny crown.  John Jackson (the nutty ‘the shroud is real guy’) sees a point by point match in the shroud and the description of Jesus’ suffering in the Gospels.   Ok the putting the crown on the head part re-enactment is as gruesome as anything in Mel Gibson’s movie.

Obrey Hendricks (I’ve not heard of him but I like him- he seems very sensible) talks about the terribleness of the event of Jesus’s crucifixion.  Nutty shroud guy continues to make attempts to match, point by point, the shroud to the Gospels.  Moss talks about the weakness of Jesus and the assistance of Simon.  The cross they have Jesus carry is the whole thing.  Unfortunately, he should have just been given the cross beam because the upright posts were already at the site of execution.  They do, at least, get the nails into Jesus’s wrists where they belong.  Which is, to Jackson’s undoubted delight, where the marks are on the shroud.  And the third part leaves off.

Part the fourth.  The shroud tells an ‘unexpected’ story.  The whole nails through the palms in Christian art thing is rehashed and Jackson, true to form, suggests that the shroud shows the right place for them (because only Jesus was ever crucified with nails through the palms).  Goodacre stresses the utter humiliation and pain of crucifixion.  Martin relates the horror experienced by the family and the death by asphyxiation.   Jackson relates the glob of something on the shroud to the soldier’s sword related by John.  So, it looks like the thing is the real deal, right?

Jesus is resurrected and the only thing left is the linen cloth.  McManus insists that the shroud is an archaeological proof of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  But there’s a problem with all this.  The material of the shroud had never been tested by carbon dating.  That’s next.

Part five.   Uh oh… the linen dates to the 13th century.  It’s a medieval forgery.  The religious relic trade of medieval Europe is mentioned and the continuing obsession with the shroud described.  So how was the thing made?  Nicholas Allen thinks it’s a ‘photograph’.  The process and materials necessary are explored and explained.  But of course this is not universally accepted.  And still, the carbon dating is rejected by those continue to assert authenticity.

Part 5 ends with some unnamed guy suggesting that another artifact (called something but I missed it) has the actual blood of Jesus on it!!!  [Oh come on…].  Where do they find these people?  Never mind, I know.  The internet.

Sixth and final part.  Mark Guscin is the guy who thinks they have the cloth which wrapped Jesus’s head.  And  that the blood on it is the real deal.   An attempt to explain the various marks on the head cloth and its removal from Jesus before the shroud was placed over his entire body.  Consequently the dating of the shroud of Turin is wrong (of course).

Martin thinks the Shroud is real.  Moss doesn’t.  Goodacre doesn’t offer an opinion.  Neither do the others.

My View: Moss is correct.

Overall the program was really well done.  It allowed viewers to decide for themselves whether they thought the supporters of the shroud or the shroud skeptics were correct.  For me, it’s a no brainer.

There is one fault, however, that I do find with it: the absence from it of the viewpoint of the leading shroud scholar on the planet, Antonio Lombatti.  No one, simply no one knows more about it and its history than he.  CNN is a big conglomerate, and they easily could have had someone in Italy pay Antonio a visit for an interview.  It’s inexcusable that they didn’t.  Failing to include him in this discussion is like talking about the Gospel of John and not consulting Rudolf Bultmann.

Otherwise- I enjoyed it.  And I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.

Written by Jim

March 2, 2015 at 10:35

Posted in media

“Finding Jesus”: A Series of Live Bloggings Ahead

with one comment

CNN is airing the Mark Goodacre el al special beginning this Sunday night.

Finding Jesus discovers fascinating new insights into the historical Jesus, utilizing the latest scientific techniques and archaeological research.

Rollston.MiqneThe topics to be covered are

1) Examining the Shroud of Turin – Is an ancient linen cloth bearing the image of a crucified man the very shroud that Joseph wrapped Jesus in? Premieres March 1 at 9pm ET/PT.

2) John the Baptist – Who was the real John the Baptist? An investigation of a relic believed to be a bone from his finger uncovers proof of John’s powerful legacy. Premieres March 8 at 9pm ET/PT.

