Ver­i­tas: A Har­vard Pro­fes­sor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

In 2012, a promi­nent Har­vard Divin­i­ty School pro­fes­sor named Karen King announced a block­buster dis­cov­ery at a schol­ar­ly con­fer­ence just steps from the Vat­i­can: She had found an ancient scrap of papyrus in which Jesus calls Mary Mag­da­lene my wife.” The tat­tered man­u­script made inter­na­tion­al head­lines. If ear­ly Chris­tians believed Jesus was mar­ried, it would upend the 2,000-year his­to­ry of the world’s pre­dom­i­nant faith, threat­en­ing not just the celi­bate, all-male priest­hood but sacred teach­ings on mar­riage, sex, and wom­en’s lead­er­ship. It also raised a tan­ta­liz­ing ques­tion about Jesus’s Jew­ish­ness: Was he mar­ried, like every oth­er rab­bi of his day, or was he an anom­aly? It all turned on whether the papyrus was authen­tic. In Ver­i­tas, award-win­ning jour­nal­ist Ariel Sabar tells a mes­mer­iz­ing true sto­ry of the scan­dal that shook Har­vard. Ver­i­tas is at once an inter­na­tion­al detec­tive sto­ry and a tragedy about a bril­liant schol­ar hand­ed a piece of scrip­ture that embod­ied her great­est hopes for Chris­tian­i­ty, but forced a reck­on­ing with fun­da­men­tal ques­tions about the nature of truth and the line between rea­son and faith.

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