Was Jesus Christ married? Ancient papyrus document mentions wife

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A piece of papyrus containing a small passage of text where Jesus Christ talks about his wife seems to be legit. Scientists at Harvard University have been working hard on the small piece of papyrus, which has been christened The Gospel of Jesus' Wife, to confirm its authenticity.

The papyrus, which has been said to be the size of a credit card, has been carbon dated and it has been found that it comes from a time between the sixth and ninth century and could even be as old as the fourth century. This puts to bed any arguments which have attempted to paint the text as a fake.

The text contains 8 lines on the front of the papyrus which are in readable condition as well as 6 lines on the back which are not as legible. The content revolves around Jesus discussing firstly his mother Mary. A line then reads "Jesus said to them 'My wife..... she will be able to be my disciple'" while another line has the text "As for me, I dwell with her in order to...".

Professor Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School, has stressed that document does not offer definitive proof that Jesus was married but rather it shows that Christians in the time that the text was written believed that he may have been married. King offers "This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what the role claims of Jesus' marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family.".

Celibacy is one of a number of hot topics that the a number of Christian churches have to deal with in a world which is increasingly falling out of sync with traditional religious teachings. The Pope has spoken out about people moving away from the church citing capitalism as one of the main drivers of an exodus towards new idols.

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