Carbon dating the gospels

King, a distinguished scholar of early Christianity, shocked an academic audience at the International Congress of Coptic Studies by detailing an Egyptian papyrus fragment that contained the first-known explicit reference to Jesus being married.The fourth of the eight incomplete lines of Coptic script written on the tiny papyrus scrap—only the size of a business card—contains the words “Jesus said to them, “My wife,” followed in the next line by “she is able to be my disciple.” King stressed that the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” could not be taken as evidence that the historical Jesus ever had a wife—just as no historical proof exists to support claims that he never wed—but she was confident that the artifact was authentic after initial examinations by two expert papyrologists indicated it was ancient. The Vatican dismissed the papyrus as a modern-day forgery.A Harvard professor garnered worldwide headlines in 2012 when she revealed the existence of a tiny papyrus scrap that suggested Jesus had been married.

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The editors said that since the journal “has never endorsed a position on the issue, it has no need to issue a response.” “I don’t see anything to retract,” King told the Boston Globe, noting that her research paper had always allowed for the possibility of forgery.

“I have always thought of scholarship as a conversation.

The preponderance of evidence “tips the balance toward forgery,” King said.

The Harvard scholar did tell the Atlantic, however, that she would need scientific proof or a confession in order to make a definitive assessment, and she pointed out that it was possible that the papyrus could still be authentic even if the story of its provenance was not.

New evidence unearthed by the Atlantic magazine about the provenance of the papyrus has led the professor to reverse course and admit that it is likely a modern forgery.

In September 2012, Harvard University divinity professor Karen L.Instead, they are indexed to the reigns of the Caesars, mention a known person in an official capacity whose dates are known, or speak of astronomical events.For example, a petition to a government official written in “the 25th year of Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Caesar” was penned in AD 216.Some of King’s fellow scholars who doubted its authenticity pointed to grammatical errors that native Coptic speakers would never have committed and believed it to have been copied from another ancient text, the Gospel of Thomas.In 2014, however, the Harvard Theological Review published results of carbon-dating and other scientific tests that detected no evidence of fabrication.The tests dated the papyrus to the seventh or eighth century A. and revealed the composition of the ink to be consistent with that time period.

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