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Rolling My Eyes: The News Cycle of Jesus’ Wife

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?

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