"It's a fragment. It's 8 lines long, there's not context with it!" said John Kohler, Executive Bible Chair of the Southwest at Amarillo College.
Dr. Kohler is referring to the highly controverisal 'Jesus' Wife' document that was proven to be authentic, or not forged, last week. However, as it quickly spread across the internet and became a trending topic on both Facebook and Twitter, few people pointed out that just because the document itself was real does not mean it's content is. in fact, the details of the parchment of papyrus paper only prove that the original authors had nothing to do with the historical Jesus figure.
"This doesn't show us anything about the historical Jesus. It's about views from a fringe group that came centuries later," said Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. "The article was hyped from the very beginning as a 'Jesus' Wife' text, and that got to a lot of people because then it's question gender relations, sexuality... it landed in a culutral way and took off on that basis."
In 2012, A Harvard Divinity School historian unveiled what she called, 'The Gospel of Jesus' Wife'. She immediately received a backlash of criticism questioning the parchment's authenticity and validity. Now, two years later, scientists say the ink and papyrus suggest the papyrus is actually ancient and not a modern creation. However, although it is proven not to be a recent forgery, it still does not date back to Jesus' time. in fact, scientists say the document would have been written between two to four hundred years after Christ's death.
"Initally a lot of people were saying, 'Well it's probably a forgery or it's probably not real, not an authentic fragment,' but now, they're coming out and saying that it is. And in my position, i would say, either way, it doesn't really matter. It's written in Coptic and it's dated to the fourth century," said Kohler.
Coptic is a native language of early Christians in Egypt and noted to be a part of a religious fringe group out of the north of the country. Historians and theologians say that this document is very much the opinion of an unorthodox group and in no way changes the view points on the Christ figure himself.
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