The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is deeply controversial, and as much as the more stubborn religious scholars would love to reject it, the fact is it was written in ancient times, and therefore likely to be closer to a true representation of the historical Jesus than the bible itself (which was edited and reworked countless times in the ancient world and its content subjected to both political and religious pressures).
So, despite the debate of whether or not Jesus was married, what were the roles of women in the early church? If this gospel is to be believed, women were much more influential than we thought…
Tests Show ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Is Ancient (NPR)
“Harvard University professor Karen King says this fragment of papyrus, which she unveiled last year, is the only existing ancient text quoting Jesus explicitly referring to having a wife.
New tests show that the fragment of papyrus called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” is actually from ancient times. The results of a carbon dating test show that it probably dates to eighth-century Egypt.
The discovery of the fragment, which includes the words “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’” was announced to the world a little more than a year ago by Karen L. King, a professor of history at Harvard’s School of Divinity.
The gospel immediately sparked heated debate and drew immediate dismissals from some because the gospel refers to Jesus being married.
King joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the implications of the latest tests. She says there should not be a debate over whether or not the historical Jesus was married, rather the role of wives, mothers and sexuality in Christianity…”
Listen to the NPR radio presentation here.