Thus, on the basis of the age of the papyrus, the placement and absorption of the ink on the page, the type of the handwriting, and the Coptic grammar and spelling, it was concluded that it is highly probable that the fragment is an ancient text. Although a final conclusion about the parchment’s authenticity remains open to further examination by colleagues and to further testing, especially of the chemical composition of the ink, these assurances were sufficient for work on the analysis and interpretation of the fragment to begin in earnest.
Unfortunately, “ancient” is not synonymous with genuine or even reliable. The term “Psuedepigraphica” is a polite term for documents which were known to be forgeries even in the days in which they were written.
I don’t have the link handy, but if you want to hear something that’ll make you wet your pants it’s so funny, google or youtube Sam Kinison, Jesus, wife. He does a bit about what if Jesus had a wife. Just awesome. I’ll give you a little bit I remember:
Jesus comes home from a long day of healing the sick, tending to the poor, etc.
Jesus’s wife: So “Saviour”, where’ve you been all day? I’ll bet you’ve been out drinking with your “disciples” huh. I’ve been at home all day, sweeping the hut….
[ Edited: 25 September 2012 10:36 AM by CuthbertJ ]
But yes, it is a bit suspicious that such a text piece appears a few years after Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.
Might be nice if the fragment could at least be dated. If it’s a forgery, then we would know if it’s a recent contrivance or if it’s a fraud dating to the 4th century. (There was plenty of that going on!)