When even the newspaper "correction articles" further mangle the facts

Sometimes journalists further multiply their errors when publishing corrections:

(1) Despite the claim of “Boston College law lecturer Elliot Hamilton”, the land of Israel was called Palestine long before Jesus. Herodotus wrote of it way back back in the 5th century BCE (calling it Palaistine.) I can think of many other Greek and Roman writers who called it Palestine: Pliny the Elder, Aristotle, Pausanias, and Ovid, to name a few. Yes, like it or not, Jesus lived in first century Palestine. [Yes, the word originally applied more to the coastal area where the Philistines had first settled. But it wasn’t that long until it got applied further inland as well.]

(2) Obviously, it is an equivocation fallacy to casually confuse the modern day denotations and connotations of the word Palestinian with related words of Jesus day.

(3) Obviously, Palestinian is NOT a synonym for Muslim. Indeed, there are many thousands of Christian Palestinians.

(4) Blue eyes are probably more common in Israel today because of admixtures explained in the Diaspora–and in conversions to Judaisms–but it is important to keep in mind that there was already some degree of such admixture at the time of Jesus due to the captivities and the resettlement of various peoples by the conquerors. (Blonde hair is also not all that unusual among Jewish people today. To a degree, it is a neotony feature.)

(5) As for the amazing claim that Jesus “had the complexion of a Middle Eastern man”, young people have a very appropriate and exasperated response for that: “Duh!!!”


This article is nearly a decade old but interesting nonetheless:

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I am pretty sure that this has been superseded by full genome sequencing. But it is interesting nonetheless.


Idly curious and inspired by this thread: where did Jesus’s genome come from?


We can venture to guess:

  • maybe God created a sperm cell de novo and arranged for it to fertilize one of Mary’s eggs, so only furnishing the paternal half of Jesus’ genetic code
  • or maybe he created Jesus’ entire genome de novo
  • maybe he borrowed one of Joseph’s sperm so that Jesus was genetically Joseph’s son after all
  • or maybe he modeled the paternal half of the genome to give Jesus typical characteristics of a descendant of David
  • or maybe it was entirely novel and unrelated to any other human being

… but we can’t really know. :slight_smile:

Oh, I forgot one thing. The Gospels never once (to my knowledge) remark on Jesus’ physical appearance, so it seems reasonable to infer that his appearance was unremarkable: he looked like an average 1st century Palestinian Jewish man. That probably constrains what God might have put into his genome to solve degree.

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