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

  1. #11
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    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.
    A primary issue that many people have is that, by her own admission, she hadn't "engaged the provenance questions at all", and that she had no interest in learning about the provenance when asked. Be honest, if this was an Evangelical scholar like Craig Evans or Daniel Wallace, those facts, and those sorts of statements wouldn't get an eyebrow raise from you?

    As a poster in another forum rightly put it, investigating provenance may not be her expertise,

    ...but it is absolutely part of her job when she is investigating the authenticity of a manuscript. Her paper on issue covered a lot of areas that are not within her expertise in theology but were relevant to the authenticity of the manuscript.

    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    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.
    Yep, this is the same fragment. Here's Christian Askeland's timeline from OBP's link,

    Sept 2012 Karen King announces the discovery of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife papyrus. Almost immediately, Francis Watson and Simon Gathercole notice a relationship between the GJW and the Gospel of Thomas.

    Nov 2012 Andrew Bernhard’s Patchwork Hypothesis proves that the GJW was copied from Grondin’s interlinear.

    Apr 2014 The current blog revealed that an accompanying papyrus with the same handwriting was a forgery, calling into question the authenticity of all of the accompanying documents.

    Aug 2015 With the revelation of the owner’s interlinear, Bernhard’s Patchwork hypothesis becomes irrefutable.

    June 2016 Walter Fritz, a former FU-Berlin Egyptology student, claims to be the owner of the GJW.


    And from Mark Goodacre's blog,

    Source: http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-end-of-gospel-of-jesus-wife-forgery.html

    The owner’s “translation” of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife displays evidence of dependence on Grondin’s Interlinear in every line with more than one word. It includes repeated English “translations” of Coptic words not even present on the papyrus fragment itself, incorrect translations of Coptic text, and distinctive translations as well – all of which can be traced back to Grondin’s Interlinear.

    © Copyright Original Source



    I think another interesting point was made by another poster on /r/AcademicBiblical,

    i think in part you have to separate Dr. King the scholar and Dr. King the theologian. She (and Harvard) in a way are forging a theology, one where Christianity is much broader and more inclusive than conservative Christian theology. as a theologian, her life work is validated by this evidence. so then she is as respectable as BYU professors when it comes to Mormonism. I think her reputation as a professor is really more on developing a palatable theology for modern (or post-modern) thinkers than as an academic with papyrus work. if you seriously consider their theology (even if they don't call it a theology anymore), must of it is not grounded in ancient history, but on how theology [of] the past can be useful in today's context.

    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    (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.)
    Oh good! I actually have my eyes on a new pair of just for fun boots:



    I doubt very much that they'll be as comfortable as your Cole Haan's, but nearly as stylish.

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  3. #12
    tWebber
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    I'm speaking now as a scholar and not as a Christian believer (some of you know that I'm working toward a career in Early Christianity/NT).

    King's lack of engagement with critical questions such as provenance is unconscionable. If she had engaged that question and then mounted an argument for a first century fragment, that's fine. She'd then have to be judged wrong on the evidence she adduced. However, her refusal to do so shows a fundamental lack of respect for scholarly methods in favor of furthering her own agenda(s). While that's not necessarily unavoidable, it moves her work from critical scholarship into a rather distasteful form of apologetics.

    Edit: to my complete and total shock (read: sarcasm) she was a member of the Jesus Seminar.
    Last edited by psstein; 06-19-2016 at 05:32 AM.

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    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    A primary issue that many people have is that, by her own admission, she hadn't "engaged the provenance questions at all", and that she had no interest in learning about the provenance when asked. Be honest, if this was an Evangelical scholar like Craig Evans or Daniel Wallace, those facts, and those sorts of statements wouldn't get an eyebrow raise from you?
    I haven't done my usual diligence on this update, so please understand my comments here are off the cuff, based only on the short video from the Atlantic. In particular, I don't know what "provenance questions" had been raised, or what would be involved in engaging them.

    Honestly, the perceived theology of the scholars is a non issue for me, something that would only come up if I perceived a contradiction in their assembled stories. Assuming a bias against Evangelical scholars is not helpful. You should be aware I am only familiar with "Craig" from a previous discussion of NT scholarship, and am even less familiar with Daniel Wallace.

    I've always been more interested in early Israelite religion than early Christianity, and more interested in the anthropology than the theology in any case. Does the theology of the scholars make a difference?

    It was clear from the beginning that, even if authentic, the fragment would never trace back to anything more than a minor splinter group less relevant to the mainstream Christianity of its time than the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses are to ours. With no hint of a wife in the canon or early church fathers, and no reason to believe the presence of a wife would create an embarrassment, the fragment itself never had a chance to move opinion on whether Jesus actually had a wife.

