Is Simcha having a break down?

Simcha begins his latest rant – not, it is really not even organized well enough to be called a rant – by stating,

Here’s the latest twist on the Jesus Wife Papyrus. To review; prior to this discovery, the common wisdom was that there was nothing – I repeat, nothing – substantiating the idea that Jesus was married. No ancient text whatsoever. It was all “Da Vinci Code” stuff. Then along comes the Jesus Papyrus: (http://www.hds.harvard.edu/faculty-research/research-projects/the-gospel-of-jesuss-wife), a 2nd to 4th century Coptic text in which Jesus refers to someone – apparently Mary Magdalene – as his “wife”. (here)

A few things. First, why is it that his default is the Da Vinci Code? Second, the Gnostics and others had theories about the wife of Jesus a long time ago. Third, the text does not talk about the “wife” of Jesus. It uses a Coptic word that can be translated one of several different ways. Forth – is this number four already? – Simcha supplies the ending of the garbled sentence, in true — oh dang it, he now has me doing it — Dan Brown style. Let us add to this that Simcha, with no academic training to speak of in this field, decries the academic work of trained scholars by simply saying that because it is so dead-on, it must be wrong.

(Hang on, let me put on my Freudian hat and light a cigar).

Simcha seems to suffer from the theory of motivated reasoning wherein the subject will use whatever psychological means at his or her disposal to ignore the truth. It is most likely related to Simcha’s desire to “know” Jesus’s wife.

(And I’m back)

His, um, posts are getting worrisome due to the almost borderline break down that we are witnessing. Good thing Canada has single-payer health care.

Post By Joel Watts (10,049 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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4 thoughts on Is Simcha having a break down?

  1. While I don’t agree with everything Simcha says in that post, he isn’t ranting and certainly his main point is valid.

    Textual analysis is not scientific proof. We have a situation where (once again) scholars reach a conclusion before they learn the facts.

    Wouldn’t it make a whole lot more sense to get the results of the scientific tests on dating before rushing to a conclusion about the language? If the test results show modern ink was used, then it’s a no-brainer that it was forged. If the results show the ink was ancient, where does that leave us? A choice between science and opinion, and we know that the scholars who have opined that it is a forgery won’t change their initial opinions even if the science is not in their favor.

    • Richard, you have established some really good straw-men here. Other than providing yourself with a sounding board, what else do you hope to accomplish?

  2. I think Hershel Shanks’ take is along the lines of what I was trying to say:

    http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/is-the-harvard-theological-review-a-coward-or-did-dr-karen-king-do-something-wrong/

    Joel, you are a real head scratcher. I read this blog from time to time because I am in accord with just about everything you write about, even if your style is a bit unpolished.

    I’m just curious as to where all the personal hostility comes from. Did I kick your dog? I think my initial comment was on point and not critical of you personally. I’m not Dr. Troll. Is it because I questioned Jim West on B&I about his odious attack on Pete Enns? Is Jim a friend of yours?

    • Jim is a friend, but I did not associate you with the Nash on the B and I.

      Unpolished? I’ll have you know… Well, that’s not bad. Sometimes, the too-polished is rather boring. This is a blog, after all, and not a journal.

      I’ve read Shanks, but Shanks is leading the witness as well. Straw men and the what not.

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