Saturday, February 25, 2012

Another Reflection Of Our False Priorities

Hugh Hewitt had a good interview with Daniel Wallace on his radio program Thursday, concerning the recent New Testament manuscript discoveries. A lot of significant issues were discussed, and I won't get into all of them here. For example, Wallace mentions that one of the fragments discovered is from a homily on Hebrews, which has implications for how the book was viewed early on.

What I want to focus on here, though, is something Wallace said about media coverage of these manuscripts. First, let me set this up with one of Hewitt's questions and Wallace's answer:

HH: Wow. Now in terms of, for the lay audience, Professor Daniel Wallace, the significance of this work when it appears, how would you grade it, with an A being a Dead Sea Scroll sort of significance, and you know, flunking, it just doesn’t matter?

DW: I would grade it at least an A, maybe an A+.

And here's what Wallace said later:

At first, I thought well, gee, this news is going to get out. But there wasn’t much of a reaction after the first day or two. But it’s interesting to see that the interest in this, it has gone viral. It’s gone global. But what’s fascinating is you’re one of the few people that’s actually contacted me about it.

Wallace mentions that interest has "gone viral" and is "global", but how much and among what sources?

Imagine how much more the media would be going after this story if it were about, say, movies, sports, or politics. Think of the coverage received by Michael Jackson's death, the Super Bowl, a hurricane in Florida, etc. And it's not just the media. The general public doesn't have much interest in subjects like what Hewitt and Wallace discussed, and they don't know much about the issues involved. What a pathetic reflection on our society.


  1. Hi Jason, I understand your frustration that this is not more of a news story. Earlier I published a clip from CNN, and to be fair, this hasn't been "confirmed" to the degree that a news outlet would like to confirm a story.

    Others are writing about it, including this skeptical treatment. This is a good link because the author placed the Mark fragment into the context of the Codex Sinaiticus. (The fragment from Mark is from Mark 5, the demoniac with the "legion" of demons.)

    If a publishing house like Brill is going to release the book on this, though, that's immediate respectability among the scholarly community. And once that work is released, it's something far more serious "on the table" than the current speculation we've been seeing.

  2. So, are you saying that the whole Christian dominion thing might not be working out?

  3. John,

    There’s a lot more than speculation on the table, enough to warrant far better coverage than the story has received so far. We frequently see the media giving less significant stories better coverage based on less information. And the general public doesn’t wait for something like an equivalent of a publication from Brill before showing more interest in other topics.

  4. Mike,

    You’ll have to explain what “Christian dominion thing” you have in mind and its supposed relevance to my post. If you’re referring to the failure of my position to dominate society, then what about the failure of yours?

  5. Yo Jason, I'm not looking to dominate society. Are you? If not, that's cool. I mention Christian dominionism because it's goal is to Christianize the whole earth. If what you are saying about the reaction to Wallace on the Hugh Hewitt show concerning the manuscript is true, is this reason for hope for Christian dominionism? The people over at American Vision seem to give the impression that one day they will America a truly Christian nation where the mosaic law will be the law of the nation. I thought there was a chance that you might be sympathetic to Christian reconstructionism. If you want to correct me, I'd love to be wrong on this.

  6. Mike,

    You're mixing some things that don't belong together. A person can want his ideas to dominate society or want "to Christianize the whole earth" without wanting a country "where the mosaic law will be the law of the nation". I do want my ideas to dominate, and I do want the world to be Christian. If you don't want your ideas to dominate, then that doesn't reflect well on your confidence in your ideas. What's your alternative? That we should prefer to see our ideas rejected and uninfluential in society? I want my beliefs to dominate society, but I don't want the Mosaic law to be the law of this nation or any other one.

    If some individual, web site, book, or other source has led you to believe that anybody who holds views like mine wants to have a "a truly Christian nation where the mosaic law will be the law of the nation", then you should reevaluate the sources you're consulting. You should also reevaluate your discernment skills.

  7. Jason, OK, I understand what you're getting at. I think most people ideally would want their ideas to dominate society, but not under the force of the law.

    I'm glad that you don't adhere to Christian reconstructionism. If my definition of it is wrong, then please correct me, but this the impression I have of it from reading Gary DeMar and his website. Does AV not represent Christian reconstructionism.