Beliefs

Harvard Theological Review: Gospel of Jesus’ Wife NOT rejected

There's a rumor circulating the Internets about Harvard Theological Review rejecting Karen King's research paper on the “Gospel of Jesus' Wife.”

Not so, says Harvard Divinity School spokesman Jonathan Beasley.

In an email this morning, Beasley told me:

“Dr. King’s `marriage fragment' paper, which Harvard Theological Review is planning to publish in its January, 2013, edition – if testing of the ink and other aspects of the fragment are completed in time – will include her responses to the vigorous and appropriate academic debate engendered by discovery of the fragment, as well as her report on the ink analysis, and further examination of the fragment.”

Stayed tuned here for accurate news as this story develops. 

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About the author

Daniel Burke

Daniel Burke worked for Religion News Service from 2006-2013. He now co-edits CNN's Belief Blog.

6 Comments

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  • I like how King’s research paper introduces the bogus “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” with a footnote that essentially says:

    “There is nothing about that label that has any bearing on reality whatsoever. However, it encapsulates our agenda quite nicely and will ensure the world forever treats this as sacred writing no matter what the solid science reveals later. It’s especially useful to keeping the belief alive in the minds of the uninformed and poorly educated so any criticism must immediately begin on the defensive, giving us the upper hand before discussion begins.”

    Just another example of short-sighted self-serving scholarly work that characterizes our present age of existential reality. A more neutral and accurate title would be something like “The Coptic Wife of Jesus Manuscript.”

  • I like how King’s research paper introduces the bogus “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” with a footnote that essentially says:

    “There is nothing about that label that has any bearing on reality whatsoever. However, it encapsulates our agenda quite nicely and will ensure the world forever treats this as sacred writing no matter what the solid science reveals later. It’s especially useful to keeping the belief alive in the minds of the uninformed and poorly educated so any criticism must immediately begin on the defensive, giving us the upper hand before discussion begins.”

    Just another example of short-sighted self-serving scholarly work that characterizes our present age of existential reality. A more neutral and accurate title would be something like “The Coptic Wife of Jesus Manuscript.”

  • Bob, that is not an uncommon way of naming fragmentary works that purport to describe the works of Jesus – such as the “Gospel of Judas” or the “Gospel of Timothy.” No agenda, no assertion of canonicity. I’d happily repeat this posting for you with a different spelling on my pseudonym if you prefer.

  • In Bob’s defense, the fact that there are other fragments with similar titles is not an argument against the claim that there is a scholarly agenda at work.

    In fact, it could be used to support his claim, if it could be demonstrated that those other publishers or authors (I have no clue who Bob is asserting as having an agenda) had an agenda.

  • After following this story for two weeks on many blogs and in many very scholarly .pdf files, I grow weary of the personal attacks in some blogs and especially in the comments sections. It sounds like many people with a very strong bias and strong agendas are accusing others of having the same. Stalemate. It reminds me of the elderly Philipp Melanchthon actually looking forward to the peace he would find in death, because he would finally escape the “frenzy of theologians.” Ahhh, there is nothing new under the sun. Let more scholars like Francis Watson continue to weigh the evidence. Let the ink tests be performed. Conclusive answers, in the sense that a consensus across a broad spectrum of theological positions, should be available soon enough. This could be accomplished without the frenzy of theologians, bloggers, and commentators. It could be done in polite, dignified, civil conversation.

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