Some new emails have come in and I’d like to share them with everyone. Margaret Barker wrote me this morning with some additional clarification to her previous email which I will post here in its entirety. I do not believe she has been made aware of the email discussed over at Daniel McClellan’s blog along with the bronze vs. lead plates which look identical, so I sent her a followup with some discussions and links and look forward to hearing back from her. Here is her email:
I have just read someone quoting yr blog, and what comes over is not what I intended. This was my fault for being so brief.
No known Xn iconography from the first generation is a fact, but there are verbal images which give a good idea what any Xn iconography wd have been. There is plenty in the lead codices that corresponds to the verbal imagery of the first Christians: they are sealed books for a start, the overall theme of Revelation; there are palm branches; seven branched lamps; patterns of eight pointed ‘stars’ or similar; and other images that cannot be identified with certainty. I will not add to the current speculation.
Sorry about this
I believe her last line is most relevant, of course. I think we all need to be watchful of such things. I think we need to also be careful that we don’t rush to any hasty conclusions about them (not the least of which because they appear to be fakes after all); especially which where the symbols and imagery are concerned. Joe Hoffmann remarked in an email:
I fail to see how the iconography will be dispositive for an early date since these would then need to be the earliest known, sine qua non, examples of the images. So, Huh? Everyone backing away from preliminary hasty judgements does not bode well for the profession!
Mark Goodacre also brings news from Philip Davies. Mark left a comment on my blog earlier this morning with the following important information:
I mentioned the Thonemann analysis to Philip Davies over on the Biblical-Studies list and he replied, “Many thanks – I had tried to read ‘Alexander’ but was frustrated by the confusion of letters. This makes very good sense. What is disturbing is that I was not told of this deciphering. But it adds to some evidence I am collating that some at least of these are pretty modern, after all.”
Filed under: Archaeology, Belief, Biblioblogging, Early Christianity, Life, Minimalism, Scholarship Tagged: | christianity, curse tablets, David Elkington, Dilettante, jesus, Jesus tablets, Jordan, Judaism, lead tablets, Margaret Barker, Mark Goodacre, messianic tablets, Paul Elkington, pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-christianity, pseudo-scholarship, R. Joseph Hoffmann, Robert Feather