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Let’s Not Play Their Game

March 30, 2011

With some 2500 views yesterday and some 3500 as of noon (UK time) today, all of them it seems prompted by references to the lead codices appearing in recent new reports, it’s clear that there’s a significant interest to which those manipulating these reports hope to appeal.  But, as a scholar of early Christianity, I’m not favorably impressed with the behavior of those doing so. 

I don’t like being played with when it comes to scholarly issues.  I don’t see the point of fellow scholars speculating in the press as to what these items “might” be.  Why play into the game of those who hold the items and could, if they really wish to do so, simply make them available for competent analsys?  I understand that it’s flattering for scholars to be approached by the press for comment on something (anything!).  But instead, we should all simply say, “No comment until the items are placed into the hands of competent experts.”   I tire quickly of the self-serving antics of the people who claim to be in possession of items of great scholarly significance but prefer to conduct their business through press releases instead of inviting competent testing and analysis.

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  1. Elle permalink

    Thank you for your commentary. I find it particularly annoying that they are making the ‘sealed book of Revelation’ claim.

    News isn’t ‘news’ anymore. It’s seems to be all about money one way or another.

    Rational thought and research are thrown out the window as a norm these days no matter the subject involved.

  2. Dan Reid permalink


    I trust that some of those hits were directed to your site simply because you had the right cautionary message! And for that I’m grateful.


  3. Wise words!

  4. that’s a great point, Larry. I was asked by Jordanian govt to visit, expenses paid, this month. (The request was for more of a journalistic presence than my doctorate in NT.) I turned it down; but I hope that hypothetical visit had nothing to do with this story; it would have been disappointing to have to disappoint one’s hosts.

    • Interesting. Wouldn’t mind an expenses-paid trip to Jordan myself! If you google “lead codices david elkington” you’ll see at least part of the reason for the attention reflected in the press! Mr. Elkington has a book to sell!

  5. Amen to that Larry. Preach it.

    Ben Witherington

  6. Well said, Larry.

    As information officer for SOTS, I was approached by a TV company last week to recommend a specialist to comment on these codices. I told them no real specialist would comment without access and examination. I also advised them to wait until we actually know what is in them, since we are still waiting for the actual content rather than dubious interpretations of the symbols. They accepted this as helpful, although still thought it might make an interesting documentary.

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