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Thread: King Concedes 'Gospel Of Jesus' Wife' is Forgery After Owner Exposed as Pornographer

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    King Concedes 'Gospel Of Jesus' Wife' is Forgery After Owner Exposed as Pornographer

    Crazy story! Since Karen King would not give up her source, an investigative reporter for The Atlantic took it upon himself to figure out who her source was. Turns out he's a conman and pornographer (into cuckold porn with his wife, who, incidentally, talks to angels) who had studied Egyptology, and had a "bumbling" grasp in Coptic, which is how most other scholars realized that the fragment was likely a forgery (while King herself reasoned it was the work of a novice scribe). The journalist suggests that King was a mark for a "Jesus' wife" fragment because of her feminist leanings. When asked by the journalist if she was interested in the provenance of the piece, and all of the information that he had acquired on the owner, King replied that she didn't see the point in discussing it. The piece doesn't make King look too good, but it seems like she had it coming.

    Here's the original piece from The Atlantic. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...ticle-comments

    Here's King's reply to the piece where she admits that she was lied to, and concedes that the fragment is likely a fake, but that she still wants to see scientific proof or a confession before taking a definitive stance () http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...s-wife/487484/

    Here's an article from Live Science that offers up some interesting information after the fact, as well as their own findings. http://www.livescience.com/55110-gos...fe-a-fake.html

    I don't know how this will end for King, and it certainly doesn't make Harvard look very good. The story is juicy enough that the Smithsonian could create a new documentary refuting their previous documentary on the subject...
    Last edited by Adrift; 06-19-2016 at 12:40 AM.

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Interesting

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Wow. It's about time she conceded - the consensus has been that it was conclusively proven to be a fake before the documentary even aired.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Hopefully this will put an end to this but in the day of the internet I'm sure we'll see it pop up from time to time

    I'm always still in trouble again

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Personally, I would like to see some sort of charges against the forger whose name is Walter Fritz. I'm not sure if any could be made, since he only loaned the forgery to King, and hadn't made plans to sell it at that time, though there are indications that he was possibly interested in doing so, or at least, selling other forgeries with the clout he got from the Jesus's Wife fragment.

    One of the most interesting and telling things about Fritz' motivations is that he believes that the Gnostic texts are earlier and more reliable than the canonical texts. Fritz also apparently despises the Catholic church, accusing a priest of abusing him as a child, though no others had made similar accusations of that priest. He and his automatic writing/spiritualist wife were apparently selling other documents out of an online gallery website that experts have also identified as forgeries. They had numerous porn sites on the side, and apparently his wife was semi-popular in the fetish scene they were into. King had no clue of all this, and thought he was just a friendly family man. Turns out that Fritz also registered the domain name www.gospelofjesuswife.com a few weeks before King announced her discovery of the fragment.

    For King's part, I think she should be admonished in some way for not taking more seriously her critics during the peer-review process, and for not doing a better job obtaining provenance. Perhaps ignoring provenance is an endemic issue rather than the sole fault of King though, if that's the case, hope this is a wake up call.
    Last edited by Adrift; 06-19-2016 at 12:34 AM.

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    Hopefully this will put an end to this but in the day of the internet I'm sure we'll see it pop up from time to time
    I'm almost certain that we will continue seeing it pop up now and again, but hopefully scholars will learn from this and be more careful about discoveries. I think this is the primary reason we haven't heard much from the Green Collection and their 1st century Mark fragment. Dotting all their i's and crossing all their t's, no doubt.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Here's some moreinput from the scholarly blog world. It appears that Fritz was quickly suspected of involvement.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Here's some moreinput from the scholarly blog world. It appears that Fritz was quickly suspected of involvement.
    Yep. I was going to mention that article, but I think it's linked to the Live Science article. I think some of the comments are particularly insightful.

    Also, for those who want more of a summary on The Atlantic article, here's a short video:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/video/ind...atch-a-forger/

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Some of the comments from folks over at Reddit's /r/AcademicBiblical are also interesting, especially in highlighting some of King's thoughts about the whole thing:

    From the first The Atlantic article,

    I called Karen King later that day to ask whether we could meet. I wanted her perspective on what I’d found and was curious about how much she already knew. I wondered, too, whether any of it would color her view of the papyrus’s authenticity.

    But King wasn’t interested in talking. “I haven’t engaged the provenance questions at all,” she said. What she did know, she’d already reported in her 2014 Harvard Theological Review article. “It’s all out there,” she said. “I don’t see the point of a conversation.”

    I told her I’d spent months reporting in Germany and the United States. Didn’t she want to know what I’d found?

    Not particularly,” she said. She would read my piece once it was published. What interested her more were the results of new ink tests being done at Columbia.


    Then in the second The Atlantic article,

    Thursday afternoon, however, she called me to say the story was “fascinating” and “very helpful.”

    It tips the balance towards forgery,” she said.

    “I had no idea about this guy, obviously,” she said. “He lied to me.”

    Your article has helped me see that provenance can be investigated,”

    King said she would need scientific proof—or a confession—to make a definitive finding of forgery. It’s theoretically possible that the papyrus itself is authentic, she said, even if its provenance story is bogus. But the preponderance of the evidence, she said, now “presses in the direction of forgery.”


    As one poster put it,

    I wanted to be happy to see this, but then I read the article. I am really having trouble understanding how a serious scholar can say the things King has said.
    “It tips the balance towards forgery,” she said.
    I look forward to her acknowledgements that the Da Vinci Code is probably just fiction, and the Book of Mormon might not be entirely historically accurate.

    But hell, I could still understand her reluctance to give up on a manuscript she had invested so much hope in. It's hard to admit you've been conned.
    But then she said this...
    “Your article has helped me see that provenance can be investigated,” she said.
    Does anybody buy that a Harvard scholar, who has spent years investigating a manuscript, has not previously considered whether provenance can be investigated?

  15. Amen rogue06 amen'd this post.
  16. #10
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    As one poster put it,

    [...]

    But then she said this...
    “Your article has helped me see that provenance can be investigated,” she said.
    Does anybody buy that a Harvard scholar, who has spent years investigating a manuscript, has not previously considered whether provenance can be investigated?
    Actually, I do buy that. Investigative reporting is a specialty in its own right, and the fits and starts, combing through public records, engaging sources, false leads, and dead ends described by the reporter are not the natural habitat of an academic scholar.

    I remember we'd discussed this before. Does anyone remember an analysis that showed the language of the fragment was taken from some other publicly available source. I can't recall anymore, and I hope I'm not confusing this with another story, but if my recollection is correct, that was the tipping point for me.



    (Oh, wildly off topic, but while I'm here and it's in my mind, I wanted to thank you for your shoes recommendation. I picked up two pair of the Cole Haan, and they made a world of difference.)

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