Harvard scholar admits Jesus’ wife Gospel likely fake

A Harvard historian who defended the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” for four years has said it is a probable fake.

Professor Karen King reached this conclusion after reading an investigation into the papyrus’s origins by The Atlantic reporter Ariel Sabar.

The professor said “it tips the balance towards forgery”.

She first obtained the papyrus fragment in 2011.

Critics had argued for years that problems pointed towards a forgery.

These included errors in Coptic grammar and similarities with the Gospel of Thomas.

The writing on the papyrus suggested Jesus had been married.

Professor King had placed her faith in the opinions of expert papyrologists, along with a series of carbon-dating and other scientific tests.

The person who gave her the papyrus has been revealed as a Walter Fritz from Florida.

Fritz is said to have acquired the papyrus from a German businessman called Hans Laukamp in 1999.

It was revealed that Fritz was a business associate of Mr Laukamp, who died in 2002.

Fritz first met Mr Laukamp in Berlin in the 1990s at a talk given by author Erich von Daniken, known for his theories on aliens.

Fritz denies having forged or manipulated the papyrus.

But a lawyer who represented Mr Laukamp’s estate denied the German had ever owned such material.

The lawyer stated it would have been impossible for Mr Laukamp to have acquired the papyrus in East Germany in 1963 as claimed.

A note with the sales contract stated “Papyri were acquired in 1963 by the seller in Potsdam (East Germany)”.

Asked how Mr Laukamp’s signature may have ended up on the sales contract, Mr Laukamp’s wife Gabriele gave an explanation to The Atlantic.

“I can easily imagine Walter Fritz saying, ‘I need your signature for the company’?. – adding Mr Laukamp “would have signed that without reading everything.”

Fritz apparently studied Egyptology and worked as a tour guide in Berlin’s Egyptian Museum.

He was also revealed to have set up pornographic websites in 2003 that showed his wife having sex with other men.

The websites have since been taken down.


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