The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife—Authentic or Not?

fragment

Yesterday, during the break for my Gospels class (and ironically just prior to my lectures on apocryphal gospels), I received the big news about the discovery of a new apocryphal gospel fragment.  This fragment—aptly named The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife—contains a story where Jesus refers to “My wife” and is dated to the fourth century.  No doubt this will reignite the firestorm felt during the release of The Da Vinci Code many years ago, and the major media outlets will be asking again about whether Jesus was married.

Since yesterday’s announcement, I have been inundated with emails and phone calls asking for my assessment of this new fragment.  So, I have written my initial assessment which will be posted on The Gospel Coalition website sometime tonight.  So keep an eye out for it. UPDATE: Here is the link to my article.

In the meantime, you can read more on the issue of apocryphal gospels and heresy and orthodoxy in earliest Christianity in some of my recent posts here, here, and here.

Comments

The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife—Authentic or Not? — 2 Comments

  1. Dr. Kruger,

    Just a caveat before I post my question. Based on what I have read here and elsewhere, I do not believe that this is an authentic fragment (I am not a Greek manuscript or papyri scholar; I rely on others with that skill set to help me).

    That said, does it really make any difference whether or not Jesus was married? Does it change anything about his saving work or the glory of God’s plan in Christ? I do not think so. We know that Peter was married since he had a mother-in-law and was old enough to have his own fishing business. I think that he is the only disciple that we can say was definitely married.

    If it was fairly common (and perhaps even expected) that Jewish men in those days would be married, would it not then be an anomaly that Jesus would chose not to be. Since the canonial texts do not say anything about his marital status either way, the issue will probably never be definitively solved. But does it need to be since it does not change what we already know about Jesus? This whole event regarding this fragment of greek text seems more like a teapot-sized tempest than a earth shattering theological discovery.

    Mike

  2. I have often wondered why Jesus’s rather long-term engagement to the Church doesn’t come up in these sorts of discussions. Is there a scholarly reason for that?