Zwinglius Redivivus

Mark’s Right: On Blog Posts as ‘Thinking Aloud’

Posted in biblioblogs by Jim on 11/04/2013

Loads of academics blog these days.  But that hasn’t always been the case.  However, Mark is no newcomer to the game and Mark has been blogging since the beginning.  In fact, if you take a look at Blogging the Bible, A Short History, you’ll learn that he was one of the first (along with Jim Davila and yours truly).

So when Mark opines that

For me, the blog is something more informal, more chatty than the published paper.  I write differently here from the way that I write in peer-reviewed articles. My tone is much more colloquial.  I speak differently in the classroom, differently again in the NT Pod.  So now that I look back at the blog post in question, I notice that I talk casually about the cross “bouncing out of the tomb”; I use a little cartoon illustration; I speak in the first person a good deal and I speculate openly. It is all round much more informal and colloquial.

Blogs are just a place to think out loud.  That’s all.  They are sometimes witty, sometimes clever, sometimes entertaining, but always, always of a different genre than an academic paper or a publication.  I’ve been of the belief all along, and have said for years, that research belongs in books and articles and blog posts belong in the same category of the 16th Century Flugschrift– a little piece which ‘flies off’ the printer’s bench for immediate, and temporary, consumption.

Personally I can’t think of any reason to cite a blog posting in a formal paper or book (unless that formal paper or book is on the subject of blogging, and then only to illustrate some point of research).

Naturally others are free to cite what they will.  But genre matters and understanding the genre of blogs helps readers deal with them properly and not give them undue weight whilst making an argument.

NB- I do hope, though, that Mark’s being mentioned helps his flagging Alexa ranking…


That’s just sad…  One day, maybe he can catch up…


Mark Goodacre on the Gospel of Thomas, Chatting with Simon

Posted in Biblical Studies Resources by Jim on 01/04/2013


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Eerdmans Interviews Mark Goodacre Concerning the ‘Gospel of Thomas’

Posted in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources by Jim on 20/02/2013


It’s an excellent book, really, on an interesting early text that probably doesn’t get the attention it should simply because it has been labelled ‘gnostic’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean). Give the interview a look and the book a read.

Would You Like a Copy of Mark Goodacre’s New Book, ‘Thomas and the Gospels’?

Posted in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources by Jim on 04/11/2012

Mark sent me a copy and nearly simultaneously so did the nice people at Eerdmans.  Mark’s is signed so I’m keeping it and the Eerdmans direct isn’t so, because I don’t need two copies, I’m giving the second away.

If you’d like it you must

1- Live in the United States.
2- Have a deep and abiding interest in Synoptic studies.
3- Not be unpleasant.
4- Write a tiny paragraph in comments below and tell my why you yourself are particularly worthy.

I will then allow myself quite capriciously to choose the best response, and you’ll be the winner.

UPDATE:  And the WINNER IS-  Sytze van der Laan.  Congrats-  email me your mailing address and I’ll have it to you in days.

Sad Simcha’s Statement Supporting Forgery

Posted in mockery, pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-scholarship by Jim on 15/10/2012

Simcha J. is suggesting that all the learned people calling into question the authenticity of the ‘Jesus Wife’ fragment are nothing more than vultures and ‘c-list’ scholars.

First, I didn’t know Simcha had a website and apparently neither does the rest of the world as Alexa ranks him in the 10,000,000 plus range (which means that the only people who visit his page are himself and his mom).

Second, I didn’t know there were various ‘lists’ of scholars but I suppose when you’re an unlearned journalist who makes a living making and promoting D-List films featuring absurd claims and unsupported and unsubstantiated rubbish you like to construct lists so that you feel better about yourself.

And third, Simcha exposes himself for the person he really is and his true aims when he writes on his virtually unknown page

But here’s the scoop: the naysayers are losing this war. 1,600 years ago one group of Christians decided that theirs is the only legitimate version of Christianity. They impaled their opposition and they burned their texts. Thereafter, anything that contradicted the official version became first “heresy” and now “forgery”. It would have been a perfect crime except for archaeology and that terrible bugaboo – a free press. They keep resurrecting the voices of the dead. And the story they tell is not only not a “forgery,” but it’s what the rest of us call “history”.

‘Scoop’?   Only of poop.  Simcha has been out with his super dooper pooper scooper again and dredged up yet another silly claim in an attempt to bolster his pseudo-scholarship.  No one is trying to hide the truth or cover things up and it isn’t the ‘free press’ which has exposed the very fraud-ridden fake findings featured in Simcha’s films, it’s scholars.

