Remember the newspaper headlines in September about a newly discovered manuscript that ‘proved’ that Jesus was married? Closer examination of the fragment of manuscript points overwhelmingly to forgery. Read the report by Peter Williams of Tyndale House, Cambridge, here.

Evangelical scholars were among those who noticed the evidence against authenticity. Francis Watson of the University of Durham, Andrew Bernhard of Oxford, and Mark Goodacre of Duke University, ‘along with evangelicals Simon Gathercole and Christian Askeland [both of Cambridge], played a significant role in exposing the problems with the manuscript and claims about it on blogs and in the media,’ says Williams.

It’s well known that the massive sums paid by museums and universities for fragments of this sort have led to a substantial cottage industry to produce them. This one was only discovered because a) it seemed so unlikely that Jesus’s wife, had she existed, would have left no other trace in the 1st and 2nd century documents, and b) the forgers did a particularly shoddy job. There’s a lot of others out there waiting to be exposed.

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