Jesus’s Wife Manuscript Genuine

Papyrus fragment: front. Karen L. King 2012

Papyrus fragment: front. Karen L. King 2012

A couple of years ago Harvard University Divinity professor Karen L. King caused a furore in certain circles by revealing an ancient papyrus fragment that actually refers to Jesus having a wife. The Boston Globe now reports that the papyrus checks out and is not a forgery:

New scientific tests have turned up no evidence of modern forgery in a text written on ancient Egyptian papyrus that refers to Jesus as being married, according to a long-awaited article to be published Thursday in the Harvard Theological Review.

The findings support the argument of Harvard professor Karen L. King that the controversial text, the first-known explicit reference to a married Jesus, is almost certainly an authentic document.

The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” was introduced to the world by King at a conference in Rome 18 months ago. The announcement made headlines around the world, and many of King’s academic peers, as well as the Vatican newspaper, swiftly dismissed it as a fake.

King maintains the document was probably part of a debate among early Christians about the role of women, family, and celibacy in spiritual life.

The results of a carbon dating test found that the papyrus probably dates to eighth-century Egypt, about 400 years later than King originally thought, but still in ancient times.

Other tests found the ink’s chemical composition consistent with carbon-based inks used by ancient Egyptians. And microscopic imaging revealed none of the suspicious ink pooling that critics thought they saw in lower-resolution photographs of the fragment. Such pooling could have offered evidence that the ink was applied in modern times.

“I’m basically hoping that we can move past the issue of forgery to questions about the significance of this fragment for the history of Christianity, for thinking about questions like, ‘Why does Jesus being married, or not, even matter? Why is it that people had such an incredible reaction to this?’ ” King said in an interview…

[continues at the Boston Globe]


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31 Comments on "Jesus’s Wife Manuscript Genuine"

  1. Ted Heistman | Apr 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm |

    Yay, Jesus got his dick wet! God approves of sex!!!

  2. Thurlow Weed | Apr 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm |

    “Why does Jesus being married, or not, even matter? Why is it that people had such an incredible reaction to this?’” King said.

    Patriarchy. If Jesus had a wife then woman are automatically elevated from their traditional Christian position as a servant of man, at least that’s the fear that prompts automatic disbelief. These guys don’t want any more historical women involved than they already have to had to diminish and relegate to second class status.

  3. Christians worldwide sigh in relief….”He isn’t gay afterall!”

  4. tibby trillz | Apr 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm |

    i have indisputable proof in my possession that the tooth fairy was a lesbian

  5. VaudeVillain | Apr 11, 2014 at 12:34 am |

    It’s been a while since I cracked it open myself… but I seem to recall the Bible being pretty clear that Jesus was a rabbi. I’m also pretty sure that rabbis, per the Torah/Old Testament, are required to be married. Seems to follow that Jesus was married.

  6. AManCalledDa-da | Apr 11, 2014 at 1:53 am |

    Duh. He was married to Mary Magdalene. He was a rabbi, not a monk!

  7. BuzzCoastin | Apr 11, 2014 at 2:43 am |

    Wow!! pretty incredible
    a guy who never existed in physical form
    was married
    what’s next
    the Easter Bunny lays eggs?

  8. Nightshade09 | Apr 11, 2014 at 3:21 am |

    Eighth Century? That would place it smack in the middle of the Gnostic Heresy in Egypt at the time. Gnostics were a heretical sect of Christianity and had plenty of pretty bizarre and perverted practices. Of course there are no Gnostics today since they died out.

    The only ones that view this manuscript important are New Agey Liberal looking for any excuse to justify their quirky beliefs

    • Rey d'Tutto | Apr 15, 2014 at 2:53 am |

      Yep, Heretics are always “dying out”. Completely, spontaneously, “Dying Out”. Not like anybody was interested in persecuting them, amiright?
      I think your statement could be more accurate. Just replace “died out” with “were exterminated with extreme prejudice”.

  9. So what does this mean to the concept that Christianty was originally based on Sun worship? Which planetary body is the wife of the Sun?

  10. Black Thumpety | Apr 11, 2014 at 10:21 am |

    a twelve years old’s what?

