What I Read Online – 09/20/2012 (a.m.)

20 Sep
    • it might more appropriately be named The Fragment about Jesus’s Relations, since there’s no evidence that it was called a gospel and the text mentions at least two family members.
    • The key question is whether this particular gospel account can tell us anything about what Jesus was really like. Does this text prove that Jesus had a wife? Does this gospel provide reliable historical information? No and no.  There is no reason to think this gospel retains authentic tradition about Jesus. It is a late production, not based on eyewitness testimony, and likely draws on other apocryphal works like Thomas and Phillip.


    • Moreover—and this is critical—we do not have a single historical source in all of early Christianity that suggests Jesus was married. None. There is nothing about Jesus being married in the canonical gospels, in apocryphal gospels, in the church fathers, or anywhere else. Even if this new gospel claims that Jesus was married, it is out of step with all the other credible historical evidence we have about his life. As King herself noted, “This is the only extant ancient text which explicitly portrays Jesus as referring to a wife. It does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married” (p. 1 here).
    • During the course of the last several hours, I have attempted to understand the reaction of various persons within the coptological community here at the International Association of Coptic studies conference.  My initial perception is that those who specialize in Nag Hammadi and early manuscripts are split with about four-fifths being extremely skeptical about the manuscript’s authenticity and one-fifth is fairly convinced that the fragment is a fake.  I have not met anyone who supports its authenticity, although I do not doubt that there must be some.




    • In the end, then, the ENCODE data tell us that while the majority of the human genome is probably functional, the majority of pseudogenes are probably not. This tells me something important. Most likely, some DNA sequences that have been identified as pseudogenes are probably not broken versions of functional genes. Most likely, they are regulatory elements that were designed into the genome. At the same time, however, most of what have been identified as pseudogenes are, indeed, broken genes, and they do appear to be useless. Obviously, this conclusion is subject to change based on new information, but it does seem to be what the ENCODE data are telling us.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 20/09/2012 in Current Issues


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