Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is ‘Jesus’ Wife’ papyrus fragment a forgery?

Stephen Emmel, a professor of Coptology at the University of Muenster who was on the international advisory panel that reviewed the 2006 discovery of the Gospel of Judas, said the text accurately quotes Jesus as saying “my wife.” But he questioned whether the document was authentic.
“There's something about this fragment in its appearance and also in the grammar of the Coptic that strikes me as being not completely convincing somehow,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference.
Another participant at the congress, Alin Suciu, a papyrologist at the University of Hamburg, was more blunt.
“I would say it's a forgery. The script doesn't look authentic” when compared to other samples of Coptic papyrus script dated to the 4th century, he said.
It could be a forgery, conveniently passed to a scholar who will create a buzz to raise it's resale value.

Even though there are a limited number of scholars qualified to translate and analyse ancient Coptic, there doesn't seem to be any doubt about the actual words - just doubt about the provenance of the fragment and what if anything, it actually tells us about the historical Jesus.

It's a problem for fundies and literalists because the celibacy of Jesus is the basis for his sinlessness.

All you can really do is follow the scientific and historic evidence as it emerges.  If some orthodoxies get harmed along the way true believers will find new ones.

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