Did Jesus Have a Wife?

A new fragment may provide fresh clues

Karen L. King

He is among friends and followers, doing what he often did: he is talking. In a Coptic papyrus fragment that scholars believe dates from the fourth century, Jesus of Nazareth appears to be in conversation about family and discipleship--Who is worthy? Who dwells with, and in, the Lord? Then the account contains a momentous line: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife..."

Written in Sahidic Coptic on a scrap of codex, these six words form the core of what Karen L. King of Harvard Divinity School is calling "the first known statement that explicitly claims Jesus had [a] wife." King is measured...

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