Tag: jesus’ wife

Jesus’ Wife Isn’t As Appealing As She Used To Be

Or that’s my conclusion from James McGrath’s latest roundup about the controversial papyri.

I have suggested we have a thumb wrestling contest between the gospel and fake crowds and settle this once and for all. Steel cage optional. Either that or figure  a way to ask  The Machine from Person of Interest what it knows. Maybe Siri can fix it up for us.

A Little Roundup on the Authenticity of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

This question can get technical very quickly, so I recommend easing into the subject this way:

1. Two articles, with pictures, from Tom Verenna

2. Move on to the brief post from Paul Barford

3. Dive into the deep end with the scholars at Evangelical Textual Criticism (read the comments section)


4. Put on your protective gear and read this from Francis Watson

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Texts it Reminds One of

April DeConick‘s Translation of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife:

“…my mother gave me li[fe…] The disciples said to Jesus […] deny. Mary is worthy of it […] Jesus said to them, “My wife [and…] Let men who are wicked […] I am with her because […] an image […]”

Now for the texts this reminds one of:

(Simon Gathercole put me onto this one. Shows I don’t know my Thomas as well as I might)Gospel of Thomas 101 (Thomas Lambdin): <Jesus said>, “Whoever does not hate his father and his mother as I do cannot become a disciple to me. And whoever does not love his father and his mother as I do cannot become a disciple to me. For my mother […], but my true mother gave me life.”

Gospel of Thomas 114 (Thomas Lambdin):  Simon Peter said to Him, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life.” Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Gospel of Philip 36 (Wesley Isenberg):There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary.

Gospel of Philip 59 (Wesley Isenberg): As for the Wisdom who is called “the barren,” she is the mother of the angels. And the companion of the […] Mary Magdalene. […] loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples […]. They said to him “Why do you love her more than all of us?” The Savior answered and said to them,”Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.”

A good place to start studying these “Gnostic” (quotes because no one quite agrees what is Gnostic, or the validity of the term) texts is Early Christian Writings.

There are two ways to take the Jesus’ Wife Gospel’s recallings of other “Gnostic” texts: If genuine, they indicate this new gospel fragment is part of the stream of thought among those sects of ancient Christians. If a modern fake, these are just the sort of references one would use to make a particularly eye-catching, big money and publicity-grabbing fake. As I and others have said, this is just the sort of text a lot of modern folk would like to see from the ancient past.

Jesus’ Marriage may be a Sham

Well, actually, there’s no good proof he was married. But opinions are coming in from all over that maybe the “Gospel of Jesus’ wife” is too good to be true. The two main things that strike many of us are:

1. What are the chances? That a surviving fragment just happens to mention Jesus saying he was married, a hot button issue these days, is awfully convenient.

2. The fragment owner is supposedly interested in selling his collection to Harvard. The world’s oldest motive for committing a fraud might be involved.

As usual in these cases, James McGrath is doing a roundup of all the news and opinion. His second post on the subject is here, with no doubt more to come.

Jesus Won’t Shut Up about His Wife

A new papyri fragment from the fourth century has Jesus speaking of his wife in a very fragmented way. It will no doubt engender controversy far exceeding its tiny size. The good news is, at least, it isn’t an obvious forgery.

The NY Times story can be read here.

Update: Harvard Divinity School dedicated webpage on the subject, with photo, translation, and faq, is here. (hat tip:Candida Moss )