The first thing she mentioned as the basis for this claim was “an ancient papyrus scrap” that referred to the wife of Jesus.She was referring to the fragment which Harvard professor Karen King – the publisher of that papyrus scrap – has labeled “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” Tarico’s Salon article is a collection of falsehoods glued together with inaccuracies and wrapped in half-truths, but her claim about this papyrus is particularly misleading.The dialect – Lycopolitan Coptic – is attested rather sparsely; it is known from a manuscript called the Qau Codex (a manuscript of the Gospel of John produced in 350-400) which was published in 1924 by Herbert Thompson.
The production-date of the papyrus used for the fragment of Sahidic John was carbon-dated consistently to somewhere between 640 and 880.
This supports the idea that the fragment of the Sahidic text of John, and the FHF, both come from the same batch of papyrus, and that the papyrus-material was produced in 640-880. Christian Askeland’s observation that when one looks at the fragment of the Sahidic text of John, and also at the writing in FHF, “the writing tool, ink and hand” are “exactly the same.” This presents a rather large obstacle to the notion that the FHF was written in the 300’s or 400’s: a writer in the 300’s or 400’s obviously would not have access to papyrus writing-material produced in the 600’s-800’s.
If Salon were a doctor, it would be guilty of malpractice.
The proof of the counterfeit nature of the Forged Harvard Fragment – abbreviated, for the sake of convenience, as FHF – does not consist in the date of the materials out of which it was fabricated. Forgers can not only use ancient papyri – say, relatively cheap receipts – to write upon, but they can also burn ancient materials to create soot as a component of carbon-based ink to write with.
Second, the left margin of the fragment is only extant on one side.