Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Fake: The 'Jesus Wife Fragment'

I was late-coming on this story, but caught up.  Apparently a Coptic 'gospel' fragment found a statement of Jesus refering to his wife.  Karen King, noted as major voice on women's roles in early Christianity and her work in Gnosticism, was poised to publish her study on this fragment in Harvard Theological Review.

I just received this email concerning this fragment from an OT professor from Covenant Seminary:

“News flash: Harvard Theological Review has decided not to publish Karen King¹s paper on the Coptic papyrus fragment on the grounds that the fragment is probably a fake.” This from an email Dr. Craig Evans, the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University and Divinity College, sent to me earlier today. He said that Helmut Koester (Harvard University), Bentley Layton (Yale University), Stephen Emmel (University of Münster), and Gesine Robinson (Claremont Graduate School)–all first-rate scholars in Coptic studies–have weighed in and have found the fragment wanting. No doubt Francis Watson’s comprehensive work showing the fragment’s dependence on the Gospel of Thomas was a contributing factor for this judgment, as well as the rather odd look of the Coptic that already raised several questions as to its authenticity.


  1. Thanks for the update. PS, the words you quote are actually Dan Wallace's and can be found here:

    And he has a couple of more recent updates on the same blog stating that Harvard Theological Review may still publish King's article.

  2. yes, you're correct, Parker. I was unclear in my post. These are not my profs words, but rather Daniel Wallace's. Parker, could you provide us a link to Wallace's further posts? Thanks! AWW