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L'Osservatore editorial: Coptic papyrus is probably fake

October 01, 2012

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has argued in an editorial that a Coptic papyrus fragment, which appears to refer to a wife of Jesus, is “a fake.”

The editorial notes that many scholars have questioned the authenticity of the purportedly ancient document, which was introduced by Harvard’s Karen King earlier this month and has received enormous worldwide publicity. Gian Maria Van, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, said that the scholarly evidence pointed toward an “inept forgery.”

Some scholars have testified that King’s discovery is probably authentic. However, an entirely separate discussion continues regarding the weight that should be attached to a single fragmentary document, of unknown provenance, dating from a few centuries after the life of Christ.


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