New evidence that Jesus Christ may have had a wife has recently surfaced. A Harvard historian has identified a scrap of papyrus from the fourth century that she calls, "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife." On the faded papyrus the text reads, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ...'" The following line states, "she will be able to be my disciple."
The findings were released to the public on September 18 by the historian, Karen King who specializes in early Christianity. She first examined the papyrus in 2011 and has been studying it since with the help of a group of scholars.
The fragment, is only the size of a business card, and King believes it is real. She presented the discovery on Tuesday September 18 at a meeting of International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome.
The papyrus is written in Coptic which is an ancient language of early Christians in Egypt. King first learned about the papyrus when she received an email in 2010 from a private collector asking her to translate it. The owner has opted to stay anonymous.
The fragment further augments questions that have surrounded Jesus's life. Did Jesus have a wife? Was Mary Magdalene his wife?
According to The New York Times King cautioned against people believing this to be definite proof that Jesus was actually married. She said that the text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived. She also added that the discovery is exciting because it is the first known statement from antiquity that refers to Jesus speaking of a wife.
When or where the fragment was discovered is still unknown as the collector received the fragment in a batch of papyrus in 1997 from a previous German owner. The previous owner who is now deceased was a professor of Egyptology in Berlin and he had left a note calling the fragment the "sole example" of a text in which Jesus speaks of a wife.
See photo here.