The claims that a recently discovered ancient papyrus fragment makes mention of Jesus’ “wife” largely have been dismissed by the Christian community. It was even recently noted that the Harvard Theological Review refused to publish the paper discussing this fragment because some scholars believe the fragment to likely be a forgery. Today Michael Kruger, Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, offers some thoughts on the less-discussed backside of this fragment, and the conclusions that it may offer surrounding its authenticity. He writes:
What is notable about the back side of this fragment (known as the “verso”), is that it contains a faded Coptic script. This faded script has been mentioned as a sign of authenticity because it would be quite difficult to fake. However, this is only a sign of authenticity if the script on the verso is the same as the script on the recto. If they are not the same, then this lends credence to the possibility that the script on the recto about Jesus’s wife was added at a later point to an ancient fragment with faded writing on only one side.