Ancient Scrap of Papyrus Refers to Wife of Jesus

It also quotes him talking of a female disciple

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 18, 2012 4:16 PM CDT

(Newser) – Shades of the Da Vinci Code: A small scrap of fourth-century papyrus contains this potential bombshell of a line: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife ...’" And a bit later, the text reads, "she will be able to be my disciple." A Harvard historian made it public today, and in interviews with the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Harvard Magazine, she makes clear that while it is not definitive proof that Jesus was married—it was written well after his death—it at least shows that the subject was in play among early Christians.

Professor Karen King got the scrap in 2011 from a collector, though its history before that remains unclear. Preliminary testing suggests it's legit, though King now wants other scholars to weigh in. If it holds up, it would be the first ancient text in which Jesus mentions a wife (many think it's Mary Magdalene) and would likely intensify all kinds of debates—from the celibacy of Catholic priests to the role of women in Christian ministry.

An ancient scrap of papyrus quotes Jesus referring to 'my wife.'
An ancient scrap of papyrus quotes Jesus referring to 'my wife.'   (Flickr)
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