The Jesus’ Wife Fragment – What It Actually Says

1341195_james[1]Causing much stir this week has been the discovery of The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, which is probably a sensational title.

But let’s cut through the hype. I want my information straight from the horse’s mouth. So what does the fragment actually say?

Daniel B. Wallace, New Testament scholar and manuscript expert, obliges us. (Notice the brackets indicate the holes or cut-offs in the text).

Front side (recto):

1 ] “not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe…”
2 ] The disciples said to Jesus, “[
3 ] deny. Mary is worthy of it[
4 ]……” Jesus said to them, “My wife . .[
5 ]… she will be able to be my disciple . . [
6 ] Let wicked people swell up … [
7] As for me, I dwell with her in order to . [
8] an image [”

Back side (verso):

1 ] “my moth[er
2 ] three [
3 ] … [
4 ] forth which … [”
5 ] (illegible)

What can we conclude about Jesus from this fragment? Not much.

Daniel Wallace writes:

Does this fragment prove that Jesus was married? The answer is an emphatic no. At most, it can only tell us what one group of ‘Christians’ in the middle of the second century thought. But it says nothing about true history, about Jesus of Nazareth.

And the hoopla subsides.

(Have more questions? I recommend reading Wallace’s full article.)

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Derek Griz

I am a Christian, a husband, a father, and a pastor (Immanuel Church). I write from those perspectives. Connect with me on Twitter (@derekgriz).

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