A piece of papyrus says Jesus had a wife! This according to Karen L. King, a historian at Harvard Divinity School. The ancient artifact seems to support notions which have been floating about throughout history and more recently the center of the plot of Dan Brown′s novel, The Da Vinci Code. Christian Gnostics have long believed that Jesus Christ was indeed married and had a wife, namely Mary of Magdala. The Gospel of Mary of Magdala, as well as the Gospel of Judas are among many texts which were considered heresy by the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Some argue that even in some of the ′approved′ books of what we now call the Holy Bible, where Jesus is referred to as ″rabbi″ would indicate that he was married, as Jewish rabbis of the time of Historical Christ had to be married men. King′s examination of these texts, along with the new papyrus tied to early Coptic Christians, seems to support and confirm the possibility that Jesus was married.

jesus wife papyrus

King presented her findings at a gathering of scholars Tuesday for the International Congress of Coptic Studies held in Rome. The papyrus piece in question here is roughly the size of a business card and was owned by a private collector. At first, King thought it might be a fake, but after examined by Prof. Anne Marie Luijendijk of Princeton University and Roger Bagnall of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, King now accepts the authenticity of the document. The papyrus, while small, contains the passage, ″Jesus said to them, ′my wife′″. The document is believed to be from before the year 400 A.D. And was probably part of a book.

So does the papyrus prove that Jesus Christ had a wife, most likely Mary Magdalene? Some scholars who attended the conference held by historian Karen L. King believe that Jesus may have been referring to his ′wife′ as ′the church′. Other fragments of the text has Jesus mention his mother and ′my disciple.′ The big question, aside from whether or not this is true, is what would be the effect upon the Christian faith if Jesus Christ was married? Would it heighten or diminish his teachings, let alone his standing as the Son of God? Or will we see another round of religious protests across the world spurred by Coptic Christians?