Utter hogwash

imageIt has been mentioned at least twice in comments to postings in this blog. So here is a good article by Greg Carey (pictured) that appears in the Huffington Post:

Just this week another Jesus hoax has appeared in the media. Media producer Simcha Jacobovici has collaborated with a professor named Barrie Wilson on a book called, "The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text That Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene." I don’t wish to be rude, and I will freely admit I haven’t read the book yet, but the entire premise is utter hogwash.

[ . . . ]

We might begin with the book’s title. "The Lost Gospel" suggests the discovery of a new literary source, one that is either recently discovered or has been largely neglected. Instead, the "lost gospel" is actually an ancient Jewish (perhaps Christian) novel we call "Joseph and Aseneth." It’s well known, and it’s received quite a bit of scholarly attention. Joseph and Aseneth is included in the standard collections of ancient Jewish literature that all biblical scholars consult. This month’s Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, the most significant gathering of biblical scholars in the world, will include two papers devoted to the story. Just type "Aseneth" into your Amazon search window, and you’ll find quite a few books devoted to the story, including monographs by leading scholars.

Unfortunately, Jacobovici and Wilson describe the text as "Gathering dust in the British Library" and suggest they have "uncovered" it. Unfortunately, the media has bought into that narrative. . . . In fact, Duke University professor Mark Goodacre created his Joseph and Aseneth home page in 1999 — quite a bit before its recent "uncovering."

The new book’s subtitle reveals a second problem: "decoding." The authors claim this ancient novel carries a secret meaning. Joseph and Aseneth makes perfect sense without decoding.

[ . . . ]

It is always bad form to attack a theory by condemning its proponents, but Simcha Jacobovichi is a notorious peddler of misleading theories. He promoted an ossuary as containing the bones of Jesus’ brother James, a theory that has been disconfirmed. He also developed a documentary that claimed to unveil the Jesus family tomb, also refuted by experts, and even claims to have uncovered the nails used in Jesus’ crucifixion. It’s a shame that the media ever pays attention to him, at least when he’s talking about Jesus.

6 thoughts on “Utter hogwash”

  1. Written yesterday on the thread “Jesus walked off with his shroud?:

    November 11, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    “As I wrote in the previous comment, care and circumspection are needed when interpreting apocryphal gospels. It also becomes necessary to add that one has to be doubly careful when it comes to late gnostic documents that also have something to do with biblical figures.
    The latest byJacobovici/Wilson is some reweaving of gnostic documents with the Joseph and Aseneth (Old Testament) sixth-century story and the result is that we get Jesus and Mary Magdalene instead of Joseph and Aseneth. That is the “Lost Gospel” of Jacobovici/Wilson. It is not a Gospel at all.
    There seem to be no limits to this agenda-driven pseudo-scholarship.”

    It seems that since the “Jesus family tomb” has been rejected by top biblical scholars and archaeologists, both in Israel and abroad:
    this is an attempt to try to lend credibility to the proposition. There is no evidence, what we see is desperation, the authors clutching at straws.

  2. S.Jacobovovici also bases some of his contentions on a book authored by Keith Laidler. He contends that the Templar “head” could have been the head of John the Baptist. This is rubbish. Jacques de Molay was summoned by Clement VI and left Cyprus for France to discuss new crusading plans with he pontiff. It was also in his interest to boost morale among the knights after the fall of Acre.
    The Templar round churches used the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as the model:
    The one in London was consecrated in honour of the Virgin Mary by Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, in 1183.

  3. Of course it’s hoghwash. This is just rehashing that old chestnut that has been defeated every time it rears it’s ugly head. Of course, anything for a couple bucks…

  4. Update at the Huffington Post:
    It is S. Jacobovici again, this time with his latest book co-authored with Barrie Wilson, rejected by the best Biblical scholars.
    The funny side of the story is that he is still clinging to his previous documentary/book to buttress his claims in the new book. But this previous book has also been rejected by the top scholars:

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