Christmas is Coming…

That can only mean one thing: pretty soon someone is going to announce the ‘discovery’ of a ‘text’ that will ‘shake the foundations of Christian faith’.

Can’t wait to see what it is this year?  I’m all tingly.  Will it be another ‘manuscript’ published by HTR which describes Jesus’s marriage to his sister or will it come in the form of a grave which contains the ‘body of Jesus and his entire family!’

I just can’t wait!

Nope

Ok people, look…  There hasn’t been anyone in the Hebrew Bible ‘confirmed’ by archaeology.  What’s happened is that names found in the Bible have also, on occasion, been found in the archaeological record.  To suggest that ‘Moses’, for example, has been ‘confirmed’ because a sherd has the name ‘Moses’ on it is both disingenuous and misleading.  Moses was probably not the only guy named Moses and Joshua was probably not the only guy named Joshua.  Etc.

BAR needs to be honest here, because their claim is just fake news.  The people of the Bible haven’t been confirmed.  Names have been confirmed to have existed.  That’s it.  Period.

Those ‘Lead Codices’ That Margaret Barker Keeps Pushing? Jordan has Disavowed Them

AMMAN — The Department of Antiquities (DoA) on Thursday announced that the lead codices it seized with the help of security authorities around seven years ago have not been proven to be authentic so far, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

DoA Director General Monther Jamhawi said that a national team of researchers and specialists scanned the area of the alleged cave where the codices were allegedly found but did not find any relevance between the codices and the cave, particularly as no cavities in the cave’s walls were found.

The department described the findings of British scientist David Elkington as baseless, stressing that the cave was not found and the pictures he has have nothing to do with the cave that was visited, which indicates that his insistence on the originality of the codices is groundless and not credible.

With a lot more from the esteemed Jim Davila.  It’s time for Margaret to ‘let it go’.

The Hilariously titled ‘Lead Sea Scrolls’ Case, Yet Again…

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has called for a fresh examination of the Jordanian Codices, a series of about 50 metal books variously described as a key find in Biblical archaeology and a crude fake, after tests showed they were not made from modern lead.

When the discovery of the codices, allegedly in a cave in northern Jordan, was announced in 2011, some compared it to the unearthing of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of texts dating as far back as the 4th century BC, in the West Bank from 1946.

But many academics say the supposedly early Christian codices are forgeries, with Dr Peter Thonemann, an Oxford classicist, describing the books as “moderately ingenious tourist tat”.

Etc.

Tourist tat is complimentary.  They’re rubbish.  And they’ve been known to be rubbish for years.  All you would want to know about the rubbish things you can find here.

Archaeology Has Always Been a Political Tool: The ‘Jerusalem Papyrus’ Is Just the Latest Iteration

Archaeology has long been used by the state of Israel as a means of demonstrating modern Jewish rights to an old land. Palestinians, for their part, have often resisted these findings, either rejecting them outright or pointing to other ancient artifacts to support their own national claims. In the Holy Land, historical heritage is one of the few truly abundant resources, and it stands at the center of the latest battle in the decades-old conflict.

Last week, the U.N.’s culture and heritage body, Unesco, passed a resolution referring to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount exclusively by its Arabic name—the Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary—and only mentioning its significance to Islam. For Muslims, Jerusalem is the third holiest city, behind Mecca and Medina. For Jews, it is the most sacred: Two Jewish temples stood there in antiquity.

The Unesco resolution outraged Israel. The head of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the government body in charge of archaeology and artifacts, likened Unesco to Islamic State in its destruction of cultural heritage. The Palestinian Authority praised the move for preserving the city for the three monotheistic faiths and saw it as a political win, with one official accusing Israel of “using archaeological claims and distortion of facts as a way to legitimize the annexation of occupied east Jerusalem.”

And more, which do read.

That ‘Jerusalem Papyrus’ Thing, Again

This time there’s finally a photo of the unprovenanced bitlet making people very excited.  But what’s it prove?  Absolutely nothing.  Even if it’s authentic (who knows, it’s unprovenanced and can’t be discussed at ASOR because of their policy concerning unprovenanced artifacts) it proves nothing.

jerusalem_papyrus

It’s purty though….  But unprovenanced.  So useless.

That ‘Hezekiah’s Toilet’ Story? Yeah, It’s Much Ado About Nothing

But that isn’t stopping the ignoramuses like the people at Relevant Magazine from blowing it all out of proportion and making a suit out of a button.

The little bauble proves nothing that is being claimed it proves.  Nothing.  But if you give the ‘desperate for proof’ lot even the most tenuous something or other they’re sure to run with it- in spite of the fact that at the end of the day they’re simply lying about it all.

