Bart D. Ehrman: What Do We Really Know About Jesus?





Bart D. Ehrman is the author of more than 20 books, including the New York Times bestselling Misquoting Jesus and God's Problem. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a leading authority on the Bible and the life of Jesus. He has been featured in Time magazine and has appeared on NBC's Dateline, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CNN, The History Channel, Fresh Air, and other top media outlets.

This past September, Harvard University professor Karen King unveiled a newly discovered Gospel fragment that she entitled “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” This wisp of a papyrus has stirred up a hornet’s nest and raised anew questions about what we can know about the historical Jesus of Nazareth, and about whether there are other Gospels outside the New Testament that can contribute valuable information. Few questions could be more timely, here in the season that celebrates Jesus’ birth....

As it turns out, most experts on early Christianity have come to think the fragment is a hoax, a forgery produced in recent years by an amateur who, unlike King and scholars of her stature, was not well versed in the niceties of Coptic grammar and so was unable to cover up the traces of his own deceit. The final verdict is not yet in: we are still to learn the results from the scientific analysis of the ink, to see if it is in fact ancient or modern. But even if, as appears likely, the text is a fake, it does once again alert us to the fact that there are Gospels about Jesus that have come down to us from the ancient world, which present information at odds with widely held views....



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