Smithsonian Yanks “Jesus’s Wife”

As I mentioned on Tuesday, Smithsonian had a documentary called “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” ready to run at 8pm on Sunday night. In the wake of numerous claims that the fragment is a forgery, they’ve decided to postpone that documentary pending additional testing.

From USA Today:

The Smithsonian Channel has postponed plans to broadcast a documentary on the discovery of a “Jesus wife” papyrus that a Vatican newspaper declares is a probable fake.

A promo for the documentary The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife on the channel’s website refers to the “damaged and fragile” ancient papyrus as “one of the most significant discoveries of all time.”

While the website still carries the description of the program, a small note to the right says it is “not currently airing.”

A spokesman says the broadcast has been postponed “until the text undergoes further tests,” according to The Washington Post.

Good for them. Now they can get back to some real history, like Ancient Aliens Week.

Thanks to Martin in the comboxes.


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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • victor

    Ha! I was just going to ask if this meant that they’d freed up some time for another Alien Astronauts or lizard Nephilim from Atlantis special.

  • Jeffrey Pinyan

    What could the running-time of that documentary POSSIBLY have been? 10 minutes? The fragment is tiny, the context is practically non-existent, its credibility is waning by the second…

    So what, have a dozen scholars hoping to shatter the foundations of the Catholic Church (once again) bloviating for an hour?

  • Fr. Cory Sticha

    Have you ever watched any of the Smithsonian commentaries? Like the History Channel or National Geographic Channel, they have the uncanny ability to stretch 5 minutes worth of actual information into 1 hour of innuendo, false controversy, and tension building.

  • deiseach

    We all know what this really means, don’t we? The Smithsonian directors have been threatened and bullied into giving up their free speech rights by the machinations – sorry, that should be “sinister machinations” – of the Vatican.

    Doubtless the albino assassin Opus Dei monks left fish heads in their beds as a gentle ‘warning’.


  • Matt R

    Father, it bugs me that they stretch material into hysteria, and it goes against any academic thought process. When Smithsonian and Nat Geo are on the mark, it’s fascinating. When they’re off it, the results are horrific…

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy historytainment. I enjoy Pawn Stars and the Hitler Channel and all that other pseudo stuff. I’m even faintly amused by some of Terry Jones’s historically illiterate shows. But we can’t mistake it for real history documentaries, like Civilization, The Story of English, World at War, or some of Michael Woods’ stuff. And instadocumentaries like this are certain to convey more fiction than fact. Truth and balance take time.

    Meanwhile, they can fill up the air time with the 1000th variation on “Ignatius Donnelly For Idiots.” Honestly, every history-oriented station should have a sign over the entry to their offices (along with “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”): “Atlantis was just a thought experiment, aliens have never visited earth, there have been other world leaders besides Hitler, the Catholic Church built western civilization, and ‘medieval’ is not a synonym for ‘stupid.’ You may proceed.”)