Amnon Rosenfeld et al recently published an article in the Open Journal of Geology citing further evidence vindicating the authenticity of the James Ossuary.
HT: Ben Witherington
March 24, 2014
March 10, 2014
The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (March/April 2014) has an article detailing 50 people named in the Bible, both great and small, that have been confirmed archaeologically. It’s not an exhaustive list, but very informative. Read all about it at BAR.
September 20, 2013
I visited the Asian Art Museum today to see their exhibit featuring the Cyrus Cylinder. If you don’t know what the Cyrus Cylinder is, or why it is important, visit my post here. I must say that I was beyond ecstatic to see this little 9″ long piece of baked clay! I must have stood there for an hour just gazing away. Here’s some photos I took:
February 13, 2013
King Herod reigned for 33 years. He is most famous for his building projects, including the glorious expansion of the temple in Jerusalem. Christians know of him from the New Testament as the king who reigned at the time of Jesus’ birth, and who attempted to kill the newborn king. Herod died shortly thereafter in 4 B.C.
Archaeologists have been excavating King Herod’s summer home at Herodium (near Bethlehem) for 40 years. Approximately 250 artifacts, including his bathtub, statues, palatial columns, sarcophagus, and a replica of his mausoleum, went on display today at a special exhibit at the Israel Museum titled “Herod the Great: The King’s Final Journey.”
October 5, 2012
Christian Askeland has a nice 10 minute video demonstrating some of the peculiarities of the writing on the GosJesWife which cause scholars to doubt its authenticity.
Hugo Lundhaug and Alin Suciu discuss the problems around dating the GosJesWife and evidence that a paintbrush was used for the writing.
Timo Paananen disputes James Watson’s methodology for concluding that the GosJesWife is a patchwork of the Coptic GTh.
Peter Head examines some of the reasons King et al concluded that the writing was authentic, including the lack of ink in a hole created by an insect, the lack of ink where fibers have gone missing from the papyrus, ink on the frayed edges, and the faded ink on the recto and finds them wanting.
September 27, 2012
The web continues to be abuzz with The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. So much is being written that it’s hard to keep up! Here are the latest and most important developments.
James Watson has written two more papers (here and here) further developing his original thesis that The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife is a collage of various words and phrases culled from the Gospel of Thomas to form a new composition that is supposed to appear like a new gospel. Andrew Bernhard has also tested Watson’s thesis in two papers (here and here), and agrees that “a modern author could have created the text of GJW simply by using short excerpts culled exclusively from Coptic GTh.” Both of Bernhard’s papers present an excellent visual and summary of the extensive semantic borrowing of the GosJesWife from the Coptic GTh. He notes that only 14 out of 139 legible letters on the recto of the GosJesWife do not correspond to the Coptic GTh. Eight of these 14 letters make up the phrase “my wife.” Of the other 6 letter differences, they are either due to gender shifts in the pronoun or uninterpretable because they are single letters that come at the beginning or end of the line and lack sufficient context for reconstruction.
September 21, 2012
Karen King, professor of divinity at Harvard and specialist in Gnostic Christianity, recently announced the existence of a small (3” x 1.5”), late-4th century fragment in which Jesus speaks of his wife. Written in Sahidic Coptic with black ink on papyrus, the fragment contains eight lines of text on the recto and six lines of text on the verso, with all margins missing. The extant text on the recto side reads:
1 Not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe
2 The disciples said to Jesus
3 deny. Mary is worthy of it.
4 Jesus said to them, “My wife
5 she will be able to be my disciple
6 Let wicked people swell up
7 As for me, I dwell with her in order to
8 an image
Although the text bears some striking resemblance to known Gnostic texts (particularly the Gospel of Thomas, and to a lesser degree the Gospel of Philip), it does not match any known apocryphal or Gnostic gospel. This may be an independent Gospel of unknown character (Gnostic, apocryphal, etc.) or, as Francis Watson has argued, it may be a modern forgery created using key words from the Coptic version of the Gospel of Thomas (more will be said concerning this momentarily).