imageI tipped off Stephen Jones to the comments in the A Masterly Demolition of the Hungarian Pray Manuscript? thread because that thread was born of something he wrote in his blog.

He wrote back in his blog:

Thanks. I don’t usually read your blog’s comments since you blocked me from commenting on them in February, but I did read those particular comments since I still get emailed your posts (not comments).

I have found it a great time-saver not to have to respond to the `empty vessels which make the most noise’ on your blog. So even if you unblock me, I won’t be commenting any more on it.

I had written to him: “The discussion in the blog may say a lot about how we see things one way and skeptics see things another way, and how difficult it is to convince anyone.”

“Agreed,” he wrote. “As I say in my policies statement, "Internet debates were [are] largely a waste of time"

LET’S GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY: I do not have any blocks in place for Stephen Jones. Nor do I recall ever having blocked a comment from him. Nor can I imagine that I would have. But mistakes happen. If I did block something, I apologize. Let me have the comment, Stephen, so I can publish it.

NOW TO MOVE ON: to “empty vessels which make the most noise on your [= my] blog.”

I must disagree that internet debates are a waste of time. A case in point: We often hear the argument that a medieval artist, because of the cultural sensitivities of the time, would not have painted a naked Christ and that therefore the Shroud seems authentic. I have said that during presentations I have given. I have pointed out the many pictures of Jesus on the cross or in his tomb wearing, at least, a loin cloth. No one has ever challenged me. Well, thanks to internet debates, I just learned about the following two works of medieval art from these “empty vessels,” as you call them. (How, Stephen, can you refer to your readers or my readers this way?)

image1) Preparation of Christ’s Body for His Entombment; Tempera on wood; Spain, 13th Century;

image2) Altar detail, cathedral in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein