Ancient text has Jesus referring to 'my wife'
A Harvard University professor on Tuesday 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-by-7.6-centimetre 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.
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