Baker Academic

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Adele Reinhartz on the Gospel of John—Chris Keith

Over at Ancient Jew Review, Adele Reinhartz has a fascinating retrospective on her contributions to the scholarly study of the Gospel of John.  Johannine scholars will no doubt recognize Reinhartz as a giant in the field, and rightly so.  She pitches these thoughts as a "break-up" with the Beloved Disciple, however.  She notes that she's come to abandon her three-tiered reading of the Fourth Gospel, thereby abandoning also the (still dominant) idea that the Gospel tells us something concrete about the Johannine community.  She now affirms that the Gospel moves on a "historical level" and a "cosmological level," not an "ecclesiological level."  She also notes that she's now convinced that the Fourth Gospel's anti-Judaism is not simply part of its overall narrative package, which it offers to Jewish readers, but the core of its rhetorical construction, which it offers to Gentile readers.  The whole retrospective is fascinating, and Reinhartz's work is as important now as it has ever been.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Another Fake Bites the Dust

I confess that whenever I hear about some newly discovered bit of fancy material evidence, I'm immediate skeptical. This was the case when I first learned of the so-called Jordan Codices. It turns out that caution was indeed warranted. While the artifact uses ancient materials, they are most likely forged says the Department of Antiquities Director General, Monther Jamhawi.

The trouble, it seems to me, is twofold as we lay another forgery to rest.

1. Forgers are good at their jobs and getting better.

2. Media coverage of the fraud will always been less than the coverage of the initial "discovery."

These two points are related. One wonders if the goal of the forgers isn't to fool folks only for a few years. A few years is enough time to ride a media wave and monetize it.

Bottom line: one doesn't need to fool experts forever; one only needs to rely on the facts that it will take a few years for refutation and that media coverage will atrophy over time. This brings me to a third point.

3. I have no doubt that the initial stories of these codices will continue to circulate and fool folks who are seeing them for the first time. Search engines will grab the initial reports more readily (as they have been more trafficked) and bury the reports of refutation over time (as they are less trafficked).

So you can expect to see these pop up from time to time on social media for years to come.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Image of Cerula, Catacomb of San Gennaro

BBC 4 reports on an image found in a catacomb in San Gennaro, Naples. The image suggests that Christianity continued to employ female bishops as late as the fifth century.

The super-duper, dynamic duo of Helen Bond and Joan Taylor featured here: