News Archive

Photographing a Forgery?

1/2/2010

One warm October day last year, I got an unusual email from Ed Bianchi, the chairman of the board of Christ for the Nations. This school, located in south Dallas, has been preparing young people for the mission field for many decades. About ten years ago, the school was bequeathed an unusual gift from a donor. It was seven leaves of excellent quality vellum, with very faint writing on one side only. The unbound leaves came with a typed cover letter that looked to have been produced in the 1960s or 1970s on an electric typewriter. The letter told an amazing, though rather improbable story of a man named Louis Meccia who was given a 31-leaf Greek manuscript by a stranger because of a simple act of kindness on Mr. Meccia’s part. This event took place in 1919, the letter stated. The manuscript was allegedly written by Joseph of Jerusalem, a disciple of Jesus. It was wrapped in a Latin cover sheet, allegedly written by Constantine’s mother. Whether the documents now in Mr. Meccia’s possession were supposed to be the autographs of Joseph’s narrative or Constantine’s mother’s notes is unclear by the letter that Meccia wrote. Read more...