by Dr. D ~ September 20th, 2012
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 …’ ”
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.”
Translation by Karen L. King:
not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe]
The disciples said to Jesus
deny. Mary is worthy
Jesus said to them,
she will be able to
be my disciple
Let wicked people
As for me, I dwell with her in order to
Response: When one looks at this tiny scrap of script one is tempted to say- ‘Is that all there is?’ I read the NY Times article on Tuesday and sort of dismissed it as interesting but a lot hype over very little and really had no intention of writing about it. After all there was really nothing new here. The text reflected previous gnostic texts from the 2-4th century. None of it really had anything to do with the historical Jesus or his followers in the first century.
Then yesterday while I was driving down the freeway a radio newscaster excitedly announced that there was a new discovery of a new ‘gospel’ where Jesus talks about having a wife. It is not Easter or even Christmas but here comes another gleeful main stream media attack on Christianity and its basic teachings.
Well the entire so-called ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ and its translation is shown above. While it may be interesting and important to historians and early Christian scholars the new text really should not affect the faith of Christians nor the teaching of the church. Here’s why:
1. The Document is from the 4th century
2. The text is in 4th century Coptic
3. The text reflects other Gnostic gospels from the 2nd-4th century
The most important fact to keep in mind considering this so-called ‘gospel’ is the fact that it was written in the 4th century in Coptic and does not record or reflect anything that the historical Jesus might have said 3oo years earlier. None of the gospels or writings of the followers of Jesus who really knew him back up the idea that Jesus may have had a wife.
In fact if you read other more balanced articles about this ‘gospel’ discovery, Karen L. King herself makes a point of saying that it does not really record anything that the historical Jesus might have said but reflects the developing teaching of a gnostic Christian group beginning in the middle of the 2nd century.
So much for the loud and ignorant MSM hype. Maybe we Christians should storm Harvard and all of the media headquarters over this ‘blasphemy’ of Jesus? Just kidding! *Top