The so-called ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’.

Did Jesus Have a Wife? New Tests on Ancient Coptic Papyrus May Give Answers

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The controversial “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” has been undergoing rigorous forensic testing and academic analysis to determine if the fragment of papyrus is authentic or not. The much-debated gospel, if legitimate, might show that at one point it was believed Jesus had taken wife, contrary to the current doctrines of Christianity.

The faded papyrus was revealed by Harvard University professor Karen L. King in 2012 and it instantly made international headlines. The announcement of a papyrus which might alter the historical record of Christian faith was met with elation, anger, and skepticism.

The fragment, now known as “ The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife ” is written in Coptic (an Egyptian language), mentions a woman named Mary, and contains the translated phrases, “ Jesus said to them, my wife…." , and " she will be able to be my disciple ,” which suggests not only that Jesus may have married (some believe to Mary Magdalene) but also it raises the argument for women to become ordained priests.

‘Jesus as a friend of children’ (1845), by Marie Ellenrieder

‘Jesus as a friend of children’ (1845), by Marie Ellenrieder ( Wikimedia)

Amazingly Authentic or Clever Fake?

An editorial in the Vatican’s newspaper declared that the papyrus was a fake, as did a number of other scholars. Additionally, the Church of England has dismissed the claims, saying it is closer to the fictional ‘Da Vinci Code’ than historical accounts. However, the fragment has been thoroughly tested by scientists who conclude, in a report published in the  Harvard Theological Review , that the ink (actually pigment) and papyrus have ancient origins, and the fragment is not, therefore, a modern forgery. The researchers date it to 1,200 years ago, between the sixth and ninth centuries.

According to LiveScience, new research has been done on the disputed papyrus but the study has yet to be published.  Scientists at Columbia University are conducting new tests on the pigments used on the papyrus. When compared with the pigments from other known authentic or fraudulent gospels, comparisons can be made and legitimacy established.

Scientists at Columbia University are not commenting until their results are published, but according to the LiveScience article, the Jesus gospel was compared to another fragment from the “Gospel of John”, which was written in a rare ancient dialect of Coptic known as Lycopolitan. The two texts are said to be very similar, but the John gospel dates to between the seventh and ninth centuries, leading some to say “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” was a fake modeled after this.

However, “James Yardley, a senior research scientist at Columbia University, told Live Science that the new tests suggest that the Gospel of Jesus's Wife was written by another person than that who wrote John papyrus,” reports MailOnline.

Yardley told LiveScience, “In our first exploration, we did state that the inks used for the two documents of interest [the John papyrus and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife] were quite different. The more recent results do confirm this observation strongly.”

Additionally, the language on the fragment has been examined, and many scholars say it is also very similar to the early Christian “ Gospel of Thomas ”. This gospel can be found online with modern-day typos. Skeptical scholars point out similar typos in the Jesus gospel, but proponents rebut, saying that typos and grammatical errors were just as prevalent in ancient scribe-work as they are now, and the Jesus gospel is another interesting example of that.

Mysterious Provenance

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci (Wikimedia). In the novel, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Dan Brown writes that the figure at the right hand of Jesus is Mary Magdalene.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci ( Wikimedia). In the novel, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Dan Brown writes that the figure at the right hand of Jesus is Mary Magdalene.

What remains to be sorted out is the mysterious provenance (source or chronology) of the artifact. Many scholars are drawing their own conclusions that the papyrus is a modern fake, and that opinion is supported by the unclear ownership of the piece, and where it might have originated.

The person who currently owns the ancient papyrus remains anonymous, but claims the gospel came to him with other Coptic texts from Germany. The texts were reportedly purchased from a man named Hans-Ulrich Laukamp in 1999, who himself allegedly got them in 1963 in Potsdam, in what was East Germany.

Comments

Jesus wasn't God though. That is an American twist

You are an idiot. The Bible is century's old and is not an American twist. Furthermore in the Bible it states that Jesus will take Israel as his bride also Israel has often been referred to as God's bride in both the OT and NT. Also have you never heard of the Trinity

This is another reason why I believe my GOD is either not being fair or this is really of no concern to him.
However, this is also why I laugh at the scholars who strive to prove themselves worthy to GOD when all GOD has ever wanted was your Faith and trust. Both require no study and are found because your spirit tells you it is true.
His creation has been trudging along for so long ; picking it up saying " it's still good" when all the while GOD keeps throwing it back on the ground. GOD wants your trust and faith and despises your endless hours of studying trying to prove to yourselves; he is real. He doesn't need it or wants it

Jesus, whether real or mythical, spoke Aramaic.
In Aramaic, the word "mar" is the usual title of respect for a grown man - as we use the word "sir" in English. The New Testament phrase "marana tha" means "come, sir".
Other men would not address the wife of a "mar" by name. They would use the feminine form of "mar", which is "martha".
"Martha" is taken to be a name by those who read the NT but don't speak Aramaic. That would be Greeks, Romans, everyone down to modern days. It's not a name, it refers to someone's wife.
Now who would that someone be? Only the "mar" - Jesus.
And where did he get married? Maybe in a place called Cana, where the guests came and asked him for wine. If it was not his wedding, what made him responsible for the catering? Maybe it was not his wedding, though - the other possibility is that it was that of one of his sons.
Either way, he was married, and to the woman referred to as Martha.

Jesus was Jewish and would have spoken hebrew

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