web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Archeological Chemists Authenticate Ancient Text with Egyptian Wedding Certificate

Barabe’s team was part of an effort organized by the National Geographic Society to authenticate the Gospel of Judas.
Senior research microscopist Joseph G. Barabe.

Senior research microscopist Joseph G. Barabe.

A scientist who helped verify authenticity of the fabled Gospel of Judas on Monday revealed how an ancient Egyptian marriage certificate played a pivotal role in confirming the veracity of inks used in the controversial text. The disclosure, which sheds new light on the intensive scientific efforts to validate the gospel, was made on Monday, at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, in New Orleans.

“If we hadn’t found a Louvre study of Egyptian wedding and land contracts, which were from the same time period and had ink similar to that used to record the Gospel of Judas, we would have had a much more difficult time discerning whether the gospel was authentic,” said Joseph G. Barabe. A senior research microscopist at McCrone Associates, he led an analytical team of five scientists who worked on the project at McCrone, a consulting laboratory in microscopy and microanalysis in Westmont, Ill. “That study was the key piece of evidence that convinced us that the gospel ink was probably okay.”

Barabe’s team was part of a multidisciplinary effort organized in 2006 by the National Geographic Society to authenticate the Gospel of Judas, which was discovered in the late 1970s after having been hidden for nearly 1,700 years. The text, written in Egyptian Coptic, is compelling because — unlike other Biblical accounts that portray Judas Iscariot as a reviled traitor — it suggests that Jesus requested that his friend, Judas, betray him to authorities.

Barabe’s presentation was part of an ACS symposium on archeological chemistry. Other presentations included:

•Announcement of the unprecedented discovery of the most sacred Biblical dye at Masada, an ancient mountain fortress in Israel.

•Examination of the glues George Washington’s mother used to repair her ceramics and what it tells us about her life and the mending of china in the 18th century.

•Exploration of the use and trade of pulque — an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant —in prehistoric Mexico and Central America.

After analyzing a sample, Barabe and his colleagues concluded that the gospel was likely penned with an early form of iron gall ink that also included black carbon soot bound with a gum binder. While this finding suggested that the text may have been written in the third or fourth century A.D., the researchers were perplexed by one thing: The iron gall ink used in the gospel was different than anything they’d ever seen before. Typically, iron gall inks — at least those from the Middle Ages — were made from a concoction of iron sulfate and tannin acids, such as those extracted from oak gall nuts. But the iron gall ink used to produce the Gospel of Judas didn’t contain any sulfur. And that, Barabe said, was troubling.

“We didn’t understand it. It just didn’t fit in with anything that we had ever encountered,” he said. “It was one of the most anxiety-producing projects I’ve ever had. I would lie awake at night trying to figure it out. I was frantically searching for answers.”

Ultimately, Barabe found a reference to a small French study conducted by scientists at the Louvre who analyzed Egyptian marriage and land records written in Coptic and Greek and dating from the first to third centuries A.D. Much to Barabe’s relief, those researchers had determined that a wedding certificate and other documents were written in ink made with copper, but little or no sulfur.

“Finding that study, and realizing its implications, tilted my opinion a little in the direction of it being appropriate for the era,” Barabe said. “My memory of that experience remains quite vivid. I had a sudden feeling of peace that things were okay, and that I could submit my data without qualms.”

Barabe now suspects that the ink used in the Gospel of Judas was probably transitional, a “missing link” between the ancient world’s carbon-based inks and the iron gall inks (made with iron sulfate) that became popular in medieval times.

The scientists acknowledged funding from the National Geographic Society to complete this analysis.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Archeological Chemists Authenticate Ancient Text with Egyptian Wedding Certificate”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A look inside the IAF war room
IDF to Stop Persecution of Observant Soldiers With Beards
Latest News Stories

The terrorist’s wife will now have to return to the Palestinian Authority, following the decision by Interior Minister Gilad Erdan.

A look inside the IAF war room

The IDF says it will change its policies on soldiers who grow beards for religious reasons.

Riot Hundreds of masked Palestinians carry the body of 16-year-old Palestinian Mohamed Abu Khdeir during his funeral in the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat flash 90

The proposal includes some extreme measures to fight the current wave of terrorism.

The Kinneret rose 3.5 centimeters overnight due to the heavy rainstorm that hit the country.

The father-son team recently gave a check to the family of Druze policeman Zidan Saif for his role in stopping the Har Nof Massacre.

The police fought hard to not have it revealed that Netanel Arami was murdered in a Petach Tikva terror attack, but now a court has lifted the gag order…

The three were walking along the side of the highway when the accident happened.

A device, a gas canister with wires, was left near the Shavei Shomron intersection this morning, designed to look like a bomb.

The ISIS ‘prince’ of Iraq’s Anbar province was killed in a US-led coalition air strike Wednesday.

The Ferguson-related unrest continued across America Tuesday night. Some blamed Israel.

Israeli MK Yuli Edelstein tells Chabad rabbis why he “lost it” over tefillin in a Soviet labor camp.

Turkish legislator proposes Turkey pass law naming Israel a terrorist state.

ISIS reportedly executes by stoning two allegedly gay males in Syria.

World Council of Arameans Now “Looks Specifically to Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon”

Young Israeli women arrive at the Malcha Mall in Jerusalem to donate their hair to create wigs for cancer patients at a fundraiser arranged by “Zichron Menachem”, the Israeli Association for the Support of Children with Cancer and their Families (November 24, 2014). All photos by Gershon Elinson/Flash90

In Lebanon, a pro-Hezbollah vocalist has been arrested for nationalist and sectarian incitement.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/archeological-chemists-authenticate-ancient-text-with-egyptian-wedding-certificate/2013/04/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: