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-Re: ‘The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’

by Dr. D ~ September 20th, 2012


From NY Times:

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.”

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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.

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3 Responses to -Re: ‘The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’

  1. Brian

    How many things are wrong with this scrap? Let me make a partial list:

    (a) It has no context. We do not know where it came from, where it was found, etc. We cannot trace its history back, nor can we link it to any known Christian/Gnostic writing.

    (b) It is too pat. If by mere happenstance a random scrap of a previously unknown Gnostic writing about Jesus was to surface, it would more likely say something mundane “Jesus sat down at the table to eat supper with his disciples”. The odds that the one scrap of a previously unknown Gnostic writing would surface that would happen to focus on probably the most controversial statement that could ever be attributed to Jesus are, well, a long shot.

    (c) The Gnostics were late. Probably the Gospel of Thomas was the first significant Gnostic writing (c 180) The scrap purportedly dates to the 4th century, making it even later. Thus, assuming this is a real scrap of a real ancient manuscript, it was written by someone with no ties to Jesus and no access to eyewitnesses (in contrast to the four canonical gospels, two of which were written by eyewitnesses and two of which were written by people with access to eyewitnesses). Thus, it has no probative value, even if it is “real”. (Put another way, we have a substantial fragment of the Gospel of John which dates to c 125, there is a Luke fragment from c 150; and there is a highly probable match between a Dead Sea Scroll fragment and the Gospel of Mark, AD 79 or earlier. We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of fragments and manuscripts of the four Canonical Gospels which date from before 400 AD, all of which builds a “paper trail” back to the time of Christ, or within a generation or so thereafter. This document has no paper trail).

    Assuming it is an old manuscript (doubtful – see above) we don’t know who wrote it, why it was written, when it was written, or even if the reference to Jesus is intended as a reference to Christ, and not to someone else named Yeshua.


  2. Brian

    Again, a typo – numbers are giving me problems!

    I intended to write “AD 70 or earlier” above and got a “9” in there by accident.

  3. Souheil Bayoud

    What the garbage Gnostic writings has to do with the true gospel of salvation? Anything based on a lie is a lie and the liar from the beginning is well known.The Holy blood Holy grail pretend that Jesus escaped death on the cross and married Mary Magdalene.Then Da Vinci Code pretend a secret marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the real blood of the grail is inside Mary based on the painting of the last supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.Now a scholar have a wring words on a papyrus about Jesus wife.Actually Dr King id a dishonest scholar when she titled that piece in the shape of a credit card a gospel.There is a very dangerous lie about the real blood and the wife.The truth is that real and Holy blood is on Jesus forehead and not in the womb of Mary Magdalene or any other woman.This is revealed in the true story THE COIN OF THE TEMPLE by souheil bayoud.As for the wife,the impossibility of the marriage of Jesus is not and will not be revealed to disbelievers land opponents to Orthodox Christianity,the wise and the learned.However,when the feathers of an American eagle come forth on the head of that scholar I will tell her about that impossibility.

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