A fragment of papyrus inscribed with the words “Jesus said to them: “My wife…” is believed to be authentic by Harvard Divinity Professor Karen King. Another phrase reads “she will be able to be my disciple…” It is the first time any specific suggestion that Jesus was married has come to light.
Karen King, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School said: “I want to be very clear that this fragment doesn’t actually give us any evidence that Jesus was married, or not married. It is too late. In fact all of the earlier and most reliable historical information is completely silent and this does not change that situation.”
The fragment was handed to the professor by a private collector and is written in a Coptic dialect used in northern Egypt.
The Catholic church maintains that women cannot be priests because Jesus only chose men as his disciples. The Vatican condemned Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code because it was based on the notion that Jesus was married to Mary Magdelene and had children with her. So far however, there has been no reaction to the latest finding.