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Following up on yesterday’s post, I remembered a blog post that I wrote more than a decade ago, about things that I had learned from the experience of living and teaching in Romania, which relate directly to areas that I research and teach. One of them was rumors. Looking back now I regret having given the impression that the spread of rumors was something specific to that culture or absent from my own – we have seen very clearly in recent years (and probably in recent minutes) how uncritically people in the United States believe and spread misinformation. Nonetheless, because it connects so precisely with my blog post from yesterday, and because it has been more than a decade since I wrote it, I thought I would share part of it again:
On a recent visit to Romanian relatives in Canada, one of them told me how Tim Hortons coffee had been laced with tobacco to make it more addictive. I immediately spotted it as an unreliable rumor (it had all the signs), as a quick search at Snopes confirmed for me today. Romania is a remarkable place when it comes to rumors – perhaps it was the lack of reliable news during the communist era, but the rumor mills seem to work as effectively and as rapidly as ever, in the present as in the past.
Question - Anyone - Study - Jesus - Information
An important question that needs to be asked by anyone working on the historical study of Jesus is whether our information constitutes anything other than rumor, or more strictly speaking “legend” (which may be defined as rumor that persists for longer periods – just as we speak of “urban legends” for persistent rumors today). Those seeking a more mundane occurrence behind the miracle stories have long suspected that stories such as that about Jesus walking...
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A man rises to the greatness that is expected of him.