2 Jesus’ Wife

The announcement by Karen King about the Coptic fragment which has Jesus mentioning “my wife” is, unsurprisingly, continuing to get much attention and generate much discussion. Rather than keep updating yesterday’s post on the topic, I thought that a follow-up post would be more appropriate, rounding up the blogging and media reporting of the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” since then. Hence my calling this post “2 Jesus’ Wife” – following the Biblical mode of reference in tongue-in-cheek fashion.

NBC offered some balanced considerations, quoting me and several other scholar-bloggers. Joel Watts expressed his appreciation for the reporting.

Jared Calaway offered a photo, transcription and translation followed by preliminary notes and a hypothesis.

Jim Davila and Mark Goodacre offer perspectives reflecting appropriate scholarly caution (UPDATE: So too does Peter Williams). Christian AskelandPaul BarfordTom Verenna and Jim West expressed suspicion about authenticity and/or the motives of the owner of the fragment.

John Byron addresses the broader question of whether Jesus was married, if it matters, to whom, and why. UPDATE: So too does April DeConick.

Other bloggers who mention it include James Tabor (following up on a post yesterday), Torrey Seland, Tony Burke, Christopher Skinner, Brian LePort, Michael PahlJim West (several times), Eddie Arthur, Dan WallaceGlenn PeoplesSharon Hill and Hemant Mehta. UPDATE: Tim Henderson (who asks if Paul thought Jesus had been married), Luke Chandler (who makes a comparison with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Michael HeiserBob CargillChuck Grantham, and Michael Kruger have also posted about this.

Media outlets that mention this include the Christian Science Monitor, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Daily News, ABC News, and alas, the Daily Mail. UPDATE: See also the lengthy article in Smithsonian Magazine (HT Bosco Peters).

  • skinman

    Channel 2 here in Denver botched the story last night saying that Karen King claimed that the fragment was proof of Jesus having a wife.

  • DianeMarieJackson

    As stated in the new book, The Sapiential Discourses Universal Wisdom, by Elliot Eli Jackson released Sep 1st, 2012 new information will be discovered in regard to Jesus’ marriage and life. The book names his wife and children.

  • E. the Galilean

    Jesus was married or had a woman although he wasn’t married – this possibility has been under discussion more than 5 years ago, in the Talpiot Symposium (January 2008, Jerusalem). This possiblity (now perhaps probability) was the conclusion of an elaborate reading of ALL availabe sources. The “new” parchment is extremely important on its own, but also as a confirmation of Jesus’ wifewoman possibility. Thanks, James.

  • Dr. David Tee

    “The announcement by Karen King about the Coptic fragment which has Jesus mentioning “my wife””

    The problem in that statement for Ms. King is Jesus is NOT saying those words. Some guy in the 4th century is saying them and they have nothing to do with the truth.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      And what about a text from the late first century that depicts Jesus speaking as though he were conscious of having pre-existed, when earlier Gospels did not depict him in that way? What should one say about such a case, and how might it compare to your last statement?

      • Dr. David Tee

        Are you saying Jesus is not divine? Of course you do not name that late first century text so I canot check its context..
        Why would each gospel have to say the exact same thing each and every time? John 8:58 has Jesus telling the people He pre-existed. So 1 gospel speaks about it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Why would only one of the Gospels depict Jesus as saying this sort of thing when the others do not? What is your cut-off point for sources that you trust without question, after which you begin exercising due skepticism?

          • Beau Quilter

            When it comes to “conversing” with “Dr.” Tee, I’m beginning to think we should heed the advice of the Sermon on the Mount:

            “Pearls before swine”, James, “pearls before swine.”

            • Dr. David Tee

              Actually that is how I feel by postinghere BUT I continue to post in hopes that there are readers where those pearls will not be wasted

          • Dr. David Tee

            Why does God have to be redundant simply to please skeptics and unbelievers?
            Anything written by an unbeliever is under suspicion and cannot be trusted. The bible is without question, we become humble and put ourselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to find the truth. That truth is found in the Bible. We do not stand in authority over Its words nor are we the final determiners of what it says.
            If we cannot trust God’s word (the Bible) then we have nothing to trust and nothing to live for for we cannot be sure of Jesus being the final sacrifice and salvation for mere belief in Him.
            That distrust simply opens the door to false religions and allows them which leads to disbelief and doubt which destroy a person spiritually.
            You need to see beyond your skepticism and think things through. You can’t say ‘well I believe in salvaion so i will leave that area alone.’ You have to see what the results of your skepticism will bring and how it affects what the Bible is saying.
            Then you have to measure your process to see if it is abiding by God’s rules or disobeying them. If it is the latter then you have a major problem because you are not getting to the truth which Jesus said we will know.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              The question I asked was about consistency, not redundancy. And I asked why you take certain texts, embrace your church tradition’s definition of them and understanding of them as “God’s Word,” and then refuse to ask (much less answer) questions about their authorship, contents, date, and other points that you consider it not only appropriate but important to ask about other works.

              Can you please actually answer my questions?

        • abombt1

          And god gave the prophet joseph smith a gospel too to further clarify. jesus is a god just as heavenly father is a god. you need to have the full truth to be saved and believe gods complete word.
          jesus spoke to the native americans just like he spoke in john. Why do you think he said ” I have other sheep who are not of this flock”? Think about it!
          God gave his testimony to the native americans and they rejected and turned their back on it and look what happened to them.
          That should be a warning to you! repent and believe!

          Dr. Awesome

          • Gary

            That is a problem with Mormonism. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a fast and testimony meeting (once a month, whether you like it or not), and the first words parroted by pretty much everyone is “I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and” (_____fill in the line, current prophet) in my day, it was “and Spencer W. Kimball is a prophet of God, and that this church is the one and only true church”. Take about exclusiveness. Romney has 1% going for him one two fronts. One, money; and one, religion. I’d like to see a few evangelicals attend a Mormon fast and testimony meeting before they vote in November. They have it once a month. They will truly love it.

        • Gary

          It’s not about what Jesus was, or was not. It is about what people wrote and thought about him. Same thing applies today. Take 50 people, and there will be 50 interpretations, with more likely 50 denominations to match. Unless you are a member of a mind-control church, where everyone agrees, with no dissent.

  • friendly reader

    May I add Don Burrows to that list of people addressing the issue?


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