Is the 'Gospel of Jesus's Wife' a Fake? Page 3


"Seventeen of 17 line breaks are the same. This defies coincidence," writes Askeland.

Ross Everett joins DNews to report on an ancient text claiming that Jesus had a wife.

The John fragment is written in a dialect of Coptic called Lycopolitan, which had died out by the seventh century A.D., which would seem to confirm the fragment's inauthenticity, Askeland said.

Tests carried out by James Yardley and Alexis Hagadorn of Columbia University found that the ink from the Gospel of Jesus's Wife and the John fragment are similar but not quite the same. The handwriting style, however, from the John fragment is similar to that of the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, Askeland noted.

Given the similar handwriting and ink, and the identical owner, Askeland, and a large number of other scholars who have written online about Askeland's finds, argue that the Gospel of Jesus's Wife is likely also fake.

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Live Science contacted two Egyptologists who have examined the Gospel of Jesus's Wife firsthand to get their opinions. Malcolm Choat, of Macquarie University, who published an analysis of the writing of the Gospel of Jesus's Wife recently in Harvard Theological Review, says that he needs time to investigate Askeland's findings before he can comment. Similarly, Roger Bagnall, the director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University (the Gospel of Jesus's Wife was examined there at one point) said that he needs time to analyze Askeland's findings and those of other scholars before he can comment.

If Laukamp did own both the Gospel of Jesus's Wife and the John papyrus, as the documents from the anonymous owner indicate, then this makes him an even more interesting and daring man.

He would have had to cross the Berlin Wall in 1963, at the height of the Cold War, to obtain the Jesus' wife papyrus from Potsdam (and if caught, he would have to explain to East German police that the Jesus' wife papyrus was just an ancient manuscript and not a coded message). He also would, at some point, have obtained a fake Coptic papyrus of the Gospel of John that had very similar handwriting and ink to the Jesus' wife papyrus.

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