December 4, 2012

Jan. publication of Jesus' wife research unlikely

A Harvard spokesman says tests aren't completed to authenticate a papyrus fragment containing Coptic text, in which Jesus is quoted using the words 'my wife.'

The Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard's divinity school says research purportedly showing some early Christians believed Jesus was married likely won't be published by its scholarly journal next month, as originally announced.

A spokesman says that tests aren't completed to authenticate a papyrus fragment containing Coptic text, in which Jesus is quoted using the words "my wife." The spokesman said Monday he didn't know when the tests would be done.

In September, Harvard said Professor Karen King's research would be published in January's Harvard Theological Review, the divinity school's quarterly, peer-reviewed journal.

But the journal's co-editors later said they'd committed to January publication only pending further verification of the fragment, including scientific dating.

King announced the research in Rome in September. But several scholars immediately expressed doubts.

The Smithsonian Channel later delayed broadcasting a documentary on the fragment, pending the further testing.

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