Harvard Professor: Coptic Papyrus does not prove that Jesus was married

Posted on September 21, 2012


September 20, 2012. (Romereports.com)

Does this small papyrus give insight into whether Jesus was married? Experts agree, it does read in part “Jesus, said to them…my wife.”

But despite these words, the professor who publicly presented the fragment to the world says it does not prove that Jesus was married.

Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard
“What this does not mean is that Jesus had a wife. It’s not evidence for us historically that Jesus had a wife.”

Harvard professor, Karen King, publicly made the announcement during a Coptic Studies conference in Rome. She says the papyrus does reflect the discussions early Christians had about the life of Jesus and what it meant to be a Christian.

The papyrus is about the size of a credit card. It includes eight lines in the front and six in the back. It’s written in the Coptic language and experts believe it’s from the 4th century, but was probably translated from a 2nd century text in Greek. But the questions remains, is it authentic?

Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard
“We spent several hours looking at this fragment and discussing it in every possible way, starting from the notion that it’s a forgery. Trying to convince ourselves, trying to make arguments against that. The conclusion was that it is authentic and is probably 4th century.”

But still other experts are still skeptical. The owner of the fragment is an anonymous private collector who reached out to King so she could look into its contents. King agrees the fragment should undergo ink tests to verify if the chemicals match those that were used back in that time period.

Harvard Divinity School

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