The "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" papyrus appears to be in limbo as the Harvard Theological Review has chosen to forgo publishing an article describing the discovery of the document in its January 2013 issue, LiveScience reported.

This action does not mean the publication is not ever going to publish Harvard historian Karen King's article on the alleged lost gospel, though.

"Harvard Theological Review is planning to publish Professor King's paper after testing is concluded so that the results may be incorporated," Kit Dodgson, director of communications at Harvard Divinity School, told LiveScience via email.

The announcement has prompted both anger and elation, with Hershel Shanks of the Biblical Archaeology Society (the founder and editor of the society's Biblical Archaeology Review) writing that withdrawing the paper is “shameful.”

"My personal opinion is that Karen King and Harvard Theological Review have significantly improved the traditional peer review process by utilizing the Internet," Oxford University graduate Andrew Bernhard told LiveScience. "In fact, this could potentially be a watershed moment in the history of scholarship where the academic process becomes more open and transparent."

“The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” was discovered by King on Sept. 18, and the business-card-size papyrus instantly stirred up controversy.

It’s allegedly from the fourth century and written in Coptic, the language that was used by early Christians in Egypt, LiveScience noted.

King and her team believe the scrap of paper is the first authentic ancient evidence of Jesus speaking of having a wife.

Two Coptic scholars -- AnneMarie Luijendijk of Princeton University and Roger Bagnall of New York University -- believe the text to be authentic and verified that it dates back to the fourth century, according to the Biblical Archaeology Society's Shanks.

But there are skeptical scholars who believe the papyrus may have been fabricated by an amateur who used words and phrases from Michael Grondin's "Interlinear Coptic-English Translation of the Gospel of Thomas."

To determine the document's authenticity, “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” will go through several more analyses.

"The owner of the papyrus fragment has been making arrangements for the next round of analysis of the fragment, including testing by independent laboratories with the resources and the specific expertise necessary to produce and interpret reliable results," Dodgson wrote in her email. "This next phase is likely to take several weeks, if not months."

Coptic experts have translated eight lines of the document so far, and they read as follows:

1) ... not [to] me, my mother gave to me li[fe] ...

2) The disciples said to Jesus, "...

3) ... deny. Mary is worthy of it ... (or, alternatively, Mary is not worth of it ... )

4) ..." Jesus said to them, "My wife ...

5) ... she will be able to be my disciple ...

6) Let wicked people swell up ...

7) As for me, I dwell with her in order to ...

8) ... an image ...