The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife. The news is that there is no news:
Skepticism About 'Jesus' Wife' Papyrus Grows as Test Results Lag
I checked again this week with Jonathan Beasley, assistant director of communications at the Harvard Divinity School. He wrote in an email that "we are waiting for final reports to come in on some of the testing, and, depending on the results, for a decision about whether to do further testing."
He couldn't provide an estimate of when testing might be completed. Ms. King declined to comment, writing in an email that she had nothing to add to Mr. Beasley's statement.There are quotations from this blog and from Larry Hurtado's blog, and a mention of Andrew Bernhard. Bartlett's conclusion is that:
Such a flashy discovery won't just fade away. At some point we'll find out whether or not it was a hoax. In the meantime it's fair to ask why it's taking so long.Two quick comments:
(1) It is still not clear to me if Harvard themselves are arranging for these tests or whether the owner of the fragment is arranging for these tests. A comment in January suggested the latter. There is clearly a major difference between the one and the other. Does the owner currently have the fragment or does Harvard have it?
(2) Bartlett mentions that "the papyrus had already been tested". I have heard this mentioned on several occasions but I am not sure of the source of it. Karen King's article does not confirm this; she writes:
Given the content of this text, we took into serious consideration whether this was a genuine ancient text or a modern forgery. It would be very difficult to reproduce the kind the damage from insects or moisture that the fragment indicates, but it could have been penned on a blank piece of ancient papyrus, which are available for purchase on the antiquities market. Such a papyrus would pass a Carbon 14 dating test.In other words, she suggests that the fragment could pass a Carbon 14 dating test even if the text itself was composed in modernity; she does not confirm that such a test was undertaken.