Papyrus Mentioning Jesus' Wife Not a Fake, But...
...that doesn't mean Jesus had a wife
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2014 8:40 AM CDT
This Sept. 5, 2012, photo released by Harvard University shows the fragment.   (AP Photo/Harvard University, Karen L. King)

(Newser) – To call it controversial is putting it mildly: Harvard professor Karen L. King in September 2012 debuted an ancient papyrus now known as the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" at a conference in Rome. The papyrus makes an explicit reference to the woman's existence with the line, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'" Now, extensive testing by professors from Columbia, Harvard, and MIT in the fields of electrical engineering, chemistry, and biology has found no indications that it is a modern forgery, per an article by King published today in the Harvard Theological Review. The Boston Globe says it most likely dates to eighth-century Egypt, and the chemical composition of its ink is in line with the carbon-based inks the people of that country used at the time.

But the Globe cautions that a master forger could have accessed the proper materials, and that traditional ink-dating methods couldn't be used because the papyrus is so small: a fragment roughly 1.5-by-3 inches in size bearing just eight incomplete lines (translation here). The Review also published a rebuttal by Brown Egyptology professor Leo Depuydt, who points to "gross grammatical errors" he says no native speaker of Coptic would make, the New York Times reports. (More criticism of the papyrus here.) The new findings certainly don't prove that Jesus was married, a point that King has never challenged; she'd like to see the debate shift to discussions of the document's significance, and "questions like, 'Why does Jesus being married, or not, even matter?'" King was in 2011 asked to review the fragment at the request of its anonymous owner, who says he bought it more than a decade earlier from a collector who said he purchased it, along with five others, in East Germany in the '60s.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Papyrus Mentioning Jesus' Wife Not a Fake, But... is...
5%
52%
2%
8%
2%
31%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 378 comments
paul berry
May 5, 2014 10:57 AM CDT
Don't you hate fragments??? Now me, I would Love to believe that He had every Little White and Red tail from Israel too America, but that being said, this letter is a fake! JESUS/GOD is more than Alive they are at Work preparing earth Matthew 5:5 and 25:34 and Rev:5:10 and 21:3-4....You cannot forge letters or create lies of any kind to stop them they are doing all their Pleasure Isaiah 46:10... For undeniable evidence go to http://adamandeveinaction.blogspot.com/ near the bottom are actual videos of them doing so, and at http://adamandevewordresearch.blogspot.com/ is where His promise that His science would end aging/sorrow Rev:21:4 and http://www.adamandeveseedgatheringministry.com/prophecy_and_the_signs wherein the posted signs posted 6 years ago and more are now each mornings news, for the waking and gathering of Science/Theology.... Such as the Japan quake and small tidal wave Alaska and the DC/Virginia Beach quakes our Lord brought as sign unto those a whoring with the heathen.... It has begun... Respect to all born of Adam/Atom/God/Jesus Deuteronomy 32:8 {and if an atheist of true believer you can go answer one question that needs three answers at http://guardianofthefuture.blogspot.com/ }
PoppyRockz
Apr 24, 2014 3:37 AM CDT
Why do they assume it is the Jesus of the Bible? Yeshua (Jesus) was a popular name at that time, in that area.
countchoculate
Apr 12, 2014 12:34 PM CDT
The bride of Christ is the CHURCH. Romans 7:1-4,Ephesians 5:22-25, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 19:7.