Thursday, April 10, 2014

Very exciting news about the Jesus Wife fragment

It is very exciting news that the scientific tests have come back with a thumbs up for the antiquity of the papyrus fragment that mentions Jesus' wife and her discipleship. 

The fragment is now dated between the 4th and 8th centuries according to the latest reports. 

When it first came out, I suggested that it was a fragment indicative of Valentinian Gnostic theology where Jesus and Mary Magdalene were spouses, and she was his disciple.  I see no reason to alter this opinion now that the reports have come back on the document's antiquity. 

There is more to read about this in the New York Times HERE.  Now that its antiquity has been authenticated, Karen King's article on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife is finally being released in the Harvard Theological Review HERE  

This whole "event" has impressed upon me again the problems that we have with our traditional forms of biblical analysis which rely on outdated concepts of "sources" and "redaction" and "dependence."  It brings home that we should be cautious and humble about what we can really know and what we can't.  Sometimes history can surprise us.


Jeremy Tarbush said...

From Karen King's HDS site, it says that the papyrus is dated from 7th to 8th centuries, while you say from 4th to 8th. How can you be right? Is the ink older than the papyrus?

Unknown said...

April, I think you misread something.

The Harvard datation is 659 - 869 CE.

The Arizona datation is 405 - 209 BCE.

Source :

« Accelerated Mass Spectrometry Radiocarbon Determination of Papyrus Samples » (two papers with the same title)

I would really need an expert to explain this huge difference, I don't know what to think.

ariadnegreen said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your early thoughts that GJW's genre was probably Valentinian. Keywords: "image" and "dwell with". I have posted my own interpretations on my blog because i think it important to address the parallels with GTh from the standpoint that GJW is authentic versus as proof it is a forgery. I hope you will read it.