imageEvan Effa commenting about a review by James F. McGrath of Ehrman’s new book, “ Did Jesus Exist?”.

The [Israeli Archaeological Authority] is very sensitive I understand to the economic implications of these finds as they help generate pilgrim type tourist dollars. As much as the Turin Chamber of Commerce would like me to venerate the famous Shroud housed in their community, I would not take their stamp of Authenticity at face value either.

They are not exactly the same thing. Talk about apples and oranges! Well at least the people who don’t think Jesus existed think the shroud does. That’s progress.

James F. McGrath holds Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis.

Effa Evans is one suspicious person. He earlier commented:

If Nazareth was not actually inhabited at the time of the "Jesus of Nazareth" it further undermines the already shaky credibility of the Josephus-Plagiarizing Gospel author we call Luke.

Interestingly, the discovery of a supposed first century house in Nazareth (reported in Dec 2009 to much fanfare) has apparently NOT had any verification of the primary artifacts supposedly found on-site. . . . How fortuitous that this unverified blockbuster claim happened to be on the site of the International Marian Center of Nazareth – a Catholic Church owned tourist destination. It sure can’t hurt the revenues any…

It is a common strategy of conspiracy theory to demand verification from within the depths of sheer speculation.

Photograph of Nazareth ca. 1917.