Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Declared Authentic

The biblioblogs are abuzz this morning with the news that the promised scientific tests on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment indicate that the papyrus and the ink are ancient, not modern. Here are the links to the discussion so far:

Harvard Magazine: "The Jesus' Wife Fragment: The Scientific Evidence"

The New York Times: "Papyrus Referring to Jesus' Wife is More Likely Ancient Than Fake, Scientists Say" by Laurie Goodstein

Harvard Theological Review 107:2 (2014): published online, with the original article by Karen L. King and a response by Leo Depuydt.

Paleojudaica: "GJW Tests Finally In" 

Jim Davila at Paleojudaica says "This round goes to those who think that the Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment is a genuinely ancient literary artifact." I'd prefer to see this as a victory against those who would too quickly dismiss a text as a forgery SIMPLY (or principally) because they dislike its contents.

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5 Responses to Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Declared Authentic

  1. I’d be cautious, Tony, not only about “declaring” this fragment authentic, but also about aligning the case for forgery with an alleged dislike of its contents. These sorts of claims never get us very far since there will always be those whose case for authenticity can be correlated with an alleged “like” of the contents. Moreover, this idea of “dislike” cuts both ways. The fact that someone might “like” the content might be the very thing that encourages an appropriate scholarly scepticism.

  2. I was hoping you might have more to say on the topic, but perhaps you are reading the other commentaries before stepping out wholeheartedly with your opinion and arguments. I have posted my own on my blog because i think it important to address the parallels with GTh from the standpoint that GJW is authentic versus as proof it is a forgery.

  3. Tony says:

    Ariadne: I’d rather step back from things for now, primarily because it is out of my area of expertise–i.e., I don’t work in Coptic. My interest is in reactions to apocryphal texts, and that’s why I commented at all. The detailed work on this text must be left to the experts.

  4. I belong to Mike Grondin’s GTh Yahoo Group and have for years. The experts are divided on this one. The funny thing that might be of interest to you is that the women ( April DeConick and Karen King) seem to believe it is authentic while the men believe it to be a forgery. I find that an interesting observation on my part.

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