A US scholar searches for the answer to whether Jesus might have been married, according to a controversial papyrus. In this papyrus it is claimed that Jesus refers to his wife. There is a line that reads:
“Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’”
Harvard University professor Karen King discovered the papyrus in 2012 and she said that this was the first unequivocal piece of information that claimed that Jesus had a wife, despite the fact that Christian tradition has always advocated that Jesus was not married.
Prof. Karen King continued by stating that the ancient papyrus does not give concise information on the fact that Jesus was married or not, and that early historical information was silent. But it would be intriguing as to determine when exactly Christians started the debate on whether Jesus was married.
The papyrus piece belongs to a collector who contacted Prof. King to translate and analyze it. It was discovered either in Egypt or Syria, as the language in which it was written is the ancient Coptic. Nevertheless, the papyrus’s authenticity cannot be proven, and it remains suspect.
As a result of the translation of the presupposed ancient papyrus, it might refer and point to Mary Magdalene, the Bible figure who was said to be Jesus’ companion, even though the Church said she was in fact a whore.
In a poetic nuance, Mary Magdalene is presented in the Bible as the woman who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears, afterwards drying them with her hair.
It seems that the papyrus might have been made in between the 6th and the 9th century AD, respectively. This is due to the radiocarbon dating procedure of the papyrus piece.
Moreover, researchers from Columbia University further analyzed the ink properties with which the text was written and claimed it could actually be authentic.
The initial owner of the papyrus is said to be the German Hans-Ulrich Laukamp, who obtained and found it in 1963 in East Germany.
It seems at the present time the document’s authenticity is still a mystery, because some believe it was forged, instead.
However, the scrap of papyrus is not the only written piece which claims that Mary Magdalene was Jesus’s wife or the existence of a 13th disciple. For instance, there’s a manuscript from the British Museum, with its origins in 570 AD, written in the Syraic language. Moreover, the so-called “Gospel of Mary” fragments were discovered in the 1800s, whereas in 1947 several gnostic documents were discovered sealed in jars.
All in all, some early Christians did believe that Jesus had been married after all.
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