Monday, May 01, 2017

Speaker's Lectures in Biblical Studies: John's Knowledge of the Synoptic Gospels

I'm giving the Speaker's Lectures in Biblical Studies in Oxford this year, beginning tomorrow (Tuesday). Full details below:


John's Knowledge of the Synoptic Gospels

Mark Goodacre
Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Duke University
12 noon in the Pusey Room, Keble College
The Graduate Workshop will take place between 2pm and 4pm in the Gibbs Room, Keble College

The Lectures are open to the public

A series of four lectures delivered as follows:

Tuesday, 2nd May
"I believe in Dodd": John, Jesus and Historical Tradition

Wednesday, 3rd May
John's Dramatic Transformation of the Synoptics

Tuesday, 9th May
The Beloved Disciple for Readers of the Synoptics

Wednesday, 10th May
John's Christological Transformation of the Synoptics + Graduate Workshop (2pm-4pm)

--

I look forward to seeing some of you there! Link to this information on the University of Oxford Faculty of Theology and Religion website is here. PDF poster here

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Gospel of Jesus' Wife Updates

It would be easy to think that there would be nothing new to say about the Gospel of Jesus' Wife after the dramatic events of last June (chronicled here under the headings The Owner of the Gospel of Jesus' Wife is Unmasked and Gospel of Jesus' Wife: Last Chapter Round-up), but as I was preparing to teach the topic today in my Non-Canonical Gospels class, I came across several elements that are worth noting.

First, New Testament Studies has just published a follow-up to Andrew Bernhard's earlier article that showed how the Gospel of Jesus' Wife was dependent on Michael Grondin's online Gospel of Thomas Interlinear. Bernhard's latest article develops material first posted here (The End of the Gospel of Jesus' Wife Forgery Debate; The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: “Patchwork Forgery” in Coptic . . . and English (Recap); The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: “Patchwork” Forgery in Coptic . . . and English) and it's great to see this material now developed and published in NTS:

Postscript: A Final Note about the Origin of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife
Andrew Bernhard
NTS 63/2 (April 2017): 305-17
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0028688516000370  Published online: 06 March 2017
The owner of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife provided Karen King with an interlinear translation of the text. Like the Coptic of the papyrus fragment, the English of this interlinear translation appears dependent on ‘Grondin's Interlinear Coptic/English Translation of the Gospel of Thomas’. It shares a series of distinctive textual features with Grondin's work and even appears to translate two Coptic words found in the Gospel of Thomas but not in the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Consequently, the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife seems undeniably to be a ‘patchwork’ of brief excerpts from the Gospel of Thomas created after November 2002.
Congratulations to Andrew on the publication.

While I was preparing my class, I wanted to update my powerpoint to incorporate the key developments of the last eighteen months since I last taught it -- Walter Fritz, the Owner's Interlinear, and of course the utterly compelling article by Ariel Sabar. A lot has happened! In checking the official Harvard Divinity School website about the Gospel of Jesus' Wife to grab a copy of the Owner's Interlinear, I was surprised to see that it (the Interlinear) had been removed. But also the site has been significantly stripped down, and the statement conceding forgery has been removed. Here's the link to the revised version of the site:

Gospel of Jesus's Wife

To elaborate: back in June, Harvard Divinity School had updated the site to include a formal statement by its dean, David N. Hempton (reproduced here), in which he noted the article by Ariel Sabar, and the comments on it by Karen King, that the investigation "tips the balance towards forgery." I wonder why the decision was made to remove that statement and the other material?

The site retains an error. The "Imaging" page mentions that digital images of the Gospel of John fragment are available on the site, but they are not; that's why we had to extract the images from the PDFs of the scientific reports in order to see them.

I would also like to draw attention to two further elements of interest. The first is a short introduction to the text for a useful site called E-Clavis, posted as part of NASSCAL (North American Society for the Study of the Christian Apocryphal Literature):

Gospel of Jesus' Wife
Ian Brown

The entry includes a good bibliography, with lots of the major publications and posts on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife included.

The second is a a new summary by Andrew Bernhard of the case for forgery just posted:

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Summary of Coptic and English Evidence of Forgery (March 8, 2017)

Thanks to Andrew for letting me know about this. Note: this is different from the formal NTS post listed above.

For previous posts on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife, please see this link: Gospel of Jesus' Wife. That's fifty-one posts in total!

Update (2.36pm): Although the images of Lycopolitan John are still not found on the official Gospel of Jesus Wife page (see above), they do appear in a really superb HD version now on the Harvard Library website:

MS Coptic 12. Houghton Library, Harvard University. Gospel of John fragment : manuscript, undated

The same site also provides the same kind of HD images for the Gospel of Jesus' Wife Fragment here:

MS Coptic 11. Houghton Library, Harvard University. Gospel of Jesus’s Wife : manuscript, circa 741

Note, however, that the date of "circa 741" is the date of the papyrus it was written on; the date of the text is, of course, twenty-first century.



Sunday, March 05, 2017

Finding Jesus Season Two

Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery returns tonight for its second season. Tune in to CNN at 9pm ET/PT. Here's the trailer:




The first episode deals with Pontius Pilate and focuses on the Pilate stone. There's a clip here (featuring Candida Moss, Robert Cargill and me):





I've been doing some publicity for the series over the last few days including multiple radio interviews, but it was a special pleasure to talk to our own Duke Today:

The Historical Jesus: Separating Fact from Fiction

It's worth keeping an eye out on CNN this weekend too for interviews with Obery Hendricks and Robert Cargill.

There are several other things I could list, but I'll try to add more in the coming days and weeks as the episodes go out. One thing worth mentioning is a companion website for pastors available here:

CNN Finding Jesus Resources