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Jesus’ Wife Mentioned on Fourth-Century Papyrus Fragment

A scrap of papyrus dated to the fourth century has written on it in the ancient Coptic language, “Jesus said to them, my wife,” reopening the debate about whether Jesus was married, as some early Christians believed.

The words on the honey-colored fragment are the first to show Jesus referring to a wife, according to Karen King, a professor of divinity at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who presented the finding today at the International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome. The writing in black ink is in the language of Egyptian Christians, on a fragment of about 1.5 by 3 inches (4 by 8 centimeters).