Jesus's Wife Is No Forgery

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,

 A portion of The Gospel of Jesus' Wife parchment fragment (  source  )

A portion of The Gospel of Jesus' Wife parchment fragment (source)

The photo above may look like nothing but some indecipherable symbols on a piece of rough paper, but according to Discovery News, it has recently been proven to be A LOT more important then that. 

I first learned about The Gospel of Jesus's Wife in a documentary that I saw a few weeks ago. This small (about the size of a business card), brownish-yellow fragment is written in Coptic — the language of the ancient Christians, and appears to be a record of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples. 

The fragment "caused international uproar when it was presented at a conference in Rome in September 2012 by Harvard Professor Karen L. King." (source), and since then scholars have been performing every test they can think of to prove whether it is a forgery or not.

Why the uproar?

The text contains the phrase "Jesus said to them, 'My wife... She will be able to be my disciple. I will dwell with her."  Like the claims made in Dan Brown's popular novel, this piece of parchment is potentially proof that Jesus did in fact have a wife, whom he slept with, and — in theory — could have had children with. Hence the uproar. 

When this parchment was first presented, the Vatican dismissed it as a forgery and skepticism was wide spread. But, at the beginning of April, the Harvard Theological Review published a paper claiming that the parchment is not a modern forgery and is in fact an ancient document! 

"Tests by teams of engineering, biology, and chemistry professors from Columbia University, Harvard University, and MIT indicate the papyrus dates to between the sixth and ninth centuries, and possibly as far back as the second to fourth centuries." (source)

Proving that it is an ancient document does not prove that it is true, but under that logic, you could say the same about anything written in the bible. As you can imagine, something like this that could cause a major break in the foundation of an entire (very powerful) religion, is being met with a lot of skepticism. The possibility that it is true however, is fascinating.