Author: MikeHeiser

Antiquities Smuggling in the Name of the Bible

This is what you call a terrible testimony: “Hobby Lobby to forfeit ancient Iraqi artifacts in settlement with DOJ.” From the article: Federal prosecutors say that when Hobby Lobby, which is based in Oklahoma City, began assembling its collection it was warned by an expert on cultural property law to be cautious in acquiring artifacts from Iraq, which in some cases have been looted from archaeological sites. Despite that warning and other red flags the company in December 2010 purchased thousands of items from a middle-man, without meeting the purported owner, according to prosecutors. A dealer based in the...

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Recent Article Response to Bart Ehrman’s Views on Ancient Pseudepigraphy

The Society of Biblical Literature just released the latest issue of its Journal of Biblical Literature. One of the articles caught my attention: “Content and Form: Authorship Attribution and Pseudonymity in Ancient Speeches, Letters, Lectures, and Translations —A Rejoinder to Bart Ehrman,” by Armin D. Baum of the Freie Theologische Hochschule in Gießen, Germany. The article is not available online, but it’s importance led me to alert those who subscribe to JBL or who can access it through a university or seminary library. The article is, as it suggests, a response to the way Ehrman understands pseudonymity, particularly as articulated in his book Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Here’s the abstract to Baum’s article: The ancient notion of authorship and forgery can be analyzed in various ancient texts, including embedded texts (e.g., reported speeches) and independent texts, some written under the author’s control (e.g., speeches, letters, and history books), as well as others written independently of the author’s control (e.g., translations and unauthorized lecture publications). In all cases an authorial attribution was regarded as correct and nondeceptive if either content and wording or just the content of a particular text could be traced back to the author whose name it carried. This prevailing principle of ancient authorship attribution, while often taken for granted and applied without further explanation, was also stated...

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Jaime Maussan Is At It Again: Three-Fingered “Alien Mummy” Claim

Many readers will have seen the slick video report about an alleged “new species” mummy found in Peru. This is a well-done video by Gaia TV, sure to appeal to the gullible. Lots of folks with white masks saying sciencey things (i.e., speculating with big words). Some of them even have degrees (which makes me wonder why no one let them use an actual lab for the “examination” — instead they did that on a roof top). Maybe some degree programs in science don’t use labs, or teach their grad students that lab conditions aren’t necessary for sound analysis....

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