Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Je$u$’ Tomb discovered among the clutter of today’s headlines

with 9 comments

Were Jesus’ bones in this box? Not bloody likely.

Jesus’ Tomb Found. James Cameron, the man who brought us the terminator, has topped himself by finding the Tomb of Jesus. Or so he has claimed, the tomb was actually found decades ago and historians and archaeologists have scoffed at the claims made in his new documentary. Even if it is Jesus’ tomb, it proves nothing. There is no historical Jesus, and unless some contemporary documentation surfaces somewhere, a few trinkets in a cave aren’t going to affect the myth of Jesus. And even sort of discovery might not rock the boat. So basically James Cameron has found a way to cash in on Jesus’ name, as have so many others. Jesus is far and way the most profitable celebrity in history, how many other celebrities turn a charred piece of toast into a commodity worth thousands of dollars simply because of a chance resemblance to their face?

Taliban tries to blow up Cheney. A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a US Army base in Afghanistan. The attack never had any real chance of success, in that there was no chance the bomber could have gotten inside the base and gotten anywhere near Cheney. Most Americans will consider this a victory, and point to the civilian casualties and hopelessness of the attack as proof. Such is the power of delusion. This is actually another victory in a string of victories for the Taliban, and underscores that the USA controls nothing outside its crusader castles. It also shows that the Taliban has the initiative, not the USA. By turning 911 into a War on Terror, we turned a crime into a symbolic war as much as a real war. And symbolically, the USA is losing almost every battle. I’ll be blogging more on this idea.

Stock Markets Sag. Starting with China, the world’s stock markets are taking a tumble. I don’t know enough about the world’s stock markets to really comment on this. If like the American market, they are mainly an abode of the wealthy, then this means little. Some unbelievably rich people are now worth a little less money, whoop-de-doo. Still, something to keep an eye on. A significant global stock market collapse would hurt a lot of people and possibly foment instability in some parts. The world doesn’t need any more instability right now, so I’m hoping this is just a temporary correction.

Serbia Cleared of Genocide. The UN’s highest court, the International Court of Justice, has cleared the government of Serbia of genocide in regards to the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995. Interesting from a number of points of view. The Srebrenica massacre was committed by Serbian backed Christian militias in Bosnia during Bosnia’s civil war. The victims were Muslims, it is the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two. The court did however charge Serbia with failing to prevent the massacre. How Serbia could have prevented the massacre when UN peacekeepers were unable to do so is curious. And one has to wonder how this whole issue would have been perceived and ruled upon had it been Muslims murdering Christians. And I find it especially curious that the BBC article makes no mention of the four hundred UN troops who stepped aside and simply watched while this event was transpiring. They certainly didn’t have the troops to prevent it, but they should have tried.

Breakthrough in Fighting Germs. A study has discovered an amazing way to reduce the infection rate in hospitals and stop the spread of germs. (Hospitals are hotbeds of germs and centres of infection, I avoid them if at all possible.) What is the stunning breakthrough? Open the windows! Yes, opening windows and doors to allow natural ventilation is twice as effective as the expensive mechanical air circulation systems hospitals now use. Reminds me about an event that happened during World War Two. A hospital suffered damage during the Blitz, and the patients were all moved to tents on the grounds while repairs were underway. Someone noticed that a number of indices improved while the patients were in tents: fewer infections, faster recovery, lower death rate. So of course they put all the patients back in the hospital as soon as it was fixed. It’s stuff like this that makes me truly question whether we are really an intelligent species.

Ah well, enough headlines for today. A reader asked if I could turn off the snap preview, that’s where when one moves the cursor over a link on the page, a little preview window pops up. It looks like there is a disable option on the preview itself, so readers who find it annoying should just disable it there. I find the stupid thing annoying myself.

(The above image is claimed as fair use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and it is an historically important image.)

Written by unitedcats

February 27, 2007 at 10:58 am

9 Responses

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  1. The “snap” thing is somewhere in your dashboard, under the heading “extras”. I turned mine off the first day it appeared.

    There is no historical Jesus? As in, he never existed? Or merely, we know nothing about him as a historical figure? Either way, I strongly disagree.


    February 27, 2007 at 2:21 pm

  2. There is zero contemporary documentation regarding Jesus, the gospels were all written decades after his ministry. Unless one counts the two citations in Josephus, which are extremely suspect. To me it doesn’t really matter, it’s the message, not the man. And for the record, I do believe he existed.
    Readers apparently can disable snap on their own computers, I have at least one reader who really likes it so I will likely leave it on for now. :) BB –Doug


    February 27, 2007 at 2:33 pm

  3. James Cameron…isn’t this the same guy that did the Titanic thing too? Another hi$torical que$t that he pur$ued for purely altrui$tic rea$son$, right?

    I’m not familiar with the criticism of the Josephus texts. What’s extremely suspect about them?


    February 27, 2007 at 3:13 pm

  4. never mind…found it.


    February 27, 2007 at 3:19 pm

  5. Cameron is a archeologist, as much as Gore is a climatologist (with a $30,000 utility bill)


    February 28, 2007 at 7:30 pm

  6. Or Bush a military strategist. :)


    February 28, 2007 at 7:55 pm

  7. jesus = big money in our post-Da Vinci Code world….

    Mr. Cameron really has outdone himself this time….


    March 1, 2007 at 7:03 am

  8. There is zero contemporary documentation?

    Scholars date Paul’s epistles in the 50s, about twenty years after Jesus’ death. Paul refers to the personal contact he had with Peter and James (the Lord’s brother). That is, he was writing at a time when the disciples of Jesus were still around.

    Paul doesn’t say much about the historical Jesus, except for crucifixion, burial, resurrection. Of course, some of that data is arguably significant …. Of note, he refers not only to the risen Lord’s appearance to himself, but also the appearances to Peter and to James. As mentioned, he knew those two men personally; I am prepared to assume he heard the accounts from them directly.

    Also, Paul frequently alludes to sayings of Jesus. For example, you can find direct parallels with many sayings from the sermon on the mount in Paul’s writings.

    Mark’s Gospel is typically dated in the late 60s or early 70s. That was plenty early enough for Mark to be utilizing oral tradition derived from eyewitnesses.

    The “Q” source (extrapolated from sayings material common to Matthew and Luke, but not found in Mark) is admittedly controversial. Nonetheless, the majority of scholars believe that Q existed and at least some of its material dates from c. 50 CE.

    I suppose I’m conceding your point, that we don’t have contemporary sources of information about Jesus. But twenty years later? Honestly, how early can people reasonably demand?

    How contemporary are the sources for other major figures of ancient history? Not nearly as early as Paul’s epistles in relation to Jesus, I’d wager. I suppose we know nothing whatsoever about anybody who lived prior to the modern era …?


    March 8, 2007 at 8:15 am

  9. I mentioned the lack of contemporary documentation for Christ’s ministry as a historical curiosity, and to illustrate why some people are so eager to find further “proof.” I agree with the mainstream view that the evidence we have is almost certainly reasonably reliable. Nonetheless it would be fascinating if more contemporary documentation showed up, and it’s certainly possible that it will, there have to be more carbonized scrolls/books buried in Pompei for example, and we have the technology to read them now. JMO —Doug


    March 8, 2007 at 9:59 pm

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