Harvard Prof Reveals that Jesus was Married.

Posted: September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Wow now this is excited news. What do you think about this?

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/09/18/harvard-prof-reveals-evidence-jesus-married/

Could Jesus have married after all? A previously unknown papyrus fragment provides the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married, Harvard Professor Karen King told the 10th International Congress of Coptic Studies today.

Scholars say the four words suggesting as much are in a scroll they’re calling “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.”

It’s always wise to take such archeological pronouncements about the “real” life of Jesus and a “new gospel” with a grain of salt, especially when they come from people trying to promote new TV documentaries or books. But this announcement, out of Harvard, carries more weight than the usual, largely unfounded sensationalist claims. It will be subject to rigorous examination by other Bible scholars.

Here’s an excerpt from the Harvard Divinity School news release that came in minutes ago. (Prof. King is holding a news conference about it at noon PST.):

The four words that appear on the fragment translate to, “Jesus said to them, my wife.” The words, written in Coptic, a language of ancient Egyptian Christians, are on a papyrus fragment of about one and a half inches by three inches.

“Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,” King said. “This new gospel doesn’t prove that Jesus was married, but it 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, but it was over a century after Jesus’s death before they began appealing to Jesus’s marital status to support their positions.”

Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, believes the fragment to be authentic based on examination of the papyrus and the handwriting …. Final judgment on the fragment, King said, depends on further examination by colleagues and further testing, especially of the chemical composition of the ink.

King has posted a draft of the paper (PDF), an extensive question-and-answer on the fragment and its meaning, and images of it, on a page on the Divinity School website. {A story, with photo above, also appears in the Harvard Gazette.)

The brownish-yellow, tattered fragment belongs to an anonymous private collector who contacted King to help translate and analyze it. The collector provided King with a letter from the early 1980s indicating that Professor Gerhard Fecht from the faculty of Egyptology at the Free University in Berlin believed it to be evidence for a possible marriage of Jesus.

King said that when the owner first contacted her about the papyrus, in 2010, “I didn’t believe it was authentic and told him I wasn’t interested.” But the owner was persistent, so in December 2011, King invited him to bring it to her at Harvard.

…. The main topic of the dialogue between Jesus and his disciples is one that deeply concerned early Christians, who were asked to put loyalty to Jesus before their natal families, as the New Testament gospels show. Christians were talking about themselves as a family, with God the father, his son Jesus, and members as brothers and sisters. Twice in the tiny fragment, Jesus speaks of his mother and once of his wife—one of whom is identified as “Mary.” The disciples discuss whether Mary is worthy, and Jesus states that “she can be my disciple.” Although less clear, it may be that by portraying Jesus as married, the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife conveys a positive theological message about marriage and sexuality, perhaps similar to the Gospel of Philip’s view that pure marriage can be an image of divine unity and creativity.

From the very beginning, Christians disagreed about whether they should marry or be celibate. But, King notes, it was not until around 200 that there is the earliest extant claim that Jesus did not marry, recorded by Clement of Alexandria.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s