Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

(RNS) Does a newly revealed scrap of papyrus prove that Jesus had a wife? What does the discovery mean for contemporary Christians? Five big questions about the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife.'' By Daniel Burke and David Gibson.  

11 Comments

  1. For the New Testament there are circa 24,000 manuscripts (about 7,000 in Greek and the rest in other languages). For the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” there is ONE. But do not concern yourself with that as that ONE is thought to successfully discredit the 24,000.

    Also, why is it that for New Testaments the demand is that we must have the earliest possible ones. However, for anything that appears to contradict it (“Gospel of Judas,” etc.) one, two, three, four centuries from Jesus’ time is perfectly acceptable, the later the better.

    We are dealing with a substandard double standard.

  2. Richard Kilgore Srf

    I also believe that Jesus was married. The wedding where he changed water into wine was his wedding to Mrthia. His brother-in-law was Lazerius. That is wy Marthia was so angry with Jesus when he came home after Lazerus died.

  3. Obviously this is a Gnostic Document. Jesus tells us that we can know a tree from the fruit it produces. A defrocked nun acquires a Coptic Papyrus from an anonymous person. Oh, how I long for the days of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These documents also would “shake the foundation” of Christianity. P.S. The Gnostic Papyri found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt where also written in Coptic, a language descended from the Pharaohs. The foundation of Christianity is Jesus. We can only “move” him with our love and obedience.

  4. Why haven’t any “biblical scholars” or journalists pointed out that the early Christians saw the Church as being the Bride of Christ (see the Pauline Letters)? Reread this “fragment” in light of that understanding…Even giving the papyrus the benefit of the doubt in spite of all evidence against it, it still doesn’t mean he had a particular person as his wife.

    Show me where his reference to “My wife” doesn’t mean the Church?

    “She will be able to be my disciple,” actually makes more sense if we understand that the Christ who spoke in Parables and symbolism was talking about the Church’s ability to follow him, rather than that of one flesh-and-blood individual.

  5. Who is surprised that a gnostic writing might mention a married Jesus? I just wonder whether Jesus was the marrying type. Check out my blog post about it at BibleFunmentionables: http://biblefunmentionables.com/2012/09/20/jesus-wife-discovered-the-top-12-signs-that-your-messiah-may-not-be-marriage-material/

  6. Artaban7, check out the answer to question 3:

    “The Bible, of course, says nothing about Jesus marrying, though New Testament writers occasionally used the metaphor of the church and God’s people as the `bride of Christ.’”

  7. Bishop Andrew Gerales Gentry

    The French have a wonderful saying “the more things change the more they stay the same”. None of this marriage idea is new nor frankly relevant. The Romans don’t believe becuase it does not support in their minds the notion of an all male cultic priesthood. The radical feminist do believe it becuase it does not support such a priesthood and has other implications.The Gnostics are and were as about as credible as Mitt Romney and changed almost as much as he does. You want a gay Jesus they have one for you, you want a married Jesus they got that for you too, and if you want a “yin yang” messiah that is both they even have that for you and just to complete the “consumer Jesus brand” they also have a magician Jesus that changes rocks into birds! Nothing has changed becuase of the typical hype and spin of this story and it is frankly disappointing but not unexpected for so called responsible new sites to try and create a fact out of a presupposition.

  8. Sadly this discover only proves the weakness of human intelligence. I think I’ll write The Gospel According to Bob and bury it where it is most likely to be discovered in 1000 years. Surely by then it’s age will provide the necessary credibility to fool the world.