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.


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.

Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus




Robert Feather and His ‘Discovery’ of the Location of Mt Sinai

I don’t have access to BBC’s ‘Big Questions’ but a friend does and he sent these along.  Francesca’s expressions perfectly mirror those of every thinking person:


Simcha is Still After Jensen: An Update on the Flurry of Lawsuits Lodged by Jacobovici

Simcha really wants to silence anyone who might lift their voice contra his failed scholarship.  His suit against Vanderbilt and Jensen moved forward Tuesday.  Well, against Jensen anyway.  A judge has determined that Vanderbilt isn’t at all involved.

The producers of a archeological documentary have a contract interference claim against a Vanderbilt University professor but not against the university itself, a federal judge ruled.
Associated Producers Ltd. and Simcha Jacobovici sued Vanderbilt and professor Robin Jensen for interfering with their National Geographic contract to produce an “archeological film concerning the burial cave in Jerusalem,” the ruling says.
Jensen agreed to appear in the documentary as an expert on ancient Christian art, but she convinced Nat Geo not to air the film after becoming a panel consultant and being influenced by a “co-conspirator,” the plaintiffs allege.
“The co-conspirator relayed to defendant Jensen ‘a litany of unsubstantiated rumors about [plaintiff] Jacobovici.’ Subsequently, defendant Jensen communicated through e-mails and telephone calls to ‘National Geographic company officials and other National Geographic panel members’ that she had ‘second thoughts’ about the documentary being aired,” the ruling states, citing court documents. “Defendant Jensen also allegedly passed on the rumors to National Geographic officials and panel members. Plaintiffs allege that defendant Jensen used ‘her position with Vanderbilt and her voice as a consultant to National Geographic’ to ‘put [plaintiffs] out of business.'”
Jacobovici and Associated Producers later sold the documentary to the Discovery Channel but they say that the release delay caused them financial harm and that they haven’t work for Nat Geo since Jensen damaged their relationship with the company.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly tossed claims against Vanderbilt on Tuesday but denied Jensen’s motion for dismissal or transfer. The court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the university because it wasn’t involved in the alleged contract interference, she ruled.

And more which do read.  You have to hand it to Simcha, he doesn’t lack the tenacious gene.  Unfortunately (for him anyway) it’s highly doubtful that any respectable scholar will take part in any project he’s involved with.  Why would they.  If they change their mind, he will sue them.  And he will sue them too if they disagree with his conclusions.

Dear Simcha, drop your suits.  Regain a fragment of a reputation.

Christian News Net- Tossing Red Meat to The Uninformed to Reinforce their Ignorance

Henry Smith, Jr., Director of Development for the Associates for Biblical Research, told Christian News Network that the [Tel Dan] inscription provides “powerful extra-biblical evidence that is in accord with the biblical presentation of David as the King of Israel.”

Well it does not such thing.  But when you want to read into an inscription, it’s easy to do.

It’s a shame they didn’t actually contact an archaeologist or biblical scholar for their report.  Simply citing Wright (out of context one might add and without availing themselves of his full treatment) to make a point is quite deceitful.

But all of this is old news- but I suppose necessary to bring to the fore just in time for Christmas.  It’s quite the cynical move on their part – and made just in order to toss red meat at those unfamiliar with the technicalities of Aramaic, ancient inscriptions, artifacts, archaeology, epigraphy, and scholarship.

Oh Look, Just In Time for Christmas, The Story of the Galilean Synagogue Where Jesus ‘Likely’ Preached…

He [a priest] stands on what are likely ruins of the ancient town of Magdala, thought to be the home of Jesus’ best-known female disciple, Mary Magdalene. The waterline of Israel’s only sweet-water lake shimmers in the distance.  It took his organization several years to buy and acquire permits for four adjacent plots of land on which to build a pilgrims’ hotel, an inter-faith chapel, a restaurant and a women’s shelter.  But in Israel, archaeological excavations are compulsory before any construction can begin. When archeologists and volunteers started digging, they were astonished to find a treasure: A 1st-century synagogue, one of only seven in Israel – and in the entire world.

Ok.   So far, so good.  No issues.  And then… the issues commence.

“This is the first synagogue ever excavated where Jesus walked and preached,” says the father, calling it “hugely important” for both Jews and Christians.

What, did they find a sign that said ‘Jesus spoke here’?

Experts say it’s highly likely that Jesus would have preached in the recently uncovered synagogue, believed to have first been built in the year 1 as a simple structure which was then upgraded into a more ornate one in the year 40.  Until Tiberias was built, the only town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee was Magdala.

Riggghhhhtttttttt……  What experts would those be?  Come on guys.  Come on.

Well That Didn’t Go Well

Apparently the Science Channel decided to skip ‘Biblical Conspiracies’ last night because, according to this media critic, it was no where to be found.

— If there’s a place on the TV schedule for a show called “Biblical Conspiracies” (9 p.m. Sunday, Science, concludes Monday), it’s not on the Science Channel.

Science Channel’s website is showing it as continuing tonight.  But, again, who knows (or really, who cares).

Do You Hate Yourself? Do You? Do You Like to Watch Your Own Brain Die?

If you do, you will want to watch this

Science Channel, the network that dares to question everything, explores the science behind the faith in a four-part special event BIBLICAL CONSPIRACIES.  The greatest archeological finds and some of the most beloved icons of the Judeo-Christian religions are examined and age-old secrets explored. Could two twisted nails found in the tomb of the man who sent Jesus to the cross be the very same from the True Cross? Does a recently translated 6th century manuscript tell the true story of Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene?   And could a forgotten sculpture made by Michelangelo bring to light strange and long-buried religious practices from the time of Christ? With the aid of cutting edge technology, we return to the crumbling tombs, palaces and ruins of the Holy Land, in search of ancient conspiracies hidden away for two thousand years and Science Channel will take us through all the ground-breaking mysteries behind the myths.  Biblical Conspiracies premieres with a four-part special on Science Channel on Sunday, December 14 beginning at 9PM ET/PT and Monday, December 15 at 8PM ET/PT.

But only if you do.  Hate yourself that is.  Thankfully I don’t.  Plus I’ve taken a vow not to watch any Bible themed seasonal special this year.  They’re just too stupid.  Even when they manage a sensible talking head, they’re stupid.  And wrong.  But stupid is wrong and wrong is stupid.

Enjoy… self-loathers. And, ‘Science’ channel my …


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