  11. i don’t know why the existence of something/someone two thousand years ago really matters. More important is that the ideas professed exist, even if he didn’t exist, the writers professed the same ideas. The problems arise when people take a side on a meaningless question and shed blood over it, when the meaningful question is, “what is the value of the ideas”

  12. BuzzCoastin | Apr 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm |

    Jung said that regardless of proof
    Jesus existed because of the widespread belife that He did
    there is no archeological or historic evidence Jesus existed
    Roman & Jewish writers never mention Jesus
    until hundreds of years after His death
    all of the Christian scriptures were also written hundreds of years later
    the Jesus motif is not exclusive to Christianity
    there have been many other Jesus-like saviors around the whirled

  13. As far as I’m aware, in Christian mysticism (and possibly tradition, as is) the “bride” metaphorically refers to the soul that joins one in transcendent union/oneness to God/the universe. That is to say, that immediate sensation where one feels, to quote Alan Watts, “that the whole energy, which expresses itself in the galaxies, is intimate” – the terms of which most here are well familiar with as mystical experience, moksha, satori, samadhi, nirvana, cosmic consciousness, beatific vision, Christ consciousness, bodhi, etc… The bride then symbolizes the individual’s sort of void-like receptiveness being wedded with the experience. In Christian terminology, 16th Century mystic St. John of the Cross put it this way:

    “It is the property of love to place him who loves on an equality with the object of his love. Hence the soul, because of its perfect love, is called the bride of the Son of God, which signifies equality with Him. In this equality and friendship all things are common, as the Bridegroom Himself said to His disciples: I have called you friends, because all things, whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you.”

    St. John’s “Dark Night of the Soul” might serve as an excellent resource in this regard. And “wife” could therefore be referring to the soul of any “disciple,” or any potential “disciple” in general (given everyone’s supposed ability to attain union with the Godhead – which might explain how/why “she will be able to be my disciple”). Not saying that’s the case here, and I don’t mean to dismiss the notion of women deserving equal footing in Christianity and its hierarchy (or the world, in general), but there’s too much of a tendency to fall into the trappings of a literalist reading in most myth and religious traditions.

  14. Matt Staggs | Apr 12, 2014 at 9:34 am |

    Man-made disease? Obviously, you’ve never spent much time around paranoid schizophrenics.

    • Adam's Shadow | Apr 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm |

      Fucking thank you. My brother-in-law is paranoid schizophrenic; the only person who thinks his illness is man-made is him. As in, man-made by the time-traveling Nazi CIA agents who activated the hereditary chip in his brain that gave him special powers.

  15. Thurlow Weed | Apr 12, 2014 at 11:28 am |

    Worst troll attempt of the week goes to Toneh!

  16. Thurlow Weed | Apr 12, 2014 at 11:29 am |

    Are you with the Sea Org?

  17. tibby trillz | Apr 13, 2014 at 11:35 am |

    man. you really proved alot with that post. 100 percent worth it.

  18. ok bro, thanks! have a great day!!

  19. I opened my mind and instead came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a man called Jesus who did all those things, however there were a bunch of manipulative social control freaks from an obscure desert cult that got lucky who took a whole bunch of stories from earlier religions, cults and mythologies (e.g. Mithraism, with its virgin birth, human mother and ‘divine’ father, 12 followers, death and resurrection, last supper with followers, etc.) and smooshed/grafted them all together in a really ham-fisted, illogical, self-contradictory way and then claimed it all for their own.

    I kept seeing a vision of a bunch of not-too-bright kids cutting and pasting from a bunch of disparate Wikipedia entries and then presenting the resultant mess as their homework. 😉

  20. Demitheus | Nov 10, 2014 at 6:00 am |

    Have a couple of concerns here… yes it’s been established that the document itself is genuine as far as time of being written. But the dating puts it approx 800 years after Jesus’ life.

    1. Has it been confirmed the Jesus reference is the same as the Biblical Jesus?

    2. If so, why would someone 800 years after his Jesus’ life on earth decide to chronicle this?

    3.More so, how can we be sure to the accuracy of the claims of the person
    who wrote this down, who as mentioned, wrote this some 800 years after
    Jesus? The only references this writer would have had is writings
    him/herself, how we do we know the references this person used were

    4. Islam denies Jesus as the Messiah as well, they deny that he died and rose again in the Quran, a book that was written approx 400 years after Jesus. Why does the world suddenly take notice now of more supposed evidence to disprove the claims of the Bible?

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