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It has been proposed that references to Jesus' relationship to Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of Philip represent a possible context for an early gospel fragment in which Jesus refers to her as ‘My wife’. It will be argued here that Mary's relationship to Jesus in Philip is determined by her role as privileged recipient of revelation, not by her marital status. More significant in accounting for the Jesus' Wife fragment is the Gospel of Thomas, which the author appears to have known in precisely the text-form represented by the one surviving Coptic exemplar.
The internet publication of a Coptic Gospel of John fragment demonstrated that both it and the related Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment were modern creations. The Coptic John fragment was clearly copied from Herbert Thompson's 1924 publication of the Lycopolitan Qau codex, and shared the same hand, ink and writing instrument with the Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment. The present discussion will first survey the extant Coptic tradition of John's Gospel, and second outline the evidence for dependence on the Qau codex publication.
The present essay summarises textual evidence indicating that the Gospel of Jesus' Wife is essentially a ‘patchwork’ of words and short phrases culled from the lone extant Coptic manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas (Nag Hammadi Codex ii), prepared by a forger using Michael W. Grondin's 2002 PDF edition of this manuscript. The text contains at least five tell-tale signs of its modern origin, including the apparent replication of a typographical (and grammatical) error from Grondin's edition. A direct link between it and Grondin's work also seems to be confirmed by the earliest known English translation of the fragment.
This article is concerned with material aspects of the ‘Jesus’ Wife' fragment. Following an analysis of the papyrus which confirms that it is indeed of ancient manufacture, the scientific tests carried out on both the papyrus and the ink are critically assessed and shown to be of little or no value in determining the date of the writing.
Many forgeries pass through a cycle of fabrication, acceptance, doubt and final rejection. Consideration of a number of modern forgeries, notably those of Constantinos Simonides, illustrates how forgers exploit prevailing debates, look for persons or institutions on whom to practise their deception, and are often undone by their own errors, especially when manufacturing provenance. This ‘syntax’ of forgery can be applied to the case of the Jesus' Wife papyrus, though the participation of media corporations and the existence of the internet add a new element to the process.
When the ‘Jesus’ Wife' fragment was first made public at a conference for Coptic Studies, it generated worldwide media interest but met with increasingly sceptical responses from scholars with expertise in the most directly relevant fields. A summary of the grounds for scepticism, written shortly after the conference, is here published for the first time. Since then the collaborative efforts of a number of scholars have confirmed that the case against an ancient origin is overwhelming.
This article examines the poisonous characteristics of Lolium Temulentum L., the weed that is generally identified with the tares (zizania) mentioned in Matthew's Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (Matt 13.24–30, 36–43). It identifies the weed, examines its pervasiveness in antiquity, as well as the nature and degree of its toxicity, and establishes that the tares of the Palestine of Jesus' day were likely poisonous. With this in mind, it considers whether the tares' toxicity is a factor in understanding the parable and its interpretation, concluding that it is very likely presupposed by both.
This paper explores the meaning of ἐφ’ ἑλπίδι in Rom 8.20c. This phrase has been variously understood as denoting a hope exercised by the one who subjected creation or a hope inhering in creation despite its subjection. After surveying and evaluating the standard proposals, I argue for an alternative manner of punctuating vv. 19–21 that makes it possible to preserve the most common meaning of ἐπί with the dative, while also taking creation itself as the agent that acts ἐφ’ ἑλπίδι. This proposal obviates a number of difficulties with conventional readings, and highlights the parallels between Paul's statements about the hope of creation in vv. 19–21 and the hope of believers in vv. 24–5.