Rumor Has It: Oddities in the Initial Chemical Testing of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife (GJW)

A rumor is floating around at this year’s SBL among scholars close to the events of the initial publicizing of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife fragment. Namely, the claim is that the initial chemical analysis was done in a quick and unconventional manner (comparing the GJW fragment with the Gospel of John fragment from the same collection) by someone at MIT (apparently Timothy Swager) who happens to be a close friend of the husband of Karen King. This is merely hearsay at this point and has not been substantiated in a peer-reviewed publication. Still, it should be examined by those close to the situation and either confirmed or debunked. If the rumor is debunked, this blog will make due note of it.

The Tallest Tale Ever: Emmel on the Inauthenticity of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Stephen Emmel recently made a guest post on Alin Suciu’s blog. Emmel has calculated the size of the Gospel of John fragment written by the same modern prankster who created the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife fragment. Based on the size of the fragment and its exemplar (the Qau codex), a full leaf of the Gospel of John fragment would represent either “the tallest (or widest)” of any papyrus codex “yet known.” This adds further proof against the inauthenticity of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife papyrus. To put it another way, while the physical dimensions of the Gospel of John fragment would make it the tallest tale ever, that epithet might just as aptly suit the content and creation of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.

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