For an accurate and complete understanding of history and culture, it is crucial that written sources be authentic. But what if they are not?Alas, this is an evergreen topic. Some recent PaleoJudaica posts on forgeries of antiquities (including the Shapira scrolls and the Gospel of Jesus' Wife, both mentioned in the article) are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
The surest way to verify the authenticity of ancient documents is to determine if they were recovered from secure archaeological contexts. In contrast, the antiquities market is how most modern hoaxes are circulated, including forgeries of ancient texts. Alleged ancient texts are often said to come from particular archaeological sites, but there is rarely a way to verify such assertions.
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