Veritas

A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 15 hrs and 32 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Ariel Sabar, the gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that shook Harvard.

In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient fragment of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Magdalene "my wife". The tattered manuscript made international headlines. If early Christians believed Jesus was married, it would upend the 2,000-year history of the world's predominant faith, threatening not just the celibate, all-male priesthood, but sacred teachings on marriage, sex, and women's leadership. Biblical scholars were in an uproar, but King had impeccable credentials as a world-renowned authority on female figures in the lost Christian texts from Egypt known as the Gnostic gospels. "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" - as she provocatively titled her discovery - was both a crowning career achievement and powerful proof for her arguments that Christianity from its start embraced alternative, and far more inclusive, voices.

As debates over the manuscript's authenticity raged, award-winning journalist Ariel Sabar set out to investigate a baffling mystery: Where did this tiny scrap of papyrus come from? His search for answers is an international detective story - leading from the factory districts of Berlin to the former headquarters of the East German Stasi before winding up in rural Florida, where he discovered an internet pornographer with a prophetess wife, a fascination with the pharaohs, and a tortured relationship with the Catholic Church.

Veritas is a tale of fierce intellectual rivalries at the highest levels of academia, a piercing psychological portrait of a disillusioned college dropout whose life had reached a breaking point, and a tragedy about a brilliant scholar handed a piece of scripture that embodied her greatest hopes for Christianity - but forced a reckoning with fundamental questions about the nature of truth and the line between reason and faith.

 WINNER OF AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE'S EARPHONES AWARD

"A good story well told cuts across every category of audiobook listening. This remarkable tale of a high-profile fraud combines elements of scripture studies, academic politics, investigative journalism, and true-crime reporting. Narrator Robert Petkoff is pitch-perfect in delivering author Ariel Sabar's examination of "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife," a forged parchment of dubious origin that duped a Harvard professor, made headlines, and here unfolds into a provocative study of the uneasy relationship between fact, belief, and the dedicated pursuit of truth. Petkoff maintains a firm, steady pace.... It's Sabar's painstaking attention to detail that exposes layer after layer of fraud and self-deception, and in the end provides a compelling and memorable listening experience." (AudioFile Magazine)

©2020 Ariel Sabar (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

WINNER OF AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE'S EARPHONES AWARD

"A good story well told cuts across every category of audiobook listening. This remarkable tale of a high-profile fraud combines elements of scripture studies, academic politics, investigative journalism, and true-crime reporting. Narrator Robert Petkoff is pitch-perfect in delivering author Ariel Sabar's examination of "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife," a forged parchment of dubious origin that duped a Harvard professor, made headlines, and here unfolds into a provocative study of the uneasy relationship between fact, belief, and the dedicated pursuit of truth. Petkoff maintains a firm, steady pace.... It's Sabar's painstaking attention to detail that exposes layer after layer of fraud and self-deception, and in the end provides a compelling and memorable listening experience." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Great Story for our Time

What is true, what are facts, who should be believed? How much does confirmation bias effect scholarship? Questions well asked and answered here. Bravo!

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Wow

This was sooo good. I originally read about this in about 2010 and I left off after the carbon dating was done. I am no scholar, but when it came back, even I knew it was medieval! This is a jaw dropping book and really pulls away the curtain to expose the “wizards” who claim to be our intellectual superiors. Thank you, Mr. Sabar, for YOUR Veritas!

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Olfactory nerve cancer

King’s diagnosis of cancer of the olfactory nerve, a cranial nerve, was mentioned twice by the author. This nerve to the brain sits right under the prefrontal cortex of the brain which governs our executive decision making abilities. Perhaps a long shot or completely wrong, but it corresponds to the same time this story of her unfortunate decision making played out. Just wondering.

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Amazing book!

I listened to this book for two days in a row until I had finished it. What I loved about it: - Extremely well written. - Engaging narrative. - Excellent investigative work. - Excellent narration. The author does not seem to have left a single stone unturned in his quest to figure out exactly what happened.