• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Biblical Studies Carnival XVI

    Over at Novum Testamentum, Brandon Watson has posted the 16th Biblical Studies Carnival.

    Quite rightly it devotes a good deal of attention to the Jesus Tomb film. In years gone by, there would have been a considerable lag between a film such as this being broadcast, and the academic response. Blogs have changed all that, and they have enabled various bibliobloggers to respond quickly when a story makes the news prior to peer review. Whilst some have been upset by this information being released directly into the public domain, Mark Goodacre made some excellent points on this:
    All those things having been said, I think it is unreasonable to expect Jacobovici to have published his case in academic peer-reviewed journals. As he has repeatedly insisted, he is a journalist and a filmmaker and not an academic. It is notoriously difficult for non-professional academics to make it into a peer reviewed journal, all the more so if the case one has might be seen as imaginative or speculative. To turn it around, how often do we academics first publish our results by means of television documentary? If a filmmaker were to complain about our not having gone first to television, we would rightly point out that our access to that medium is limited and that we do not have the requisite expertise and experience to go through that portal.
    I think there are things to be learned by the various blogging academics, one or two were so keen to jump in while the water was hot that they got their feet burned a little. But it's all part of an important learning process. This certainly won't be the last time that a story like this needs a quick response.

    I was pleased that Watson also gave credit to James Tabor for keeping the dialogue going. I don't particularly agree with a lot of what he says, but it is good to see him facing up to the challenges that are being thrown up to his case. Watson has also awarded Tabor the title of "Blogger of the Month".

    Next month's Biblical Studies Carnival XVII will be hosted by Christopher Heard of Higgaion.



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