Visit to the UPenn Archaeology and Anthropology Museum
By Rook Hawkins
I have been meaning to write an article on a few of the entries in the most recent BAR. No, not the Browning Automatic Rifle, I’m talking about the Biblical Archaeology Review. Although some of you would probably find the first more entertaining, the latter is really the more important and relevant thing to discuss, as far as I’m concerned. Especially in light of the guest appearance this Wednesday night on our show, Dr. Hector Avalos, and his fascinating book, The End of Biblical Studies.
I generally read through this periodical, not only because I find the articles compelling, but the Magazine as a whole attempts to break the chain of evangelism by presenting—and I mean it really tries hard—the most scientific articles it can find, or that have been submitted. Some are unbelievably inaccurate, and at times the Magazine editor, Hershel Shanks, will allow his Jewish-religious viewpoints to interfere with his choice of articles, and often his choice of words.
I hope you and your family are doing well. I'm going to respond to your points paragraph at a time. I will be as direct and to the point as I can, so please do not mistake my blunt responses for rudeness. I am just short on time since I am spending so much of it on my book.
Below I will separate your paragraphs from mine. (This may seem long but I take this subject very seriously. This is, after all, what I do for a living; as a historian it is my job to correct false presuppositions and educate people on current trends in Biblical scholarship and archaeology)
Well its been a year now since I first started writing with the intent to publish a book. In that year a lot of good has happened. As many of you now know, I have been submitting my book for review with the hopes of getting published by an academic press. This good fortune has been brought about with the help of a friend, and it has allowed me to refocus my book from the original 22 chapters down to 10, significantly shortening the amount of research and time I would have otherwise needed. Initially I was expecting my book to pass around 600-700 pages. Now we're looking at a length closer to 300 including notes, bibliography and appendices.
As many of you know I work part time at a bookstore because (a) I don't make enough with RRS to support all my bills and (b) I love books and enjoy selling them to people. Well, yesterday morning as I was helping somebody in the religion section, a customer asked me for books on illnesses. I walked her over to the section and pointed out some books of interest to her, and as I was walking away she stated affirmatively that she had managed to get her son to read, and that her job was accomplished for the day even if she didn't find the book she was looking for. After suggesting that I probably read a lot of fiction because I work in a bookstore, I told her that I spent most of my time reading ancient fiction, being that my full time job was that I was a historian.
Josiah Concept Ministries and the Historical Christ Hypothesis
By Rook Hawkins
After my article on the problems of the historical Jesus and the Gospels as fictional narratives, I was worried that Christians would be afraid to refute these positions, and therefore I would not be able to generate the dialog that I so wanted to have. Thankfully, one Christian, Cory Tucholski, has taken up this charge to defend his faith against my articles.
What I am not, apparently, is a historian. There is no truth behind this jocularity, but there is a serious accusation that needs to be addressed. In a recent thread, posted by somebody who exhibits a severe naivety to logical discourse, I have been called out, as it were. In any case, this is a response, although concise as it may be, to the presupposition of this little nimrod (used in the Biblical sense, of course) for everything abrasive.
Three headers, or points, are situated throughout the post. They are so called “What is Research?”, “What is a Historian?”, and “What is peer review?”. In all three of these categories, the author has listed examples of the criteria that need to be met in order to be sufficiently considered an expert. In my examination of the three topics, I have not found a single criterion that would somehow invalidate my position as a Historian.
You can watch the video of my presentation "Misquoting Scripture" at the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia here.
The Jesus Mythicist Position: Revised 2008
By Rook Hawkins
(1) A Brief Introduction to the Revised Article
About a year and a half ago, I started a campaign to educate people about Jesus mythicism. When I had first started working on the campaign I was not as well prepared as I am now. I have to chalk that up to inexperience. When somebody says “a lot can happen in a year”, I will consider what they have to say, because they aren’t kidding. A lot has happened in a year and a half that I felt a revision of this article was a necessity.
Tom Cruise and the "Jesus Meme"
By Rook Hawkins
In a recent wave of the viral media expose, Tom Cruise and the now infamous Scientology Indoctrination video (you should definitely watch the video before reading the rest of this), which has been systematically been removed from the net where ever the Scientologists have found them. What is the most interesting part of the video is not the maniacal laughter and psychotic expressions Cruise gives throughout the video, it is the way Cruise is portrayed by the film directors of the video itself.