• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Together at Last: Jim Barfield and Ralph Messer

Odd Oklahoma draws attention to a video posted in November 2012 by “Rabbi” Ralph Messer, showing Messer in conversation with Jim Barfield (misspelt “Jim Berfield in the accompanying blurb). The two men have a lot of common: both are known for their eccentric appropriations of Jewish tradition, which they have fashioned into weird idiosyncratic forms of […]

Robert Cargill Finds “Virgin Rock” Where Jim Barfield Claims Copper Scroll Treasure Should Be

A few months ago I wrote several blog entries on Jim Barfield, a retired fire investigator from Oklahoma who was claiming to have discerned the true meaning of the Copper Scroll, an ancient Hebrew text (Dead Sea Scroll 3Q15) that supposedly records the burial place of some lost treasure, but which has proven difficult to interpret. […]

Jerusalem Post Puffs Jim Barfield’s Copper Scroll Treasure Quest

The Jerusalem Post carries a puff-piece by Shelly Neese on Jim Barfield’s quest (blogged by me several times) to find the treasure described in the Qumran “Copper Scroll”: …The theory to which Barfield ascribes – and most Dead Sea scholars reject – is that the scroll is neither a hoax nor a remnant of the Second Temple period, but rather […]

Jim Barfield’s Israel Adventure Continues: “Hebrew Roots” Teacher Sets Up Meeting with Archaeologist

A couple of times now I’ve blogged on Jim Barfield, the Oklahoman former fire investigator who claims to have worked out the location of an amazing stash of treasure rescued from Israel’s First Temple and buried in the Judaean Desert. Barfield believes he has divined this information from study of the Copper Scroll, a document found […]

Fringe Conspiracy Theories Promoted At “Prophecy Summit” Attended by Joseph Farah

The “Pikes Peak Prophecy Summit” – which I previewed a month ago – has now taken place. On one level, the event was a commonplace – Christian fundamentalists ruminating on the Rapture or claiming that the Bible can tell us about events in the modern middle east are hardly thin on the ground in parts of the […]

Joseph Farah Puffs “Hebrew Roots” Teacher Michael Rood

From WND: If you’re not familiar with [Michael] Rood’s amazingly insightful teachings of Hebrew roots, there’s plenty more that will “blow you away,” says WND founder Joseph Farah.  Rood has earned a reputation as the “Messianic Matador,” who waves his tattered red cape in the face of the religious “bull” of his generation. His television series, […]

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb of Oklahoma “Grateful” for Apocalyptic Paperback

A man named Joe Esposito has distributed an apocalyptic paperback to members of the Oklahoma legislature. WND reports: Esposito also told WND that while he hasn’t heard much response from the Legislature, that’s to be expected, because the lawmakers were under an intense deadline to get the state’s budget passed. He did, however, get a personal […]

Eddie Long Declared “King” in Hebrew Roots Torah Scroll Ceremony

This one has been widely reported – from the Christian Post: A 14-minute video clip showing Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church being crowned by Rabbi Ralph Messer during one of the church’s televised services has gone viral, with members of the Christian community expressing complete confusion over the video. ….Messer offered Long […]

“Ark Hunter” Vendyl Jones has Died

From Arutz Sheva: Noahide archaeologist who discovered an immense stock of incense used in the Second Temple as well as the aromatic anointing oil – has passed away at the age of 80. He was most famous for his search for the Ark of the Covenant. …His life goals began to take root when he […]

Ship of Fools: The Price of Stupidity

Back at the end of January, the Lynchburg News & Advance reported on Liberty University’s Randall Price, who declared that he was preparing to go to Turkey in order to find Noah’s Ark: This summer Price, 57, plans to continue on a journey to prove just that as he joins an expedition to Mount Ararat. His team […]