Elkington Fires Back at Thonemann

This short article at Express.co.uk was brought to my attention by David Meadows. We finally have a response from Elkington regarding Thonemann’s judgment of the codices:

He’s not a biblical scholar, he’s a Greek classicist. Dismissing the provenance of the books on the basis of two low resolution photographs by e-mail is out of order. We welcome healthy debate but it is not very helpful for anybody to dismiss it on such little evidence.

First, whether Thonemann is a biblical scholar or a Classicist is of absolutely no import whatsoever. Next, you’ll notice the article calls Elkington an archaeologist and a biblical scholar, but he has no training in either field. The text is Greek and Thonemann happened to identify the text’s undeniable source. Elkington does not even address the criticism. He simply takes a shot at Thonemann’s credentials (!) and then states that there is too little evidence for a firm conclusion.

Besides Elkington’s bad form, I am quite disappointed in the lack of journalistic integrity that is displayed in this article. First, the author simply took Elkington at his word regarding his credentials. Second, Elkington’s two criticisms of Thonemann’s analysis are, for lack of a better word, utterly asinine. It simply does not matter what the resolution of a photograph is if that photograph can conclusively show the dependence of the inscription on the plate in the photo to another inscription. I am disappointed that a journalist felt this kind of retort merited the forum it was given. Lastly, the article ignores several other actual scholars who have chimed in on this based on more than just two photographs.  It seems to me the article is meant more to keep a controversy alive than to report the news.

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4 responses to “Elkington Fires Back at Thonemann

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