Reference to Jesus’ wife

Buzz still abounds about a Harvard scholar’s discovery of a fourth-century Coptic papyrus that provides clues as to what early … Continued

Buzz still abounds about a Harvard scholar’s discovery of a fourth-century Coptic papyrus that provides clues as to what early Christians thought about Jesus.

On the subject of the newly discovered papyrus that quoted Jesus as saying “my wife…” world-renowned theologian N.T. Wright simply had this to say:

On Tuesday, Karen King, a historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, presented a paper at a conference in Rome, with information that reignited questions about Jesus’ life as well as debate about celibacy, family and marriage. Jesus being unmarried is a long held traditional Christian belief.

“King also acknowledged that Jesus might have been speaking figuratively when he referred to ‘my wife.’ After all, the fragment is just 33 words long, with incomplete sentences and very little context,” Religion News Service reported Wednesday.

An anonymous private collector contacted King to analyze the ancient text. Some scholars have questioned its authenticity.

“I would say it’s a forgery. The script doesn’t look authentic” when compared with other samples of Coptic papyrus script dated to the fourth century,” said Alin Suciu, a papyrologist at the University of Hamburg in Germany, the Associated Press reported.

A draft of King’s paper about the fourth-century papyrus fragment is available on the divinity school Web site. Her analysis is slated to appear in a forthcoming article in the Harvard Theological Review.

But on Friday, the journal said the research about the ancient text hasn’t been fully verified despite attention given to the text earlier in the week.

AP reported Friday that the “the review’s co-editor Kevin Madigan said he and his co-editor had only ‘provisionally’ committed to a January publication, pending the results of the ongoing studies. In an e-mail, Madigan said the added studies include ‘scientific dating and further reports from Coptic papyrologists and grammarians.’”

The Smithsonian Channel will premiere a special documentary about the papyrus and King’s research on Sunday.

  • shilotoren

    Jesus didn’t have a wife. Proof is that no one has ever found a shopping list made out by her.

    If Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, than having a wife would have been very “normal”. Human really.

  • lucretius

    If you could compile a list
    of all the bogus Jesus documents that have come to light,
    it would stretch back almost 2000 years.

  • allinthistogether

    Yep, obvious answer is “we don’t know.” If only we could all accept that all of our knowledge about any possible God is partial and imperfect, and accept that “we don’t know” enough to be ostracizing, hating and killing each other over religion. Since we don’t know (absolutely), we can only make conscious or subconscious choices about what to believe, and we have a right to do so. However, an admission that it is belief, not knowledge, and that we all have a choice about what to believe, would go a long way toward building a world of peace and justice.

  • Crickey7

    I had thought that the first few centuries produced a number of alternative versions of the life of Jesus, which were gradually pared down into the accepted Gospels. If that is true, then having one outlier text would not be unexpected.


    All the revelation regarding Jesus/our savior can be found in the God inspired Bible written by the holy spirit thank you! The enemy has been trying to twist the truth for 2 millenium-nothin new under the SON!

  • persiflage

    Mythology heaped on mythology – pretty typical of all religions. Sorting out a single verifiable fact from the fictions of religion has taken up uncounted lifetimes…….to no avail.

  • A wise and frugal government…

    What a concept that a Jewish male over the age of 30 would actually have a wife? That would be called the norm, especially in ancient times. Why so much push-back… because the Catholic Church requires celebacy from their priests? Jesus was a rabbi, not a priest. Rabbis get married and even recognize that bit about being “fruitful and multiply” like G-d commanded.

  • samsara15

    Considering that most of the Bible is forged anyway, and that Jesus was as common a name at that time as Bob is now, there’s little doubt this new document refers to another Jesus, and should be ignored.

  • ls

    “most of the Bible is forged anyway”.

    Interesting comment samsara15. Can I ask what evidence has led you to this conclusion?

