Is the Gospel of Jesus' Wife a Forgery?

A scrap of papyrus from the early Christian era that refers to Jesus having a wife has met with extreme skepticism since its unveiling 11 days ago. Many scholars have declared the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" a modern forgery — one that probably postdates Dan Brown's 2003 novel, "The Da Vinci Code." Others say that conclusion is too hasty.

What are the experts' arguments for and against its authenticity? And will the world ever know for sure whether this dogma-defying artifact is real?

The torn, business card-size fragment found instant fame when Harvard historian Karen King announced its discovery last Tuesday (Sept. 18), because it bears the startling line: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife …'" The manuscript is written in Coptic, the language of early Christians living in Egypt. Although the beginning and end of each line of the manuscript are missing, it could be interpreted as a record of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples, in which the disciples tell Jesus: "Mary [Magdalene] is not worthy of it," and Jesus responds that his wife — presumably Mary — "will be able to be his disciple."...

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