Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ariel Sabar's Veritas, and the latest on the Gospel of Jesus's Wife

Regular readers will know that I have posted many, many times over the years on the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, whether breaking news, offering round-ups of the latest news, or hosting contributions from others like Andrew Bernhard and Francis Watson. I have just finished reading Ariel Sabar's remarkable new book about the affair, and I realized that it's time, once again, to return to this topic.

The new book is out today, and I strongly encourage you to read it. It's very, very good: Ariel Sabar, Veritas: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife (New York: Doubleday, 2020). I have podcasted my thoughts here:

NT Pod 94: Review of Ariel Sabar's Veritas (mp3) 

In providing this update, I realized that I hadn't also drawn attention to earlier podcasts in the series, which I released as classes were all going online in March in the wake of the pandemic. (I was at the time teaching my Non-canonical Gospels class). Here are some links to those podcasts:

I realize that podcasts are not to everyone's tastes, and the good news is that there is already some excellent academic commentary on the release of Sabar's book. I would draw special attention to the following:

James McGrath (ReligionProf Blog)

Candida Moss (Daily Beast; not her title!)

Brent Nongbri (Variant Readings Blog)

More to come!


Stephen Goranson said...

The New York Times Aug. 11 review carries the title, "The Harvard Professor Who Told the World That Jesus Had a Wife." That title may be a slight oversimplification. (Compare the also maybe oversimplified old Daily Beast title about this papyrus--not chosen by the authors--"Why Scientists and Scholars Can't Get Their Facts Straight") What Prof. King argued, at least at times, was that [the pretended not fake] "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" was a fourth-century translation of a (supposed) second-century Greek text that supposedly showed that some Christians then thought Jesus had been married, so Clement of Alexandria tried to counter that imaginary claim. But Harvard Prof. Christopher Jones, "Clement of Alexandria and the Celibacy of Jesus" (online) demonstrates that Clement and others took it as "undisputed fact that he was not married." In other words, Prof. King used the ms as a prop (and previously used DaVinci Code) as an opportunity to discuss patriarchy--a subject that can be discussed without fakes.

Dora williams said...
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TonyTheProf said...

I can't help thinking of similarities between Karen King and the Gospel of Jesus Wife and Hugh Trevor-Roper and the forged Hitler diaries. Both were targeted by cons which sought to exploit their weaknesses - King and the idea that such gospels were purged by a male-dominated church but existed and were early, and Trevor-Roper and his existing interest in Hitler. Pushing at an open door, methinks.