The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife

Update on the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife!

It’s ironic that I recently chose to renew the domain after allowing it to lie fallow for so many years.  I let it expire but after a few days decided it wasn’t time yet to let it go, gave in and paid to renew it once more.

Now I’m glad I did.  Look at what I almost wasn’t able to share:

Professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School has scored a major coup:  a papyrus fragment dating back to the 4th century in which Jesus refers directly to “my wife.”

I haven’t had time to do much analysis of the draft of her upcoming paper (January 2013, Harvard Theological Review), but what I’ve seen is compelling, with a couple of reservations.

First, the same reservation that King herself has had, which is the authenticity of the fragment.  When something comes along that so perfectly addresses an outstanding hot-button, it is automatically suspect.  She has apparently become satisfied that it is genuine, and I trust her scholarship, so I’m going to take that leap of faith.  It is a leap of faith though.

Second, it’s such a small fragment that its placement in the context of its parent manuscript could give it a new meaning.   The chance of the context shifting to such a degrees seems unlikely, but still I mention it because even though this fragment of text, its translation and interpretation are being delivered to the public by a very reputable scholar, we still must approach it critically.

There is an exciting time on the horizon.  I wish the Da Vinci Code craze hadn’t happened already because really, all of that speculation should have been saved for news like this rather than a sensational novel.  Be that as it may, I’m VERY glad that I renewed my domain.  Even though I’m a few years out from any serious work in the area of Mary Magdalene studies, real scholarship occurs at a relatively slow pace.  I’m hoping there won’t be TOO much to catch up on.  What’s a few years to a woman who has a 2000 year history?




About Lesa

When Lesa learned in 1997 that there was nothing in the Gospels that said Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, she hit the books and started a year later. Since then she has had the good fortune to have written a book, been featured in Newsweek, spoken on NPR and appear in a documentary with some of her favorite MM authors.

5 thoughts on “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife

  1. Dear Madam,
    I am wondering why the so called the gospel of marry Magdalene and the gospel of Philip was given much attention to discover the truth of Jesus’s life, while there exists several other books written by other followers who depicted him as an unmarried person. It is so unfortunate that marry , when she was a great figure among the apostles, as some believe, did not get any attention on any of the many other disciples book in the bible. There also existed several other contradicting stories that puts her as a sinner, a follower…, which could also be magnified as you magnified her relationship with Jesus. However, it is a prophesy in the bible that wrong ideologies that defame the truth would arise in the later day’s and this is one of them. Not a surprise!
    I am writing this after I watch the “Secrets of Mary Magdalene,” and I found your web.
    God bless you,

  2. I’m very glad to see you back! I too was intrigued by Karen King’s announcement- I’ve read her books of course, but the controversy inspired me to search out more about it. I found a great article about her and now I’m doubly impressed – I think she’s a person of integrity and would not have gamboled on such a public announcement if she wasn’t sure. I posted on facebook about it myself. I haven’t heard anything more about the ink have you?

  3. Hi Lisa,

    I just discovered your site- thank you for the work you have done. I wanted to make sure that you and your readers know about the upcoming opera by Mark Adamo, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, which will be premiering at the San Francisco Opera this June. It is a fascinating addition to the growing repertoire of pieces inspired by Mary Magdalene. I’ve read the libretto – it is both thoroughly researched and deeply, personally imagined, which of course means it will be controversial. But it is the kind of controversy we need, opening people up to read, research, reflect and discuss more deeply. I don’t agree with everything in the story, but I love it that his Magdalene is a powerful, compassionate, intelligent and courageous leader seeking to unite the soul and the body. I especially appreciate Mark Adamo’s copious quotations of both Biblical sources and the Gnostic texts of Thomas, Philip, Mary Magdalene and Dialogue of the Savior. And I must say the final scene, which is almost pure Gospel of John , left me in tears. There is much to savor here, even more to discuss. To learn more, you can go to, or see my own website at

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