About a year and a half ago, biblical scholar Karen King introduced the world to a piece of Coptic writing in which Jesus made reference to his wife. Today, we have learned that scientists believe that this papyrus fragment likely belongs to the fourth through eighth centuries A.D. and therefore is probably not a modern forgery.
But remember: even King does not consider this fragment evidence that Jesus actually had a wife.
In light of this news, I want to direct everyone to the post Sonja wrote about the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” back when it was first introduced to the world. It remains the best piece I have read about this issue.
Before we rush to re-assure ourselves that Jesus was never married, I wish we would take King’s advice and ask ourselves why Jesus’ sexual and relational life matters so much and what is at stake. This discovery also provides a prime opportunity for us to explore questions about canonicity, history, and the relation between the two. But in order to pursue these tasks, we must allow ourselves to be uncomfortable for at least a little while. Surely, it matters a great deal whether or not Jesus was married. But do we know why?
Click here to read Sonja’s “Jesus’s Wife: Would It Even Matter For Women?”