The recently announced 4th century Coptic papyrus fragment in which "Jesus" refers to "my wife" has generated quite the buzz in the media. The New York Times' provocative headline read "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife." Even David Letterman had a spoof about it on his show. Within a day of this story breaking, a college student in our church messaged me on Facebook wanting to know what I thought about this new discovery (a good reminder of the new media reality that people don't have to go looking for skeptical claims anymore; skeptical claims find them!).
Well, first things first, does this fragment prove that Jesus was married? According to Dallas Theological Seminary New Testament scholar Dan Wallace, "The answer is an emphatic no. At most, it can only tell us what one group of 'Christians' in the middle of the second century thought. But it says nothing about true history, about Jesus of Nazareth." And now there seems to be ...1