But they don’t care.  Because ‘proof’ – even if it doesn’t exist – is more important than ‘truth’ (in spite of the fact that they claim they’re Christians).

Poor Simcha, He Sees Paul in the Scrolls Too

Last week he blathered on about Jesus being discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  This week he’s added Paul to his insane suppositions.  But he knows so little that he actually asserts that Paul – according to ‘Christian tradition’, was crucified in Rome…

buffoonery

Afraid not.  So much for any semblance of scholarship in Simcha’s work.

The Museum of the Bible Misses the Mark

On their facebook page they have this image and description:

false

That isn’t Gath.  But not only do none of the Museum’s curators know it, none of their commenters do either.  It’s Herodium.

Maybe the Museum should have employed an Israeli (or at least someone who has been to Israel once or twice) to fact check.

If they are this wrong on the archaeology and as we’ve seen, on the dating of the Scrolls, what exactly will the Museum exhibition be right about?

 

An Update on the Progress of the Ark with Dinosaurs in Kentucky

Newsweek reports

Imagine the Titanic minus the smokestacks, framed out of timber rather than iron. Imagine that instead of a doomed ocean liner bustling with well-dressed elites, it’s home to 2,000 seasick animals, a handful of teenage dinosaurs and one patriarchal family headed by a 500-year-old man bent on saving the world. Cultures all over the globe share the legend of Noah’s Ark, but this summer one especially enthusiastic Christian ministry will try to convince you that it looked exactly like this—dinosaurs and all—when it opens its biblical theme park. Its pièce de résistance is a 510-foot representation of Noah’s giant boat. (OK, the Titanic was bigger, but you get the idea.) Tickets for the July 7 opening go on sale January 19, and the ministry folks are betting big—with borrowed money—that people will want to see the show.

And much more.  Get your tickets while you can…

There’s No Point Fawning over the Ebay Gospel Fragment

Frankly, it looks like a poor knock off.  The papyrus has no taint of ancient-ness, the ink is darker than ancient ink ever is, and it smells to high heaven of another attempt to make a buck from the unsuspecting and gullible fragment collectors out there.

Nonetheless, EVEN IF it is ancient, without provenance and without a ‘chain of custody’ by which to trace its history, it is quite worthless historically.

But I may be wrong and if I am I hope Roberta Mazza will set me straight.

no

They’re Still Looking for Noah’s Ark…

Why??? Come on people, give. It. Up.

Is Noah’s Ark still hiding somewhere today, waiting to be discovered? A documentary coming to theaters nationwide next week explores the ongoing search for the world’s most famous vessel and documents the dangers involved in the centuries-old quest.

Save your money. Go buy a book or donate to poor relief or buy me a Starbucks giftcard (the latter will get you out of purgatory altogether for the right amount).

Eric Cline has Some ‘Serious’ ‘Competition’

Meet ‘Maverick‘- the flight nurse / ‘Biblical archaeologist’… who served as a consultant for an ‘archaeological’ expedition to find Noah’s ark…

Watch out Eric…. there are those waiting in the wings (with air nurse wings!) to dethrone you as the premier American digger.

UPDATE:  Oh boy….

Authors Aaron Judkins and Michael McDaniel talked about their new book, Alien Agenda, and how it relates to forbidden archaeology, UFOs, the Nephilim, and the coming of the Antichrist. Detailing the origins of his research, Judkins, an archaeologist, explained that he was intrigued by the preponderance of winged serpents and discs depicted by ancient cultures throughout the world. McDaniel, a theologian, traced his interest to meeting an alleged abductee and a subsequent investigation of the Bible where he found references to the UFO phenomenon. Both authors contended that UFOs are malevolent, with Judkins suggesting that the elusive nature of the phenomenon portends a sinister agenda and McDaniel connecting them to a long term plan hatched by Satan.

I think that pretty much says it all…

Well There Ya Go: Claims of Discovery Have Now Replaced Actual Discoveries…

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib. The team was searching for the remains of ancient ships and artifacts related to Stone Age and Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea area, when they stumbled upon a gigantic mass of human bones darkened by age.

The scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader and associated with Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor, also the remains of two war chariots, scattered over an area of approximately 200 square meters. They estimate that more than 5000 other bodies could be dispersed over a wider area, suggesting that an army of large size who have perished on the site.

Mmmm hmmmm……  And the original source of the unproven claim is the ‘WorldNewsDailyReport’ website… which is something like the National Enquirer.

