My Favorite Anecdote about Jesus and the Afterlife: Teeth Will Be Provided!

I was thinking (I’m always thinking) about Jesus and the afterlife, and suddenly my favorite rather humorous anecdote occurred, which involves a real moment in (relatively) modern scholarship.  I tried to find where I had written about it in one of my books: I was sure I *had* done so, but I couldn’t find anyplace where I had.  If I haven’t, I may include it in the next one.  But I did find that I made a post of it ...

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Recent Manuscript Discoveries: A Blast from the Past

As we are nearing the five-year anniversary of the Blog, I have been looking back over some past postings, and this one caught my eye, from 3/30/13 (*four* years ago….).   It’s still of interest.  Two things to say about it: “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is now recognized by everyone to be a modern forgery (it has been proved) (see, e.g., https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/07/the-unbelievable-tale-of-jesus-wife/485573/); and the fragment of Mark’s Gospel allegedly from the first century has STILL not been published!   Here ...

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Why Did We Get a New Testament?

In my past couple of posts I’ve talked about how the canon of the Hebrew Bible was formed.  That raises the obvious corollary of how the canon of the New Testament was formed.  Who decided we should have the twenty-seven books we do?  Why these books and not others?  Why were any books chosen at all?  When were these decisions made?  And what criteria were used to make the decisions?

To my surprise, I haven’t talked much about the process on ...

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Weekly Readers’ Mailbag: January 16, 2016

 

It is time for the weekly mailbag.  This week there are only two questions, but the first has two parts: why (many) Christians are so pro-Israel and how can they be pro-Jewish and still worship Jesus.  The second question involves how we know which letters of Paul were actually written by him.  If you would like me to address any question you have, just add a comment here or at any other time on the blog, or send me an ...

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Fifty Ways to Forge a Gospel

 

 

Last month I attended a small conference on the early Christian apocrypha (that is, the Gospels, epistles, Acts, and Apocalypses from early Christianity that were not accepted into the canon of Scripture) at York University in Toronto.   The special topic for the conference was the use of forgery in early Christianity, and I was asked to give the keynote address.

This is a topic, of course, I have been long interested in.   I spent several years working on my (rather long) ...

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On Falsification and Forgery

On Friday I will be giving a talk at a symposium at York University in Toronto that will be focusing on the use of forgery in the early Christian apocrypha, sponsored by Tony Burke of York U. and Brent Landau at the University of Texas.  Website is here: http://tonyburke.ca/conference/  I thought it might be interesting to excerpt a portion of my talk here, as it covers some ground that I recently have gone over on the blog, but from ...

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Back to the Forgery of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Some three years ago now I discussed in several posts the newly “discovered” text called “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” (just search for “wife” and you’ll find the posts).  A new development has occurred that makes it almost certain that this text is a modern forgery, done sometime in the last 20 years.  The evidence has been uncovered by Andrew Bernhard, who was one of the first to establish other grounds for seeing the text as something quite fishy, and ...

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Google Cambridge Lecture on Forged

On April 7, 2011, I visited the Google Cambridge l in Cambridge, MA to discuss my book Forged. In my talk I explain how ancient writers sometimes falsely claimed to be a famous person in order to encourage people to read their books.   This practice of “literary forgery” was relatively common in the ancient world, but it was also widely condemned.  In my book I focus on instances of this practice in early Christianity — some of them ...

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My Forgery Seminar (Syllabus)

            The academic semester, alas, has begun, as of this past Wednesday.   As usual, I’ll be teaching two courses.   My undergraduate class, as is true every spring, is “Introduction to the New Testament.”   My PhD seminar, this term, is “Literary Forgery in the Early Christian Tradition.”   I’ve taught this class twice before, but now I have my book (Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literacy Deceit in Early Christian Polemics) to structure the course.  I’ve never had one ...

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2 Thessalonians as a Forgery: The Theological Argument

I have decided, you may be glad to learn, that this will be my last post giving the reasons that scholars widely consider 2 Thessalonians not to be written by Paul, even though it claims to be written by Paul.   In order to make this the last post, I have had to make it unusually long.   Again, the point is both to show why scholars think what they do and to show the level at which they have to make ...

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