The so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife has critics raising new concerns about its authenticity. Christian Askeland, an assistant research professor at Protestant University Wuppertal in Germany, believes that the tiny scrap of papyrus resembles another fragment known as the Gospel of John too closely to be real.
According to the New York Times, the fragment translates to read “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’” and “she will be able to be my disciple.” It was first introduced in September 2012 and has caused many scholars to research the authenticity of the document.
Askeland, an American who studies in Germany, said he was initially skeptical because, “there are many gospels, many texts, that say all kinds of things about Jesus.”
Askeland compared the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife to another papyrus fragment, the Gospel of John. Upon his investigation he found the fragments to have very similar handwriting as if written by the same person. Both documents were also handed over to Harvard University by the same owner but a different kind of ink was used on each fragment.
In his previous research, Askeland discovered that the Gospel of John closely copied 17 line breaks of the Codex Qua, an authenticated relic discovered in 1923; this “defied coincidence,” he said.
Askeland believes that the Gospel of John is a fake and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife is false by extension.
Publication date: May 5, 2014