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Was Jesus married?

Christian 2012/09/19 22:55:13

Was Jesus married  Is a scrap of papyrus suggesting that Jesus had a wife authentic?

Scholars on Wednesday questioned the much-publicized discovery by a Harvard scholar that a 4th century fragment of papyrus provided the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married.

And experts in the illicit antiquities trade also wondered about the motive of the fragment's anonymous owner, noting that the document's value has likely increased amid the publicity of the still-unproven find.

Karen King, a professor of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School,
announced the finding Tuesday at an international congress on Coptic
studies in Rome. The text, written in Coptic and probably translated
from a 2nd century Greek text, contains a dialogue in which Jesus refers
to "my wife," whom he identifies as Mary.

King's paper, and the
front-page attention it received in some U.S. newspapers that got
advance word about it, was a hot topic of conversation Wednesday at the
conference.

Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was
unmarried, although there is no reliable historical evidence to support
that, King said. Any evidence pointing to whether Jesus was married or
had a female disciple could have ripple effects in current debates over
the role of women in the church.

Stephen Emmel, a professor of
Coptology at the University of Muenster who was on the international
advisory panel that reviewed the 2006 discovery of the Gospel of Judas,
said the text accurately quotes Jesus as saying "my wife." But he
questioned whether the document was authentic.

"There's
something about this fragment in its appearance and also in the grammar
of the Coptic that strikes me as being not completely convincing
somehow," he said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference.

Another participant at the congress, Alin Suciu, a papyrologist at the University of Hamburg, was more blunt.

"I
would say it's a forgery. The script doesn't look authentic" when
compared to other samples of Coptic papyrus script dated to the 4th
century, he said.

King acknowledged Wednesday that questions
remain about the fragment, and she welcomed the feedback from her
colleagues. She said she planned to subject the document to ink tests to
determine if the chemical components match those used in antiquity.

"We
still have some work to do, testing the ink and so on and so forth, but
what is exciting about this fragment is that it's the first case we
have of Christians claiming that Jesus had a wife," she said.

She
stressed that the text, assuming it's authentic, doesn't provide any
historical evidence that Jesus was actually married, only that some two
centuries after he died, some early Christians believed he had a wife.

Wolf-Peter
Funk, a noted Coptic linguist, said there was no way to evaluate the
significance of the fragment because it has no context. It's a partial
text and tiny, measuring 4 centimeters by 8 centimeters (1.5 inches by 3
inches), about the size of a small cellphone.

"There are
thousands of scraps of papyrus where you find crazy things," said Funk,
co-director of a project editing the Nag Hammadi Coptic library at Laval
University in Quebec. "It can be anything."

He, too, doubted the authenticity, saying the form of the fragment was "suspicious."

Ancient papyrus fragments have been frequently cut up by unscrupulous antiquities dealers seeking to make more money.

An
anonymous collector brought King the fragment in December 2011, seeking
her help in translating and understanding it. In March, she brought it
to two papyrologists who determined it was very likely authentic.

On
Tuesday, Harvard Divinity School announced the finding to great fanfare
and said King's paper would be published in January's Harvard
Theological Review. Harvard said the fragment most likely came from Egypt, and that its earliest documentation is from the early 1980s indicating that a now-deceased professor in Germany thought it evidence of a possible marriage of Jesus.

Some
archaeologists were quick to question Harvard's ethics, noting that the
fragment has no known provenance, or history of where it's been, and
that its current owner may have a financial interest in the publicity
being generated about it.

King has said the owner wants to sell his collection to Harvard.

"There
are all sorts of really dodgy things about this," said David Gill,
professor of archaeological heritage at University Campus Suffolk and
author of the Looting Matters blog, which closely follows the illicit
trade in antiquities. "This looks to me as if any sensible, responsible
academic would keep their distance from it."

He cited the ongoing
debate in academia over publishing articles about possibly dubiously
obtained antiquities, thus potentially fueling the illicit market.

The
Archaeological Institute of America, for example, won't publish
articles in its journal announcing the discovery of antiquities without a
proven provenance that were acquired after a UNESCO convention fighting
the illicit trade went into effect in 1973.

Similarly,
many American museums have adopted policies to no longer acquire
antiquities without a provenance, after being slapped with successful
efforts by countries like Italy to reclaim looted treasures.

Archaeologists
also complain that the looting of antiquities removes them from their
historical context, depriving scholars of a wealth of information.

However,
AnneMarie Luijendijk, the Princeton University expert whom King
consulted to authenticate the papyrus, said the fragment fit all the
rules and criteria established by the International Association of
Papyrologists. She noted that papyrus fragments frequently don't have a
provenance, simply because so many were removed from Egypt before such
issues were of concern.

She
acknowledged the dilemma about buying such antiquities but said
refraining from publishing articles about them is another matter.

