How I was wrong about the “crisis” in the Jesus’ Tomb issue

March 8, 2007

When I wrote my post about James Cameron and Discovery Channels PR coup in the Jesus’ Tomb documentary, I suggested it was a controversy and not a crisis because both sides (producers and Christian believers) would come out winners in this. A crisis is typically defined as involving risk. (Risk and opportunity if you follow the Chinese character for crisis.) However, there are some at risk and I was going to point it out at the time and neglected to do so. Those at risk are the scholars who participated or were included in the presentation of the evidence. If they have legitimate scientific reputations at stake, their careers could very much hinge on how this documentary is received. The first indication of that is now out. In this story from the Scientific American website shows how one of those scholars is reacting to her involvement in the documentary. There is no question her reputation, as well as James Tabor and other key players involved in this is very much at stake. So, for crisisblogger, the interest is now in how these people attempt to protect themselves when there is strong feelings all the way around.

This “breaking news” post from Biblical Archaeology Society will provide more information on the evidence for those interested.

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3 Responses to “How I was wrong about the “crisis” in the Jesus’ Tomb issue”


  1. I guess if their careers as archeologists tank, they can always become outrageous parodies of themselves on network television. It worked for Geraldo for a few years, before people got bored…

  2. vandewille Says:

    I disagree with your take on the Scientific American article. The debate there has little to do with their reputations as scholars in relation to statistical or archaeological claims made, it seems to me. The debate in Scientific American concerns mainly a willingness to work within rigid academic protocol – conference presentations, peer-reviewed articles, etc., all this silly arcana that only really concerns university academics, with their pointy heads and their tenureship committees. I applaud the producers’ willingness to bring debate on an issue outside the o-so-lofty academic circles where the professors of the world would be so happy to have the issue reside for the foreseeable future, and engage the public in the debate. I would argue that broad daylight is where these issues are best discussed, not at some academic conference where everyone pays to hear the sound of their own voices and pad their academic CVs.


  3. […] How I Was Wrong about the ‘Crisis’ in the Jesus’ Tomb Issue – Gerald Baron originally downplayed the risk faced by those involved in the Jesus Tomb movie. Seeing the career-ending threats to the academics involved, he revised the situation to crisis level. […]


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