Biblical Archaeology Review 19:3, May/June 1993

Queries & Comments

Don Quixote Among BAR Readers

One of my favorite stories from Don Quixote is when the mad knight is preparing to sally forth on his quest and is in need of armor. Finding a rusty helmet that is missing its visor, he makes a new visor out of cardboard.

In order to test the strength of the new visor, he draws his sword and gives the doubtful piece of armor a sound whack. It flies to pieces. Undeterred, the Don makes a new cardboard visor, only this time when he goes to test it he gives it only the lightest touch with the sword. The visor passes this test, and the valiant knight sallies forth to war with the forces of darkness. At the first battle (with the muleteers) Don Quixote’s visor fails, and he has three of his teeth knocked out!

I was reminded of this story while reading the amusing flurry of outraged letters in Queries & Comments, BAR 19:01 issue, regarding your review of Barbara Thiering’s book, Jesus & the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Unlocking the Secrets of His Life Story.

Unarmored by any intellectual foundation to their faith, many of your less-enlightened readers went ballistic over the mere fact that you would even review a book which asked them to think. Mr. Eduard V. Grzelok even went so far in emulating the mad Don as to lose a tooth in his rage!

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