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The Gospel of Jesus' Wife


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More rumors and more lies. It is starting to spread all over the news, Again! Wonder if Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code) or Simcha Jacobovici (The Tomb of Jesus) heavily influenced this Harvard graduate. . . These type rumor goes pretty far back. Hope most would consider this as merely a continuing theory. A myth is great at being universal.

2Th 2:9-12: "9) But the lawless one’s presence is according to the operation of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents 10) and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing, as a retribution because they did not accept the love of the truth that they might be saved. 11) So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie, 12) in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness.


A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Published: September 18, 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.”

The finding was made public in Rome on Tuesday at the International Congress of Coptic Studies by Karen L. King, a historian who has published several books about new Gospel discoveries and is the first woman to hold the nation’s oldest endowed chair, the Hollis professor of divinity.

The provenance of the papyrus fragment is a mystery, and its owner has asked to remain anonymous. Until Tuesday, Dr. King had shown the fragment to only a small circle of experts in papyrology and Coptic linguistics, who concluded that it is most likely not a forgery. But she and her collaborators say they are eager for more scholars to weigh in and perhaps upend their conclusions.

Even with many questions unsettled, the discovery could reignite the debate over whether Jesus was married, whether Mary Magdalene was his wife and whether he had a female disciple. These debates date to the early centuries of Christianity, scholars say. But they are relevant today, when global Christianity is roiling over the place of women in ministry and the boundaries of marriage.

The discussion is particularly animated in the Roman Catholic Church, where despite calls for change, the Vatican has reiterated the teaching that the priesthood cannot be opened to women and married men because of the model set by Jesus.

Dr. King gave an interview and showed the papyrus fragment, encased in glass, to reporters from The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Harvard Magazine in her garret office in the tower at Harvard Divinity School last Thursday.

She repeatedly cautioned that this fragment should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married. The text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early, historically reliable Christian literature is silent on the question, she said.

But the discovery is exciting, Dr. King said, because it is the first known statement from antiquity that refers to Jesus speaking of a wife. It provides further evidence that there was an active discussion among early Christians about whether Jesus was celibate or married, and which path his followers should choose.

“This fragment suggests that some early Christians had a tradition that Jesus was married,” she said. “There was, we already know, a controversy in the second century over whether Jesus was married, caught up with a debate about whether Christians should marry and have sex.”

Dr. King first learned about what she calls “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” when she received an e-mail in 2010 from a private collector who asked her to translate it. Dr. King, 58, specializes in Coptic literature, and has written books on the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Mary of Magdala, Gnosticism and women in antiquity.

The owner, who has a collection of Greek, Coptic and Arabic papyri, is not willing to be identified by name, nationality or location, because, Dr. King said, “He doesn’t want to be hounded by people who want to buy this.”

When, where or how the fragment was discovered is unknown. The collector acquired it in a batch of papyri in 1997 from the previous owner, a German. It came with a handwritten note in German that names a professor of Egyptology in Berlin, now deceased, and cited him calling the fragment “the sole example” of a text in which Jesus claims a wife.

The owner took the fragment to the Divinity School in December 2011 and left it with Dr. King. In March, she carried the fragment in her red handbag to New York to show it to two papyrologists: Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, at New York University, and AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/us/historian-says-piece-of-papyrus-refers-to-jesus-wife.html?_r=2

Here is yet another article from another news source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/the-gospel-of-jesus-wife_n_1891325.html?1347990916&icid=maing-grid10|htmlws-main-bb|dl1|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D207309]

Even yet another source: http://news.yahoo.com/jesus-had-wife-newly-discovered-gospel-suggests-202727064.html

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She repeatedly cautioned that this fragment should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married. The text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early, historically reliable Christian literature is silent on the question, she said. 

Exactly.

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"If, now, the good news we declare is in fact veiled, it is veiled among those who are perishing, among whom the god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through." (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4)

It's just another tool Satan uses to keep people blind to the good news. He has them distracted on that ancient fragment, completely ignoring the message Jesus was preaching.

