In the book, The Jesus Papers, written by Michael Baigent, the author claims to have seen a letter from Jesus Himself. The letter is supposedly in Aramaic, written to the Jewish council, and proves that Jesus faked his death and afterwards fled toEgypt. Is this true? Did Jesus really fake his death and flee toEgypt?
Well when you examine Baigent’s claims it becomes apparently not so true. For you see, Baigent can’t read Aramaic, but the antiquities dealer he purchased the letter from assured him of the contents of the letter. Problem is, the antiquities dealer himself couldn’t read Aramaic as well and Baigent fails to provide the name of this dealer. Baigent did have two scholars review the letter, yet both unfortunately passed away before Baigent published his book. Not too convincing anymore is it?
As scholar Craig Evans concludes; “No living, qualified expert has seen these documents, and the two who say they have seen them- and are still living- cannot read them… Baigent neglects to mention that archaeologists and papyrologists will tell you that no papyrus… can survive buried in the ground, in Jerusalem, for two thousand years… Jerusalemreceives rainfall every year; papyri buried underground, beneath houses or whatever, decompose quickly. So whatever Baigent saw, they were not ancient papyri found beneath somebody’s house in Jerusalem, and they were not letters Jesus wrote.”