Friday, September 21, 2012

Was Jesus Married?

A professor in America has unveiled a piece of papyrus that she claims quotes Jesus as having a wife.
Karen King, an expert in Christian history, says words in the text - written in a language of ancient Egyptian Christians - translate to: "Jesus said to them, 'my wife'." In the dialogue the disciples discuss whether Mary is worthy and Jesus says "she can be my disciple". She says the fragment is a copy of a gospel, probably written in Greek in the C2nd.
Christian tradition says Jesus was unmarried, though there was no reliable historical evidence to support that. In fact, there's been heated debate over this, given that Christian tradition also holds "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us". Some argue this should be interpreted as Christ living as a man in all aspects of humanity.
The curious fragment belongs to an anonymous private collector... who's now trying to sell it - that rings some warning bells. Also, nothing is known about its discovery or origin - ding, ding ding! Furthermore, its size (a mere 3.8cm x 7.6cm - about the size of a credit card) could leave interpretation of the text open to much
Titian’s Noli Me Tangere:
"Not tonight, dear, I have a headache!"
Professor King has cautioned the fragment is not proof that Jesus was actually married. She says the text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early historically reliable Christian literature say nothing on this question. But they too were written not at the time of New Testament events but long after.
The idea that Jesus had a wife was the core of Dan Brown's book and movie The Da Vinci Code. But King said she wants nothing to do with the code or its author...
It should also be remembered that the composition of what is called the New Testament was decided upon by the hierachy of the growing Christian faith. They chose texts that best suited what they wanted followers to read and understand. For all we know, the Vatican library vaults contains hundreds of so-called 'gospels' and documents that may shed new light on the life and times of Jesus. These may not fit with the image of a divinity who walked among us but was not wholly part of mankind.
So is this fragment genuine? Was Dan Brown right all along?
Time, and more scientific analysis, may tell...but I have my doubts.

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