Evangelical Textual Criticism

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Shape-Shifting Jesus

M 610
Owen Jarus of Live Science begins his article, "A newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before." (full article)  Surveying the newly published book by Roelof van den Broek (Utrecht), the journalist mentions references in the sermons of Pseudo-Cyril in which shape-shifting abilities are attributed to Jesus and Pilate has Jesus over for a pre-crucifixion dinner.

In my opinion, the article is well-written with clear caveats from van den Broek concerning the historical value of the stories.  One significant fact, however, is ignored.  These texts have been known since 1922, when Henry Hyvernat published the facsimile editions of the Archangel Michael Coptic codices.  Likewise, I am not sure that the book is actually publishing one Pierpont Morgan Coptic manuscript (i.e. M 610), but rather various manuscripts from the Archangel Michael find. (Cf. prior post on the Hamuli find here.)

I should mention that some of the wild-eyed scholars with the International Greek New Testament Project are publishing gospel fragments which suggest that Jesus miraculously changed water into wine, healed the blind, walked on water and resurrected someone from the dead. ; )

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