Jim Tabor's Blog and Koppel's Show - March 3

Darrell L. Bock's picture

Jim Tabor has summarized his take on the Ted Koppel show. Here is his take on what happened yesterday:"The Ted Koppel Show: A Critique of the Jesus Family TombFiled under: Tabor's Blog — James Tabor @ 1:51 pmI am in D.C. today filming a show with Ted Koppel as moderator that is scheduled to air Sunday night on Discovery after the showing of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus Film.” It is called: The Lost Tomb of Jesus: A Critique.The program is divided into two segments, with the filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and I involved in both. The first was with two archaeologists:William Dever, professor emeritus of Near Eastern archaeology at the University of ArizonaJonathan Reed, professor of Religion, University of La VernePThe second was with three theologians:Darrell Bock, Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas TheologicalSeminary, past president of the Evangelical Theological SocietyThe Very Rev. David O’Connell, C.M., President, The Catholic Universityof AmericaProfessor Judy Fentress-Williams from Virginia Theological SeminaryI think the show turned out very well though I was the only guest that had anything good to say about the film. Koppel was clearly wanting to expose Jacobovici as one who did sloppy and irresponsible work, questioning the validity and evidence for several key areas of the case the film makes. Cameron was hardly mentioned. I thought the “theology” side of things went much better than the “archaeology” side. Both Dever and Reed trashed the film with very strong language. Unfortunately the format and the limited time did not allow much discussion of the evidence and I tried from time to time to clarify some of the facts which I think were being misstated and misrepresented.Dever and I are old friends from days in Israel and Jonathan Reed is one of the excavators at Sepphoris, so I was pleased to see them again and in time I hope more of the data and evidence regarding the Talpiot site will get factored into their opinions and conclusions. I was particularly pleased to meet Darrell Bock. He is a “conservative evangelical” so our views are poles apart, but he is a bright and decent fellow who offers reasoned input. I anticipate lots of good exchanges with him in the future and maybe I can post some of that here on this Blog. Rev. O’Connel was very gracious, kind, and a real gentleman, and Professor Fentress-Williams was sharp and highly perceptive, particularly on cultural impact issues.I look forward to seeing the “real thing” when it airs."______I appreciate Tabor's kind words about me. I had a nice conversation with him after the filming that allowed us to interact. I did the same with Jacobovici. The conversation was amiable and substantive. I take the show to be what it is, a frank exchange of how people feel. You will see Tabor and I spar on 1 Cor. 15 and the nature of resurrection. It repeats a conversation I had years ago with Marcus Borg in a debate at the University of North Texas. You will see, I think, that we make for a good "debate" and try to get to the issues. 


Dr. Bock,

Thank you for clarifying the situation with the James ossuary for me.

I greatly admire Ted Koppel, and believe he can really ask good questions. Because I don't have cable, I don't know whether I'll be able to see the movie and the special afterwards; however, I hope that it goes well, and that God's truth will prevail!

Dr. Bock,

I wanted to tell you that you did an outstanding job on Koppel's special. In particular, I really enjoyed watching you take on Tabor. Your off-the-cuff response to his claim about Paul's understanding of the resurrection in 1 Cor 15 was particular good. It is hard to be firm and charitable but I think you really pulled it off.

By the way, as a Catholic, I was very disappointed in Fr. David O'Connell's contorted explanation that led to Koppel's conclusion that faith may contradict "the evidence". Clearly faith and reason must go together, as John Paul II stated in his encyclical, Fides et Ratio. Indeed, if Jesus' body is in the tomb on Easter Monday, that's a real problem. Certainly "we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Pet 1:16).

Thanks again for dealing with this on your site and for speaking for all of us on television.

May God bless you and may He continue to use you as his instrument in this discussion,

Michael Barber
Professor of Theology, Scripture and Catholic Thought
John Paul the Great Catholic University

I have no opinions on the documentary except it was entertaining and likely made stronger conclusions than the science supported. However I was very disappointed in Ted Koppels performace. Instead of being a moderator between the journalist/film maker and the scientist/archeologists, he functioned as the chief prosecutor of a religous inquisition. He was in my opinion, arrogant and very full of himself, and a discredit to the program.

I atended the discover dallas seminar on thursday and friday, and I had the honor of attending your class on thursday. I stayed up all night to watch the film on sunday, and your response afterward was wonderful. I think you presented the argument well and were clearly the dominant force of commentary. I look forward to attending the seminary in the future and i hope to have you as an instructor. Great job, it comforts me to know you represent the faith well.

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