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Praise 104.1

gospelofjesuswifeAn ancient fragment of papyrus with a passage about Jesus’ wife has been proven to authentic by scholars at the Harvard Divinity School. In the passage, referred to The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, Jesus refers to a woman as his wife and says that women are able to be his disciples.

The latest discoveries have proved that the parchment was not forged or manipulated and that it dates between the sixth to ninth centuries CE, according to the press release issued by the Assistant Director of Communications at the divinity school. It does not, however, prove that the content of the text is authentic or that Jesus did in fact have a wife.

The parchment had been under the speculation of forgery since it was presented by Karen King, a professor at Harvard Divinity School, in September 2012. Now that it has been deemed an authentic manuscript, answering the questions of who wrote it and in what context can be addressed. It also opens both a scholastic and religious conversation on whether or not Jesus actually had a wife and the role of women in early Christianity.

King is quoted in the press release saying “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.”

The parchment is only a few inches long and gives fragmented sentences in Coptic, an ancient Egyptian language. Because of this, its context and meaning are under heavy scrutiny. The meaning of the words are subject to a myriad of interpretations.


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