“A Touch of Vehemence”—Père Vincent’s Passionate Rejection of the Third Wall

Sidebar to: The Jerusalem Wall That Shouldn’t Be There

Father Louis-Hugues Vincent (1872–1960), head of Jerusalem’s famed École Biblique et Archéologique Française, with somewhat unscholarly aggression rejected the “Third Wall” hypothesis.

In the words of Israeli archaeologist Michael Avi Yonah,m “The revered master [Vincent] unfortunately introduced into the debate [about the wall] a touch of vehemence. … One may even suspect that the force of his assertions in fact concealed a certain lack of confidence in them. No stick was too bad to belabour his opponents. Newspapers and weeklies which had nothing to do with the world of learning are quoted [by Vincent] at length; his adversaries and their opinions are described in terms which at the same time arouse our doubts about his scholarly impartiality and our admiration for his extensive vocabulary. Even the descriptions of the remains discovered, usually a tedious and dry-as-dust subject, are coloured by the same fervid style . … The line rejected by P[ère] Vincent is nor a ‘normal’ wall—it becomes a Dracula-type ‘phantom rampart,’ a ‘moving rampart.’”

The debate on the Third Wall, says Avi-Yonah, “has suffered ever since” from the vehemence of Father Vincent’s critique.

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