The fragment of the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" : the end of the story
Source document: Religio. 2019, vol. 27, iss. 1, pp. -116
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
In Religio 1/2013 I reported on a newly discovered fragment of the Coptic text in which Jesus speaks about his wife. Many scholars have had strong reasons to regard this fragment, called the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" (GJW), as a modern forgery. My present article summarizes the new reasons leading to the conclusion that this particular text is a forgery and briefly discusses the problem of detecting forgeries of early Christian texts in general. On the example of the dispute about the authenticity of the Letter to Theodore (the Mar Saba Letter), we can see that with the absence of serious doubts about language, writing or material, and with a – however problematic – content making good sense in the ancient context it may be very difficult to determine whether a text is a forgery or not. The article also deals with several notions of the married Jesus as found in the history of biblical interpretation, the conclusion being that the idea of Jesus' wife, most often recognized as Mary Magdalene, has been widely known only since the 20th century. These modern interpretations have arisen through a stronger emphasis on the human nature of Jesus. Perhaps the first person to come with the idea of a fully human (and married) Jesus was Nikos Kazantzakis in his novel The Last Temptation (1955).
- Tato studie je výsledkem projektu GA ČR P401/12/G168 "Historie a interpretace Bible".