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I long ago dismissed Morton's contentions as too speculative and unneccessary. Jesus didn't need to be a magician to succeed spectacularly. Benny Hinn should get a Nobel Prize for providing the ultimate proof of this. You just push somebody over backwards, get them to stagger around a little, announce they are healed, and nobody but nobody ever ever checks up. And even your most educated and astute followers swear to themselves and their descendants they saw it all with their own eyes, and fork over the cash for their life-changing illusions. (Google "Benny Hinn exposed" for details from some of his own disillusioned staff.)

Some time ago, a Christian apologist even wrote an article in Christianity Today bemoaning that Hinn's spectacular success with his televised fake healings have done irretrievable damage to Christian apologetics by showing on what shallow ground lie the two primary proofs of Christ's resurrection: the testimony of the 500 and the resultant transformative impact on the rest.

One wonders, as well, at the temptation Morton must have felt to throw in some antique indication that Jesus was insane, which actually is what his mother and brothers at times thought (according to the authentic Gospels). Too, one wonders if, despite what he sometimes suspected, deep down, he felt Jesus truly existed. I've always thought such an indelible personality must have existed. And yet, and yet... one thinks of the trans-time heart-wrenching impact of such as King Arthur and the magnificent nanographically detailed literature limning every moment of his nonlife.

Finally, I think of how the gay poet and classical epigrapher A. E. Housman would have loved to have laid waste to Morton's Christ having a fling with a formerly dead rich young ruler, especially at its being part of a proto Mark. Like the other apocrypha, this "fragment" simply doesn't jibe in any epigraphical or realistic sense with the ethos, mindset, psyche of the personality communicated by the earlier four Gospels. Hugging John, yes, kissing, perhaps, hanky panky, absurd. If so, no wonder his family thought he was nuts.