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The brave man who may have risked his life in 1963 Germany for the Gospel of Jesus Wife
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The anonymous owner said he bought the papyrus in 1999 from Laukamp, who retrieved the document in 1963 while in Potsdam, which was, at the time, East Germany, according to Live Science. - photo by Herb Scribner
Hans-Ulrich Laukamp, one of the last alleged owners of the Gospel of Jesus Wife, may have risked his life to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

According to Live Sciences recent report on a number of documents, the discovery of the Gospel of Jesus Wife which is a papyrus about the size of a business card and says that Jesus said the phrase, my wife, while also referencing a Mary was announced in 2012 by Karen King, professor at Harvard Divinity School.

King allegedly received the document from an anonymous source in 1999, LiveScience reported. The anonymous owner said he bought the papyrus in 1999 from Laukamp, who retrieved the document in 1963 while in Potsdam, which was, at the time, East Germany, according to Live Science.

But thats not such an easy feat, especially back in 1963, when people who lived in West Berlin, like Laukamp, could only travel to East Berlin on Christmas if they had family who lived there, LiveScience reported.

If Laukamp did try to reach Potsdam, he would have risked being caught and would have had to explain to East Germany, and possibly Soviet authorities, that the papyrus he was carrying, with the Coptic handwriting, was simply an ancient papyrus and not a coded message, LiveScience reported.

So how would he have reached the other side of the wall? According to LiveScience, he could have built an automobile that wouldnt have been caught by police, given his high technical proficiency. Its also possible he had help from German and Soviet authorities, LiveScience reported.

While this story sounds like the making of a Hollywood blockbuster, many are unsure its true because theres some uncertainty about whether or not the Gospel of Jesus Wife is authentic.

As I wrote about back in August, Columbia University researchers are currently running carbon dating tests on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife to measure its authenticity.

Jams Yardley, one of the studys researchers, said its important not to take these tests too seriously yet, since the fragments don't contain many of the same characteristics of other biblical texts, according to LiveScience.

Because of that, German researcher Christian Askeland has long said that the document is a fake, according to Christian Today. In a study on the text, Askeland said the document was written with the same ink, the same writing implement and showed the same handwriting as a fragment from John's Gospel a similar fragment that was discovered in 2014 and was likely forged, Christian Today reported.

"We can not know for sure why the forger created this manuscript, Askeland told Christian Today. She/he may have wanted to earn some money through deception. Some have speculated that the forgery was playing to the tune of the Da Vinci Code narrative, which apparently includes a married Jesus and a Harvard professor."

"Perhaps the papyrus creation was just a joke which went horribly wrong and the mortified prankster has withdrawn into hiding, never having imagined that the fake could have become the basis for a Smithsonian documentary and a Harvard Theological Review special issue, both released prominently before Easter.

The debate over the fragments authenticity will likely continue until tests are complete.

Earlier this year, CNNs Finding Jesus TV documentary series debated whether or not the ancient text was real, too.
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