Elementary, Dr. Watson? Is the New “Wife of Jesus” Text a Fake?

As a couple of readers here and over at my Naked Bible blog have brought up the recent proposal that the Coptic text in question is a fake, I thought I would direct readers to this short (6 pp.) explanation from Prof. Francis Watson as to how he thinks it was done. Even if you don’t read any Coptic I think you’ll be able to follow it. Thanks to my readers and Mark Goodacre’s NT blog for the link!

My take (as noted in the comments) is that the explanation is coherent, but needs to be bolstered by C-14 testing. However, that might not do any good (cf. my references to the old Irving Wallace novel, The Word). The physical features could be authentic and yet faked (in the Wallace novel the ink was hand-made from materials that would pass C-14 testing and the parchment was cut from a genuine uncial — some of them have blank pages).

Enjoy!

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  • chas

    i read jesus is not a jew from truth-books.com

    • MSH

      Then you’re wasting your time.

  • chas

    please explain or give info?

    • MSH

      explain what? It’s a critique of the recently publicized text. If you haven’t heard of the manuscript, Google “Jesus wife Coptic Karen King” and you’ll get hundreds (maybe thousands) of sites with stories about it.

  • http://Truth-Books.com chas

    please if you have time for this new beleiver…debunk, their (truth-books), litteral claims from old/new scripture detailing how jesus is NOT a jew?.

    • MSH

      every ancient source that mentions Jesus has him from the (Jewish) tribe of Judah. Jews would not embrace him as messiah if he wasn’t Jewish. His enemies would not want to kill him for claiming to be messiah if he wasn’t Jewish. They’d have just said “he isn’t Jewish.”

      Rather than asking me to debunk something, ask THEM for primary source material. 90% of this sort of quackery ends right there.

  • chas

    ok ok no probs my freind…thanks for your expert feedback i shall endevoure.

  • Chris Gudmundsson

    A Skeleton in God’s Closet (Maier) also presents a (just barely) believable scenario for how C-14 dating might be fooled.

    • MSH

      I’ve heard of that one but haven’t read it – do you recommend it?

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