The Curious Case of Jesus’s Wife

(Nov 24, 2014 02:09 AM)C C Wrote: Lab tests have suggested that a papyrus scrap mentioning Jesus's wife is authentic.

Or at least that the papyrus that the text is written on dates from late antiquity.

Quote:Why do most scholars believe it's fake?

I've seen at least two reasons given in journalistic accounts of the controversy.

First, a fragment of the gospel of John found along with the 'Jesus' wife' text and seemingly written in the same hand appears to be a copy of another known fragment of that gospel, down to breaks in the lines where the known fragment is damaged or obscured.

And second, the gospel of John fragment is written in a Coptic dialect that scholars don't believe was in use at the date that the lab tests place the papyrus that it is written on.

So the reasoning seems to be that if the gospel of John text shows signs of bogosity, the mysterious 'Jesus' wife' text (worryingly reminiscent of the thesis of The DiVinci Code) that was found with it and is seemingly written in the same hand might well be bogus too.

My impression is that the jury's still out on this one, but there's quite a bit of scholarly skepticism about it.

There are lots of modern forgeries of ancient text fragments floating around, sometimes written in period ink on blank scraps of ancient papyrus. There's big money in it and craftsmen in the Middle East specialize in it.

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