LAST EDITED ON 10-02-12 AT 11:49 AM (EST)
And now it seems that the reports that the Vatican said it was a "clumsy forgery," or rather that that was written in an editorial in the official Vatican newspaper, may themselves have been derived from a fraudulent source, as no one can locate that actual editorial piece.
In any event, had the Vatican, anyone at all at the Vatican, actually said that, I did understand what was meant. In the first place, you actually can commit forgery by trying to pass off something you wrote as having been authored by someone else, say a previously unknown Shakespeare manuscript, a previously unknown DaVinci notebook, a previously unknown Nostradamus quatrane. Or, in this case, simply just a forged antiquity.
The fact of the matter is that the papyrus should be analyzed and dated as best as possible, and the ink should be analyzed as well. Professor King originally dated the fragment as third century on the basis of writing style.
One researcher from the UK, independant of the Catholic Church, is saying this fragment comes from a forged (rewritten or edited or whatever) copy of the Gospel of Thomas. To which I say: Lord, yes, let's open that can of worms.
A fourth century Coptic scroll known to have been based on earlier works (fragments in Greek dating from earlier periods), arguably dating as from the first or second century, which itself is simply a collection of sayings with no discernable order -- in other words, a sourcebook.
The basic fact of the matter, facts of the matter rather:
No one with any credibility is actually claiming this is any sort of proof that Jesus was married, only that it is a significant piece of history regarding the gnostic branch of Christianity and perhaps their beliefs.
And mainly: even if there were any proof that Jesus was married, that Jesus was not celibate, so what, there would still be no reason to rewrite the official version of the Bible, as nowhere in the Bible does it say Jesus was married, single, celibate or sexually active. Those traditions came later anyway.