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http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/harvard-publishing-claim-jesus-wife-17294695#.UF4Ik7KPWPY

The Associated Press raised questions about the fragment's authenticity and provenance, quoting scholars at the international congress on Coptic studies in Rome, where King delivered the paper. The scholars said the fragment's grammar, form and content raised several red flags. Alin Suciu, a papyrologist at the University of Hamburg, flatly called it a "forgery."

Boston University archaeologist Ricardo Elia said Friday that the Harvard Theological Review should delay publication until the fragment's owner and origins are more clearly documented.

Harvard has kept the owner anonymous, and Elia said that raises questions about professional ethics, because Harvard appears to be protecting the owner, a collector, from other claims to the fragment. The school has said the papyrus most likely came from Egypt, which means it could be Egypt's cultural property, Elia said.

"If it's real, it was looted and smuggled, most likely," he said. "If it's not real, then it shouldn't even be out there in the discussion."

Elia said "lurking behind all of this is the suspicion that the collector is doing this for the purpose of having the scholar authenticate a piece, and get a lot of attention to it, and then turn around and sell it."

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Even if this is true, it's a good example of how context affects meaning. 8 lines? Fragment? With this being the only source of the information, and it being a fragment, there is no telling what the whole sheet really said.

Jesus said to them "my wife is not made of flesh and will be referred to as the 'Bride of Christ.'" The apostles then asked Jesus, what about the woman who was sinning as a prostitute? In answer, Jesus replied "She will be my disciple if she repents of her former conduct."

See? I used all the words the article said was in the fragment and came up with something that is in harmony with scripture. Without knowing what the entire fragment says, and without knowing what the rest of the papyrus said, we'll never know the whole truth.

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  • 3 weeks later...

From Harvard Divinity School itself:

http://www.hds.harvard.edu/faculty-research/research-projects/the-gospel-of-jesuss-wife

The Gospel of Jesus's Wife: A New Coptic Gospel Papyrus

Resources about the fourth-century papyrus fragment available here are images of the fragment and a translation of the text; information (in question-and-answer format) about the fragment; and a draft of Karen L. King's article about the gospel papyrus.

Images and Translation

Research Paper from Dr. King in PDF format

Q&A

1. Does the Gospel of Jesus's Wife prove that Jesus was married?

2. How do we know this fragment is not a forgery?

3. What is the significance of the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

4. Who wrote the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

5. Why is the fragment called the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

6. What is the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

7. Where is the fragment from?

8. What language is the fragment written in?

9. What is the approximate date of the material fragment?

10. What is the approximate date when this gospel was composed?

11. When was the fragment discovered?

12. What are some of the other newly discovered ancient Christian writings?

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http://news.yahoo.com/doubts-over-harvard-claim-jesus-wife-papyrus-165816944.html

I agree with you Ava, if the woman was a proper serious scientist she would not present a piece of papyrus to the public without doing rigorous tests on it first. Tests on the ink and papyrus as well as it's origin. Old blank or 'scraped clean' manuscript vellum and papyrus have been rewritten upon and passed on as genuine old documents for sale.

In Wikipaedia Professor Karen King is presented as a writer on women's leading roles in the 'early church' and of gnostic background. She seem to be someone already with a pre-set agenda favouring the present translation and interpretation of this tiny fragment - It gives her what she wants to promote. It needs more independent scrutiny.

Some reviewers seem to have only been sent ordinary photographs of it to assess it's genuineness and made pronouncements of authenticity on it based on these, which has then been used as proof - not a professional way of presenting authenticity.

There are so many fake or misconstrued Biblical antiquities out there being sold to unwary collectors and museums, that we have already discussed on this forum. So this may be just another of those, especially as it has dubious provenance.

If it is not fake then some scholars have mooted the idea that it could be a small part of a private letter that included some scripture quotations, the style of the writing is not careful official document such as of a copy of a Bible - even an apocryphal one. There's just not enough evidence to go on to come to the conclusion the media are reporting. The scripture quote could be about the 'Bride of Christ', which is written of in scripture, but is of course true in a spiritual sense that most of the World is not educated about and could easily be misled with.

