A gospel or gospel-fragment might be regarded as “fake” whether its author belongs to the ancient or the modern world. In both cases, the aim would be to persuade as many readers as possible to take the new text seriously – as a window onto unknown aspects of Jesus’ life, or how it was perceived by his later followers. In her thorough and helpful analysis of the text that is coming to be known as the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife (GJW), Karen King rightly points out that new items of information about the historical Jesus are not to be expected from it.1 It can though provide valuable insights into early Christian debates about sexuality and gender. At least, it can do so if it is “genuine”, genuinely old. King admits to initial scepticism, but is now convinced that this papyrus fragment derives from a fourth century copy of a second century text.
I shall argue here that scepticism is exactly the right attitude. The text has been constructed out of small pieces – words or phrases – culled mostly from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas (GTh), Sayings 101 and 114, and set in new contexts. This is most probably the compositional procedure of a modern author who is not a native speaker of Coptic.
“The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed”
[«Το Ευαγγέλιο της Συζύγου του Ιησού: Πώς συντάχθηκε ένα πλαστό Ευαγγέλιο-Σπάραγμα»],
20 September/Σεπτεμβρίου 2012.
* Καρασαρίνης Μάρκος,
«Είχε σύζυγο ο Ιησούς;
Το αμφιλεγόμενο «Ευαγγέλιο της Συζύγου του Ιησού» θέλει τον Χριστό παντρεμένο.
Δύο σημαντικοί μελετητές της Καινής Διαθήκης το αμφισβητούν»,
Το Βήμα, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2012.
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