Friday, August 17, 2012

Explanation Key: Storage Wars Jerusalem

We'll use today's Ticker post to offer an explanatory key to a vid just released on TektonTV, Storage Wars Jerusalem. 

An intro to the “buyers”:

Robert Price – although a credentialed scholar, Price is also an ex-fundamentalist who has developed a hatred for what he formerly believed. He thinks the Jesus Seminar is not radical enough (!) and gives credence to almost any wild idea, under the pretense of making people “think”. Author of numerous books like Deconstructing Jesus, though most are with atheist presses, not peer-reviewed or scholarly presses.

Stephen Huller—author of The Real Messiah, where he creates a new history out of whole cloth based on a strained reading of an obscure artifact called the Throne of St. Mark. Huller is a circus performer by trade, and has a reputation for polluting blogs with spambot comments.

Dan Brown – the well known author of The DaVinci Code.

Acharya S (Dorothy Murdock) – author of The Christ Conspiracy and numerous other occult/conspiracy theory books. Has taken on a more serious bent these days, but most such works are merely padding surrounding the less than 1% content involving her radical ideas.
00:11 "Every other Biblical scholar is brainwashed." This is not a quote from Price (only a few things I offer in this vid ARE direct quotes!), but it does reflect his general sentiments and abrupt dismissals of other scholars he disagrees with. In Deconstructing Jesus, for example, N. T. Wright is dismissed in a footnote as an "Evangelical apologist" who "has merely used Schweitzer's Jesus as a cloak to sneak reformed theology back into the mouth of the 'historical Jesus' ventriloquist dummy." 
00:15 "...unless they agree with me." Again, not a direct quote; rather, Huller has no qualms about having this kind of attitude. See the TheologyWeb thread here for how he dismissed Bart Ehrman (and then modified that dismissal when I called him down on it).
00:21 "conspiracy and coverup." I hardly need to explain this one; Brown's penchant for such ideas is well known.
 00:25 "retake Religion 101." Not a quote, but based on an instance related to Mike Licona's response to Acharya, in which prestigious Hinduism scholar Edwin Bryant said that Acharya needed to take a "Religion 101" course. Acharya responded: “As is so often the case with academics, these "experts," while smugly suggesting that I need to study ‘Religion 101,’ themselves appear to be stuck in ‘Religion 101’ and unable to go beyond into the depth of religious development.” Links here and here.
01:08  Endorsements. Price wrote endorsements for books by Acharya (such as Who Was Jesus?, for which he also wrote the Foreword) and for Huller (The Real Messiah), and also wrote a whole book against Brown (The Davinci Fraud).
01:24 "sophmoric". Initially, long ago, Price had written a long and insulting critique of Acharya's The Christ Conspiracy, referring to it as (among other things) "sophmoric". That review is long since removed from Price's website as he decided he'd rather "make friends" with her instead.
03:40 "hundreds of Gospels". A bit of hyperbole, but not much. In The Davinci Code, Brown's character Teabing speaks of eighty "gospels" that did not make into the canon; but Brown also refers to alleged thousands of lost pages of documentation about Jesus.
5:48 Huller. These explanations are derived from Huller's own book, though I have summed them up without his technical details.
7:33 Acharya. Acharya appeals to this medal in The Christ Conspiracy. I should note that Higgins is the original source for this claim; in her own book, Acharya cites Robert Taylor.
9:02 Price. There is obviously no "Gospel of Mojo Jojo." I invented it to illustrate Price's methodology. The line that it is "sheer theological arbitrariness to draw a line" between canonical and non-canonical books is found in Price's Incredible Shrinking Son of Man. The various other ideas related come from his Deconstructing Jesus, including his far more deferential treatment of Muslim Sufi tradition about Jesus.

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