Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Makes a "Fake"

That the Vatican has refuted the "scrap" of papyrus that seems to claim Jesus was married is not surprising in the least. The AP story in itself really isn't that interesting. What is worth thinking about is the manner in which the Vatican has sought to refute this potential bit of scripture, not that the Vatican alone suffers from such poor thinking skills and blatant double standards. The Vatican has effectively shown their hand. They not only pick and choose what standards to judge the claims of others when it suits their interests they consistently fail to hold themselves to any set standards.

This passage from the AP story is an excellent example:
"The absence of any reference to Jesus being married in historic documents 'seems more significant than the literal interpretation of a few expressions from the new text, which by my reading should be understood purely in a symbolic sense,' he wrote."

See how that works? When they do not like the potential interpretation they insist it is meant to be taken symbolically. Of course, when a more literal interpretation is favorable to their interests it is obvioulsy meant to be taken literally. They also tend to be selective when relying on "historic documents." They routinely gloss over the fact that there are no contemporary eyewitness accounts of Jesus or any authentic historical records from the time that even vaguely reference Jesus. They also avoid acknowledging that the few elements from the Christ narratives that can be checked against the established historical record have shown to be false.

I am by no means saying I accept that this Coptic scrap of scripture is not a fake. I honestly don't know and as far as i can tell most scholars in the field are still looking into it. In then end it really does not matter. Rather, it does not matter in regard to the "historicity" of Christ. It is a good example of how historically illiterate, incompetent, and hypocritical most religious institutions are. There have been numerous instances where there is ample proof that a particular "scrap" or relic is a hoax and yet the church most closely associated with it refuses to come out admit that it is a fraud. The Shroud of Turin is a good example. The Vatican was involved with the various test that have been conducted. They know it is a forgery but have never publicly conceded that it is.

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