More people are commenting on the supposed 4th century Coptic text fragment that mentions the wife of Jesus (Coptic: tahime). In “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” Mark Goodacre seems mostly positive about the text, though he does express some reserve saying,
“I am not a papyrologist but I can’t get over how amateurish and blotchy the fragment’s text looks. It is clearly written by someone using a thick nibbed pen and it looks weird. Several letters are particularly bold, as if someone has written over them them for emphasis, including TA, the “my” in “my wife”.
In “The Wife of Jesus Fragment a Day Later: Some Concerns About Authenticity” Tom Verenna expressed more concern noting that (1) he thinks the papyrus looks ‘fresh’; (2) the ink is concerning, especially the layered feel of key words; (3) the spacing is odd; (4) the lines seem disarrayed.
In “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” April DeConnick suggest that it is a Valentinian Gnostic text.
For those interested, Harvard Divinity School has a page dedicated to the text with pictures of the front and back of the fragment, a transcription of the Coptic, and a proposed English translation here.
What’s the big deal about this text? What difference does it make if it’s authentic? I think DeConick is right in asserting that this isn’t too far out there from G. Phillip/Thomas.
I think the “significance” is determined by one’s interest. Personally, I don’t think it has any impact of the day-to-day lives of Christians and our religious practices. It does matter for scholars of early Christianity and the formation of Christianity in the ancient world as well as people who study things like views of marriage and sexuality in the past.
I see what you’re saying. My point regarding significance is that aren’t there texts already out there (like G. Phillip) that predate this text and assume Jesus was married? I obviously won’t take this, or G. Phillip, as texts that actually speak about the Jesus of history. What I don’t see is how this idea is novel or makes any sort of difference.
I think the difference may be that mention of a wife comes from the mouth of Jesus in the narrative, but it isn’t a complete novelty as regards discussion around Jesus and a spouse.
The authenticity matters because inserting fake artifacts into the historical record is never good practice. If it is genuine, it doesn’t matter–nothing controversial about it. But if it isn’t genuine, it has serious implications (not the least of which is how many of these sorts of fragments have edged their way into scholarship, if there are any more, who might have done this, etc..)
Really, if it authentic, it “doesn’t matter?” Seriously?
First of all, every rare ancient text discovered “matters,” even if it is to just add a piece of evidence in matters in which evidence is few and far between.
Second, it contains a saying that has never before been found. A reference to Jesus talking about his wife. I’m aware that there have been allusions to Jesus being married in other gospels, but they are rare and this is the first to quote Jesus.
Now of course I understand that this adds very little to the question of whether the historical Jesus was married, because there was a lot of non-factual material written about Jesus and sayings inserted into his mouth. But to dismiss it as meaningless is nonsense.
In fact, your casual dismissal here puts you squarely in line with fundamentalists, which is funny for someone so agnostic. You might take that as a sign of your independence, but I see it as total incoherence given that you spend so much time defending mythers.
This is a real attack on the Orthodox Christianity.Dr King is a dishonest person when she calls a writing words on a papyrus in the shape of a credit card a gospel.What garbage Gnostic writings and garbage Gnostic scholars has to do with the true gospel of salvation? Where is the good news in them? Anything based on a lie is a lie and the liar from the beginning is well known.The Holy blood Holy grail pretend that Jesus escaped death on the cross and married Mary Magdalene.Then Da Vinci Code pretend a secret marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the real blood of the grail is inside Mary based on the painting of the last supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.There is a very dangerous lie about the real blood and the wife.The truth is that real and Holy blood is on Jesus’ forehead and not in the womb of Mary Magdalene or any other woman.This is revealed in the true story THE COIN OF THE TEMPLE.As for the wife,the impossibility of the marriage of Jesus is not and will not be revealed to the enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ and His CHURCH,the wise and the learned.
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