Was Jesus Married? Ancient Document Debated

DETROIT (WWJ) – Did Jesus have a wife?

A Harvard University professor says she’s found a document that may indicate that Jesus was married. Christian history expert Karen King says she’s been given a fragment of papyrus, on which Jesus refers to “my wife.”

Talking with WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne, one local theologian is skeptical. Father Daniel Trapp, of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, believes the document may not be what it appears.

He said the words, written in an ancient language, lack context.

“I’m not sure if there’s enough of that piece of papyrus to say what kind of genre this is, what kind of a work it is,” said Trapp. “It can be a kind of romance; there were romances written about Jesus, and many of them were written in the fourth century.”

Will this document be taken seriously by Catholic scholars?

“A piece of paper like two inches by three inches would not be entertained as something serious,” said Trapp. “You know, if there was a book that was clearly from an orthodox Catholic point of view that said that, there would something very different than anything else that’s ever been produced and we would look at that.”

Trapp said the papyrus will be scrutinized but, ultimately, may not be accepted as a factual text. “There are thousands of these things that continue to be unearthed. (They are) fascinating historically, but not really important to what people today believe.”

Trapp said it would seem odd to him to consider that Jesus was married when, to his disciples, he recommended a life of celibacy.


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