Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Online Sleuthing Casts Doubt on 'Gospel of Jesus' Wife'





A copied error from an online translation of the Gospel of Thomas may be the “smoking gun” that strongly suggests the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, a controversial papyrus fragment that supposedly refers to Jesus being married, is a forgery, scholars say. If the text is fake, it would represent an extraordinary tale of how an amateur with no knowledge of a long-dead language could fool some of the world’s leading experts by using a readily available Internet tool — and how scholars countered by rallying online to swiftly investigate the case together.

The business card-size fragment of papyrus stirred up worldwide controversy with a line of text that reads “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’” Many skeptical scholars suggested the document was a forgery in the weeks following the announcement of the discovery by Harvard historian Karen King — and their early suspicions have evolved into solid theories and findings as they talked through Facebook posts, blogs and e-lists.