"You wouldn't let an important new text go to waste," she said.

Hany
Sadak, the director general of the Coptic Museum in Cairo, said the
fragment's existence was unknown to Egypt's antiquities authorities
until news articles this week.

"I
personally think, as a researcher, that the paper is not authentic
because it was, if it had been in Egypt before, we would have known of
it and we would have heard of it before it left Egypt," he said.

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Opinions

  • terryjautry 2012/12/20 02:03:28 (edited)
    terryjautry
    +1
    nope, this piece of "scrap" is actually from a Gnostic source of Gospel. Gnostic Gospels hold no bearing. Gnostic groups were like a split group from original orthodox groups and had their own teachings. Their books of the bible contradicted what we have in our books of the bible today. That's why the lost gospels are not really lost, they are gnostic sources. That's where this stuff comes from, that which you posted. It holds no actual bearing. Plus if he was married, it would have stated in the word of God. It tells of his adopted father which was Joseph, his earthly mother, and his half brothers and half sisters but no mention of his wife. I don't think the 4 gospels would leave that out since they all speak to different audiences. And those 4 accounts pretty much tell the same things, some might leave parts out and others will include it and neither have no mention of his wife if he had one. and if he was married it wont make a difference. I doubt Jesus had time for a wife. He was preaching at 12 years old and ministering to people at like 30 years old. and was always doing the will of God. He didnt even speak too much with his own kindred.
  • Sidrah Zaheer 2012/11/11 02:38:27
    Sidrah Zaheer
    +1
    I don't think so that Jesus ever got married. He was just 23, when he passed on, supposedly having a worldly death, but his spirit survived.
  • Christian Sidrah ... 2012/11/14 01:57:07
    Christian
    Jesus I think was 32, when he was hung on the cross.
  • terryja... Sidrah ... 2012/12/20 02:04:34
    terryjautry
    Jesus lived to be around 33 years old not in his twenties. He did not die in his 20s. one of the gospels gives his age at about 30 when he started ministering with the power of god.
  • legalamericanwoman 2012/11/07 01:09:37
  • iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~ 2012/09/24 21:28:58
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    +1
    Maybe.
  • gocar 2012/09/20 01:24:42
    gocar
    +2
    I believe he was but by the time it all got written down the story did not include the wives of all those disciples. They were all married fishermen who could not read or write. There is no evidence that Jesus himself could write either. All that was written was done many years after they died and the whole story was a handed down account.
  • Pyro-82 gocar 2012/09/21 00:54:42 (edited)
    Pyro-82
    +1
    Too many ripples occur from that, but you are absolutely correct.That might explain quite a lot.
  • Red_Horse 2012/09/19 23:50:44
  • iamthem... Red_Horse 2012/09/24 21:29:50
    iamthemob ~ the 444th Guru ~
    +1
    Do you really think that everything that happened to Christ is in the Bible?

    Because there are a lot of contemporaneous documents that aren't in the Bible because of what are arguably some political decisions....
  • Red_Horse iamthem... 2012/09/24 22:12:30 (edited)
  • History... Red_Horse 2012/09/25 01:40:54
    HistoryBuff782
    +2
    The bible that we've had for hundreds of years isn't anything similar to what it originally was. The Catholic church has censored, burned and taken much out of it to fit their needs.
  • Red_Horse History... 2012/09/25 01:48:07
  • History... Red_Horse 2012/09/25 01:54:16
    HistoryBuff782
    +2
    My point exactly..
  • Red_Horse History... 2012/09/25 01:59:21
  • Skylaris Alanis 2012/09/19 23:10:41
  • Sister Jean 2012/09/19 23:10:35
  • Christian Sister ... 2012/09/19 23:40:00
    Christian
    Sorry sister I had to ask this question, because Wolf Blitzer talked about it on CNN, and I thought it interesting.
  • kevracer 2012/09/19 23:00:12
    kevracer
    +2
    boy I can hear the naging now

    "You can feed the 5000, but you can't remember to pick up a gallon of milk at the market?"
    "You're always hanging around with that whore Mary drinking wine - writing the gospel my foot"
    "When are you gonna get a job? Your Daddy is a carpenter at least. All you do is hang out with those 12 pals of yours who don't have jobs either"
  • Christian kevracer 2012/09/19 23:02:12
  • EmoBunny13 2012/09/19 22:58:24
    EmoBunny13
    +1
    No all he said was I'm your savior and I'll save you from all your sins
  • Red_Horse EmoBunny13 2012/09/19 23:51:37
  • EmoBunny13 Red_Horse 2012/09/20 01:13:25
    EmoBunny13
    +3
    Well I tried
  • Red_Horse EmoBunny13 2012/09/20 02:49:49 (edited)
  • EmoBunny13 Red_Horse 2012/09/20 16:58:35
    EmoBunny13
    +2
    Well still I did my best

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