Study: ‘Jesus’ wife’ fragment not a fake

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By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor, CNN

(CNN) A team of scientists has concluded that a controversial scrap of papyrus that purportedly quotes Jesus referring to “my wife,” is not a fake, according to the Harvard Theological Review.

“A wide range of scientific testing indicates that a papyrus fragment containing the words, ‘Jesus said to them, my wife’ is an ancient document, dating between the sixth to ninth centuries CE. Its contents may originally have been composed as early as the second to fourth centuries,” Harvard Divinity School said in a statement.

Tests of the papyrus and the carbon ink, as well as analysis of the handwriting and grammar, “all indicate that the existing material fragment dates to between the sixth and ninth centuries CE,” Harvard said.

“None of the testing has produced any evidence that the fragment is a modern fabrication or forgery,” the divinity school added.

Unveiled by a Harvard Divinity School historian in 2012, the scrap sparked a heated debate over Christian history, archaeological accuracy and modern media coverage of contested ancient history.

The scrap does not prove that Jesus actually had a wife, said a Harvard historian, Karen King.

“The main topic of the fragment is to affirm that women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus — a topic that was hotly debated in early Christianity as celibate virginity increasingly became highly valued,” King said in a statement.

7 comments

  • Debra L Hammer

    Of course he was married and had children. Jewish tradition holds that a man must be married and a father before he can become a Rabbi. Since Jesus was a Rabbi we should assume he was both married and a father. How else can he know what we go through if he did not do it himself?

    • Ray

      Amen!!! Debra
      Your Source Is Correct, Although Many Would Love To Ignore The Simplest Facts Of Jewish Tradition.

    • brenden

      Batman does have a son.. his name is ibn al xufasche. But if jesus brought a new religion to the world, why would he stick with the traditions of the jewish faith? All i know is that the early catholic church did modify ancient documents so it is very probable that our image of jesus is blurred.

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