CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Harvard University professor says scientific tests suggest a fragment of papyrus mentioning Jesus had a wife is more likely an ancient document than a forgery.
The text is written in Coptic and contains a dialogue in which Jesus refers to “my wife.” Karen King, a professor of divinity, writes in the Harvard Theological Review that the papyrus probably dates to eighth-century Egypt based on carbon dating and chemical tests on the ink.
Other researchers are still questioning the authenticity of the document.
King stresses that the fragment of text doesn’t prove that Jesus was actually married. She says, if anything, it provides insight into early Christianity’s debates over whether it was better to be celibate or to marry and have children.
King announced the research in 2012. Publication was delayed for the tests.
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