Last October I learned about a manuscript narrating Jesus’ life that was purportedly written by Joseph of Jerusalem, a first-century follower of Jesus. Although the claims were fantastic, I wondered if the manuscript that came with the cover letter could be at least an uncatalogued Gospels manuscript, perhaps of Matthew or Luke. 

In December 2009, a team from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts was privileged to visit Christ for the Nations, a college in Dallas, to examine this peculiar manuscript. The team members included Dr. Jeff Hargis, Ms. Dana Cooper, Mr. Peter Gurry, and me. Immediately we recognized that the manuscript was not a first-century document, but was produced many centuries later. The text was written on parchment—a very fine grade of parchment—and was no earlier than the ninth century. The ink was so faint that it was virtually unreadable without UV light. CSNTM photographed the manuscript, then we studied it, and came to discover that…

OK, so that was a terrible tease! But you can read the whole story at CSNTM’s website. Just click here to read it. Peter Gurry also wrote a narrative about the manuscript at Friends of CSNTM.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

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