Tag: paleography

Another Day, Another Roundup of Jesus’ Wife Stories from McGrath

The woman must have gotten around with all these stories….

McGrath links the web so the rest of us don’t have to, here. No Doctor Who refernce, but the day’s young yet.

Scholars Seriously Diss Jesus Wife; Some Treat Her Better Now

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.

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: A Composite Fake?

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.

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

More Dan Wallace on the Earliest New Testament Manuscript

A transcript of a Hugh Hewitt interview dated Feb 24,2012.

Hat tip to William Varner‘s tweet.

About the Supposed First Century Fragment of the Gospel of Mark

1. Dates are fluid. There is generally an understood fifty year spread in dates. Thus P52, our current oldest bit of the New Testament, though often cited as circa 125 AD, is more accurately said to be 100-150 AD. Why?

a. Because writing styles are hard to judge

b. Because some old scribe might write a manuscript in the style learned in his youth,  thus shifting the date.

c. Because even expert paleographers can’t agree on dating, so a range is more realistic

2. Everyone (mostly) agrees Mark’s Gospel is first century, so it’s not that radical a shift, not like P52, which bumped dating of John’s Gospel back a generation or more earlier than the then best estimates.

3. There are crowds in textual criticism and paleography, among them early daters and late daters. When the consensus finds a middle ground, you’ve got something.

4. This is fun to talk about, but we know next to nothing. It’s like speculating on the next Star Trek film (and we probably know more about ST, because people intentionally leak details for publicity).

Good link here. People who actually work with ancient manuscripts make comments here, and here.