Jesus May Have Had a Wife, on Paper at Least

How could a respected scholar be so confident that a Coptic fragment referring to Jesus's wife is indeed ancient? Almost everything we know about the nature of historical evidence points to a forgery.
Can we believe that one papyrus would say so much about Jesus? Photographer: Godong/Robert Harding World Imagery via Getty Images

Was Jesus married? Trust me when I say I have no dog in the fight. But yesterday, when I read an academic article by a Harvard Divinity School professor arguing for the authentic antiquity of a papyrus fragment that includes the phrase "Jesus said, my wife," I was filled with awe and wonder. How, exactly, could a respected scholar, Karen King, who holds my university's oldest endowed professorship, be so confident that the Coptic fragment, first publicized two years ago, is indeed ancient? Almost everything we know about the nature of historical evidence points to a forgery. So what in the name of Jesus's wife is going on here?

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