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From Harvard Divinity School itself:

http://www.hds.harvard.edu/faculty-research/research-projects/the-gospel-of-jesuss-wife

The Gospel of Jesus's Wife: A New Coptic Gospel Papyrus

Resources about the fourth-century papyrus fragment available here are images of the fragment and a translation of the text; information (in question-and-answer format) about the fragment; and a draft of Karen L. King's article about the gospel papyrus.

Images and Translation

Research Paper from Dr. King in PDF format

Q&A

1. Does the Gospel of Jesus's Wife prove that Jesus was married?

2. How do we know this fragment is not a forgery?

3. What is the significance of the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

4. Who wrote the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

5. Why is the fragment called the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

6. What is the Gospel of Jesus's Wife?

7. Where is the fragment from?

8. What language is the fragment written in?

9. What is the approximate date of the material fragment?

10. What is the approximate date when this gospel was composed?

11. When was the fragment discovered?

12. What are some of the other newly discovered ancient Christian writings?

Great job Roberta... you just trashed and discredited everything she has worked to theorize, and to probably gain attention for... keep up the great work!

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http://news.yahoo.com/doubts-over-harvard-claim-jesus-wife-papyrus-165816944.html

I agree with you Ava, if the woman was a proper serious scientist she would not present a piece of papyrus to the public without doing rigorous tests on it first. Tests on the ink and papyrus as well as it's origin. Old blank or 'scraped clean' manuscript vellum and papyrus have been rewritten upon and passed on as genuine old documents for sale.

In Wikipaedia Professor Karen King is presented as a writer on women's leading roles in the 'early church' and of gnostic background. She seem to be someone already with a pre-set agenda favouring the present translation and interpretation of this tiny fragment - It gives her what she wants to promote. It needs more independent scrutiny.

Some reviewers seem to have only been sent ordinary photographs of it to assess it's genuineness and made pronouncements of authenticity on it based on these, which has then been used as proof - not a professional way of presenting authenticity.

There are so many fake or misconstrued Biblical antiquities out there being sold to unwary collectors and museums, that we have already discussed on this forum. So this may be just another of those, especially as it has dubious provenance.

If it is not fake then some scholars have mooted the idea that it could be a small part of a private letter that included some scripture quotations, the style of the writing is not careful official document such as of a copy of a Bible - even an apocryphal one. There's just not enough evidence to go on to come to the conclusion the media are reporting. The scripture quote could be about the 'Bride of Christ', which is written of in scripture, but is of course true in a spiritual sense that most of the World is not educated about and could easily be misled with.

I see your point Helen, but actually, these academic types will do anything for attention, recognition, and possible research grants! Remember "Piltdown Man" ...a failed fraudulant attempt to prove evolution... obviously for attention and grant funding.

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Even if this is true, it's a good example of how context affects meaning. 8 lines? Fragment? With this being the only source of the information, and it being a fragment, there is no telling what the whole sheet really said.

Jesus said to them "my wife is not made of flesh and will be referred to as the 'Bride of Christ.'" The apostles then asked Jesus, what about the woman who was sinning as a prostitute? In answer, Jesus replied "She will be my disciple if she repents of her former conduct."

See? I used all the words the article said was in the fragment and came up with something that is in harmony with scripture. Without knowing what the entire fragment says, and without knowing what the rest of the papyrus said, we'll never know the whole truth.

For this researcher to make such an assumption clearly shows lack of genuine investigation. In reality it's really just speculation and this just marres the credibility of the finding. It's amazing how they always try to discredit the scriptures. Thank you Jehovah for the truth.

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It's not about scholarly work, its about creating controversy (for a potential million dollar book deal) its about raising your profile (for eventual million dollar tv interviews) its about making a name for yourself (maybe a consultation post on a million dollar movie deal?) ...

Even academics gotta make a living.

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Thank you for this topic!

The Swedes, already generally as apathetic and negative towards religion as they can be without getting physical, will surely be using this as a "weapon" in the future. Indeed, even though I was still half asleep this morning 6 AM, this so-called Gospel of Jesus' wife was mentioned on the radio. Without this topic I wouldn't have known at all what is this "gospel" all about.

But I'm pretty sure that in time there will be an article considering this in the Watchtower.

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