Monday, 9 April 2018

"The New Evidence"? The Old Chestnuts

If you watched that dreadful remake of either Thelma and Louise or Absolutely Fabulous on Channel 4 last night, then you either know, or I am almost pleased to be able to tell you, that everything in it had already been laughed out 20 years ago. 

"Women are hardly mentioned in the Gospels," we were told at the start, something that even the most cursory reading of them would disprove, as did much of the rest of the programme. There was a quarter of an hour on how Saint Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, something that has never been suggested by anyone who knew anything about the subject.

It must be 30 years since I first heard the unremarkable theory that the wealthy matrons paid the bills, yet we were told that "few have heard of" Joanna, despite her being mentioned in the best-selling book of all time, the book from which the programme-makers had heard of her.

The "two by two" theory of the sending out of the Apostles, with the attempt to relate it to Noah's Ark, was so laughably contrived that I spat out my tea on hearing it. Yet it was called "persuasive", before we were asked, "Is there archaeological proof?"

"Archaeological proof"? We are dealing with this depth of calibre, are we? There is no such thing as "archaeological proof". Archaeology is not, and does not claim to be, objective. Rather, it presents further data for analysis. That is what it claims to do, and that is what it does.

The Salome thing proved, or even asserted, nothing at all. But it was purely a filler, via "Why have they disappeared so completely from history?" when they had clearly done no such thing, to the obvious destinations from the start, "The Catacombs" and "Constantine". I shouted "Bingo" at the first, and "Mornington Crescent" at the second.

Dan Brown stuff, if it was even that. And rendered all the more tragic by the fact that the people peddling it obviously assumed that the audience knew the original, making them terribly daring for having "challenged" it. But these days, the audience probably did not know the original, or not very well. Do look it up. Low though I am setting the bar, it is vastly more daring, challenging, and just plain interesting than last night's effort was.

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