For those under a rock the last half day or so, Harvard Theological Review has apparently decided not to publish Karen King’s article on the Jesus’ Wife papyri, citing the doubts of four Coptic scholars who reviewed it. Scholars are piling on Jesus’ little wife in a big way now, so much so that some people are cautioning that maybe the dismissal of the fragment is premature.
It’s all here from James “I Live; I Roundup” McGrath, who has already found a way to connect this to Doctor Who. Star Trek will apparently take longer.
That is the suggestion of Francis Watson. Mark “Scoop” Goodacre has posted short papers by Watson explaining his theory on the Gospel’s modern creation:
A more technical article employing Coptic here.
An Intro and Summary using only English for non-scholars here.
Watson’s theory is the fleshing out of something many of us had noticed about the Coptic fragment. Still, one would prefer to have lab tests proving a modern fake rather than just this admittedly convincing paper. I say that not only because lab tests are more definitive, but also because a good skim of something like Stroker’s Extracanonical Sayings of Jesus does make one feel that the ancients borrowed and recombined a lot of sayings of Jesus (just not to the degree seen in this fragment).
UPDATE: Watson has added a third brief paper examining the line breaks in the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife and how they might indicate the fragment is a modern fraud. Watson also makes clear his stance that the best stance regarding the fragment is skepticism awaiting further proof one way or another.
Sigh. What are some scholars thinking?
(Hat tip to Mark “The TARDIS makes everything read in English, drat it!” Goodacre)
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
A transcript of a Hugh Hewitt interview dated Feb 24,2012.
Hat tip to William Varner‘s tweet.
at least the “GodAlmighty” involved in posting the supposed photo of the earliest Markan fragment. For more info, see Mark Goodacre’s post and Jim West’s post.
Courtesy of fellow Whovian Mark Goodacre, the comparison between finding losting biblical manuscripts and lost Doctor Who episodes.
Well, fact is, these things do happen.
“Can’t you turn off the telepathic circuits? I can’t tell what language this Gospel of Thomas is written in,” Goodacre complained.
“That’s the problem with the telepathic trick, ” the Doctor agreed.
“I do know ancient languages you know, ” Goodacre reminded him.
“Yes, but you can never get the dialects right, which is a dead giveaway. And I do mean, dead. Slaps a label on the forehead, ‘Outsider, kill me now’. Have to be very careful. Do you have any idea how many lives it took me to speak English in other than received pronunciation?”
The Doctor looked at Goodacre in horror.
“You’re not one those…fans… are you?”