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

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

by Ariel Sabar

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From National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Ariel Sabar, the gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that shook Harvard.

In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene "my wife." The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world's predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood but sacred teachings on marriage, sex and women's leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife"--as she provocatively titled her discovery--was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices.

As debates over the manuscript's authenticity raged, award-winning journalist Ariel Sabar set out to investigate a baffling mystery: where did this tiny scrap of papyrus come from? His search for answers is an international detective story--leading from the factory districts of Berlin to the former headquarters of the East German Stasi before winding up in rural Florida, where he discovered an internet pornographer with a prophetess wife, a fascination with the Pharaohs and a tortured relationship with the Catholic Church.

VERITAS is a tale of fierce intellectual rivalries at the highest levels of academia, a piercing psychological portrait of a disillusioned college dropout whose life had reached a breaking point, and a tragedy about a brilliant scholar handed a piece of scripture that embodied her greatest hopes for Christianity--but forced a reckoning with fundamental questions about the nature of truth and the line between reason and faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385542593
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/11/2020
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 32,790
File size: 31 MB
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About the Author

ARIEL SABAR is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, The Washington Post, and many other publications. He is the author of My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Rome xi

Act 1 Discovery

Solicitations 3

Strange Teachings 7

The Harvard Imprimatur 17

Burning Questions 39

The Complication of Mary 58

A Brilliant Jewel 72

Augustinianum 86

Act 2 Doubt

Epsilon and Iota 111

The Kingdom of God Puzzle 118

Riding a Tiger 127

Act 3 Proofs 131

Act 4 The Stranger

Crossroads 153

The Little Darling and the Stasi 172

Hotwife 189

Don't Want to Know 198

The Secret Room 223

Invisible Hand 243

Feeling of Calm 260

Act 5 The Downturned Book of Revelations

Operational Effectiveness 267

The Pro and the Con 284

Faustian Bargain 309

Epilogue: Services 323

Acknowledgments 339

Note on Sources and Methods 343

Notes 345

Selected Bibliography 381

Index 387

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