Monday, June 25, 2007

More Judas Information

Mr. Grant Wesley kindly provided the following information about the Gospel of Judas in a recent comment to one of my posts. I was not aware of the BYU publications and thought it important to bring that piece of history to bear in this blog. Thank you Grant.

Grant Wesley said:
I just came across The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction (Eerdmans, 2007) by Stanley E. Porter and Gordon L Heath, and couldn't remember whether it's already on your list.

Also, in several cases comparable to the Finlay article but written by a few LDS (Mormon) scholars is a group of articles that were orignaly part of a panel discussion on the Gospel of Judas at Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) in April 2006 and later published in BYU Studies (vol.45 n.2 [2006] 5-53). As far as I know e-copies are not available; hard copies of the issue can be ordered at

The audience for the panel was LDS non-specialists and this is reflected in many of the articles.

Perhaps most useful for academic purposes is S. Kent Brown's statement that

"Twenty-five years ago, another BYU facutly member and I became aware of the aggregate of documents described briefly by Kasser. I was able to identify the James text in the Codex Tchacos from a very blurry Polaroid photogrpah, which showed the manuscript to be in better shape than it is now" (19).

This would have been about 1981, possibly before "Hanna" recovered the stolen codices, and before Emmel et al. saw them in Geneva. Brown goes on to derscribe a subsequent trip to N.Y. (the precise date he cannot recall) where he and "Mr. Bernard Rosenthal, a rare-books dealer from San Francisco," in person examined

"a few damaged leaves from a very early Greek copy of the book of Exodus, two letters of the Apostle Paul in Coptic translation, and a Greek mathematical treatise, [which] were then in very bad shape, having been wrapped in an Arabic newspaper and placed into a small box. When the owner and his agent opened first the box and then the newspaper, Mr. Rosenthal and I gazed upon a mass of documents that were dissintegrating before our eyes [i.e., Codex Tchacos?], with tiny fragments lining the newspaper craddle" (20).

Apparently Rosenthal told the sellers that it would take two years to conserve the texts, and Brown writes that

"Mr. Rosenthal's estimate of the value of these texts, only a small fraction of the announced selling price, minus the costs of hiring a conservator for two years, must have provided the moment that Kasser points to wherein the owner [i.e., 'Hanna' in ?] came to understand that his 'asking price was too high'" (20).

No comments: