Papyrus text 'that may show Jesus had a wife' sparks academic debate

Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 08:04 in Paleontology & Archaeology

Christianity expert at Harvard unveils 4th century Coptic 'gospel fragment raising issue of whether Jesus wed Mary Magdalen'An argument has broken out over the authenticity and significance of an ancient text that makes explicit reference to Jesus having a wife.Karen King, a professor and expert in the history of Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, revealed a fourth-century fragment of papyrus with dialogue, in which, she said, researchers had identified the words "Jesus said to them, 'my wife'", which may refer to Mary Magdalen.The discovery, which could spark debate over celibacy and the role of women in Christianity, was unveiled by King on Tuesday at an international congress on Coptic studies in Rome.Christian tradition holds that Jesus did not marry. But a number of experts vouched for the authenticity of the fragment. They said, in the early years, Jesus's marital status was subject to debate. This text, they added, proved that...

Read the whole article on The Guardian - Science

More from The Guardian - Science

Latest Science Newsletter

Get the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!

Check out our next project, Biology.Net