Last year a study dated the fragment from between the sixth and ninth centuries AD – but a German professor has since suggested that similarities between the “gospel” and another papyrus mean both are in fact forgeries.Christian Askeland, a research associate with the Institute for Septuagint and Biblical Research in Wuppertal, Germany, said radiocarbon dating showed the second papyrus, from the Gospel of John, was written 1,200 years ago in a language that had been extinct for 300 years.
Columbia’s James Yardley told Live Science: “In our first exploration, we did state that the inks used for the two documents of interest [the John papyrus and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife] were quite different.
The more recent results do confirm this observation strongly.” Yardley said he would reveal no more until the research is published, at which point Askeland will have the opportunity to respond.
"This technique stands to revolutionize radiocarbon dating," said Marvin Rowe, Ph. "It expands the possibility for analyzing extensive museum collections that have previously been off limits because of their rarity or intrinsic value and the destructive nature of the current method of radiocarbon dating.
In theory, it could even be used to date the Shroud of Turin." Rowe explained that the new method is a form of radiocarbon dating, the archaeologist's standard tool to estimate the age of an object by measuring its content of naturally-occurring radioactive carbon.
If nobody else, Jull and Hodgins should be able to confirm the details of the tests run.
Here is what I’ve been able to determine (or guess) from Krosney, however, who gives the most detailed account that is available to me right now. Christian Askeland has given us a blog post update at Evangelical Textual Criticism, including this exciting quote from that blog post: “The National Geographic Society granted the Arizona AMS laboratory permission to send me the actual results, and I am publishing an update on the dating of the Tchacos Codex based on the findings.” Also, “The lab had six test results.”] Krosney’s Account The raw data (such as it is) is reflected in the account presented by Krosney on pp.
He said this showed it was a forgery and, by virtue of the fact they were likely written by the same artisan, so was the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”.
Now, researchers at Columbia University are running new tests on the ink used on the papyrus, and say that early results rule out Askeland’s theory.
New tests on a highly controversial papyrus fragment may add credence to evidence suggesting Jesus had a wife.