Thursday, 20 September 2012

Jesus married? Who the hell knows?

imageJesus married? Who knows? Why do I ask? Because

a previously unknown scrap of ancient papyrus written in ancient Egyptian Coptic includes the words: "Jesus said to them, my wife…"

And that news has made headlines, despite that being virtually all that’s said on that tiny scrap of papyrus, seen at right being cuddled by Professor King. That hasn’t stopped her making hay from her slim blade of grass:

King said the fragment, unveiled at the Tenth International Congress of Coptic Studies, provided the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married.
    Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, said he believed the fragment, which King has called ‘The Gospel of Jesus's wife’, was authentic.

I’m sure it is authentic. But one scrap is not a gospel. Or a Gospel. Not without a lot more context—as King herself admits in a more academic setting than the world’s headlines, saying in the Harvard Theological Review:

This is the only extant ancient text which explicitly portrays Jesus as referring to a wife. It does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married, given the late date of the fragment and the probable date of original composition only in the second half of the second century.

It doesn’t really provide evidence either way, or add to very much, since extant contemporaneous texts about Jesus’ life tell us very little about it altogether.

But it is interesting.

[Hat tip Glenn Peoples]

* really just by Tacitus and Josephus.


  1. This is quite possibly blasphemy, surly?

    Shouldn't we be burning effigies of this academic, and sacking Harvard?

  2. This is the equivalent of future civilisations discovering a fragment of a Dan Brown novel, and using it to try and deduce facts about the life of Leonardo Da Vinci.

  3. There were some good comments on the NYT article.

    Things like "the papyrus is proof of early attempts at jewish humour. The full phrase was 'My wife, take her....please'"


  4. It never ceases to amaze me how profoundly ignorant even "scholars" are. It's all right there in Scripture (the "Bible").

    Look at Jesus' outlook on marriage:

    Matthew 22:28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
    29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
    30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

    He was completely right when he said "...Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures...". It has not changed. Here is Jesus REAL wife:

    Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

    Revelation 14:4 These are they [the 144,000] which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
    5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

    Touching a woman defiles a man. How could 144,000 undefiled men follow a defiled savior???

    John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

    Had Mary touched him, she would have defiled him and totally polluted his perfect blood sacrifice.

    I question the credentials of any "scholar" who hasn't read the Scriptures. You should too.

    A. Sayer

  5. "Who the hell knows?" Who the hell cares?

    The absorption of scholars in pointless debate is laughable.

    Chris R.


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