Over at Evangelical Textual Criticism blog, Christian Askeland announces that photos of the Gospel of John fragment, allegedly purchased together with the Gospel of Jesus Wife papyrus, are available here (click on “read the full report”)
Christian remarks that
The shocker here is this. The fragment contains exactly the same hand, exactly the same ink and has been written with the same writing instrument. One would assume that it were part of the same writing event, be it modern or ancient. … Actually, if you are a Coptic nerd, there apparently is a bigger shocker… The text is in Lycopolitan and apparently is a(n exact?) reproduction from the famous Cambridge Qau codex, edited by Herbert Thompson. What is so shocking about that? Essentially all specialists believe that Lycopolitan and the other minor dialects died out during or before the sixth century. Indeed, the forger tried to offer two manuscripts both in Lycopolitan, but made two crucial mistakes. First, the NHC gospel of Thomas is not a pure Lycopolitan text, but the Qau codex is. That is we have two clearly different subdialect of Lycopolitan, which agree exactly with published texts. Second, this GJohn fragment has been 14C dated to the seventh to ninth centuries, a period from which Lycopolitan is totally unknown.
I collated the text of the fragment against Thompson’s edition of the Gospel of John in the Lycopolitan dialect of Coptic and the results can be seen in the photo below (this is the verso of the fragment, which contains John 6:11-14).
This implies that the modern forger (now we can confidently use this word) copied from Thompson’s edition, following the same line divisions. As both this papyrus fragment and the GJW stem from the same pen, the latter must also be a forgery. Congratulations to Christian for finally finding the “smoking gun.” Although to many of us the forgery has always been obvious, now we can finally say ‘Case closed”!
P.S. I repeat here, just for the sake of clarity: genuine blank papyrus fragments have been purchased and used for these blatant forgeries.