Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife

Doubleday. Aug. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9780385542586. $29.95. REL
Journalist Sabar (My Father’s Paradise) has written a true story of mystery and intrigue. In 2012, Karen King, professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced that she learned of an ancient papyrus fragment in which Jesus referred to Mary Magdalene as his wife; this discovery challenged conventional wisdom about not only the life of Jesus but also biblical teachings in general. Sabar wrote an article on the announcement yet felt there was more to the story. His research led him around the world before he discovered the true nature of this fabricated document. Blending religious history with a tale of deception, this account also describes the work and research of King and explores how she, despite impressive credentials as a biblical scholar, believed a contrived manuscript was a historical document. Sabar continues by examining the motives of all involved, and detailing his ongoing search for the truth.
VERDICT This is a well-researched, engrossing backstory of failed discovery from a noted scholar. Best suited for readers interested in biblical studies and papyrology.
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