  • divine0001

    Such controversies prove to me that religion is largely manipulated fabrications and fables based on factual characters and incidents. Jesus is a concept of Lord (not god) that has been passed down by decree from the royalties. The subjects were left no choice but to believe it. So what do we believe in? The concept of Jesus who will save my hide in heaven. Is it true? Of course not. Do all the christians have the same idea of Jesus? No. Would it make any difference in the faith of the faithful whether Jesus was married? Mostly no. So, what does it do for the beliefs of the humanity? It lends credence to Hindu philosophy. The Hinduism has 33,000,000 gods because the population then was 33,000,000 people capable of imagining their own god, developing and worshipping their own concept of god. No lord or god or Jesus or Krishna or Buddha or Shiva or Mahesh or Durga or Laxmi canbe standardized. They are all concepts. We will continue to believe for our peace of mind, not because there is any proof of their marriage status, or existence, or anything else.

  • tony55398

    Well they say that Jesus was truly human and truly God, does the God side of Jesus say that Jesus humanity would not allow being being married or being fully human like other people, unless He chose it, but the Gospels don’t reveal His private life, so it’s not impossible. The Gospels reveal very little about the private lives, even of those who were His followers. The Gospels were about salvation of mankind, not the private lives of individuals.

  • Crickey7

    He was there!

  • tony55398

    While to many people, many things are looked upon as somewhat disgusting especially by conservative Religious, especially sex which some think is a necessary evil, Jesus had a more God centered understanding of an act, given by God, that gives life to those that will be born to the world. Jesus saw things very differently than many of us do.

  • GerriM


  • GerriM

    Jesus actually existed so do some reading and research.

  • GerriM

    Do any reading or studying , Samsara, so you might know what you are talking about?

  • GerriM

    I haven’t noticed any push-back? It’s simply a new thought on Jesus.

  • GerriM

    apparently, you don’t read about these things or haven’t studied it
    You are ignorant on the subject as Jesus was not a myth. do some
    reading and studying before you speak,

  • persiflage

    Gerri, apparently you don’t like your beliefs challenged! Whether or not Jesus existed is completely secondary to his alleged divinity, and subsequent resurrection from the dead.

    Thus far, no evidence outside of the human imagination (the source of all mythology) exists in support of divine humans born under supernatural circumstances – although there are many examples of such claims throughout history apart from Christianity.

    The concept of marriage challenges the foundational Christian beliefs of of Jesus as a deity (the second person of the Trinity). It just goes to show you that humans believe all kinds of things without any evidence whatsoever – and no matter how ridiculous the claims happen to be…………….

  • yeshu2004

    Christianity first appeared in Egypt in 42 AD in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a city founded by Alexander. Jesus’ disciple Mark preached in Alexandria and many became Christians. If Jesus had a wife, Mark, a contemporary and disciple of Jesus, would have told the new converts, the Coptic Christians. Alexandria was a well developed, cultured city with a huge library. Rome was ruled at that time by Claudius, with a strong Christian population in Rome. There was also a theological school in Alexandria, the Catechetical School, the oldest school in the world. Founded around 190 AD by the scholar Pantanaus the school of Alexandria became an important institution of religious learning, where students were taught by scholars such as Athenagoras, Clement, Didymus, and Origen, the father of theology and who was also active in the field of commentary and comparative Biblical studies. The theological institutions of Egypt and the great Christian scholars who lived in Egypt long before this fake papyrus fragment was found, do not say anywhere that Jesus had a wife. In these circumstances, Karen’s thesis that the early Christians believed that Jesus had a wife is a fallacious fabrication. Karen claims that this papyrus was written 400 years after the resurrection of Jesus. Who owned it all these 1612 years? Why the Coptic Church in Cairo was not aware of it? How could Karen fix the age of the papyrus to 400 years without subjecting it to carbon dating? Probably it would have been produced quite recently by using a crumpled papyrus. So there is something fishy, something shady and something malefic in the entire episode. It is evident from all accounts that the faded papyrus fragment is fabricated, manipulated and concocted with a sinister motive. If such a fake papyrus about Mohammed had been exhibited, the fate of the Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh would have happened to the sponsor.

    Dan Brown also scandalized Jesus in his book, The Da vinci Code. Dan Brown told a lie that t

  • persiflage

    ‘ Krishna who had thousands of wives.’

    Still confusing myth with actual human history? It really sounds like it…………

    Krishna (like Jesus) is considered by believers to be a human avatar or manifestation of God (Brahman). He is said to have had a blue body…….

    All of this can be found in the Bhagavad Gita, a greatly revered sacred Hindu scripture. It’s actually a pretty short read.

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