Study: ‘Jesus’ wife’ fragment not a fake

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Study: 'Jesus' wife' fragment not a fake
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.

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

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4 comments

  • Gary Hooper

    Proves you can’t teach stupid. Quote “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.” Unquote. OK 6th – 9th Century CE .. means between 500AD and 900AD. Jesus didn’t write anything in that time period but it was known for Coptic priests who believed that Jesus married Mary of Magdala. Even though the bible (the only true source of information about Jesus) makes it clear He never married. Also realize that Harvard is a LIBERAL SECULAR college.

  • P

    These Gnostic texts were written in Coptic. It is generally agreed that Christ spoke Aramaic, in which the word for “companion” decidedly does not mean, “spouse.” Whoever wrote this in later centuries used the word wrongly. When taken in context, such passages show, at most, that Jesus deeply appreciated Mary’s wisdom, faithfulness and friendship. You can read into this however you like – but people need to do their research and not jump to these conclusions. You must take everything into consideration – these were not written by Jesus himself…

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