New Evidence of Jesus’ Wife?
A “new” piece of “evidence” has been made public by Harvard Professor, Dr. Karen King. According to King, 4 words, in Coptic script, written on a 1.5” X 3” fragment of papyrus translate to, “Jesus said to them, my wife.” The fragment is said to date to the fourth century.
Dr. King was good enough to say that this new “evidence” does not prove that Jesus was married, but that it is evidence that early Christians believed that Jesus was married. Really? Four words on a document written, as an educated guess, in the fourth century provide new “evidence” of what early Christians believed about Jesus? Really???
Now my cynical mind wants to know why this new “evidence” hasn’t surfaced until now. And, how objective is Dr. Karen King in her analysis? Are there any agendas that might be playing out?
Who is Dr. Karen King?
Well, let’s look at objectivity first, shall we? Dr. King is, according to her bio, “Karen L. King was appointed to the Divinity School in 1998 and from 2003 to 2009 served as the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History. In October 2009, she became the first woman appointed as the Hollis Professor of Divinity, the oldest endowed chair in the United States (1721). Trained in comparative religions and historical studies, she pursues teaching and research specialties in the history of Christianity.”
Dr. King is also an author, her books include The Secret Revelation of John; The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle; What Is Gnosticism?; Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (with Elaine Pagels); and Revelation of the Unknowable God. Other publications include Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism (ed.) and Women and Goddess Traditions in Antiquity and Today (ed.).
King revealed this new “discovery” in a paper delivered to a group of about 300 “academics” in Rome. Interestingly, the Vatican made no mention of her new “discovery” in any of their media releases about the some 60 papers that were presented.
According to King, the fragment belongs to an anonymous collector who hired her to translate and analyze it. There was no detail given on how the fragment was originally discovered or where or under what circumstances. Tests run on the papyrus, ink, and language seem to indicate no obvious fraud.
So…what’s the problem? Simply that Dr. King has indicated a predilection to Gnosticism, which directly contradicts the Jesus of the Bible. That predilection needs to be revealed when her work on Jesus is presented. Not doing so is deceptive. The academic fear is that if the agenda is revealed, the report is degraded. They are right!
The Hypocrisy of “Evidence”
Secular society and media wants, so badly, to prove that Jesus was not Divine; that there is no God; that there are no absolutes; that faith is only for the uninformed, the uneducated, and the unsophisticated. So, a tiny fragment of a document of unknown origin, submitted by an anonymous owner, to an academic who has a bias toward Gnosticism, whose translation and analysis of 4 words is presented as “proof” that Jesus was married and is welcomed as NEW evidence. And that doesn’t require “faith?” Really??
So…what’s new? Nothing, absolutely nothing. This sort of ploy is nothing new at all. Publishing a story under a sensational headline, only to find that the story lacks substance when examined happens every day. Headlines like, “The Chicago Teachers Strike is About the Children” are similar in substance.
The DaVinci Code was a vastly popular novel. The novel purported to present a “new” Jesus. But, the Jesus presented in the novel was a Gnostic Jesus. The book’s popularity was driven by the desire of the faithless to destroy the Biblical Jesus. Dr. King’s paper is no different. Gnosticism is not embraced by most Biblical scholars, just those who have the preconception that there are no absolutes; therefore, the Biblical Jesus could not be true.
Sounds like the difference between liberals and conservatives in politics doesn’t it?