Jesus cites wife in 4th century text: US scholar | world | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Jan 25, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Jesus cites wife in 4th century text: US scholar

world Updated: Sep 19, 2012 23:44 IST
Highlight Story

A Harvard University professor has unveiled a fourth-century fragment of papyrus she said is the only existing ancient text quoting Jesus explicitly referring to having a wife.

Karen King, an expert in the history of Christianity, said the text contains a dialogue in which Jesus refers to “my wife”, whom he identifies as Mary. King says the fragment of Coptic script is a copy of a gospel, probably written in Greek in the second century.

King helped translate and unveiled the tiny fragment at a conference of Coptic experts in Rome. She said it doesn’t prove Jesus was married but speaks to issues of family and marriage that faced Christians.

Four words in the 3.8 x 7.6cm fragment provide the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married, King said. Those words, written in a language of ancient Egyptian Christians, translate to “Jesus said to them, my wife,” King said in a statement.

Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was unmarried even though there was no reliable historical evidence to support that, King said.