3 Jesus’ Wife (With Fill in the Blank at the End)

3 Jesus’ Wife (With Fill in the Blank at the End) September 20, 2012

There’s been even more blogged and discussed about the “Jesus’ wife” Coptic fragment since my last round-up. Most of what I have seen on blogs I read regularly have been wise, balanced, scholarly perspectives.

Don Burrows clarifies the difference between absurd media claims and what Karen King and other scholars are saying.

Craig Evans offers thoughts on the meaning of the word for “wife” in Coptic both generally and in this context.

Chuck Grantham provides a useful list of other previously-known texts that this new fragment reminds scholars of.

See also the thoughts of Larry Hurtado, Simon Gathercole, Dirk Jongkind, Robert MylesRafael Rodriguez, Jim Davila, Paul Barford, J. K. GayleAnders Gerdmar (not only in English but also in Swedish), Gregory JenksRoger Pearse, Tom Verenna, Leroy Huizenga, Chris Harrison, Brian LePortJim WestBart Ehrman, ISAW, SETH (in Italian), Stephen Bates (HT The Lead), Fred Clark, and the two posts at Looting Matters. Also Paul Vander Klay’s for the title alone if nothing else.

CNN answers 5 questions about the fragment and its implications.

James Martin reflects on the possibility of Jesus having been married and his life of celibacy as a Jesuit (via The Lead and Tim Suttle).

The Smithsonian Channel will have a TV special about the fragment airing September 30th.

Finally, the most amusing suggestion for what might have followed the words “Jesus said, ‘My wife…'” comes from biologist Jerry Coyne: “. . . is unable to bear children because, being haploid, I am unable to produce sperm.”

Any other suggestions, serious or frivolous, about how the text might have continued? Here’s the text:

The lacuna in the Gospel of Philip is far more interesting. That text says that Jesus loved Mary Magdalene and that he “kissed her often on the…” and then there is a gap in the text.

See also Tony Jones’ post sharing that there is a Twitter hashtag #IfJesusHadAWife which has some amusing contributions to that new meme.

"Yes, we need an expert Greek translator for ἐγενήθη. The NRSV has "became," as do ..."

Does Paul “Split the Shema”?
"Hmm. That v. 30 is interesting. "became for us wisdom from God." That "became" is ..."

Does Paul “Split the Shema”?
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  • Jeff Carter

    Jesus said, “Take my wife… Please!”

  • Wesley

    Jesus said “my wife, i hear you say, she won’t do as I tell her, what should I do?” I tell you it’s better not to marry I didn’t and I’m my own man :). ( smiley face not in original text)

  • There’s some stuff on the Liturgy blog from NZ linked to here from my comments. As I imply seriously, we are the bride and therefore we can be easily extended to the ‘wife’ who is able – as Wisdom is able in Proverbs 31

  • I will give you the URL – the link does not work in Patheos

  • Just Sayin’

    Doesn’t the Gospel of Philip say “kissed her often on the mouth”?

    • “Mouth” is what you find in most renderings, but it is still hypothetical, based on the size of the space and of what word could fit the context.

      • Just Sayin’

        Thank you for this information. Can you tell me when the Gospel of Philip was first discovered? I know the best copy is from Nag Hammadi but wasn’t it also included in M.R. James’ collection back in 1925?

        • The one copy we have was found at Nag Hammadi. M. R. James only has half a page in his volume, mentioning a place where Epiphanius quotes briefly from a work by that title. But what Epiphanius quoted is not found in the Coptic text discovered at Nag Hammadi.

          • Just Sayin’