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10891Re: [GTh] Two Fragments - A Retraction

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  • Mark Goodacre
    Apr 28, 2014
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      Thanks, Mike.  Actually, the benefit to me of the blogs and e-lists is that one has a chance to work these things out in conversation with one another.  

      When you say pp. 7 and 8 above, I think you mean 8 and 9, no?  Also, although I do think that the fragment copies from the Thompson edition, why are you so sure that "An ancient copyist of Qau could not have made such a mistake"?  An ancient copyist still had to turn the page at that point, no?


      On 28 April 2014 15:13, Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

      Although I make it a personal policy, it's always at least a little embarrassing to
      have to admit to a mistake. Even more so in this case, however, since I've posted
      comments on Facebook and Mark Goodacre's and Anthony LeDonne's blogs
      along the same lines as I previously posted here - namely, that the every-other-line
      pattern of the Jn fragment vis-a-vis Qau isn't sufficient in itself to prove forgery.
      Now I find - via Christian Askeland's blog entry of today - that in fact the fragment
      doesn't religiously follow the every-other-line pattern. That little factoid wasn't in
      Alin Suciu's original comparison of the verso of the Jn fragment to Qau, nor have
      I seen it since. Not that it was never noted anywhere, but if it was, I missed it.
      Indeed, I missed it even when I was putting together my own comparison of the
      contents of the fragment to a hypothetical manuscript from which it supposedly
      came. For me, it isn't the pattern itself, but the disruption of the pattern that's
      persuasive. That and the fact that the disruption occurs at a suspicious place -
      exactly between pages 7 and 8 of Thompson's presentation of Qau. Having
      copied the last line of page 7, the forger (a term I'm now confident to use)
      made the mistake of copying the first line of page 8, instead of the second.
      An ancient copyist of Qau could not have made such a mistake.
      To which may be added another feature of the fragment to which Askeland
      draws attention: on line 7 of the recto of the fragment, there's a mostly-effaced
      area which should (if it be a copy of Qau) hold the letters 'RKRINE'. But there's
      not enough space for those letters. What it looks like, then, is that the forger
      initially left out a letter or two, then later, realizing his mistake, decided to efface
      his original writing (that can be done with papyrus) instead of trying to rewrite it.
      In sum, I'm now persuaded that the evidence favors forgery.
      Now for more bad news for the King team: April DeConick is now entertaining
      doubts. Somewhat minimizing her previous enthusiastic support for the HTR
      results, she posts today a piece titled "What are the facts about the Gospel of
      Jesus' Wife?", but probably originally titled as the URL suggests:
      It seems clear from this and from Carrie Schroeder's remarks on Anthony Le
      Donne's blog on April 25th, that the tide has turned against authenticity.
      Mike Grondin

      Mark Goodacre          
      Duke University
      Department of Religious Studies
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