Baker Academic

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Jesus' Wife Controversy - Le Donne

To recap:

1) Karen King reveals that a private collector (of ancient artifacts) contacted her in 2010 about a fragment of papyrus containing the phrase "my wife". According to the source, this fragment is from an ancient Coptic "Gospel", Jesus is the proposed speaker of the phrase, and the fragment is possibly dated to the fourth century CE.
2) This news is picked up by the New York Times, Huffington Post, etc. in September of 2012.
3) Media Scheiße-Sturm.
4) Some NT scholars voice caution or argue that it is a fraud.
5) Others remain optimistic.
6) The dust settles and we are left where we started.

So where are we again? Well in sum, we still have (A) a Christian public that remains insecure about matters related to Jesus and sexuality, (B) a media culture that needs a weekly religious or sexual scandal to remain interesting, and (C) a cultural symbol (Jesus) who is flexible enough for ideologues of all ilks to project whatever meaning they want to onto it. I missing anything here?


  1. Jesus is the same cash cow yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  2. No, I think you pretty much have it covered.

  3. It is an interesting idea to discuss whether or not Jesus had a wife, but really how do we know for sure if he did or not? There is no way of answering this question with a definitive answer, because there is not enough prove to intelligently say this is how it is. I don't want to say that discussing and collaborating ideas concerning this topic should be avoided. Im just saying that we shouldn't discuss and fight over it for forever because the ultimate answer is that we will never know.