Princeton University professor Elaine Pagels is widely quoted in the media as an expert on early Christianity; she is often a sympathetic advocate in favor of bogus documents about early Christianity, whether those bogus documents be ancient (such as the so-called Judas Gospel) or modern (such as The DaVinci Code). Jesuit Paul Mankowski, in his essay "The Pagels Imposture," suggests that Pagels' reputation for expertise is undeserved. Dissecting a Pagels passage about Ireneus (an early church father who wrote an essay against heresies), Mankowski shows that "Pagels has carpentered a non-existent quotation, putatively from an ancient source, by silent suppression of relevant context, silent omission of troublesome words, and a mid-sentence shift of 34 chapters backwards through the cited text, so as deliberately to pervert the meaning of the original." If the Mankowski essay is accurate, then there does appear to be reason for readers to be cautious about presuming the accuracy of the rest of Pagels' writings.
Is Elaine Pagels a Fraud?