In earlier posts I talked about the “discovery” of the tiny credit-card sized fragment of a Coptic Gospel, with several lines of text on it, in one of which Jesus is recorded as speaking the words “my wife.” The text has been named “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” As I mentioned in a previous blog, there are heated discussions of the fragment’s authenticity, with a large number of experts contending that it is a modern forgery. We will probably not know for certain until the tests on the ink have been conducted and published. But in the meantime there is one interesting development.
In my last post on the topic I discussed an article by Francis Watson of the University of Durham, England, and author of Text and Truth, and Gospel Writing, who argues that every word and phrase of this fragment could easily have been lifted from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas – with one exception: the very phrase that everyone is interested in, “My wife.” Watson’s argument is that someone (recently) who is not an expert in Coptic, but who had a basic knowledge of the language and a copy of Coptic Thomas (readily available) simply spliced together words and phrases from here and there in the Gospel of Thomas as a forum in which to present the spectacular line that has Dan Brown fans salivating.
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