Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Years of research as a worrying sign

In Biblical Theology, Jim West notes an odd new thesis aligning Jesus with Caesar (and when you see that the evidence consists of claims like "Both die on the same respective dates of the year: Caesar on the Ides (15th) of March, Jesus on the 15th of Nisan", then you get some idea of the kind of thing we are talking about here), but what piqued my interest was in the statement:
In more than fifteen years of investigation Carotta has found the traces which lead to the Julian origin of Christianity.
It reminds me of The Real Da Vinci Code the other day on which Tony Robinson presented one of the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail with the evidence that the Priory of Sion material was all a hoax and he responded, if I remember correctly, with the claim that he had researched the material for years. I am sure I've seen this trope before in pseudo-intellectual writing, the claim that the research in question is the result of "x years of research". Do any serious academic works ever have as an element in their publicity that "So and so has been researching x for y years"?


Tim said...

Can't think of one, but then in this publish or perish, performance based research funded, world we'd probably get sacked if we spent 15 years on one project! (and ;) I think...?)

Anonymous said...

There are many other examples of pseudo-intellectual authors trying to stave off criticism by claiming to have researched "for X years". E.g., IIRC, Tim LaHaye makes that defense for his "Left Behind" nonsense, propagandists for King James Onlyism make the same claim, and F.J. Dake (compiler of the dispensationalists' Dake Annotated Bible) defended his views by actually numbering the *hours* he spent studying the Bible.

It's an interesting trope for someone to research. (I don't recall, but James Barr might have discussed it in one of his books on fundamentalism.)

John C. Poirier

Anonymous said...

The Dutch version of 'Jesus was Caesar' was endorsed and praised by a number of scholars, among them clerics, even a Jesuit, see:

Maybe it would be a good idea to read the book first before blogging nonsense. Essential parts can be found on Carotta's website, here:

Anonymous said...

Mark Godacre: I send you a report of this research in 2003 and you say me that it was very interesting but you was very ocupated in your work.

Please reveu your e-mails.

Reader said...

There is a first review of the work at Amazon.de (in the English books section). Whether this is a great historical discovery which I am becoming more and more convinced of or an ingenious scientific hoax, in any case it is the best book I've read in years.