Quite an interesting post from Prof. Larry Hurtado’s blog today. The post focuses on an out-of-print book byEdgar J. Goodspeed (Famous Biblical Hoaxes, or, Modern Apocrypha). It was originally published in 1931 (repr. 1956). Hurtado’s post sketches a litany of (in)famous hoaxed “ancient” documents covered by Goodspeed in his book. He notes:
Goodspeed was a shining star of NT scholars in the University of Chicago, and among the most important (if not the most important) American NT scholars of his time. In this book, Goodspeed discusses a number of “curious frauds that when they first appear . . . are promptly unmasked; but a generation, or a century, later, long after their exposure has been forgotten, they are revived by somebody and make a fresh bid for acceptance” (viii). Though ignored by scholars as unworthy of attention, such texts get peddled to the unsuspecting (or credulous) general public, and in these internet-days they can be touted around the world in a matters of weeks. To his credit, Goodspeed took the time to research, describe, and examine critically a number of these items. His book is no longer in print, but is worth perusing still.
Yeah – these internet days. The art of offering claptrap to a gullible public by “researchers” trying to make a fast buck has never been more evident.