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Author Topic: Historian Says Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus' Wife  (Read 652 times)
Mideast Assemblyman Ben
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« on: September 18, 2012, 01:39:56 pm »
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'”

Professor Karen L. King, in her office at The Harvard Divinity School, held a fragment of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a reference to Jesus' wife.

The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”

The finding is being made public in Rome on Tuesday at an international meeting of Coptic scholars by the historian Karen L. King, who has published several books about new Gospel discoveries and is the first woman to hold the nation’s oldest endowed chair, the Hollis professor of divinity.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/us/historian-says-piece-of-papyrus-refers-to-jesus-wife.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 02:05:03 pm »
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Not unexpected. Who Jesus was (and wasn't) was still being ironed out.
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 02:17:39 pm »
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The Bible calls him a "Rabbi" umpteen times, thus stating unequivocally that he was married. It also refers to Peter's mother-in-law in one throwaway sentence but not to any wives of the disciples'.
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 02:18:41 pm »
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Fourth-century Coptic? Okay. Wake me up if they find Q and it's in there or something.
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 12:22:57 am »
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The Bible calls him a "Rabbi" umpteen times, thus stating unequivocally that he was married.

Not really.  The Aramaic רבי refers to not just the Jewish religious office but also "master" in general.

In any case, even assuming the transcription and translation are correct, this lone papyrus doesn't really prove anything about whether he was actually married.
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 06:32:14 am »
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In any case, even assuming the transcription and translation are correct, this lone papyrus doesn't really prove anything about whether he was actually married.

Nor does the NT prove that he wasn't. That's the problem I guess with any curiousities that emerge from history to shine a light on an historical religious figure. If it didn't fit when his life works were being collected then it won't fit now regardless of whether it is unknowably factually correct or not.
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Zioneer
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 10:13:54 am »
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Okay, cool. Doesn't affect my religious beliefs one way or another, so just a cool historical tidbit, whether real or fake.
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IDS Attorney General PiT
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 12:14:40 am »
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     It's not as if the metaphorical notion of a "bride of Jesus" is particularly unprecedented anyway. I could foresee the Church treating this as scriptural basis for the nunnery. Given that this little bit comes with no real context, there's really nothing wrong with such a reading.
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 12:32:32 am »
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     It's not as if the metaphorical notion of a "bride of Jesus" is particularly unprecedented anyway. I could foresee the Church treating this as scriptural basis for the nunnery. Given that this little bit comes with no real context, there's really nothing wrong with such a reading.
Good point - The Book of Revelations speaks of the Church as the bride of Christ (though I doubt the sect that produced this papyrus held to the NT canon as anything like we know it).
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2012, 07:02:05 am »
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There are non-canonical gospels that indicate this, the theory that Jesus may have been married (particularly, to Mary Magdalene) is nothing new.
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 09:29:13 am »
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There are non-canonical gospels that indicate this, the theory that Jesus may have been married (particularly, to Mary Magdalene) is nothing new.
Luther believed that.
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 10:22:21 am »
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There are non-canonical gospels that indicate this, the theory that Jesus may have been married (particularly, to Mary Magdalene) is nothing new.
Luther believed that.

Cite?

Anyway, I personally think that this sort of frenzy over the idea that Jesus was married or involved in some kind of sexual relationship is frankly ridiculous and also a little insulting to Mary Magdalene and her position as Apostle to the Apostles, but whatever.
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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2012, 10:38:40 am »
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Cite?

Anyway, I personally think that this sort of frenzy over the idea that Jesus was married or involved in some kind of sexual relationship is frankly ridiculous and also a little insulting to Mary Magdalene and her position as Apostle to the Apostles, but whatever.

I would think, given that he was a man in his early 30's when he died it would be ridicuous not to have had a sexual relationship. We will of course never know because all if not most evidence that contradicts what the early Church decided was canonical is either destroyed or has been supressed. It's why there can never be a genuine discussion about the place of Jesus of Nazareth in history because we are limited to what we are able to scrutinise. It's a bit like not being able to revisit a biography of Mark Twain now that we have access to his memoirs. There's nothing we can do about it now of course, but if new pieces come to light can't we be honest about their implications?
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2012, 10:43:39 am »
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I would think, given that he was a man in his early 30's when he died it would be ridicuous not to have had a sexual relationship.

I don't understand this logic. Or, I do, but I don't understand why you think it's universal in its application.

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We will of course never know because all if not most evidence that contradicts what the early Church decided was canonical is either destroyed or has been supressed. It's why there can never be a genuine discussion about the place of Jesus of Nazareth in history because we are limited to what we are able to scrutinise. It's a bit like not being able to revisit a biography of Mark Twain now that we have access to his memoirs. There's nothing we can do about it now of course, but if new pieces come to light can't we be honest about their implications?

Of course, but it seems like this one particular issue is one that people spend far more time thinking about and often grasping at straws over than the actual significance of attempting to score this kind of inane point merits.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 11:05:36 am by Nathan »Logged

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His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2012, 11:32:23 am »
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There are non-canonical gospels that indicate this, the theory that Jesus may have been married (particularly, to Mary Magdalene) is nothing new.
Luther believed that.

Cite?
Apparently it's just one of those things that float around and become true by being repeated often.
What Luther actually wrote was quoted by a fawning contemporary as having said is that they had an adulterous relationship.
Which probably did not mean what it seems to mean, though we cannot be entirely sure.
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2012, 12:23:08 pm »
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Who cares?  Does it really matter whether or not Jesus was married?
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2012, 03:15:55 pm »
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Who cares?  Does it really matter whether or not Jesus was married?

Not really. If he had children on the other hand, it would.
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