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 religion professor at Harvard, announced a breathtaking discovery just steps from the Vatican: she’d found an ancient scrap of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene “my wife.” The mysterious manuscript, which King provocatively titled “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” had the power to topple the Roman Catholic Church. It threatened not just the all-male priesthood, but centuries of sacred teachings on marriage, sex, and women’s leadership, much of it premised on the hallowed tradition of a celibate Jesus. 
Award-winning journalist Ariel Sabar covered King’s announcement in Rome but left with a question that no one seemed able to answer: Where in the world did this history-making papyrus come from? Sabar’s dogged sleuthing led from the halls of Harvard Divinity School to the former headquarters of the East German Stasi before landing on the trail of a Florida man with an unbelievable past. Could a motorcycle-riding pornographer with a fake Egyptology degree and a prophetess wife have set in motion one of the greatest hoaxes of the century? A propulsive tale laced with twists and trapdoors, Veritas is an exhilarating, globe-straddling detective story about an Ivy League historian and a college dropout—and how they worked together to pass off an audacious forgery as a long-lost piece of the Bible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385542586
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/11/2020
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 141,772
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

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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