But of course he HAS to say such things doesn’t he.  He’s got a film in the works on the fraudulent patently faked piece of farcicalness and if scholars have already managed to persuade the public that they needn’t waste their time on it, then no advertiser will be willing to buy time when it airs because, let’s be honest for a second, Simcha is as interested in authentic scholarship as Emmanuel Christian Seminary is.

Money is the bottom line, the middle line, and the top line.  So Simcha can screech down his silent well as loudly as he likes.  He won’t persuade anyone who knows anything about the subject.  He can call Francis Watson and Mark Goodacre ‘c list’ scholars all he likes but we all know the truth, don’t we.

With thanks to Mark Goodacre for the tweet informing me of the Simcha-esque nonsense.

A Little Video Presentation on the ‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment

Posted in Biblical Studies Resources by Jim on 28/09/2012

Via Mark Goodacre (and no, that’s not Mark in the video- he sports no Emergent Facial Hair) :

If Biblioblogs Had Movie Titles… An Observation

Posted in biblioblogs by Jim on 12/08/2012

If biblioblogs had movie titles… the titles of the blogs authored by the people below would be-

Joel Watts: The Expendables.
Mark Goodacre: The Godfather.
Near Emmaus: 12 Angry Men.
James McGrath: Fight Club.
Chris Tilling: Forest Gump.
Aren Maier: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Rod Thomas: Psycho.
Mark Stevens: The Shining.
Jim West: The Pianist.
Antonio Lombatti: The Great Escape.
James Crossley: The Untouchables.
Michael Barber: Up.
Robert Cargill: Driving Miss Daisy.

‘Raiders of the Lost Relics’

Posted in Archaeology by Jim on 18/06/2012

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Matthew Kalman reports

On a hilltop overlooking the Elah Valley, about 15 miles southwest of Jerusalem, an ancient city is yielding archaeological finds that have reignited a debate about some of the Bible’s most colorful characters, including King David.

Qeiyafa, exaggerated claims, and the state of the field.  Give the piece a read.  Very nicely done.

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Conference Announcement: The Bible in the Public Square

Posted in Conferences by Jim on 08/06/2012

Mark Goodacre sends along this conference announcement:

Duke University is proud to be hosting a conference entitled “The Bible in the Public Square:” September 9-10, 2012, a special 2-day conference with experts speaking to the role of the Bible in everything from Public Schools and American Politics, to the Middle East and popular culture. We hope you will consider attending this free conference which will address several key issues from top scholars in the field, including:

“Battling over the Bible in Public Schools,” Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center

“Right Dividing the First Amendment? An Evaluation of Recent Decisions regarding the Bible and Public Schools,” Melissa Rogers, Wake Forest Center for Religion & Public Affairs

“The Bible in the Presidential Elections of 2012, 2008, 2004 and the Collapse of American Secularism,” Jacques Berlinerblau, Georgetown University

For the complete conference schedule, online registration, and parking information, please visit:

If you have questions regarding the conference, or would like a hard copy of the flyer that has been included, please contact: Serena Elliott at

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Dorothy, Thanks for Your Support

Posted in pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-scholarship by Jim on 29/04/2012

Dot King writes

Jim Davila, a highly respected professor at the leading Scottish university, has blogged about a rather stupid claim of “slander” made against Mark Goodacre, Jim West and Robert Cargill by  Nicole Austin, Associate Producer on The Resurrection Tomb Mystery documentary (The Jesus Discovery in Canada):

“You are repeating the same slander which has dominated the Cargill/West/Goodacre blogs and has kept the majority of true scholars away from this discussion.”

“Prof Davila has links back to stories about the “Jesus Discovery” and also repeats the point made by someone else:

“she is using it inaccurately: “slander” refers to spoken defamation whereas “libel” refers to written”

I’ve been a teeny little busy working on trying to get a few thousand stolen antiquities back to their countries, and have not had time to blog about this, although I have received and sometimes answered many hundreds of messages about it.

So Ms Austin if you’re going to take legal action for “slander” against “the Cargill/West/Goodacre blogs” then please add “the Lobel King blog” to your list. I may quibble over their details, but I agree whole-heartedly with their general conclusion – and the sort of “academic” claims made by the scholars the TV show producers hired should be able to be debated by their peers.

She says a bit more, which you can read for yourself.  And then she concludes

I was unable to fully discuss Jacobovici claims about the 2009 tomb discoveries, but I feel that I would like to go on the record about my views of the majority of his interpretations of archaeological evidence. This is my official, on the record, view:

Indeed.  My sentiments exactly.

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