“The Falks, Misogyny, and Solidarity: A Recap” – Guest Post by Chrissy H.

Chrissy H. emailed me earlier today with a Word doc that encapsulates all that has transpired with the David Falk Fiasco. And while I’ve written on this subject, Chrissy’s recap is a much better summary and commentary on it all. So, I asked her if I could convert the document into a blog post and she gave me permission to do so. Have a look!

By Chrissy H.

Okay so at least we are all aware on the cursory of what is going on here, but for those who do not know or have been on the periphery of this whole marvelous self-implosion of careers and credibility, I decided to write an essay that sums up the whole issue and provides some brief comments on reflection and biblical Studies.

Misogyny is an enemy of everything and everyone. It damages all that come within its spaces, and it has a habit, through the aid of people who have internalized it (mostly men, but also women as well). There are several factors in play with this story which is firstly, a misogynistic man who uses his PhD in Egyptology to pretend that he is a Bible Scholar, when he is not. His name is Dr. David A. Falk, from the University of Liverpool (which as of writing has been radio silent on this whole issue, even after I requested comment in emails). He is well known to people in apologetics and debate circles mostly for being one of the most unpleasant people to have a debate with. He is derogatory, defamatory, and seems to think that he rules the universe of biblical studies. Even before his comments, he was already being noted for his misogyny by people within the Apologetics community, such as below:

He was also known to be just generally abusive to his colleagues. He infamously remarked that Dr. Kipp Davis was a “vile clown who wants to rule the road” (here), in a video that is hilariously inept and a showcase of his lack of any grasp on biblical scholarship. Yet, this was not the end of it. After trying to bully Dr. Joshua Bowen in addition to this (one of the nicest and sweetest people alive who gives me hope every time I read his wholesome Tweets), we all knew what was not going to be far down the line. This is how he would talk about Josh Bowen on his Discord, for instance:

I’m personally not sure if Dr. Josh is even capable of punching anything. I cannot even imagine him swatting a bug. But anyways, needless to say Falk has a history of being a “vile clown who wants to rule the road” (to use his own turn of phrase).

Dr. David Falk releases a video responding to Derreck Bennett, an atheist content creator and long-term resurrection mythos researcher. This was part of an ongoing back-and-forth no need to get into but in this video Falk does a few things. First, he attacked Bennett for being a recovering addict. As someone who is a recovering alcoholic myself, all I can say is that Falk’s words were disgusting (here). Come January 20, 2023, then in his live subscriber Q&A (here) he was then asked what he thought of the work of Prof. Francesca Stavrakopoulou, one of the most eminent scholars right now, whose Google Scholar records alone show hundreds of citations of her work, positive reviews and more (here). Not kidding like it lists one of her books with over 160 citations alone.

Dr. Falk, being the ever “professional” person that he is, proceeded to call her work “atrocious”, that it was “fringe”, and then the misogyny struck full swing. This man stated that she was only popular because she was attractive and that her audience and the BBC were doing “theology by cupsize” and called her “theological windowdressing.” This is after he also mispronounced her name (and gloated about how he pronounced it right with a smug chuckle), and then also misrepresented her scholarship in an attempt to polemicize her to his audience.

The 22nd of January 2023, Dr. Dan McClellan responds to this and points out the misogyny, and Falk’s crass behavior which you can see (here). This then descends into a travesty for Falk. Scholars around the world of every major religion, political leaning, college, you name it come to her aid. I myself, being a naturally snoopy person, decided in the midst of this to do what I always do when apologists act like horrible persons… I check their credentials and their CV’s. And I released (results here) my info to various people, finding out that Falk had published his first “monograph” with a hack vanity press that has been criticized for not even proofreading submissions, and also noted one of his papers was published in another predatory press. Neither have peer review standards. Additionally, it turned out that Falk’s first academic journal paper was with a shady organization handing out “Doctor of Ministry” degrees for the low, low price of $300 a month. And then his book chapters with the publisher Eisenbrauns were conveniently all edited or associated with James K. Hoffmeier. How is this convenient? Well Hoffmeier was one of Falk’s teachers by his own admission, see here:

Simultaneously, Dr. Stephen L. Young writes emails to SBL and the Vancouver School of Theology, where Falk and his wife Kiara were both research associates, informing those institutions of his behavior (here). Dr. Mark Leuchter then organizes a petition to VST which garners over 100 signatures (here) from academics worldwide. This included academics from Evangelical institutions like Biola. People of every religious orientation, political persuasion, ethnicity, gender, you name it sign in support of one of the most brilliant minds of the decade, Prof. Stavrakopoulou. The solidarity was amazing to see, truly.

But Falk was not done. In YouTube comments he doubled down on this, and specifically continued indicting Prof. Stavrakopoulou. Such as here, which was leaked from Discord:

Also just a little bit of homophobia/transphobia. It’s funny because it’s about a man in a dress! He gave a fake apology as well (which apparently a few fellow apologists and Derek Lambert of Mythvision plead with him to do, and he botched it, and then Dan annihilated him again), and then he and his wife both on livestream and in YouTube comments began gaslighting their critics by saying that David “was really defending womenTM actually” (here):

In addition, Falk issued threats of retaliation to Dr. McClellan and Derek Lambert, host of Mythvision:


VST through President Richard Toppling issues a statement on Facebook announcing that all ties with Falk were severed. He was not a faculty member. However, at this time his wife’s page is still up and she was still a research affiliate there.

