Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Rex, Sep 19, 2012.
Maybe Mary Magdalene, maybe not?
This is where the Bible confuses me so.
I read an article about this, too. They seem to believe that the fragment is accurately dated, some time before the year 400. They are not sure, exactly, where it came from. Karen King (Harvard Divinity) got the papyrus from a private owner (who choses to remain anonymous). He says he got it: "The owner who showed it to King found it in 1997 in a collection of papyri that he acquired from the previous owner, who was German. The papyri included a handwritten German description that had the name of a now-deceased professor of Egyptology in Berlin who called the fragment a "sole example" of a document that claims Jesus was married."
Some are speculating that the use of the word wife is misleading and that it might be that Jesus was referring to the church as his wife. In any case, this is very interesting. We do know that the Church has adopted and rejected Gospels that did not suit their interpretation of Christianity. We will see how the Church reacts to this.
I do have a question regarding the language. It states that it is written in the Coptic language. There is also a reference to Egypt. Would this be related to Coptic Christians? In light of what is going on in the world, it would seem ironic that this came out just now.
Adding that it is interesting that Jesus' celibacy is coming into question right after the film mocking Muhammad, accusing him of rape, etc., incited so many to protest.
Interesting but like others have said elsewhere, a writing made 400 years after Jesus death does not mean he did have a wife. Only that people of the era in which the text was written believed he did.
This changes a lot IMO, since Jesus was considered to be celibate.
I don't think that this papyrus will prove anything. As Buzz said, it was written 400 years after Jesus died. We can't seem to get the news right, 24 hours after it happens today. So, how accurate can documentation be which is 400 years old and passed down via word of mouth. It will be challenged, and likely dismissed. But, I do find it to be fascinating. Here is the article I read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/...s-wife-_n_1891325.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
I'll bet Mrs. J. Christ crucified him if he ever stayed out too late.
Yes, her name is Irina Lobacheva
There was a lot of supposition about this in Dan Brown's book the Da Vinci Code. I remember a lot of the fanatics being really upset about this, even though the book is fiction. I thought it was a fascinating read and made me really think. I had one friend refuse to even discuss the book because I mentioned that in it Jesus had a wife and daughter.
As far as I can tell, there is no true historical evidence that Jesus even existed, let alone had a wife.
Yes, it is related. The Copt's are one of the earliest Christian sects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copts#History
Too much of the context of the fragment is missing for it to be definitive that Jesus' "wife" was an actually woman or the church in a metaphorical context, so I'm not assuming anything here. Of more interest to me is the reference to discipleship. That could rock a boat or two.
At best it might prove the writer believed Jesus was married.
Since the church didn't exist in his time, how could Jesus refer to the church as his wife. He was a good Jew as best is known, and quite frankly, it was (and still is) a mitzvah to be married and have children. So I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he was. Since there is dearth of contemporary historical references to Jesus, anything is possible.
There are a bunch of non-canonical gospels out there. Coptic was the vernacular of Egypt then, so a lot of them are in Coptic.
Church may just be a way of referring to Christianity. Or wife may be referring to Judaism. I understand that being married is/was a blessing. I would have no problem accepting that Jesus had a wife and child. I would not see that as blasphemous at all. It was the Church's interpretation that he was celibate, there is no fact asserting that.
Thank you to the posts answering my Coptic question. I was not sure if the language existed outside of Egypt.
Is this mocking of Christianity going on here?
So perhaps the Da Vinci Code was right after all.
Lots to say (Karen King is a personal friend of mine btw). Just a few quick things: I would just point out that the contemporary emphasis on marriage in Judaism isn't paralleled to antiquity. Coptic is the ancient Egyptian language scripted in a hybrid Greek font. Just because a manuscript is relatively late doesn't mean it's necessarily reflecting the views of that time period. There are ways to read manuscripts to detect earlier traditions. Finally, there is more data attesting to the life of Jesus than many other historical figures in antiquity, so it's not really a matter of debate that he lived.
Maybe I misread a post or two. Where is there mocking of Christianity?
Oh, and church in Coptic would never have referred to Judaism. A better understanding would be followers of a Jesus-related tradition.
I have always asked the question - what difference does it make if Jesus had a wife and/or children? We know that he had to have participated in other basic human needs - like food, water (at the time wine), why not sex and physical love. Does not make him less of a teacher or someone who shared wisdom.
My religious beliefs are deep and highly personal, but I don't believe that either Jesus or God would want us to deny ourselves of one of the things that makes us human.
