An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
A Harvard University professor on Tuesday unveiled a fourth-century fragment of papyrus she said is the only existing ancient text quoting Jesus explicitly referring to having a wife.
Karen King, an expert in the history of Christianity, said the text contains a dialogue in which Jesus refers to “my wife,” whom he identifies as Mary. King says the fragment of Coptic script is a copy of a gospel, probably written in Greek in the second century.
King helped translate and unveiled the tiny fragment at a conference of Coptic experts in Rome. She said it doesn’t prove Jesus was married but speaks to issues of family and marriage that faced Christians.
Serious question: Would it really matter if Jesus had an earthly wife? Would it change my faith? Nope. Would it change yours? It shouldn’t!
Four words in the 1.5-by-3-inch(3.8-by-7.6-centimeter) fragment provide the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married, King said. Those words, written in a language of ancient Egyptian Christians, translate to “Jesus said to them, my wife,” King said in a statement.
King said that in the dialogue the disciples discuss whether Mary is worthy and Jesus says “she can be my disciple.”
And just why shouldn’t a woman be a disciple??? Like it or not, women played a pretty large role in Biblical society
Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was unmarried even though there was no reliable historical evidence to support that, King said. The new gospel, she said, “tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.”
“From the very beginning, Christians disagreed about whether it was better not to marry,” she said, “but it was over a century after Jesus’s death before they began appealing to Jesus’s marital status to support their positions.”
Apparently Paul was a big advocate for not marrying. His letters make up a large portion of the New Testament, and I gotta tell ya, the more I read his writings, the less I like the dude….especially in I & II Corinthians. He also seems to contradict, or change the wordings of Jesus…but that’s for another time.
Those who conducted initial examination of the fragment include Roger Bagnall, a papyrologist who’s the director of the New York-based Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, and AnneMarie Luijendijk, a scholar of the New Testament and early Christianity from Princeton University. They said their study of the papyrus, the handwriting and how the ink was chemically absorbed shows it is highly probable it’s an ancient text, King said.
Another scholar, Ariel Shisha-Halevy, professor of linguistics at Hebrew University and a leading expert on Coptic language, reviewed the text’s language and concluded it offered no evidence of forgery.
King and Luijendijk said they believe the fragment is part of a newly discovered gospel they named “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” for reference purposes. King said she dated the time it was written to the second half of the second century because it shows close connections to other newly discovered gospels written at that time, especially the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Philip.
Since no one knows the origin of the text, where it was found, what were the circumstances, what was found with it, it is questionable whether or not it was written by a reliable source, although it apparently is authentic document for the age. This is one of the biggest problems for archaeologists…’grave robbers’. Whether or not the content is accurate doesn’t matter to me, whatsoever. He was married, He wasn’t married…makes no difference.