3) Judas – Does an ancient codex discovered in an Egyptian burial cave answer the great Biblical question of why Judas betrayed Jesus? Premieres March 15 at 9pm ET/PT.

4) Secret Brother of Jesus – The discovery of an extraordinary 2000 year-old burial box brings to light the remarkable story of Jesus’ brother James. Premieres March 22 at 9pm ET/PT.

5) The True Cross – Are pieces of the cross Jesus died on still in existence today? The incredible legend of the True Cross is investigated. Premieres March 29 at 9pm ET/PT.

6) Mary Magdalene – Could ancient texts preserved in the sands of Egypt shed light on the nature of Mary’s relationship with Jesus? Premieres April 5, Easter Sunday, at 9pm ET/PT.

candida_mossOk- as you know I’ve taken a vow not to watch Bible specials in 2015 but what the heck, I’m going to break that vow on this occasion because I want to see what Moss, Garroway, Nicola Denzey Lewis, DeConick, Emmel, Rollston, Pagels, BWIII, Obery Hendricks and Mark Goodacre do with the subjects.

Here’s what I hope is going to happen:  each episode will take the topics listed above in order and discuss how they have been in the news in recent years.  Then, the scholars involved will offer reasons as to why the popular understanding is incorrect and inadequate- resulting in the following basic answers to the 6 questions posed above:

  • 1- No
  • 2- No
  • 3- No
  • 4- No
  • 5- No
  • 6- No

Prayer: dear Lord, don’t let sensible people say things I’ll have to take exception to.  At least, don’t let Goodacre and Moss and Rollston, because I’m genuinely fond of them and don’t want to have to pray imprecations against them at SBL.  Thanks, your best friend, Jim.

I’ll live blog the specials as I can and have opportunity.

Written by Jim

February 27, 2015 at 15:50

Posted in media

For The Sake of Your Own Sanity, Don’t Be Like Him

leave a comment »

Written by Jim

February 24, 2015 at 11:21

Posted in media, misery, mockery

Canada Will Soon Suffer Immensely

leave a comment »

Written by Jim

February 22, 2015 at 12:19

Posted in media

A Conference on the Bible and Film at the University of Exeter

leave a comment »

Exodus and the 21st Century Bible Film’
Workshop at the University of Exeter, 26-27 March 2015

Katie Edwards (University of Sheffield)  – God as Brat: Constructions of the Divine in Exodus: Gods and Kings

Nathan Abrams (Bangor University) – Whitewashing Jews & Judaism: From The Ten Commandments to Exodus: Gods and Kings

David Shepherd (Trinity College Dublin) – ‘See This Great Sight’: Exodus and the Evolution of Biblical Spectacle

Catherine Wheatley (Kings College London) – Religious America, Secular Europe? Adapting the Bible in Contemporary Hollywood and European Film

Samuel Tongue (University of Glasgow) – Picturing the Plagues and Parting the Waves: Visual Style and World Building in Exodus: Gods and Kings

Michelle Fletcher (Kings College London) – Once Upon an Apocalypse: Violence, Destruction and a Long, Long Time Ago

Jon Morgan (University of Chester) – Reading the Entrails: Interpreting the Rebooted Biblical Epic

David Tollerton (University of Exeter)
‘Down With This Sort of Thing!’ The Multiform Blasphemies Perceived Amidst Receptions of Exodus: Gods and Kings

Phil Wickham (Bill Douglas Cinema Museum) – Bible and Film at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum Collection

The workshop is free, but because space is limited please contact David Tollerton ( as soon as possible if you would like to participate. The event is affiliated with several research groups based at the University of Exeter:

• The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
• Centre for Biblical Studies
• Centre for Interdisciplinary Film Research
• Network for Religion in Public Life

Written by Jim

February 20, 2015 at 10:48

Posted in Bible, Conferences, media

Fox News: It Really Hates Obama

In one of their broadcasts Fox put up a graphic of Obama, while covering a rape story.  Accident?  Oh sure, sure it was.

fauxSo you there, go ahead, keep watching Fox.  Trust everything they say.  They’re fair and balanced (and Satan is a fuzzy bunny).


Written by Jim

February 15, 2015 at 17:38

Posted in media


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,106 other followers