And we must remember that there are many, many letters, books that the Papal council decided whether or not to include them into the Bible.
Posts 6 and 7, milanessa. All in good fun, of course.
I admit I always bought the argument that being married made more sense for Jesus but certainly I don't know enough to think one way or the other.
Most of the known books which eventually formed the Bible as it is known today were taken from texts dating from this same time period (or later).
I don't think it is a big secret that the church of the time selectively choose which books to include in the Bible. Heck, less than 150 years ago the King James bible was revised and 15 books were dropped out.
Also, personally I don't think it's shocking to think that Jesus may have been married. It would have been expected in that era, and perhaps even arranged.
That is my take on the matter, also. Jesus, as I understand it, wanted to reform some aspects of Judaism.....he did not set out to start a Church and certainly not a new religion.
Although Jesus could have been a member of one of the many and competing sects of Judaism that then existed, an that sect could have espoused celibacy the reverse is equally plausible.
I thought the issue was whether on not he was the son of God, not whether or not he existed. Aren't there records showing his arrest and crucifixion? (I'm not an expert, by any means. I am willing to be corrected.)
Islam, for example, regards him as a great prophet, though not the son God.
Another non-expert but I thought the fact that Jesus existed is not disputed.
The Catholic church obviously has the most at stake here -- their rationale for requiring priests to be celibate (and male) is their assertion that that model is what's most "Christlike."
Never made sense to me either, though. How is abstaining from sex -- not to mention loving relationships, which they're supposed to be promoting -- make them better church leaders?
I think that there are many people who do not believe that Jesus existed, even on this board. I also believe that there are references in different religions to believe that Jesus was a great teacher, but not necessarily the Son of God and the Savior. As an example, see the reference on Buddists and Jesus.
I was interested in what experts think has the most supporting evidence. IIRC, experts say that Jesus' existence has very strong supporting evidence.
I thought they explained it by saying that the distractions of a family/dating life could take the focus away from their parishioners.
The only early "historical evidence," if you want to call it that, consists of Gospels (canonical or apocryphal) -- hardly a reliable, objective source of information. The earliest non-Gospel account of Jesus is in the writings of Josephus, dating to the 90's and relying on oral and written traditions.
I read this somewhere too. In Islamic religion, is there someone else considered to be the son of God, or just Mohammed?
Islam considers Mohammed to be the last prophet, not the son of God.
It makes a great deal of difference to the Catholic Church as it's why their Priests are not allowed to marry.
That's a rationale but the main reason given is that Jesus wasn't married and they are following in his footsteps.
That is what I was taught. Turns out it's not true.
Where were you taught this, MacMadame? I'm always fascinated about what is and is not taught in schools, both secular and parochial.
I distinctly remember being taught about the lack of independent, corroborating evidence in ninth grade.
This reminded me of my confirmation class many years ago. One of the points our minister stressed was that Jesus was human. It's what made the whole "he died for our sins" thing work - if you will. Made sense to me, but man, the reactions of some of the other kids in the class...
Actually, none of the above is accurate.
While people tend to read biblical texts today in faith contexts, there are ways to read them from a scholarly perspective. Using Hebrew Bible as an example, there are ways to read the text to determine historicity of some portions of the text. Ditto with New Testament.
For example, there isn't much historical data available on Marcion, but we've nonetheless determined he was an actual person. There's much more available on Jesus, so his existence isn't really a debate amongst scholars.
Matthew 16:18: "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."
Peter is considered to be the first Pope.
Can you be specific about to what "historical data" you are referring? AFAIK, there isn't anything written by any contemporary who could possibly have known the facts except for the works of believers. While that could be evidence, I wonder what specific writings you consider to be "historical data."
And let's stick to the issue at hand -- Jesus -- without getting into whether any other people (other than Jesus' wife) existed or if any other events occurred. Otherwise, it gets too far removed from the issue to be enlightening.
Ahhh, I didn't know that. Thanks for clearing that up.
Who was the first prophet?
The Roman historian Tacitus wrote an extensive history covering that period, relying on Roman records available at that time. He names Jesus and covers his life and death from a Roman context. Tacitus wasn't Christian.
Tacitus was writing after Josephus. As far as I know, it isn't at all clear that Tacitus had any "records" available to him other than Gospels and similar materials. If he did, he didn't cite them, and there is no contemporary account written by a non-believer that corroborates the accounts given in the Gospels. The fact that Tacitus was not a believer and was not sympathetic to early Christian beliefs does not mean that his reliance on earlier accounts was valid.
Separate names with a comma.