    Yep, this is the same fragment. Here's Christian Askeland's timeline from OBP's link,

    Sept 2012 Karen King announces the discovery of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife papyrus. Almost immediately, Francis Watson and Simon Gathercole notice a relationship between the GJW and the Gospel of Thomas.

    Nov 2012 Andrew Bernhard’s Patchwork Hypothesis proves that the GJW was copied from Grondin’s interlinear.

    Apr 2014 The current blog revealed that an accompanying papyrus with the same handwriting was a forgery, calling into question the authenticity of all of the accompanying documents.
    Racking my memory here, was that a portion of John? In any case, this is where I last remember the discussion.

    Aug 2015 With the revelation of the owner’s interlinear, Bernhard’s Patchwork hypothesis becomes irrefutable.

    June 2016 Walter Fritz, a former FU-Berlin Egyptology student, claims to be the owner of the GJW.
    I understand this is a blog, but I'm still going to object to the language here, as in the triumphal partisanship of "becomes irrefutable." It's unnecessarily and unhelpfully combative. I just want to know if the fragment is a forgery.

    Compare the above with:

    And from Mark Goodacre's blog,

    Source: http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-end-of-gospel-of-jesus-wife-forgery.html

    The owner’s “translation” of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife displays evidence of dependence on Grondin’s Interlinear in every line with more than one word. It includes repeated English “translations” of Coptic words not even present on the papyrus fragment itself, incorrect translations of Coptic text, and distinctive translations as well – all of which can be traced back to Grondin’s Interlinear.

    © Copyright Original Source

    And there you have it. Powerful arguments don't require the stomping of feet into faces.

    I think another interesting point was made by another poster on /r/AcademicBiblical,
    This would be a good point to mention why I prefer to use the indent tags:

    i think in part you have to separate Dr. King the scholar and Dr. King the theologian. She (and Harvard) in a way are forging a theology, one where Christianity is much broader and more inclusive than conservative Christian theology. as a theologian, her life work is validated by this evidence. so then she is as respectable as BYU professors when it comes to Mormonism. I think her reputation as a professor is really more on developing a palatable theology for modern (or post-modern) thinkers than as an academic with papyrus work. if you seriously consider their theology (even if they don't call it a theology anymore), must of it is not grounded in ancient history, but on how theology [of] the past can be useful in today's context.

    It's because they preserve the text when using the quote button.

    Directly to the post, honestly, it reads as two parts hand-waving, "in a way," to three parts conspiracy theory, "and Harvard," "even if they don't call it a theology anymore." I don't see any value in it. It doesn't address the authenticity of the papyrus in any way.

    Within bounds, there's always been a good deal of diversity within any religious tradition. I assume there will always be active debate on the extent of that diversity, and further, that new finds generally will increase the scope of that debate.

  6. #14
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Oh good! I actually have my eyes on a new pair of just for fun boots:



    I doubt very much that they'll be as comfortable as your Cole Haan's, but nearly as stylish.
    My best score was a pair of these. They're simple amazing (if Crawfish is lurking), and lighter than air, but I'll let you judge how comparatively stylish they might be.

    oxfords.jpg

    I hit the DSW soon after we chatted, and no, nothing else came close to the Cole Haan's for comfort.

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psstein View Post
    I'm speaking now as a scholar and not as a Christian believer (some of you know that I'm working toward a career in Early Christianity/NT).

    King's lack of engagement with critical questions such as provenance is unconscionable. If she had engaged that question and then mounted an argument for a first century fragment, that's fine. She'd then have to be judged wrong on the evidence she adduced. However, her refusal to do so shows a fundamental lack of respect for scholarly methods in favor of furthering her own agenda(s). While that's not necessarily unavoidable, it moves her work from critical scholarship into a rather distasteful form of apologetics.

    Edit: to my complete and total shock (read: sarcasm) she was a member of the Jesus Seminar.
    I believe she argued for 4th century, but yeah, my thoughts as well.

  9. #16
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    I haven't done my usual diligence on this update, so please understand my comments here are off the cuff, based only on the short video from the Atlantic. In particular, I don't know what "provenance questions" had been raised, or what would be involved in engaging them.
    When you get some time, read the full Atlantic article. King apparently took Fritz's story at face value while doing very little to check his story, which is something I imagine most people in her position ought to do when they're publishing about a new discovery with potentially controversial overtones. Controversy that she helped along by naming it The Gospel of Jesus's Wife. Just asking for the names of those authorities who supposedly reviewed the fragment before she got her hands on it would have been something. If independent scholars were able to do some of the simpler leg work, and connect the dots on their own, it seems strange that the Harvard scholar who had the actual name of the owner couldn't be bothered to do even a bit of digging, or at the very least, show interest in those who were.

