Christians are preparing themselves to celebrate Easter, so it’s not a wild guess that Biblical scholars are by now preparing their annual archaeological fundraising hoax. But something seems to be wrong. The big question is: why haven’t we seen anything yet?
I mean, I like those old customs. Just like Christmas would be incomplete without an astronomer who, unaware of the rules of textual exegesis, repeats some mumbo-jumbo about the Star of Bethlehem being a comet/nova/conjunction, Easter is incomplete without some piece of ridiculous archaeology.
Last year, we had Colin Humphreys, but this year… I’ve only seen a lame attempt to focus on an old manuscript that is supposed to exist and, hey, there was Simcha Jacobovici again. But let’s be honest: our scholars can do better.
They must, in fact, because we’re entitled to the annual spectacle of archaeologists making themselves look ridiculous. If the BBC can present Stephen Dando-Collins as a serious scholar, they must this year again be able to sell out to a decent quack historian. Easter traditions are to be taken seriously.
OK, there it is, this year’s scholarly self-harm: Jesus may have been a hermaphrodite. Why on earth does a scholar allow herself to be summarized like that? Why does someone respond without checking the original article? Damage done. Thanks.