Several people have made comments or raised questions about Non-disclosure Agreements with respect to Dan Wallace and the so-called (but no longer) First Century Mark. For many years Dan refused to explain what he was talking about when he mentioned in the public debate with me in February 2012 a new discovery of a Gospel of Mark that dated to the first century. In a later post I may say something about why I was immediately skeptical about it (he apparently is going on record now for saying that my reaction of disbelief was inappropriate; I don’t think he liked my humor at the time. But, well, I was incredulous). But here let me say something about NDA’s.
I myself signed a NDA once connected with the discovery of an ancient Christian manuscript, so I have some limited experience with the matter – although my direct knowledge comes from just this one instance. Otherwise what I know has been picked up just by paying attention.
My case involved the newly discovered Gospel of Judas. I give a full description of my first encounter with the Gospel (i.e., the ancient Coptic manuscript itself) in Nyon, Switzerland, on Lake Geneva, in my book about the Gospel (and about Judas himself), The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot. I was part of a team of specialists brought together by National Geographic to examine, authenticate, and explain the historical significance of the manuscript that had come to light. I was not able to help in the authentication itself – apart from seeing it and saying, yup, that’s definitely an ancient manuscript (!). My job was to talk about why it would be a highly significant find for understanding the development of early Christianity and possibly the historical Jesus.
In order to have the right to look at the manuscript, I ….
The rest of this post is for members only. If you don’t belong to the blog yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. But I can tell you, it’s all the interesting stuff. So why not join? It doesn’t cost much, and every penny goes to worthy charities.