New Find! Everything We Ever Thought Proven Wrong!
We are approaching Easter. The time when the hearts of the young turn to love, and the eye of the media turns to the latest tidbit about Jesus. This year is no exception. I’ll write the framework of the press release, you fill in the blanks:
This week in Jerusalem/Rome/some-wadi-you-never-heard-of, phrenologists/symbologists/religious archeologists announced the discovery/deciphering/forging of 2000/3000 year old manuscripts/burials/inscriptions which will completely rewrite the history of what we know about Jesus/Christianity/Judaism.
According to Dr. Simon Makeabuck, “Sacre Bleu/Holy Cow!,” were the first words out of his mouth when he realized what he was reading/looking at/concocting. “All along we thought that Peter/Paul/Mary were faithful followers of Jesus/Moses/Spaghetti Monster, but this new find shows that there is more to the story than what you heard in Sunday school/synagogue/Pasta House.”
The palimpsest/fragment/inscription is fragmentary, but clearly visible are the Greek/Hebrew/Chinese characters for “D,” “O,” “T,” and, and “S.” Most biblical scholars have reconstructed the text to read ἰδιώτης [idiotes] but Makeabuck insists that scholars who actually know stuff have been misled by learning languages/history/archeology/common sense. Instead, according to Makeabuck, the letters should be reconstructed to read “dots,” and when connected with what appears to be an image of a what seems to be a river, a duck, and an unknown furry creature, the text indicates that early Christians/Jews centered their religious life around the sacrifice of a platypus. “How they got these platypuses from Australia we may never know,” the researcher claimed, “but without question we’ll never look at Passover/Easter the same again.”
The History Channel/Discovery Channel/National Geographic paid Makeabuck $2 million for the rights to his story, which will air on the network the Friday before Easter.
As you can guess, I find the the recent “lead codices” discovery and its reporting less than useful. Sorry for not having patience to interact with this stuff; I’ve just finished a conference on the text of the New Testament, where people read papers on their research, get feedback, and then publish in peer-reviewed and edited journals and books. In other words, we work with real texts and you can’t “make stuff up.” But I guess this kind of work doesn’t make it into the news. I’ll simply point you to a couple of external web sites, and let you get back to doing what you should be doing.
Some sober analysis
More solid thinking, with helpful links
From Larry Hurtado