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Beliefnet News

Have they proved Jesus had a wife?

Does a tiny, recently unveiled scrap of papyrus prove that Jesus Christ had a wife? If so, it would contradict the Gospels and throw the entire New Testament and Christianity itself into doubt.

However, the fragment itself is increasingly in doubt with the Smithsonian Channel postponing indefinitely the airing of an hour-long documentary on the document – and reports that a prominent academic journal scheduled to publish findings on the fragment has decided to hold off.

The papyrus fragment


The first announcements about the discovery came from a professor at Harvard University Divinity School, Professor Karen L. King, a historian of early Christianity, who announced that an anonymous German collector had provided her with the fragment of ancient Coptic text – but could provide no details of when or where it was unearthed or by whom.

On the fragment, Jesus is quoted as using the words “my wife.”

Amid the flash of cameras and hubbub of a dazzled news media, Dr. King picked her words carefully and stopped short of endorsing the authenticity of the fragment. She declared she was making the finding public “despite many unresolved questions” – so that her academic colleagues could weigh in, according to Laurie Goodstein reporting in the New York Times.


“And weigh in, they have,” noted Goodstein. “A few said that the papyrus must be a forgery. Others have questioned Dr. King’s interpretation of its meaning. Some have faulted her for publishing a paper on an item of unknown provenance. And many have criticized her decision to give the scrap of papyrus the attention-getting title ‘The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,’ as if it had equal weight to other, lengthier texts.”

In Rome, the Vatican called the piece “problematic” and falsified, according  to Elisabetto Povoledo, also reporting in the Times.

The Smithsonian Channel was the first to back away from the fragment – postponing the broadcast of a quickly thrown-together Continued on Page 2

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rajinder Nijjhar

    Hi Brethren,

    What is written is RIGHT but the men of Letters like the Jerusalem theologians cannot understand the spiritual language. Samaritans were spiritual people and that is why the Samaritan Woman at well John4 recognised Christ Jesus to be a Prophet and told Him of the nature of Christ that will appear. She was St.Photina but these men of Letters still call her a bad woman marrying one Husband after the other. After that She too became the Wife of Christ Jesus and so the people of her whole village. I am the Wife of Christ Jesus as I Preach Gospel by understanding what came out of the mouth of Jesus called Eating the Flesh of Jesus and when I Preach what Christ Jesus did, I Drink the Blood of Christ.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Michael

    Jesus was the Word made flesh. He was with God in the beginning and he was God. If you know Jesus, You know the Father. He did not have an earthly wife. This was not his calling. Jesus calling was nothing short of giving his life that mankind could be saved. With this type of calling you don’t need a woman involved in your life messing things up. Just look what satan did with Adam and Eve. God was not going to allow letting be involved a second time.

  • Carol Manglos

    Yes, He does. She is the Bride of Christ. You can read all about it….Rev. 21:2

  • Meg

    You silly nincompoop. The Church is *metaphorically* referred to as the bride of Christ in Revelations. Literally every translation ever, agrees upon this point.

    Also Revelations is a prophecy of the future, literally the end of days. Revelations does not suggest, indicate, or even imply that Jesus married or will ever marry a human being.

  • MzMeyer

    As a matter of history, context, and Jewish tradition, it is *highly* unlikely that Jesus was unmarried. For the number of years he was believed to have lived, he would have raised eyebrows for never having taken a wife, and certainly would not have likely been revered as the Best Jew Ever during his lifetime.

  • Carol Manglos

    Wow, Meg. First off, I’m pretty sure if you’re using “nincompoop” as a noun for me, you should capitalize it. Now that the grammar lesson is out of the way, what part about what I said do you clearly disagree with?

  • Mimi

    Lol! The BRIDE of Christ are the true Christians who worship in spirit and in truth!

  • Mimi

    He isn’t viewed as “the best Jew ever” by the Jews.. Hence His death..
    And trust me, Jesus raised MANY eyebrows.

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