Category: historical jesus

About 2016 or So Years Ago….

ltl-jbirthEnlarge and behold just some of the events around the Nativity, courtesy of Logos 5‘s Timeline feature:

My Explanation for the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife AND all New Testament Textual Variants (and gnosticism, too)


Mark Goodacre.


We all know at some point Mark gets/got/ is getting (tenses are hard) a ride in the TARDIS. (See here, for example). I think he dropped his Ipad (Maxi or Mini, I wonder?) in Jerusalem 33 AD or Alexandria 49 AD and some scribe(s) spent the life of the battery copying out what he recognized, NA28 or NA29, Nag Hammadi, Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, etc.  These things spread and we have the remaining bits and pieces of Goodacre’s Bible (so to speak) today.

This is too much, you say? Well, remember there are no more Time Lords to clean these things up, and the Doctor and the Missus probably get a big laugh out of the whole thing. So the timey whimey mess still stands.

So, Mark Goodacre is one giant time loop, as it were, giving himself and the rest of Bible scholars employment. Mark being a modest fellow, he won’t want you to mention it at conferences, meetings, etc. Especially the ones he attends. But the cat is out of the bag now….

“Come along, Goodacre”, it seems, are some of the most important words ever spoken.

A Little Roundup on the Authenticity of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

This question can get technical very quickly, so I recommend easing into the subject this way:

1. Two articles, with pictures, from Tom Verenna

2. Move on to the brief post from Paul Barford

3. Dive into the deep end with the scholars at Evangelical Textual Criticism (read the comments section)


4. Put on your protective gear and read this from Francis Watson

Jesus’ Marriage may be a Sham

Well, actually, there’s no good proof he was married. But opinions are coming in from all over that maybe the “Gospel of Jesus’ wife” is too good to be true. The two main things that strike many of us are:

1. What are the chances? That a surviving fragment just happens to mention Jesus saying he was married, a hot button issue these days, is awfully convenient.

2. The fragment owner is supposedly interested in selling his collection to Harvard. The world’s oldest motive for committing a fraud might be involved.

As usual in these cases, James McGrath is doing a roundup of all the news and opinion. His second post on the subject is here, with no doubt more to come.

Jesus Mythicists Smackdown

Here. With lots of footnotes!

Jim West’s Reaction to Dilettantes

WATSA: Gospel of Thomas in my hands

The subject is a perennial favorite, the author well-qualified to speak about it.

And the price on Amazon is entirely right.

What Are They Saying About: The Gospel of Thomas is by Christopher Skinner, Assistant Professor, Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, Gospel of Thomas researcher, and blogger. Its actual text runs eighty-seven pages in a goodly sized font, but you’ll want a second bookmark for the substantive end notes (twenty-three pages). The bibliography breaks down the referenced books into three categories that basically equal : general reader, educated reader, scholarly reader. There is even a two page glossary.

I’ve only begun to read the book, but I already can say that this is now the best introduction to the scholarly issues around Thomas for the general public and a useful summary for the scholar. If it also included a translation it would be superb, but there are Gospel of Thomas translations all over the Internet and bursting the bookshelves of most bookstores I’ve ever shopped.

If you’ve any interest in the Gospel of Thomas, this book is more than a keeper; it’s a Go-Get-It-Now.