The Jesus Tomb and the Acts of Philip II

The argument for the identification of the Mariamne e Mara of the Jesus Tomb with Mary Magdalene based on the Acts of Philip is clarified by Simcha Jacobovici in a short video on Youtube and an article in the Jerusalem Post. Perhaps “clarified” is too strong. Jacobovici appeals to the 1970 edition of Acts of Philip by Francois Bovon in which, Jacobovici claims, Mary is referred to as “Mariamne” and is characterized as an apostle, a healer, and a leader. The Post article also mentions Bovon’s edition: Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University, says that […]

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The Jesus Tomb and the Acts of Philip

In an interview with James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici on the Today Show (see the interview here), it was revealed that Acts of Philip is instrumental in determining that the Talpiot tomb holds the remains of the family of Jesus. The two stated that the identification of the ossuary of “Mariamne” as Mary Magdalene was vital to their theory. According to Cameron and Jacobovici, Mary Magdalene’s “real name” is revealed in the Acts of Philip to be Mariamne. The problems with this assertion should be obvious. First, the Acts of Philip is a dubious source for identifiying first-century figures. Second, […]

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The Jesus Tomb

Tomorrow in New York there will be a press conference for the release of the book The Jesus Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino. I have known about this book and its claims for some time now (James Tabor’s The Jesus Dynasty provides hints to its contents) but I did not think it appropriate to mention on a blog dedicated to apocryphal literature. And then I read Amazon’s synopsis of the book (emphasis mine): Were the remains of Jesus's body found over 25 years ago and the truth hidden? Now, The Jesus Tomb tells the shattering story of what […]

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Update on Oxyrhynchus “Hoax”

Stephen Carlson of Hypotyposeis has provided a helpful update on the Oxyrhynchus story. He provides a link to Daniel B. Wallace at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts who has this to say: The sensational report in the school newspaper of Bighham Young University about a new ending for Mark 16 in an early papyrus has circulated the Internet rather rapidly. Other publications have picked it up and the news has continued to spread, with scholarly speculation over what the ending might be. All of this is premature, however, and in fact is based on faulty reporting. […]

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News on the Oxyrhynchus Papyri: Hype or Hoax?

Last week Stephen Carlson of Hypotyposeis and other bloggers mentioned an article from the BYU (Brigham Young University) web site about new technology that could aid in reading some of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (“Mysteries of Ancient Egyptian Papyri Revealed,” Feb. 14). It appears now that the article was either a case of an overzealous (and confused) reporter or an intentional attempt to mislead readers. The article has been removed from the web site but here is the excerpt that appeared on Carlson’s blog: Three BYU professors have uncovered mysteries in ancient Egyptian writings aided by new technology that allows people […]

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New Apocryphon on the Funeral of Jesus?

While viewing the contents of a manuscript listed in a catalogue I came across a fragmentary text which appears to discuss the funeral of Jesus. The text begins: "…he was greatly afraid. He said to Joseph: 'I give you, Joseph, the body of Jesus.'" It ends with: "…of the misery of those who do not wish to do good to those faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ…". Does anyone recognize this text? 

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Popular New Thriller Features Gnostics

Jim Davila at Palaeojudaica has a few posts (HERE and HERE) on the new thriller The Book of Names by Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori (read a review HERE). The book features a battle between a group of chosen ones, the lamed vovniks, mentioned in the Talmud and a rival group called the Gnoseos. Comparisons to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code are inevitable but there have been plenty of decent biblical or medieval thrillers that are worthy of mention. Ian Caldwell and Diustin Thomason’s The Rule of Four and Lev Grossman’s Codex are both highly readable literary thrillers dealing […]

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Review: Craig Evans’ Fabricating Jesus

In the course of research for an essay on the past 20 years of scholarship on the CA I was led to reading several recent books which critique both the primary texts and the scholars who work on them. Such books include Darrell Bock’s The Missing Gospels: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities, Ben Witherington’s The Gospel Code: Novel claims About Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Da Vinci, and Philip Jenkins’ Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way. These books are best described as Christian apologetic. Their aim is to redress the harm they perceive is being done […]

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