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  1. #1

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    Jesus Had a Wife?

    Maybe Mary Magdalene, maybe not?

    This is where the Bible confuses me so.
    A fourth-century fragment of papyrus that quotes Jesus telling his disciples about "my wife" has set off a buzz among scriptural scholars — but this is no "Da Vinci Code" come true. Rather, the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" is just the latest discovery to suggest how the early Christian church took shape.
    Even though only a few phrases can be read on the papyrus fragment that's just come to light, those phrases are consistent with the Gnostic view of early Christianity — which tended to give a more prominent role to women, and particularly to Mary Magdalene. The text, written in the Sahidic Coptic dialect, includes the phrase "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'" as well as references to a woman named Mary being "worthy of it," and to a woman who "will be able to be my disciple."
    "Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,"

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    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.
    Last edited by cruisin; 09-19-2012 at 03:00 PM.

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    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.
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

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    This changes a lot IMO, since Jesus was considered to be celibate.

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    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/2012/0...ef=mostpopular

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    I'll bet Mrs. J. Christ crucified him if he ever stayed out too late.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    Yes, her name is Irina Lobacheva

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    I'll bet Mrs. J. Christ crucified him if he ever stayed out too late.

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    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.
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

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    As far as I can tell, there is no true historical evidence that Jesus even existed, let alone had a wife.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    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.
    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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    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."
    At best it might prove the writer believed 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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reuven View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Is this mocking of Christianity going on here?

    So perhaps the Da Vinci Code was right after all.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    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.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Is this mocking of Christianity going on here?
    Maybe I misread a post or two. Where is there mocking of Christianity?
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

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    Oh, and church in Coptic would never have referred to Judaism. A better understanding would be followers of a Jesus-related tradition.

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    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.

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    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.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    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.
    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.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

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