Professor Karen L. King of The Harvard Divinity School (the most divine of all divinity schools) “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 …’,” according to The New York Times. The paper says, “The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card” and “includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, ‘she will be able to be my disciple.’”
Heh. Cuz every man wants a wife who will do everything he says and follow him around the world no matter how broke he is. “I’ve got a dream, baby! You don’t understand … I’m on a mission from GOD. Yes, I know I need new sandals! You try walking around the dessert for 40 days and 40 nights in these! There’s no arch support. It’s easy for you to complain … I let you ride on the donkey!”
Before this week, King had only shown the papyrus (ps – Love that store!) to “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.” Right. Because after dropping a bombshell like, “Yo, everybody – Jesus was married!,” what you really want to say immediately afterwards is, “Psych!”
Obviously, this isn’t the first time people have whispered in the dark corners of bars about whether or not JC was celibate. It has been asserted in the past (by at least one Andrew Lloyd Webber) that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a thing, but I mean, you can never trust a hooker, amIright? Everybody knows she was just using him for his ability to turn water into wine. The Times notes, this question is still “relevant today, when global Christianity is roiling over the place of women in ministry and the boundaries of marriage.” Totally. As someone who grew up Catholic, I was always disturbed by the way women are virtually excluded from the faith, except in the case of Mary the Mother of God™ and those pesky do-gooder nuns who are just like trying to actually help poor people and stuff regardless of their sexuality or religious affiliation. Proof that Jesus had a wife would be really welcome news, because maybe then the Catholic Church would finally wake up and allow priests to marry and women to be ordained. Then again, probably not.
Photo by Prof. King via The New York Times