Friday, April 01, 2011

The "Discovery" is a Fake: Another Triumph for Biblioblogging

I'm only just getting back in the saddle after having been in Rome for the past two weeks teaching a class, but I had to comment on the supposed "discovery" John posted on earlier this week. His call for caution was wise.

Long story short, after further investigation it is now clear that these "newly" found "documents" are fakes--and the world has the biblioblogosphere for revealing that.

While media reports have sensationalized the story, academic bloggers have been slowly picking this apart. Mark Goodacre has an excellent round up. See also James McGrath's post.

How do we know the discovery is a fraud? Well, for one thing, as Peter Thonemann at Oxford has pointed out, the Greek text was written by someone who apparently doesn't know the Greek alphabet! Most amusingly, the writing mixes up the Lambda (the Greek "L") and the Alpha (the Greek "A"). Not a very promising sign of authenticity!

So. . . we can all move on now. Of course, don't hold your breath for the retractions.


Martin said...

Ok, found the link

Unknown said...

I was just wondering where you were teaching in Rome, and what was the subject matter of your course. I'm currently studying theology at the Angelicum here in the Eternal city, and I should be here for the next couple years. I would be interested in attending one of your lectures if you were to return. Thanks for the information! God bless!

John Bergsma said...

Amazing that someone would take so much time to forge these ... and not bother to get the Greek right. Some people have too much time on their hands. The silver lining is, we can all be content to let the purported "Israeli Bedouin" just keep the plates!

Anonymous said...

Of course, don't hold your breath
Indeed! The lead codices silliness has multiplied.