No, Jesus Christ did not have a wife. At least, according to the Vatican.
L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, published an article Thursday by leading Coptic scholar Alberto Camplani that declared a scrap of papyrus mentioning "Jesus' wife" to be a fake.
An accompanying editorial by newspaper editor Giovanni Maria Vian cites concerns expressed by other scholars about the fragment's authenticity and the fact that it was purchased on the market without a known archaeological provenance, The Associated Press reported.
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"At any rate, a fake," the editorial is titled.
Harvard Professor Karen L. King unveiled the small scrap of papyrus last week at the International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome that includes the phrase, “Jesus said to them, my wife.”
Dubbed the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, it also includes the line, “she will be able to be my disciple,” and references to Mary, who King said might be Mary Magdalene.
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The discovery sparked a firestorm of debate among Christians, who have long believed that Jesus was not married.
Evidence to the contrary would call into question the celibacy of priests and role of women in the church.
King has said the document doesn't prove Jesus was married, and planned to test the fragment's ink to determine when it was written.
Camplani, a professor at Rome's La Sapienza university who helped organize the conference, said the reference could be more abstract and refer to the spiritual union between Jesus and his disciples.
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