By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) – A team of scientists has concluded that a controversial scrap of papyrus that purportedly quotes Jesus referring to “my wife,” is not a fake, according to the Harvard Theological Review.
“A wide range of scientific testing indicates that a papyrus fragment containing the words, ‘Jesus said to them, my wife’ is an ancient document, dating between the sixth to ninth centuries CE,” Harvard Divinity School said in a statement.
Scientists tested the papyrus and the carbon ink, and analyzed the handwriting and grammar, according to Harvard. Radiocarbon tests conducted at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology produced an origination date for the papyrus of 659-859 CE, according to Harvard.
MIT also studied the chemical composition of the papyrus and patterns of oxidation. Other scholars studied the carbon character of the ink and found that it matched samples of papyri from the first to eight century CE, according to Harvard.
“None of the testing has produced any evidence that the fragment is a modern fabrication or forgery,” the divinity school said.