‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment Holds Questions for Christians

Mrs. Christ?

TIME

Scholars at the Harvard Theological Review announced Thursday that they see no evidence of forgery in an ancient text mentioning “Jesus’ wife.” The fragment of parchment made waves 18 months ago when scholars first made its discovery public. But before jumping to any conclusions, here’s what’s most important to keep in mind.

Carbon dating of the “Jesus Wife” fragment dates the text to the 8th century in Egypt. That is some five hundred years after the official Biblical text was already agreed upon, even by the latest dating estimates. The point of the fragment has never been to prove that Jesus was or wasn’t married—the gospels themselves, written within a hundred or so years of Jesus’ death, are silent on that point.

Today it is easy to imagine that the Bible has always been one cohesive book. But it actually took centuries for early church leaders and theologians to…

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