Papyrus fragment: front. Karen L. King 2012 (click for original source)

More people are commenting on the supposed 4th century Coptic text fragment that mentions the wife of Jesus (Coptic: tahime). In “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” Mark Goodacre seems mostly positive about the text, though he does express some reserve saying,

“I am not a papyrologist but I can’t get over how amateurish and blotchy the fragment’s text looks.  It is clearly written by someone using a thick nibbed pen and it looks weird.  Several letters are particularly bold, as if someone has written over them them for emphasis, including TA, the “my” in “my wife”.

In “The Wife of Jesus Fragment a Day Later: Some Concerns About Authenticity” Tom Verenna expressed more concern noting that (1) he thinks the papyrus looks ‘fresh’; (2) the ink is concerning, especially the layered feel of key words; (3) the spacing is odd; (4) the lines seem disarrayed.

In “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” April DeConnick suggest that it is a Valentinian Gnostic text.

For those interested, Harvard Divinity School has a page dedicated to the text with pictures of the front and back of the fragment, a transcription of the Coptic, and a proposed English translation here.

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