'Archaic Mark' Proved Fake


The Gospel of Mark narrates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth and focuses primarily on the last week of his life. In this book, Jesus is portrayed as a man of action--a healer and a miracle worker. It is considered by most temporary scholars to be the first Gospel written. Recently, a prized copy of this text, known as the "Archaic Mark" was revealed as fake.

Edgar J. Goodspeed of the University of Chicago acquired the Archaic Mark in 1937, and just one year later, the book’s authenticity was under question. Opinion was divided on whether the manuscript, which also includes 16 colorful illustrations, was an important witness to the early text of the gospel or a modern forgery, said Margaret M. Mitchell, Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature. After decades of speculation, experts in mico-chemical analyst and medieval book making have concluded that it's a forgery from the late 1800’s. Samples of parchment, ink, and paint underwent a wide variety of tests, including polarized light, energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. The book has been determined to be created no earlier then 1874. There will be a detailed paper of the findings in this February’s publication of Novum Testamentum.