As crazy, fringe, and sensational . . .  like finding the Ark of the Covenant
or proving the Shroud of Turin is authentic

imageMichael Posner, in The Times of Israel, tells us that Filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici sues academic for libel

A fascinating $1-million libel trial is playing out in a Lod courtroom, one that many archaeologists, scientists and religious scholars are watching closely. The plaintiff is Israeli/Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici [pictured], a three-time Emmy award winner best known as the host of “The Naked Archaeologist,” a syndicated TV series. He is also a frequent blogger for the Times of Israel

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“Some scholars see any claims to have found the bones of Jesus as crazy, fringe, and sensational,” explains UNC’s James Tabor. “Much like finding the Ark of the Covenant or proving the Shroud of Turin is authentic.”

Israeli/Jewish scholars, Tabor adds, “tend to not want to deal with things that challenge the basic assumptions of Christianity — not because they believe those assumptions, but just because it is best left alone. And academics of Christian background may hesitate to find the bones of Jesus for theological reasons — i.e., it threatens orthodox Christianity.”

The latter constituency, Jacobovici suggests, may be suffering from “paradigm collapse trauma.”

As archaeology gets closer and closer to the historical Jesus, he says, “it seems to contradict Pauline Christian theology in fundamental ways. As the evidence mounts, the inability to look at it also gets stronger.”

Paradigm collapse trauma. I like it. My new, favorite three-word accusation. Take that you radiocarbon datingists or you Wilsonists.