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The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife: Science, the Humanities, and the Fight to Define History – The Atlantic

The ongoing dispute over the authenticity of a scrap of papyrus from the ancient world highlights a larger question of how history is established.Ronen Zvulun / Reuters639 123 JOEL BADEN AND CANDIDA MOSS SEP 10, 2015In 2012, the world was introduced to the wife of Jesus—or, more accurately, to an ancient papyrus containing a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples in which Jesus appears to have used the phrase, “my wife.” Dubbed “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” or “GJW” for short, this scrap of text quickly became a media sensation, with a front-page story in The New York Times and a Smithsonian special featuring Harvard’s Karen King, the scholar who discovered it. Almost as quickly, however, a significant number of scholars, especially those trained as experts in the study of ancient papyri and languages, deemed the piece to be a modern forgery. By early 2014, the two sides had dug in deeper: Those in favor of authenticity produced lab tests on the papyrus and ink that supported their position, while those opposed produced more detailed analysis of the handwriting and the phrasing of the text, which pointed in the direction of fraud.

Source: The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife: Science, the Humanities, and the Fight to Define History – The Atlantic

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