“Jesus’ Wife” Fragment: Latest Developments
Several sources (including hints from Prof. Karen King) suggest that we will soon be hearing more about the controversial “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, brought to public attention back in 2012 by King. It appears that Harvard Theological Review will soon publish an article that will likely reflect the results of those tests that were to have been made on the fragment. These likely involve tests to determine if the fragment of papyrus is genuinely ancient, and perhaps whether the ink is as well. But we will have to wait for specifics.
In addition to the questions susceptible to physical testing, it will be interesting to see if the article addresses questions lodged by specialists in Coptic about the text.
And, of course, in any event, as Prof. King herself has emphasized repeatedly, if authentic, the fragment is an artefact of some early Christian, or circle of Christians, from the 4th/5th century, perhaps deriving from an earlier Greek text, but of no direct significance for questions about the historical figure, Jesus. The possible value of the fragment is what it may reflect about developments of ideas and issues in late-antique Christianity.
Another curious development was noted by Mark Goodacre in a blog-posting several days ago: It appears that the made-for-TV film sponsored by the Smithsonian Channel that was put on ice in 2012 (or some revised version of it) has now been aired . . . in French/France (but not, yet, in English). The link to Goodacre’s post is here.
The French version of the film is now available on Youtube here. It features Prof. King and others, especially those disposed favourably on the issue of authenticity. Malheureusement, nous n’avons pas le film en Anglais!