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Rolling My Eyes: The News Cycle of Jesus’ Wife

October 3, 2012

imageBrook Wilensky-Lanford thinks she understands. She writes about The News Cycle of Jesus’ Wife in the Huffington Post.

The sentence, “Or the Shroud of Turin?”. Does that make sense? The link in the sentence is to a CBS story about de Wesselow’s theory. I often wonder if we need something to replace the question mark for attempts at being rhetorical. Do we also need some way of showing that a link is irrelevant to the point being made?

Substance, anyone?

. . . What I do know is that whenever a scientific discovery having to do with religious texts, sites, or history becomes public, it goes through a a news cycle that’s becoming familiar: giddy excitement, intense skepticism, and cynical acceptance.

Some "scientific" discoveries are counted out by virtue of the unlikeliness of their claims. In 2007 Biblical archaeologist Eric Cline wrote in an editorial: "When most archeologists and biblical scholars hear that someone has (yet again) discovered Noah’s Ark, they roll their eyes and get on with their business." (But the lack of acknowledgement from legitimate archaeology in no way stems the tide of these discoveries and their announcements. Next month there’s another "scientific" account of Noah’s Ark being published.)

But how do I as a non-specialist know when to roll my eyes?

The so-called "Gospel of Jesus’s Wife" is now joining a storied lineup of Jesus-related relics suspected of being fraudulent. Remember the "Jesus Box? It’s still on trial. Or the Shroud of Turin? It’s enough to make one discount anything that turns up as "evidence" of anything religious at all.

No,  how do I as a non-specialist know when to roll my eyes?

  1. Louis
    October 3, 2012 at 8:19 am

    If she is so interested in what is going on the field of biblical archaeology it would have been advisable to go deeper into many of the “findings”. That would enable her to see, for instance in the case of the so-called James ossuary, that many of the Israeli archaeologists, several of them secular Jews, take the New Testament accounts more seriously than many “Christians”. Being Jewish and Israeli, they understand more than many other people abroad how their ancestors thought 2000 years ago.

  2. daveb of wellington nz
    October 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Why does the Huffington Post, on its leading Religion page publish a columnist who on her own admission is not religious, and also on her own admission is ignorant about archaeological religious discoveries, or on any religious matter at all? Has the Huffington Post not get anything else worthwhile to say on the matter of religion, or do columnists who might be so knowledgeable ignore the Huffington Post as a publishing vehicle for their work?

    Is it possible that the Huffington Post has nothing worthwhile to say about the topic of Religion at all? If so, why bother with it?

  3. October 3, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Here’s a clue. When they start talking about Jesus’ wife, roll your eyes. This is so tired as to not be worth responding.

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