Shark Week, Pseudo-Science, And the Willingness of Some Biblical Scholars to Jump the Shark for the Sake of TV Face Time

Read this report from NPR and substitute biblical scholars for shark biologists and you’ll understand how infuriating it is to watch people who profess to love biblical studies appear on Discovery, which cares NOTHING for the truth and only for ratings.  After describing a guy who researches sharks and his excitement about being a part of the series, Shark Week, NPR continues-

You can guess what happened next. To his horror, Davis found himself featured on a “documentary” that had little to do with his research. Voodoo Shark strongly suggested that Davis believed in the Rooken.

“There’s no way I could’ve known they were going to portray it like that,” he says.

Voodoo Shark shows Davis and his team doing real research, pulling sharks out of the water and tagging them on the deck. Davis says he did not see any unusual sharks. What was unusual was a producer’s reaction when they hooked a big one.

“One of the guys was like, “Oh, maybe you should just let it bite you, that would be so exciting.’ And I was just thinking to myself, ‘Are you kidding me? You really think I wanna let the shark bite me just for ratings? Are you serious?’ ”

Ellen Prager, a marine scientist who has taught at the University of Miami and writes books for children about sharks, says she and her colleagues have a list of things that drive them crazy about Shark Week, such as the emphasis on sharks attacking people and feeding frenzies.

And yet biblical scholars will continue to jump the shark and appear on whatever garbage Discovery airs.  When they do, they deserve, richly, to be associated for the rest of their careers with the dissemination of absolute stupidity.

Scientists know that Discovery twists the truth.  Why don’t biblical scholars?  And if they do (and they have to), then what is it about them that makes them willing to turn their backs on the facts and become part of something insidious and dishonest?

The Vatican’s Ministry of Misinformation Concerning the Turin Shroud

Antonio ‘The Leper‘ Lombatti writes

Ne parla in modo giustamente spietato Marco Bella sul Fatto Quotidiano. Pseudoscienza e pseudostoria: che triste realtà. Leggete anche voi. Trovate anche un resoconto del convegno scritto da Sylvie Coyaud. E non dimenticatevi l’articolo di Stefano Milani.

The Nonsense That Will Not Die: Ossuaries in the News

The New York Times writes

… the earth may have yielded new secrets about these disputed antiquities. A Jerusalem-based geologist believes he has established a common bond between them that strengthens the case for their authenticity and importance…. 

 For the last seven years, Dr. Shimron has been studying the chemistry of samples from chalk crust scraped from the underside of the Talpiot ossuaries and, more recently, from the James ossuary. He has also studied samples of soil and rubble from inside the ossuaries. In addition, for comparative purposes he has examined samples from ossuaries from about 15 other tombs. Mr. Jacobovici, who has been documenting the research for another movie, said “the production” financed the lab work.

In the words of Frozen- let it go.  Let it go.  Funding the geology of the ossuary by Simcha is like funding the safety of tobacco safety research by Marlboro.

Oh Give it a Rest, Reading, You Haven’t Found the House Jesus Grew Up In

Antonio Lombatti writes

Alcuni giornalisti hanno scelto questo titolo: Jesus’ House? 1st-Century Structure May Be Where He Grew Up. Dove è addirittura cresciuto! Un titolo che tira. Sicuramente. Ma che non ha nulla da spartire con la ricerca storica. Il giornalista, infatti, parla di un’abitazione del tempo di Gesù a Nazareth, è vero. La datazione della struttura, tuttavia, risale al 2006 ed è opera di Ken Dark dell’Università di Reading. Roba già nota, insomma. Ma con la Pasqua che si avvicina, basta fare un titolo così per avere qualche lettore in più.

So tiresome.

Another Pre-Easter ‘Jesus’ Special… on CNN

I’ll not be watching, since I am taking the year off from the absurd genre of religion/bible tv docu-mockeries.  I only mention it because CNN has this little gem of ick in its ‘money’ section… which, whether they know it or not, is exactly the central concern of all these idiotic specials with their idiotic claims and poor scholarship.

fraud

Note too the little sentences at the bottom.  I’ll go ahead and answer them for you – who cares, and nothing.

TV specials around Easter and Christmas are always the most sensationalistic and ridiculous.  This is, no doubt, just the first of many this year.

NB- No, I haven’t seen it.  Yes, I am within my rights to criticize it because I’ve seen enough of these things to know what’s going to happen.  There will be an outlandish claim followed by a talking head from the fringe of scholarship or of the anti-theistic sort followed by a fundamentalist’s opinion followed by another ridiculous claim… etc.  At the end of the day balanced scholarship will be absent.  It’s always absent.  So, yes, I am within my rights to mock not only the individual special but the entire genre.