START HERE with a Boston Globe article, No evidence of modern forgery in ancient text mentioning ‘Jesus’s wife’ along with a video to get up to speed (if you’re not).
A reader writes:
Note that there is a new "Jesus’ Wife" publication. [See “Jesus’ Wife” Articles in HTR: Initial Thoughts in Larry Hurtado’s Blog.] The observation which may interest you is the huge discrepancy in C14 dating by experts with the possibility of contamination effects.
These cannot be statistically consistent. (And recent statistical analysis of the SOT results indicate that they also were inconsistent among samples.)
(I believe there was also a problem with a control sample.)
People make a big deal of C14 testing, when it probably is not very reliable for certain materials. It might be noted that just because someone is a specialist in some field of science does _not_ at all mean they are statistical or even methodological experts. 95% aren’t.
The carbon dating discussion in Larry’s blog runs less than a paragraph and reads:
. . . The two radio-carbon tests, however, are both a bit puzzling and interesting. The proposed dates of the two tests are out from each other by several hundred years. The one report (by Hodgins) notes the curious date-result (405-350 BCE and/or 307-209 BCE), about a thousand years earlier than the date from the other carbon-dating test (659-969 CE), and Hodgins suggests some kind of contamination of the sample. But I’d assume that a contamination would come from something later than the ancient setting, and so skew the date later, not earlier. I’ll need some help with this!