    Honestly, the perceived theology of the scholars is a non issue for me, something that would only come up if I perceived a contradiction in their assembled stories. Assuming a bias against Evangelical scholars is not helpful. You should be aware I am only familiar with "Craig" from a previous discussion of NT scholarship, and am even less familiar with Daniel Wallace.

    I've always been more interested in early Israelite religion than early Christianity, and more interested in the anthropology than the theology in any case. Does the theology of the scholars make a difference?
    In this case I imagine it might seeing as King is the Professor of Divinity at Harvard, which is literally a professorship in theology.

    It was clear from the beginning that, even if authentic, the fragment would never trace back to anything more than a minor splinter group less relevant to the mainstream Christianity of its time than the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses are to ours. With no hint of a wife in the canon or early church fathers, and no reason to believe the presence of a wife would create an embarrassment, the fragment itself never had a chance to move opinion on whether Jesus actually had a wife.
    Of course. Though, that isn't exactly the way the media punched it up to the lay reader/watcher. There were plenty of salacious headlines after the announcement about Dan Brown-style Catholic Church cover-ups and "what could this mean about female clergy" type bylines. Even the Atlantic video I posted wanders into that territory a bit.

    Racking my memory here, was that a portion of John? In any case, this is where I last remember the discussion.
    Correct.

    I understand this is a blog, but I'm still going to object to the language here, as in the triumphal partisanship of "becomes irrefutable." It's unnecessarily and unhelpfully combative. I just want to know if the fragment is a forgery.
    Compare the above with:



    And there you have it. Powerful arguments don't require the stomping of feet into faces.
    Huh. I have no problem with the wording. The evidence against it is, as far as I can tell, irrefutable. The details that Goodacre points out. The way the papyrus was cut. The newly identified orange dots on the GJW fragment, and one of the forged documents found on Fritz's website. The fact that John was also forged in the exact same style from the same source... I mean, it's airtight. I'm not sure I see any need to not call it like it is, and I don't see how that's unprofessional. I've heard scholars say far nastier words than "irrefutable".

    This would be a good point to mention why I prefer to use the indent tags:

    i think in part you have to separate Dr. King the scholar and Dr. King the theologian. She (and Harvard) in a way are forging a theology, one where Christianity is much broader and more inclusive than conservative Christian theology. as a theologian, her life work is validated by this evidence. so then she is as respectable as BYU professors when it comes to Mormonism. I think her reputation as a professor is really more on developing a palatable theology for modern (or post-modern) thinkers than as an academic with papyrus work. if you seriously consider their theology (even if they don't call it a theology anymore), must of it is not grounded in ancient history, but on how theology [of] the past can be useful in today's context.

    It's because they preserve the text when using the quote button.

    Directly to the post, honestly, it reads as two parts hand-waving, "in a way," to three parts conspiracy theory, "and Harvard," "even if they don't call it a theology anymore." I don't see any value in it. It doesn't address the authenticity of the papyrus in any way.

    Within bounds, there's always been a good deal of diversity within any religious tradition. I assume there will always be active debate on the extent of that diversity, and further, that new finds generally will increase the scope of that debate.
    Yeah, I agree that it doesn't address the authenticity of the papyrus in any way, but I still thought it was on point.
    Last edited by Adrift; 06-19-2016 at 08:47 AM.

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  11. #17
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    This would be a good point to mention why I prefer to use the indent tags:

    It's because they preserve the text when using the quote button.
    Indent tags are good. Another alternative is to use the cite tags, like so:

    Source: poster from r/AcademicBiblical

    i think in part you have to separate Dr. King the scholar and Dr. King the theologian. She (and Harvard) in a way are forging a theology, one where Christianity is much broader and more inclusive than conservative Christian theology. as a theologian, her life work is validated by this evidence. so then she is as respectable as BYU professors when it comes to Mormonism. I think her reputation as a professor is really more on developing a palatable theology for modern (or post-modern) thinkers than as an academic with papyrus work. if you seriously consider their theology (even if they don't call it a theology anymore), must of it is not grounded in ancient history, but on how theology [of] the past can be useful in today's context.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Although indent tags do make the text a bit more reader-friendly IMO.

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    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    They're simple amazing (if Crawfish is lurking)
    It doesn't work anymore, I have become inoculated from reading too many of Leonhard's posts.

    ETA: I'm just going to point out my inconsistency in using contractions before the Jerk™ can do it.
    Last edited by Chrawnus; 06-19-2016 at 03:31 PM.

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    If memory serves me correctly, Mark Goodacre has also considered the mounting evidence irrefutable for some time now, I think since the line-break evidence was presented.
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  16. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    If memory serves me correctly, Mark Goodacre has also considered the mounting evidence irrefutable for some time now, I think since the line-break evidence was presented.
    That's my recollection as well.
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