A couple of years ago we had a good time here at Ye Olde Scotteriology deconstructing the claims and making fun of Harold Camping, the end-times ‘prophet’ who three times incorrectly predicted the date of Jesus’ return, and somehow managed to raise tens of millions of dollars.
Well it appears Camping died on Sunday:
On Saturday, November 30th, Mr. Camping sustained a fall in his home, and he was not able to recover from his injuries. He passed away peacefully in his home, with his family at his side.
When Paul Crouch died last month the question went around: how do you respond to such a death. On the one hand, there will be family members that miss him and grieve, but on the other hand, he was evil.
In Camping’s case I do not believe he was intentionally evil like Paul Crouch, but he was just an incredibly misinformed and ignorant dilettante who had no business interpreting the Bible anywhere for anyone. However, he still bilked people out of tens of millions of dollars! And the stories of persons and families spending their life savings or selling all they had so they could take out May 21, 2011 Rapture Billboards are horrifying. You can see the many posts on Harold Camping at Scotteriology HERE.
Jim shared a documentary that debuted at SBL: Apocalypse Later: Harold Camping vs The End of the World. You can watch it below.
Hemant also added,
If there’s anything positive I can say about Camping, it’s that he didn’t appear to be a con artist, making up a Rapture date that he knew was untrue in order to dupe people into giving money to his ministry (for reasons that would make no sense if the Rapture actually occurred on that date…). He seemed to be sincere. He really thought Jesus was coming back on that day. He was genuinely heartbroken to learn he was wrong.
But sincerity won’t be his legacy. We’ll forever remember him as the guy who was convinced Jesus was coming back on a certain day… only to learn in the most public way possible that his beliefs weren’t based in reality.
Jon Stewart deconstructs the incredible ignorance of Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and her ridiculous assertions about Santa and Jesus:
You can tell this picture is historically accurate because Santa and Jesus are both white…
Picture via James McGrath
Recently I defended my thesis, Reading Genesis 1-35 in Persian Yehud. Generally it was well received. In fact, I think it was evaluated better than I could have hoped for as my initial worries were that it would be judged quite harshly.
At the end of the process I was given an A- for my efforts. (Though I believe the work may have been graded more favorably by different scholars).
However, this is probably the best I could have hoped for, as when I first began down the methodological path I chose in deconstructing Genesis I expressed to my wife and several friends that I didn’t think the particular scholars I was writing for were going to like my work much, or the particular method I chose.
In a nutshell: it was basically expressed in the defense that there were serious concerns with the methods I applied in deconstructing Genesis and the particular scholars with whom I associated, so they were uncomfortable giving me an A; however, the work was so well written and argued that they couldn’t give me a B. Therefore, they settled in the middle and gave me an A-.
First the good: I generally do not consider myself a very good writer. I can get my ideas out on a page, but I have spent many years reading fantastic writers, and I came at the game of academic writing as a mature student after an athletic career, so I have my self-doubts. However, it was expressed to me by various scholars whom I respect that they were extremely impressed by the technical writing skill in the thesis. This praise surprised me, but also made me feel quite good! I also received high grades for originality and argumentation.
In the oral thesis defense you give a 20 to 25 minute presentation of your work, then you are questioned by your first and second reader, and then by the rest of the faculty. The process takes around two hours.
There were two main issues for my examiners: what do I mean by ‘history’ and ‘myth’, i.e., what is my understanding of the terms and how do I differentiate them; and how do I justify referring to all of Genesis as a myth written/redacted in the fifth century as a collective representation of the past that favours the social elite in Yehud.
There was also significant discussion as to diachronic/synchronic understandings in methodology. This concerned the development of texts, and when a prior text can be considered a “new text” in a certain socio-historical setting because of ideological shaping, even though it may have gone through a process of other ideological shaping(s) and development in earlier periods.
All in all, I think I answered the questions and concerns well enough that they didn’t fail me!
Anyways, it was an interesting and unique experience defending my thesis in a reasonable manner to scholars who significantly disagreed with me, but still evaluated the written work and oral defense of my method as viable and rigorous enough to merit a high grade.
“You’re going to be entertained in a clean Christian way…”
“Bible Secrets Revealed” Mondays on the History channel starting Nov 11 at 10/9c.
This series analyzes many of the difficult claims made in the Bible, and features a cast of some of the world’s best scholars who guide the viewer through differing views on many of the Bible’s more difficult texts.
Live tweet your comments at #BibleSecretsRevealed