Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 34, No 1 (2015)

Reconsidering the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: An Imperfect Forgery or Another Polemical Gnostic Fragment

David W. Kim
Issued Date: 27 May 2015


The 10th International Congress of Coptic Studies (ICCS) was held in September 2012 in Italy. However, when the Gnosticism and Manichaeism section was commenced, the congress atmosphere was rapidly changed by Karen King’s paper. It was originally assumed that the topic would be an attempt on the Tchacos Codex, but the Harvard scholar announced a new Coptic fragment in relation to the marital status of Jesus with Mariam. The new Coptic fragment was introduced as a rough rectangular shape, torn on all four corners. The amazing outbreak of the new Coptic papyrus took the attention of scholars and global faith communities in uncertainty and suspicion. Then, what is the new text about? Why is the Coptic teaching so controversial? What is the present tendency of the controversy? What is the truth? This paper will not only demonstrate the situation of the critical debate but also argue a new hypothesis that the new controversial manuscript is not an imperfect forgery but another notorious gnostic fragment unconfirmed.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v34i1.17784


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