Jesus wife papyrus: Ancient document suggests that Jesus Christ was married, historian says

By on Sep 19, 2012 in Lifestyle, Weird Comments

Three major US magazines recently interviewed a historian named Dr. Karen L. King, who revealed that an ancient document, a papyrus fragment, allegedly mentioned something about Jesus’ wife and that Jesus Christ was married. This has never been mentioned in any existing scripture.

According to the New York Times on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, Dr. King, a Harvard Divinity School professor and a historian of early Christianity who specializes in Coptic literature, told them that an unnamed collector gave him the papyrus fragment, which was dated back to the fourth century.

As noted in the report, the faded document, which is smaller than a business card and looked like it has been torn from the middle of a page of an ancient book. The papyrus fragment, which was believed to be composed a century after Jesus died, has eight broken lines in it, written in a crude Coptic hand.

The fourth line allegedly said, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'” The next line reads, “…she will be able to be my disciple,” with Dr. King saying that the text could be a translation of a second century Greek text, but emphasizing that the papyrus does not really prove that Jesus Christ was married and he had a wife.

“This fragment suggests that some early Christians had a tradition that Jesus was married. There was, we already know, a controversy in the second century over whether Jesus was married, caught up with a debate about whether Christians should marry and have sɛx.” Dr. King told the New York Times.

King, 58, who was also interviewed by The Boston Globe and Harvard Magazine in her office at Harvard Divinity School last Thursday, added that she first learned about the papyrus fragment, which she calls “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” back in 2010, when she received an email from the collector.

The ancient document was presented to two papyrologists: Dr. AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University; and Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, at New York University. Both of them agreed that it is very unlikely to be a product of forgery.

Nevertheless, the discovery is being believed to revive the centuries-long debate as to whether Jesus Christ was married or not and whether Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ wife, or that he also had a female disciple.

Gospel Jesus wife
The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife
Image Credit: Dr. Karen L. King via New York Times

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