The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: A Composite Fake?

That is the suggestion of Francis Watson. Mark “Scoop” Goodacre has posted short papers by Watson explaining his theory on the Gospel’s modern creation:

A more technical article employing Coptic here.

An Intro and Summary using only English for non-scholars here.

Watson’s theory is the fleshing out of something many of us had noticed about the Coptic fragment. Still, one would prefer to have lab tests proving a modern fake rather than just this admittedly convincing paper. I say that not only because lab tests are more definitive, but also because a good skim of something like Stroker’s Extracanonical Sayings of Jesus does make one feel that the ancients borrowed and recombined a lot of sayings of Jesus (just not to the degree seen in this fragment).

UPDATE: Watson has added a third brief paper examining the line breaks in the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife and how they might indicate the fragment is a modern fraud. Watson also makes clear his stance that the best stance regarding the fragment is skepticism awaiting further proof one way or another.


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