- Pardon the cross-posting but these are the lists where some of those I mention here often participate. I had taped and just reviewed "After Jesus, the First Christians" just as I have done to many of the documentaries on Jesus, the origins of Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls. There has been something that has been bugging me for quite sometime about these productions and since some of you have been involved in them, I want to get it off my chest. Many of these documentaries, like "After Jesus," flash back to and anchor themselves on a guy dressed in ancient garb with a reed in his hand, writing on papyrus to represent the Gospels or the Pauline epistles as the narrator discusses some historical event mentioned in those texts between discussions from some of the finest and most brilliant scholars and authors today. We often see Dom Crossan, Bart Ehrman, Larry Schiffman, Mark Goodacre, April De Connick, Elaine Pagels, Joe Zias, James Tabor, Robert Eisenmman, Jody Magness, the Eshels, Pfanns, Frank Moore and others with whom we have built online relationships with as we discuss issues. It is obvious, therefore, that these producers have the best minds available to them in archaeology, Old and New Testament studies, paleography, forensics, Hebrew, Greek (not enough Aramaic) studies and we are regaled with the best opinions about the history behind and dates of these writings, although the "Copenhagen Position" is under reported. My point here is that everything revolves around the texts and the writings and how some text or piece of epigraphy is translated and interpreted.
Now I can forgive the Medieval artists who depict the evangelists or Paul writing a text of scribbling or jibberish but in every one of these documentaries, not just one but all of them, the director does close-ups of the papyrus and the scribe dipping his reed and writing...what? Jibberish! Scribbles! It is some kind of Greekoid-Latinoid script known only to the imagination of the scribe model who obviously knows absolutely nothing about ancient writing. Since these producers and directors have the brilliant minds I mentioned, and more, available to them I can only guess that this "scribe" is a model in a studio and these cut aways are done in post production editing.
At least when they do a Torah piece they film a real Sefer Torah even though the Ashuri script is anachronistic to the narration. How hard can it be to find someone who can write paleo-Hebrew or Herodian scripts or 1st century Greek styles?
In the "After Jesus" film they discussed the Didache and cut away to the Orthodox Patriarchate library whom they claimed had the oldest copy from 100 AD and the monk opens a book in early medieval Minuscule.
Am I being too picky?
In any case, it bugs me.
San Antonio, TX
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