Apr 032011

One of my blog policies has been that whenever some item is found in Israel that is suppose to date from the time of Jesus, is to not post on it and wait a week.  That has held me in good stead since they always turn out to be fakes that oddly turn up only during Lent/Easter.  This time 70 thin lead books have shown up along with the hype about what it could mean concerning Jesus.  As of today I was able to still find plenty of stories about this find.  This is despite the fact the Bibliobloggers called them fakes on Friday.  Via Michael Barber:

While media reports have sensationalized the story, academic bloggers have been slowly picking this apart. Mark Goodacre has an excellent round up. See also James McGrath’s post.

How do we know the discovery is a fraud? Well, for one thing, as Peter Thonemann at Oxford has pointed out, the Greek text was written by someone who apparently doesn’t know the Greek alphabet! Most amusingly, the writing mixes up the Lambda (the Greek “L”) and the Alpha (the Greek “A”). Not a very promising sign of authenticity!

So. . . we can all move on now. Of course, don’t hold your breath for the retractions.

The media always hopes for that bit of evidence to prove Christianity false despite the fact that the Crucifixion and Resurrection were historical events that were documented to some extent outside of Christian sources.  Really I wish they would find some authentic document of that time period.  When it turned out to attest to the historicity of the times boy would they be bummed.  I can just see their sour faces.

  3 Responses to “Easter is coming up so we were due for a new find”

  1. Among westerners is the belief that foreign people are magic when in fact they are just as interested in a buck and fame as anyone. So there is an entire long-standing forgery industry abroad designed specifically to fleece ignorant westerns of their money, time and interest. Watch a few episodes of “Pawn Stars” to get an idea.

  2. I’ve already seen one Mormon use this as a rebuff to doubters of his beliefs: “Foolish Mormons! There is no archeological evidence that ancient Hebrews wrote on books made of metal plates bound together like a 3 ringer binder! That’s just crazy talk. That’s… Oh, wait… Huh? What? Oh… Never mind then. Carry on.” Perhaps he should have waited a week as well.

  3. mod- I’m not actually certain the person who wrote the bit I quoted is a Mormon, it really doesn’t come up in his blog or published fiction. The quote is, however, self-evidently a support of Mormonism.

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