Peter Thonemann on the Absurd Elkington Codices (Or Lead Codices, Or Messiah Codices, or Whatever)

With thanks to Danny McClellan for alerting us to this (in private email correspondence).

The most telling part of Thonemann’s essay follows-

To judge from the photos which have appeared in the press over the past week, all of these supposed early Christian codices are the product of the same Amman workshop as the book I saw last year. The forger’s repertoire is fairly predictable: pseudo-Christian symbols copied from ancient Greek and Judaean coins (palm trees, Hellenistic kings and so forth) interspersed with gibberish-inscriptions clumsily adapted from real ancient texts, Greek and Hebrew.

One can hardly blame the newspapers: no editor could reasonably be expected to resist the combination of Jesus, the Kabbalah, mysterious death threats and a secret code. But it is a bit depressing that no one thought to consult any one of the dozens of British specialists in the field. As the Jewish Chronicle made clear when it originally reported on the find back in early March, those professional scholars who have had sight of these objects have dismissed them as obvious fakes. There are various reasons why we bother to fund research in the arts and humanities and this episode could have been one of them.

Quite rightly the piece appears in the entertainment section of the Times.  Because this lead codices thing is a circus.  Especially given the bit that I have emboldened.

One thought on “Peter Thonemann on the Absurd Elkington Codices (Or Lead Codices, Or Messiah Codices, or Whatever)

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