Remember the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”? A couple of months ago, Professor Karen King, from the Harvard Divinity School, announced she had discovered a tiny 4th century fragment of papyrus in Coptic language containing the phrase "Jesus said to them, 'my wife'", reports Vatican Insider.
The news caused a huge media storm. According to her analysis - presented in an article which will be published in the January issue of the American university’s prestigious theological magazine - the text in question is an Apocryphal Gospel which apparently shows that Jesus’ celibacy was an issue that was widely discussed among early Christian communities.
Right from the start - as Vatican Insider wrote in a previous article on the subject - there were those who expressed their doubts about the authenticity of the fragment, pointing out a number of oddities. But now, Andrew Bernhard, an ancient Gospel scholar who studied at Oxford, goes much further, explaining that according to him “this fake” was forged.
Bernhard claims the papyrus is a shoddy combination of some phrases taken from the Gospel of Thomas, the Apocryphal Coptic Gospel found in 1945 among the Nag Hammadi papyruses, in Egypt.
He adds that he can even identify a series of suspicious typographical correspondences with Michael Grondin interlinear Coptic-English translation of the Gospel, which is freely accessible online.
In “Notes on The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife Forgery”, Andrew Bernhard explains that the words contained in the new fragment can all be found in the Gospel of Thomas. The only exception is the Coptic phrase “my wife”, which is attributed to Jesus. Not only this, but in the fragment discovered by Karen King, the words appear often and in the same order. Every line in The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife contains Coptic words which appear on the same page in the Coptic-English translation mentioned in the Gospel of Thomas.
According to Bernhard it would not have been difficult to write them at the same time. The Oxford scholar said that, essentially, once the phrase “my wife” had been added, all the forger had to do was take some phrases from another text, change some genders, substitute some negatives with positives and there you have it: the new revolutionary Gospel.
FULL STORY How the fake papyrus on Jesus' wife was created (Vatican Insider)