Did Jesus Have a Wife? Panel Discussion with Anthony Le Donne

For those in the Stockton, CA area, Anthony Le Donne announced on his blog that will part of a public panel discussion at the University of the Pacific on the recent controversy over whether Jesus had a wife.

Le Donne is the author of Historical Jesus: What Can We Know and How Can We Know It?, The Historiographical Jesus: Memory, Typology, and the Son of David, and Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of AuthenticityHe is also one of several biblical scholars who have in recent months been terminated from their positions for transgressing doctrinal parameters, either stated or unstated.

From the university’s website:

The controversy about Jesus’ Wife started in September. Harvard professor Karen King revealed simultaneously at a scholarly conference in Rome and in interviews with the New York Times and other news outlets that she identified a new papyrus fragment containing the earliest known statement saying that Jesus was married.  Since this discovery was announced, some scholars and religious leaders have denounced the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” as a likely modern forgery, with some claiming there are hints the handwriting reflected modern techniques not available when the words were penned. 

Schroeder said that some of the topics the panel will attempt to approach include:

  • What is the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife?
  • What does a fourth-century reference to Jesus and his wife mean about early Christianity? 
  • Is this papyrus a forgery, and if so, why would someone forge an ancient manuscript? 
  • Could Jesus have been married? 
  • Why does a text suggesting that Jesus might have had a wife cause so much controversy? 
  • What does it mean to sexualize Jesus? 

The event is sponsored by Pacific’s Department of Religious and Classical Studies, the Pacific Alumni Association, the Humanities Center, Women’s Resource Center at Pacific, Religious and Spiritual Life at Pacific, and Phi Beta Kappa.


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