Thursday, September 27, 2012
More than a week after Karen King's spectacular public unveiling of the new gospel fragment, discussion and speculation continue. (N.B, the Harvard Theological Review will publish her article -- the only question is when.) Generally speaking, the debate has turned to composition and readings from Thomas (Watson etal., HT: NTBlog). My concerns still lie with the likelihood of forgery, and I would like to raise this issue on final time before I move on.
The issue of dating has essentially been ignored. King's citation of the Schøyen Middle Egyptian Matthew, the Nag Hammadi Genesis cartonnage, and other manuscripts did more to hurt than help her fourth century date, since they bear no close resemblance to the relevant fragment. Although a few older scholars still assign dates paleographically, the practice is broadly considered indefensible by those in the guild (e.g. Layton, Emmel, Schüssler, and many others). Hugo Lundhaug and Alin Suciu have outlined their various concerns about the fragment's authenticity in a key post on the subject, here. Below, my own video describes some the key peculiarities of this manuscript which potentially support the forgery hypothesis. The video is intended for a non-specialist audience.
We know what the media does with these stories. Consider the following misinformation which has King making statements which seem to blatantly contradict her article. Never let facts get in the way of a good story!
Other interesting posts (to be updated)
PBS interview with Smithsonian reporter, Ariel Sabar
"War Jesus womöglich heiratet?" - Deutsche Welle.
Mike Kruger (argument about the verso)
Stephen Emmel (coptologist)
Alberto Camplani (IACS congress organizer, Vatican publication)
Gesine Robinson (coptologist, via Charles Halton)
Stephen Colbert (news satire)
Jon Stewart (news satire)
Lutherans mock GosJesWife hype (recommended)