Former Tyndale scholar Christian Askeland has found the ‘smoking gun’ that proves a 2012 Gospel of Jesus’ wife document is a forgery.
In a newsletter from Tyndale House, Dr Askeland explained why he disagreed with attempts by Harvard Theological Review’s Dr Karen King to affirm the genuine nature of the Coptic fragment, which was found two years ago and which claimed to quote Jesus as referring to ‘his wife’.
The fragment, written in Coptic — Greek letters with seven additional ones borrowed from the ancient Egyptian language — was originally classed by scholars in 2012 as a forgery.
However, since Dr King’s articles have renewed interest, Dr Askeland summarised the issues in Tyndale House’s latest newsletter, claiming that while intriguing, the fragment is certainly a forgery.
He said, ‘There is a string of grammatical anomalies in the fragment, appealing to an internet-based PDF of the Gospel of Thomas. With The Gospel of Jesus’ wife the forger had cut and pasted sections from the Gospel of Thomas, and, in doing so, created several grammatically impossible phrases. In particular, the forger unwittingly included a typo, which marked the particular source’.