It is now 25 January. Things we thought might have settled, but no. No, things were not over, because it turns out that Falk had publicly linked his own Discord Server on his YouTube channel and it got infiltrated and someone leaked receipts from there. The day was marked by the viewing of Dr. Falk continue to berate people. In this he responded to the petition against him, declaring that the scholars who signed it were “bottom feeders”, “low-level”, and “crypto-atheists” trying to ruin his career. Apparently, the ex-President of SBL, Dr. Gale Yee, is a bottom feeder in his mind… Not a good look for someone whose membership is being challenged (for all of these comments of his, go here). Also apparently a pastor of a Lutheran Church who signed that document is also a “crypto-atheist.” Classy as always Dr. Falk.

He also in them complains about how VST was “woke” and would allow gay men there, but wouldn’t let him be a sexist pig—tugged right at my heartstrings, that:

Falk’s self-destruction has been pretty complete because of this. He lost his institutional access, he may lose his professional memberships, and worse. He was previously almost entirely unnoteworthy in academic circles. His own CV counted how many times he was cited. Which was only twice for his dissertation! Academics had just never heard of him. Until now. He exposed himself, badmouthed one of the most prestigious scholars in Hebrew Bible, and, to his credit, he has now been able to form an academic consensus: that he doesn’t belong anywhere near professional academia.

We are not done, dear reader. Enter Kiara Falk. I also looked at her CV while this was going down. She only listed a single peer reviewed publication… and it was co-written with her husband and was that same article from the shady $300 for Doctor of Ministry degree place! So, her only academic publication is just really suspicious already. And then she has three book chapters in volumes all through Wipf&Stock and sharing similar editors. It doesn’t seem to be she has any notable material.

Now as mentioned before, she was helping out her husband, trying to gaslight the situation to make it out that he was “defending” women. And then the leaks from the Discord Server happened and we got to see just how internalized her misogyny is, so take a look at this:

She managed to get even more crass than her husband. In fact, in some places this may be considered full on sexual harassment (in my opinion). And then within an hour of this becoming public, VST removed her also from their website and she appears to now be completely unaffiliated, meaning she too has lost institutional accesses.

And this is the saga of two “academics” who managed to self-destruct purely because of misogyny.

Who is fringe now, Dr. Falk?


I know it is weird to already do a retrospect given how soon everything just happened, but I am going to anyways. I am a Trans Woman. Misogyny is something I now deal with, and in fact, misogyny and transphobia combined are why I gave up any dreams of becoming a Bible scholar. In 2020, I was sexually harassed and issued threats after coming out, and I fell into alcoholism and taking my anger out on people online, until I finally crashed and vanished from the world.

Misogyny is disgusting and repugnant. It is also infectious. Sara Parks wrote an amazing article recently (entitled “‘The Brooten Phenomenon’: Moving Women from the Margins in Second-Temple and New Testament Scholarship”) about just how engrained misogyny is in biblical scholarship, how the work of women gets relegated to sidelines. Women’s studies, focus on women’s issues in antiquity and also famous women from antiquity, trying to do Feminist analysis, etc. have all been shoved to the sidelines and in many cases ignored into obscurity thanks to the domination of a standard of “objectivity” which centers maleness in history. The essay is brilliant, and I think should be required reading by every single AMAB (assigned male at birth) person in biblical scholarship.

To make no mistake, David and Kiara Falk are not exceptions to misogyny in the field. The field is embedded with it.

I know, this is a downer… but there is also hope and good in this story. This is the story of a man trying to disparage, degrade, and silence a woman, and it is clearly because of his own jealousy and malicious derision of the fact that she has become more successful in this field on orders of magnitude he cannot even conceptualize. But instead of letting that happen, as happened so many times in the past, people united. We had men who spoke out to make sure this was not acceptable, like Dan McClellan, Kipp Davis, Stephen Young, Mark Leuchter, and Derek Lambert. It proved we have men who are allies (whom I often feared we never would have), which was… really nice. It was legitimately moving to see them stand up. These men are exemplars of what allyship means. And with them came an army of other scholars and defenders of every nook from the field to say in one united voice:

We love you, Prof. Francesca Stavrakopoulou.

And I hope that this will be a sign for the future that this field gets so much better, and women, LGBTQ+, BIPOC, disabled, etc. scholars will all be treated fairly, equally, and they won’t have to be afraid to exist in this field.

We are coming to a new age. The Falks tried desperately to drag us back down to the status quo, and they were shown that there is a new one. And at the head of it are marginalized people being loved as they should have always been.

I love you Prof. Stavrakopoulou and everything you have done for this field. And I love all those wonderful people who stood up for what is right, and put patriarchy in its place.

1 thought on ““The Falks, Misogyny, and Solidarity: A Recap” – Guest Post by Chrissy H.

  1. Chrissy, as a fellow trans woman and Bible scholar, thank you for your deep digging and your clear presentation. It is ultimately a hopeful message as you say to have so many responsible allies in the SBL. Cheers, Jaeda

    Liked by 2 people

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