The so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” isn’t sending shockwaves through the Christian world as some publications have reported. In fact, many are dismissing the ancient fragment as either insignificant or forged.
“This is sensationalism masquerading as scholarship,” said R. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in a commentary Thursday.
“One British newspaper notes that the claims about a married Jesus seem more worthy of fans of Dan Brown’s fictional work, The Da Vinci Code, than ‘real-life Harvard professors. If the fragment is authenticated, the existence of this little document will be of interest to historians of the era, but it is insanity to make the claims now running through the media.”
The fragment that was unveiled this week by Professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School is a small, torn papyrus that has eight incomplete lines of Coptic script. King, who received the fragment from an unnamed private collector, says it is a fourth-century CE codex. Nothing is known about the circumstances of its discovery except that it may have been excavated from an area in Upper Egypt.
What has the media buzzing is one particular phrase on the papyrus: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife … ”