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Harvard scholar promoting Gnostic heresy papyrus fragment

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Author Topic: Harvard scholar promoting Gnostic heresy papyrus fragment  (Read 577 times)
Kilika
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« on: September 19, 2012, 04:15:20 am »

I saw a sound bite before the news last night about this, and told the wife, "You watch, that fragment will be from 300-400 ad."

Sure enough, they claim it's a fourth century artifact.

Quote
Harvard scholar's discovery suggests Jesus had a wife
 

Published September 18, 2012
Associated Press

BOSTON –  A Harvard University professor on Tuesday unveiled a fourth-century fragment of papyrus she said is the only existing ancient text quoting Jesus explicitly referring to having a wife.
 
Karen King, an expert in the history of Christianity, said the text contains a dialogue in which Jesus refers to "my wife," whom he identifies as Mary. King says the fragment of Coptic script is a copy of a gospel, probably written in Greek in the second century.
 
King helped translate and unveiled the tiny fragment at a conference of Coptic experts in Rome. She said it doesn't prove Jesus was married but speaks to issues of family and marriage that faced Christians.
 
Four words in the 1.5-by-3-inch(3.8-by-7.6-centimeter) fragment provide the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married, King said. Those words, written in a language of ancient Egyptian Christians, translate to "Jesus said to them, my wife," King said in a statement.
 
King said that in the dialogue the disciples discuss whether Mary is worthy and Jesus says "she can be my disciple."
 
Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was unmarried even though there was no reliable historical evidence to support that, King said. The new gospel, she said, "tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage."
 
"From the very beginning, Christians disagreed about whether it was better not to marry," she said, "but it was over a century after Jesus's death before they began appealing to Jesus's marital status to support their positions."
 
King presented the document at a six-day conference being held at Rome's La Sapienza University and at the Augustinianum institute of the Pontifical Lateran University. While the Vatican newspaper and Vatican Radio frequently cover such academic conferences, there was no mention of King's discovery in any Vatican media on Tuesday. That said, her paper was one of nearly 60 delivered Tuesday at the vast conference, which drew 300 academics from around the globe.
 
The fragment belongs to an anonymous private collector who contacted King to help translate and analyze it. Nothing is known about the circumstances of its discovery, but it had to have come from Egypt, where the dry climate allows ancient writings to survive and because it was written in a script used in ancient times there, King said.
 
The unclear origins of the document should encourage people to be cautious, said Bible scholar Ben Witherington III, a professor and author who teaches at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He said the document follows the pattern of Gnostic texts of the second, third and fourth centuries, using "the language of intimacy to talk about spiritual relationships."
 
"What we hear from the Gnostic is this practice called the sister-wife texts, where they carried around a female believer with them who cooks for them and cleans for them and does the usual domestic chores, but they have no sexual relationship whatsoever" during the strong monastic periods of the third and fourth centuries, Witherington said. "In other words, this is no confirmation of the Da Vinci Code or even of the idea that the Gnostics thought Jesus was married in the normal sense of the word." (cont.)


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/09/18/harvard-scholar-discovery-suggests-jesus-had-wife/#ixzz26uCM0Olc

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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2012, 04:36:33 am »

I saw this burbled last night after i got home. Here are the key words to look at in this article.

A Harvard University professor
a fourth-century fragment of papyrus
only existing ancient text quoting Jesus
an expert in the history of Christianity
goes to that Harvard thing

of Coptic experts in Rome

Guess i can stop as that says it all right there. Histories #1 forgers the Catholic Church, with a NEW piece of writing.

The new gospel, she said,
and that says it all right there.

2Cr 11:4    For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him].


Quote
"From the very beginning, Christians disagreed about whether it was better not to marry," she said, "but it was over a century after Jesus's death before they began appealing to Jesus's marital status to support their positions."

She is not much of a history scholar, God said to be fruitful and multiply.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2012, 08:43:35 am »

Looks like the "strong delusion" is getting pretty ripe for the picking now - who knows? Maybe either the AC or FP will be that hippie-looking Jesus figure the Catholic Church put out in those paintings, and will claim that he came from some "bloodline", whose propaganda we've been hearing from the likes of this and Dan Brown for a long, long time.
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 05:48:57 am »

'Gospel of Jesus' Wife' Historian Admits to Having Doubts About Authenticity

A Harvard historian admitted recently that she "absolutely" has doubts about the authenticity of the ancient papyrus fragment that she calls the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife."

Since Professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School unveiled the torn piece of papyrus last week in Rome, many experts in Coptic manuscripts have expressed extreme skepticism and believe it is forgery. But King told Time magazine that she welcomes that discussion.

"Part of the reason for making it public at the Coptic conference in Rome was to engender a discussion about the fragment, about its authenticity, about its meaning, and to raise questions before we went to publication with it," she told the magazine. "So I actually welcome a lot of the comments that have been made."

Though the experts she consulted after receiving the papyrus from a private collector last December have concluded that it is "very likely" an authentic ancient text from the fourth century, she acknowledged that more analysis is needed.

"I think something like this needs to be questioned further," she told Time. "We are going ahead with tests about the chemical composition of the ink that won't absolutely resolve the issue but will certainly give us one more piece of evidence."

The fragment is a small, torn papyrus that has eight incomplete lines of Coptic script. Nothing is known about the circumstances of its discovery except that it may have been excavated from an area in Upper Egypt.


Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/gospel-of-jesus-wife-historian-admits-to-having-doubts-about-authenticity-82229/#X7qh3LwsKrDduj1f.99

Quote
about its meaning

Really?  Roll Eyes

2Cr 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or [if] ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with [him]. 

catholics...
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 05:59:48 am »

Vatican weighs in on 'Jesus' wife'
Blasts Harvard for contacting media about its incredulous findings


 (ABC News) Reports that a 4th century papyrus suggested that Jesus was married have been rendered false.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, expressed its disbelief in the cryptic message today in an article titled “At any rate, a fake.” Authors, Alberto Camplani, Coptic scholar, and Editor Giovanni Maria Vian, who are both experts in early Christianity, question the fragment’s authenticity and the lack of archaeological attribution upon purchase, according to the AP.

The article continued to criticize Harvard for contacting the media about its incredulous findings, considering the outcome to be “clamorous.”

Read the full story ›
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/09/former-reports-of-jesus-marital-status-strongly-questioned-by-vatican-newspaper/

 CheesyIt's probably their forgery to begin with
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 03:43:53 am »

Yeah, with the Harvard Divinity School you would think they'd get it right. But then it's Harvard.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 06:15:02 am »

Did Jesus have a wife, and can we trust the Bible?
By DevinMaddox Posted on 17 Oct 2012
 

The world was all atwitter, both literally and figuratively, when the New York Times published Laurie Goodstein's piece, “A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife.” Goodstein claimed the document, smaller than a business card, confirmed a popular conspiracy regarding Jesus' marital status.

B&H author and New Testament scholar Andreas Köstenberger responded to the claim in an article published online, writing:

"Unfortunately, the text is very fragmentary, most likely because a dealer divided up a larger piece so he could charge more for multiple pieces. Dr. King pointed out that phrases in the fragment such as “My mother gave to me life” and “Mary is worthy of it” are reminiscent of similar language in the Gospels of Thomas and Mary and so surmised that the fragment may have been copied from a second-century Greek text. The papyrus fragment was not carbon tested, but Dr. King is planning to have the ink tested by spectroscopy."

The Vatican quickly cast doubt on the fragment's legitimacy, as did scholars at schools like Emory and Harvard Divinity School. But the legitimacy of the papyrus seems irrelevant to the momentum of popular discussions on the authority of the Bible regarding Jesus' life. As Köstenberger points out in his article, best-selling fiction like The Da Vinci Code popularizes ideas like this one, and injects skeptism into the mainstream. Köstenberger writes:

"Even if genuine, however, there is a long way from inferring from the reference to Jesus’ wife in this fragment to concluding that Jesus was in fact married. There is no reference to Jesus being married in the four canonical Gospels, our best first-century evidence concerning the life of Jesus. It will be difficult to connect this reference to actual historical knowledge of an alleged marriage of Jesus."

So how should Christians respond in light of conversations regarding new claims about Jesus life?

1. Test everything, hold on to what is good - While you might recognize falsehood immediately, be dilligent, reasoning through why that might be the case. Even if your initial impressions are confirmed, neglecting to "test all things and hold on to what is good" fails to incoporate the wisdom of the New Testament. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

2. Expect false gospels - Christians who read the New Testament should not be surprised to find false testimony concerning the gospel. The problem is as old as the church. (1 John 4:1)

3. Have patience with skeptics - Apart from the grace of God, we are all in the same boat. Treat those who lay captive to false gospels with an attitude of mission, not pugilism.

4. Commit to Scripture - Scripture validates itself. Those who view the Bible with any degree of seriousness, as most Christians do, must wrestle with the internal testimony the Bible provides about itself. Those who come out on the other side committed to the authority of Scripture will be well-equipped for times such as these. (2 Timothy 3:16)

5. Study more church history - Christians have nothing to fear while wading through the deep waters of church history. The truth of all matters concerning the canon are on our side, so dive in.

6. View it as an opportunity for evangelism - Any time the gospel is the topic of popular discussion, view it as an opportunity to share your faith. What better time is there to discuss matters of faith with a lost and dying world than when they are asking the questions?

7. Pray - The challenges situations like this one present are not merely intellectual. The spiritual dynamics of theological controversy are not subordinate in debate. Pray as often as you critique.

http://hcsb.org/b/authorjournal/archive/2012/10/17/did-jesus-have-a-wife-and-can-we-trust-the-bible.aspx
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012, 06:20:01 am »

If they would just read a real bible, it says right there that no, Jesus was not married at that time. You could say He was engaged, but not married. And it was not to a single female woman, but to the whole body of believers. Again, it's spiritual, not carnal.

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." Revelations 19:7 (KJB)
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2014, 05:06:29 am »

Harvard Professor Claims “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” Papyrus Fragment Authentic

 Two years after Harvard Divinity School professor Karen L. King declared the existence of a papyrus fragment hailed as “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” at the International Coptic Congress in Rome, Harvard University researchers claim the fragment is real.

After receiving the fragment in December 2011 from the owner, King took the papyrus to New York in 2012 to be examined by Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. After Bagnall's initial assessment that the fragment was ancient based on handwriting and other features, further analysis began in earnest. 

King maintains her research wasn’t focused on proving Jesus was married, but to confirm his view of women.

"The main topic of the fragment is to affirm that women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus—a topic that was hotly debated in early Christianity as celibate virginity increasingly became highly valued," King explained.

Twice in the tiny fragment, Jesus speaks of his mother, his wife, and a female disciple—one of whom may be identified as "Mary." The disciples discuss whether Mary is worthy, and Jesus states, "She can be my disciple."

Following the original September 12, 2012 announcement, prominent theologians as well as the Vatican quickly denounced the claim calling it a forgery.

Brown University professor Leo Depuydt refutes the authenticity of the fragment.

“The papyrus fragment seems ripe for a Monty Python sketch,” Depuydt wrote. “I do not want to make light of the situation but rather venture to construct a truly plausible guess as to the actual nature of part of the forger's real intent. If the forger had used italics in addition, one might be in danger of losing one's composure.”

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/harvard-professor-claims-the-gospel-of-jesus-s-wife-papyrus-fragment-authentic.html
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2014, 03:20:05 am »

Quote
Harvard University researchers claim the fragment is real.

Well, of course it's real. Real heresies actually exist!  Roll Eyes

Just because somebody wrote down lies in the past, that doesn't make it somehow biblically accurate.
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 11:36:59 am »

Is There New Evidence That Jesus Had a Wife?

The Internet has been abuzz with intriguing headlines announcing that scholars have determined the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” papyrus is “authentic” and that there is “no forgery evidence” in the manuscript.

What exactly does this mean? And should Christians be concerned that a new discovery might contradict the biblical account and undermine their faith?

Actually, the report from scholars working with Harvard Divinity School found that the manuscript is much younger than previously thought. In other words, it is even further removed from the time of the New Testament than scholars originally believed—meaning that, at most, it is a very late myth without a stitch of historical support.

What the report did say was that there was no evidence that any part of this small manuscript had been forged, so what was written was “authentic” in terms of not being the work of a modern forger.

But the scholars did not determine that the apparent reference to Jesus having a wife was authentic. How could they?

As New Testament scholar Darrell Bock observed back in September 2012 when the find was first announced, “In the New Testament, the church is presented as the bride of Christ. And then in Gnostic Christianity in particular, there’s a ritual—about which we don’t know very much—that portrayed the church as the bride of Christ. So we could simply have a metaphorical reference to the church as the bride, or the wife, of Christ.”

And what if this text recorded Jesus as saying that one of His disciples would be His wife?

Bock explained, “This would be the first text—out of hundreds of texts that we have about Jesus—that would indicate that he was married, if it’s even saying that. So to suggest that one text overturns multiple texts, and multiple centuries, of what has been said about Jesus and what’s been articulated about him, I think is not a very wise place to go, just simply from a historical point of view.”

Initially, when Harvard professor Karen King learned about this papyrus fragment written in the Coptic language, which was used by the ancient, heretical gnostic Christians, she thought it might have been a forgery, as did other scholars, especially from the Vatican. But upon further study, she concluded it was not, dating it to the fourth century A.D.

Yet how seriously should we take a fourth-century report about Jesus, who was crucified around 30 A.D., especially when it contradicts every other piece of evidence we have about Jesus up to that time? As Bock said, this “is not a very wise place to go, just simply from a historical point of view.”

To give you a parallel example, how seriously would future historians take a report written 300 years after Pearl Harbor that contradicted every single report that preceded it, including all reports from all eye witnesses?

But the latest report—the one creating such a stir—claims that the tiny manuscript should not be dated to the fourth century. Instead, scholars have now dated it to approximately 741 A.D., meaning more than 700 years after the time of Jesus. What kind of “evidence” is this?

It would be similar to historians 1,000 years from now finding a letter written in the year 2510 claiming that George Washington, who died in 1799, was actually an alien from Mars. How seriously would it be taken? (Come to think of it, the Ancient Aliens series has probably made a similar claim already!)

There remains no evidence of any kind that Jesus had a wife (note to the reader: Dan Brown’s fictional Da Vinci Code is not evidence), and the only thing scholars did was determine that this small papyrus fragment was not a modern forgery, although it is hundreds of years younger than they originally thought.

Of course, it is still not totally clear that the manuscript even claims Jesus had a wife, but we know that within 150 years of the time of Jesus, there were fictional Gospels circulating with all kinds of bogus claims. Should it surprise us, then, that many centuries later, another fictitious account with yet another new claim would be written down?

Unfortunately, many casual readers and skeptics now think that some “authentic” new evidence has been discovered supporting the idea that Jesus was married, and even Christians are asking if they should be concerned about this latest find.

Rest assured that nothing has been discovered that even remotely challenges the biblical account, and if this very late text does imply that Jesus had a wife, what we have is an authentic fabrication and nothing more.

http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/43492-is-there-new-evidence-that-jesus-had-a-wife
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Kilika
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2014, 01:28:25 am »

Quote
Actually, the report from scholars working with Harvard Divinity School found that the manuscript is much younger than previously thought. In other words, it is even further removed from the time of the New Testament than scholars originally believed—meaning that, at most, it is a very late myth without a stitch of historical support.

So they wrote the rest of the article why? End of story, it's a genuine Gnostic fairytale.
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2014, 05:58:36 am »

The “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” Papyrus Being Used as Liberal Propaganda

In 2012, Dr. Karen L. King, a professor at Harvard Divinity School, discovered a papyrus that seemed to imply that Jesus was married. Here’s how the discovery was reported:

A small fragment of faded papyrus contains a suggestion that Jesus may have been married.

The fragment, with just eight lines of text on the front and six lines on the back, is from a fourth-century dialogue, written in the Coptic language, between Jesus and his disciples. In it, Jesus speaks of “my wife,” according to Harvard professor Karen L. King, who discovered the fragment.

“The most exciting line in the whole fragment . . . is the sentence ‘Jesus said to them [his disciples], my wife.’”

Now we’re being told that

. . . the controversial “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” ancient papyrus is not a modern-day forgery, according to newly published research in the Harvard Theological Review which insists that the fragment where Jesus supposedly mentions His wife dates between the sixth to ninth centuries CE.

I find all of this very interesting. Liberals debunk the Bible every chance they get even though the manuscript evidence for the New Testament is overwhelming. No other ancient text compares to it. “There are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing. The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.”

New Testament manuscript and Greek scholar Bruce M. Metzger wrote:

In evaluating the significance of these statistics . . . one should consider, by way of contrast, the number of manuscripts which preserve the text of the ancient classics. Homer’s Iliad . . . is preserved by 457 papyri, 2 uncial manuscripts, and 188 minuscule manuscripts. Among the tragedians the witnesses to Euripides are the most abundant; his extant works are preserved in 54 papyri and 276 parchment manuscripts, almost all of the later dating from the Byzantine period . . . the time between the composition of the books of the New Testament and the earliest extant copies is relatively brief. Instead of the lapse of a millennium or more, as is the case of not a few classical authors, several papyrus manuscripts of portions of the New Testament are extant which were copies within a century or so after the composition of the original documents.”(1)

In none of these manuscript is there any evidence that Jesus had a wife. Here’s the comparison: 24,000 various manuscripts and fragments vs. the single “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” fragment from an unknown author and time. So what gets all the attention? The single fragment.

There is an obvious agenda beyond the obvious ignorance of these media nincompoops.

There is nothing in the gospel accounts, the book of Acts, or any of the epistles about Jesus being married. We know that Jesus had a mother, father, brothers, and cousins (Matt. 12:46; Acts 1:14), but there is no mention of a wife.

The New Testament contains reports of spurious stories about Jesus—that he was a rebel against Rome (Luke 23:2), had a demon (John 8:48-49), cast out demons by Satan (Matt. 12:24). Then there’s this: “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners! . . .” (Matt. 11:19). These were agenda-driven claims.

Misrepresenting Jesus is standard fare, and it didn’t stop in the first century. Even today Jesus is the poster prophet for communism, socialism, homosexual rights, expanding the welfare state, and every cause imaginable under the sun. So we shouldn’t be surprised if someone wanted to make it seem that Jesus was married so the church would have to recognize women priests.

So what’s the answer to the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” papyrus fragment that claims Jesus was married?

First, a document that is from 600 to 900 years old is not much of an evidentiary find. The gospels and epistles are first-century, eye-witness historical accounts (1 John 1:1–4; Like 1:1-4). All the New Testament books were written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in AD 70. See John A.T. Robinson’s book Redating the New Testament for a defense of this position.

To reject first-century, eye-witness testimony would be like someone in 2014 claiming they had a better understanding of the Pilgrim landing in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the settlement in Plymouth than William Bradford’s eyewitness account written by his own hand in Of Plymouth Plantation.

Second, the papyrus is a fragment. A fragment of what? Who was the author? We don’t know. King’s site on the papyrus states: “This remaining piece is too small to tell us anything definite about who may have composed, read, or circulated it.”

Third, it’s rather suspicious that the only fragment that is available to the public is one that deals with a Gnostic myth that is the heart of so much liberal “scholarship” today. There’s something very fishy about the whole thing as one critic points out:

The Harvard Review included an article by a Brown University Egyptologist, Leo Depuydt, who said the document looked fraudulent and “hilarious.” He said he had never seen ancient Coptic manuscripts with boldface letters before. “The effect is something like: ‘My wife. Get it? MY wife. You heard that right.’ The papyrus fragment seems ripe for a Monty Python sketch,” he wrote.

King said the “papyrus does not prove that Jesus actually had a wife—just that ancient Christians discussed the possibility.” Even if the papyrus is authentic, we don’t know who was discussing the possibility. Friends, this is not scholarship.

There’s one more possibility. In Matthew 12:46-50, when Jesus was asked about His mother and brothers, pointing to His disciples, He said the following:

“Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother” (vv. 49-50).

The Bible does say Jesus has a bride (wife)–the church—the body of believers (Mark 2:19; John 3:29; Rev. 19:7; 21:2, 9-10). He is not a bigamist.Endnotes:

- See more at: http://americanvision.org/10578/gospel-jesus-wife-papyrus-used-liberal-propaganda/#sthash.Rka0Y9PS.dpuf
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2014, 05:12:18 am »

Research Raises New Doubts about Gospel of Jesus' Wife

 The so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife has critics raising new concerns about its authenticity. Christian Askeland, an assistant research professor at Protestant University Wuppertal in Germany, believes that the tiny scrap of papyrus resembles another fragment known as the Gospel of John too closely to be real.

According to the New York Times, the fragment translates to read “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’” and “she will be able to be my disciple.” It was first introduced in September 2012 and has caused many scholars to research the authenticity of the document.

Askeland, an American who studies in Germany, said he was initially skeptical because, “there are many gospels, many texts, that say all kinds of things about Jesus.”

Askeland compared the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife to another papyrus fragment, the Gospel of John. Upon his investigation he found the fragments to have very similar handwriting as if written by the same person. Both documents were also handed over to Harvard University by the same owner but a different kind of ink was used on each fragment.

In his previous research, Askeland discovered that the Gospel of John closely copied 17 line breaks of the Codex Qua, an authenticated relic discovered in 1923; this “defied coincidence,” he said.

Askeland believes that the Gospel of John is a fake and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife is false by extension.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/research-raises-new-doubts-about-gospel-of-jesus-wife.html
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2014, 05:23:31 am »

'Gospel of Jesus's Wife' Documentary Affirms Artifact 'Is Not Historical Proof' Christ Was Married But Imagines Titillating Possibilities Anyway
Smithsonian Channel Airs Program on Authenticated 33-Word Fragment That States 'Jesus Said to Them, My Wife'


A new documentary set to premiere on "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" repeatedly reminds viewers that while testing shows the papyrus fragment indeed is an authentic ancient document, its contents do not actually prove that Christ was married. Yet, that does not keep the hour-long TV program from exploring, with titillating dramatizations, the possibility that Jesus was more than Mary of Magdala's savior.

While speculation that Jesus and Mary were an item are nothing new, "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" documentary airing on the Smithsonian Channel asks important questions and wonders how the acontextual lines found on the ancient papyrus add weight to the argument.

"The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" first became known to Karen King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, in 2010 when she received an email from a man claiming to be in possession of a piece of ancient Coptic papyrus. The artifact, belonging to a private collector who wants to remain anonymous, is a 1 1/2 by 3-inch fragment of a fuller document that contains 33 words written in Coptic script, and which include the translated blockbuster line: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ...'" While testing strongly supports that the papyrus originates from between the 6th and 9th centuries, the words themselves are believed to possibly have been written as early as the second to fourth centuries.



The translation of The Gospel of Jesus Wife by Karen King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School (Photo: The Christian Post via Harvard Divinity School)

The translation of "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" by Karen King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School.

Christianity has traditionally affirmed that Jesus, a first century Jew of Galilee worshipped as God incarnate by 2.2 billion adherents (32 percent of the world's population), was celibate. The biblical canon makes no mention of any betrothal, or spouse connected to Jesus. Nor, as the Smithsonian program also notes, does it explicitly state anywhere in the Christian canon that he was single.

"If the 'Gospel of Jesus's Wife is genuine, what does it mean?" wonders the program's narrator, who immediately goes on to caution: "From the beginning, King and her colleagues strongly emphasized that this is not historical proof that Jesus had a wife."

But, of course, that is too boring.

The program goes on to speculate what the 33-word document could possibly mean — with the actors portraying Jesus and Mary in dramatized scenes exchanging knowing looks.

"Anything to do with sex and Jesus, is big money and big excitement," notes Benedictine monk and Biblical Studies professor Father Henry Wansborough in a preview of the hour-long program that was shared with The Christian Post.

"We imagine Jesus as the Son of God," adds AnneMarie Luijendijk, associate professor of Religion at Princeton University, "and the fact that He then could have sexual relationships leads us to really assess a lot of Christian theology." Luijendijk is an expert on early Christianity and a papyrologist, who assisted King with her analysis of the document.

"The implications could go wider still," the program narrator continues, while in a dramatized scene the Jesus actor removes his sandals, disrobes and blows out a lit candle, presumably in preparation for bed...with who, one wonders.

"If the notion that Jesus had made Mary not just a disciple but his wife had ever become the mainstream of Christian belief, it would strike at the very heart of celibacy and male control of the Church," adds the narrator.

Cue the Rev. Robin Griffiths-Jones, an Anglican priest and theologian: "If evidence was to be taken seriously that Jesus was married, vast trenches of Christian thought and discipline, and life and observance would just evaporate."

Should the Gospels and other accepted New Testament writings, which do not line up with extra-biblical writings that suggest Jesus may have been married, and that have been rejected by the traditional Church, be accepted as accurate, historical documents?

"The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" documentary does not answer that question, but instead leans heavily on ancient theories and Gnostic writings that portray Jesus and Mary as being quite intimate, and the devoted female disciple as a leader on par with Peter and the other apostles.

Other questions raised are: Is the papyrus truly an "ancient Christian text?" Why was there no public report on the ancient document when it was emerged decades ago? Why has King's revelation and naming of "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" caused such a massive storm? Does "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" redeem the besmirched reputation of Mary, who had been portrayed by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries as a prostitute, and in some popular works as a sort of temptress?

The biggest question, undoubtedly, is: What does "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" mean for Christians living today?

"You can think the ideas are sensible. You can think they drive Christianity in a direction you'd like. You can think that these were all nutcases. Whatever. It does give a sense that the people in antiquity had a lot of different ideas," states Dr. Roger Bagnall, the director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. Dr. Bagnall assessed the physical condition of the papyrus and the ink to be forensic proof of the document's age.

Father Wansborough, the Benedictine monk and Biblical Studies professor at Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire, England, interprets matters differently, expressing a view held by some Christians reluctant to entertain the possibility that "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" holds any significance for modern believers.

"It will not have a great deal of importance for the Christian Church," suggests Wansborough. "It will show that there was a group who had these beliefs in the 2nd century. Christians or semi-Christians who perhaps had not reflected enough on the implications of the canonical Scriptures to see that Jesus could not have been married."

"It's a historical interest, rather than a faith interest," he concludes.

King, on the other hand, believes "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" speaks to various issues that have affected Christians for ages, right up to present times: sexuality, marriage and women in leadership. She believes the document is part of a larger exchange between Jesus and his followers concerning the question of whether "women who are wives and mothers can be disciples of Jesus," and therefore, be leaders in His Church.

"The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" special premieres Monday, May 5, 2014, at 8 p.m. ET on the Smithsonian Channel. Learn more about the program at www.smithsonianchannel.com.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/gospel-of-jesuss-wife-documentary-affirms-artifact-is-not-historical-proof-christ-was-married-but-imagines-titillating-possibilities-anyway-118852/
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« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2014, 09:34:04 am »

How the 'Jesus' Wife' Hoax Fell Apart
The media loved the 2012 tale from Harvard Divinity School.


In September 2012, Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King announced the discovery of a Coptic (ancient Egyptian) gospel text on a papyrus fragment that contained the phrase "Jesus said to them, 'My wife . . .' " The world took notice. The possibility that Jesus was married would prompt a radical reconsideration of the New Testament and biblical scholarship.

Yet now it appears almost certain that the Jesus-was-married story line was divorced from reality. On April 24, Christian Askeland—a Coptic specialist at Indiana Wesleyan University and my colleague at the Green Scholars Initiative—revealed that the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife," as the fragment is known, was a match for a papyrus fragment that is clearly a forgery.

Almost from the moment Ms. King made her announcement two years ago, critics attacked the Gospel of Jesus' Wife as a forgery. One line of criticism said that the fragment had been sloppily reworked from a 2002 online PDF of the Coptic Gospel of Thomas and even repeated a typographical error.

But Ms. King had defenders. The Harvard Theological Review recently published a group of articles that attest to the papyrus's authenticity. Although the scholars involved signed nondisclosure agreements preventing them from sharing the data with the wider scholarly community, the New York Times NYT -0.57% was given access to the studies ahead of publication. The newspaper summarized the findings last month, saying "the ink and papyrus are very likely ancient, and not a modern forgery." The article prompted a tide of similar pieces, appearing shortly before Easter, asserting that the Gospel of Jesus' Wife was genuine.

Then last week the story began to crumble faster than an ancient papyrus exposed in the windy Sudan. Mr. Askeland found, among the online links that Harvard used as part of its publicity push, images of another fragment, of the Gospel of John, that turned out to share many similarities—including the handwriting, ink and writing instrument used—with the "wife" fragment. The Gospel of John text, he discovered, had been directly copied from a 1924 publication.

"Two factors immediately indicated that this was a forgery," Mr. Askeland tells me. "First, the fragment shared the same line breaks as the 1924 publication. Second, the fragment contained a peculiar dialect of Coptic called Lycopolitan, which fell out of use during or before the sixth century." Ms. King had done two radiometric tests, he noted, and "concluded that the papyrus plants used for this fragment had been harvested in the seventh to ninth centuries." In other words, the fragment that came from the same material as the "Jesus' wife" fragment was written in a dialect that didn't exist when the papyrus it appears on was made.

Mark Goodacre, a New Testament professor and Coptic expert at Duke University, wrote on his NT Blog on April 25 about the Gospel of John discovery: "It is beyond reasonable doubt that this is a fake, and this conclusion means that the Jesus' Wife Fragment is a fake too." Alin Suciu, a research associate at the University of Hamburg and a Coptic manuscript specialist, wrote online on April 26: "Given that the evidence of the forgery is now overwhelming, I consider the polemic surrounding the Gospel of Jesus' Wife papyrus over."

Having evaluated the evidence, many specialists in ancient manuscripts and Christian origins think Karen King and the Harvard Divinity School were the victims of an elaborate ruse. Scholars had assumed that radiometric tests would return an early date (at least in antiquity), because the Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment had been cut from a genuinely ancient piece of material. Likewise, those familiar with papyri had identified the ink used as soot-based—preferred by forgers because the Raman spectroscopy tests used to test for age would be inconclusive.

It is perhaps understandable that Ms. King would have been taken in when an anonymous owner presented her with some papyrus fragments for research. What is harder to understand was the rush by the media and others to embrace the idea that Jesus had a wife and that Christian beliefs have been mistaken for centuries. No evidence for Jesus having been married exists in any of the thousands of orthodox biblical writings dating to antiquity. You would have thought Thomas Aquinas might have mentioned it. But this episode is not totally without merit. It will provide a valuable case study for research classes long after we're gone and the biblical texts remain.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304178104579535540828090438
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 01:38:33 pm »

Quote
The program goes on to speculate what the 33-word document could possibly mean

Really?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2014, 05:33:29 am »

More Charges of Forgery Leveled against Jesus' Wife Fragment

Not long after the papyrus and ink of the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” fragment were dated to AD 659-859 in refutation of accusations of forgery, new evidence has come to light that may once again point to forgery. From the New York Times:

    Last month, the Harvard Theological Review published the results, saying that radiocarbon tests produced a date of 659 to 859 A.D., and examinations using a technique called micro-Raman spectroscopy found that the ink matched other papyruses that were dated from the first to the eighth centuries….

    Dr. Askeland discovered among the papers published in the theological review a photograph of a small tattered square of papyrus called the “Gospel of John,” which features strikingly similar handwriting in Coptic to the Jesus’ wife fragment and was tested alongside it. Both fragments were given to Dr. King by the same owner.

    It happens that Dr. Askeland wrote his Ph.D. thesis at Cambridge on the Coptic versions of John’s Gospel, so he decided to compare this square fragment with another John text called the Codex Qau, an authentic relic which was discovered in 1923 in a jar buried in an Egyptian grave site. Amazingly, the text of the small John fragment replicated every other line from a leaf of the Qau codex, and for 17 lines the breaks in the text were identical. It “defied coincidence,” he said.

    Dr. Askeland’s theory is that a modern-day forger copied from a photograph of the Qua codex off the Internet. If the John text is forged, he reasons, so is the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, which seems to be written by the same hand.

    Not only that, but he found that both these John texts were written in the Lycopolitan dialect, which experts believe died out before the seventh or eighth century, when the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife was supposedly written, according to radiocarbon testing. [For another problem with the John fragment, see here.]

Dr. King herself is taking this seriously:

    “This is substantive, it’s worth taking seriously, and it may point in the direction of forgery,” Karen L. King, the historian at Harvard Divinity School, said in a telephone interview, her first since the recent developments. “This is one option that should receive serious consideration, but I don’t think it’s a done deal.”


A scholar who previously supported the authenticity of the fragment also says more research needs to be done:

    Malcolm Choat, a Coptic expert at Macquarie University in Australia who cautiously contradicted the doubters in his paper last month for the Harvard journal, said in an interview that the new evidence was “persuasive,” but “we’re not completely there yet” — until the John and Jesus wife papyruses can be studied in person or using high-resolution images to understand their relationship.

While nothing theological rides on such a late fragment, even if genuine, I’m still interested to see how this turns out and grateful for the public scrutiny, which I hope will discourage future forgeries.

- See more at: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2014/05/more-charges-of-forgery-leveled-against-jesus-wife-fragment.html#sthash.imJbwxBA.dpuf
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2014, 05:56:49 pm »

Good to see THIS is getting exposed by even the lost world! Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2016, 07:53:46 pm »

Harvard Researcher Admits ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ Likely Fake

 The Harvard researcher who has been studying the alleged “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” now admits that it is likely a forgery.
 
The Christian Examiner reports that Ariel Sabar conducted detailed research into the text fragment that purports to be the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” (with Mary Magdalene as the “wife”), and determined that it was illegitimate. Sabar’s findings were published in The Atlantic.
 
Karen L. King, the Harvard professor who has been researching the fragment and specializes in women’s studies in ancient times, reluctantly conceded that Sabar’s conclusions are likely correct.
 
"It tips the balance towards forgery," King says, referring to Sabar’s research.
 
Sabar discovered that Walter Fritz, the man who made the manuscript available to King, was not the well-rounded, affluent man he claimed to be.
 
Instead, Sabar found that Fritz owned an erotic art company and had worked as a pornographer.
 
"I had no idea about this guy, obviously," King told The Atlantic. "He lied to me."
 
Although King said she had hoped the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” was legitimate because it would validate her research, she admits that this now seems unlikely.

http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/harvard-researcher-admits-gospel-of-jesus-wife-likely-fake.html
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2016, 10:27:24 pm »

This is from the October 2016 Fortean Times magazine.

the gospel of jesus’s
wife [ft294:4]

At a conference
in Rome on 18
September 2012,
Prof Karen King,
Hollis Professor
of Divinity at
Harvard Divinity
School and a prominent New
Testament scholar, announced the
existence of a papyrus fragment
with a text in (Egyptian) Sahidic
Coptic appearing to offer
evidence that Jesus was married.

The faded fragment, 4cm by
8cm (1.6in x 3.1in), has a text
scattered across 14 incomplete
lines, translated as follows: “not
[to] me. My mother gave to me
li[fe]”; “The disciples said to
Jesus”; “deny. Mary is worthy
of it”; “Jesus said to them, My
wife”; “she will be able to be my
disciple”; “Let wicked people
swell up”; “As for me, I dwell
with her in order to”; “an image”;
“my moth[er]”; “three”; and
“forth which”. Though Prof King
called the fragment “The Gospel
of Jesus’ Wife”, she emphasised
that the text didn’t prove that
Jesus was married or that, if he
were, that his wife was Mary
Magdalene – only that “some
early Christians had a tradition
that Jesus was married”. In
any case, it was welcome news
for fans of The Holy Blood and
the Holy Grail and Dan Brown’s
notorious pot-boiler.

Almost immediately after
Prof King’s announcement, the
Vatican newspaper labelled
the papyrus “an inept forgery”.
Some experts in papyrology and
Coptic linguistics attested to
its authenticity; other begged
to differ. In April 2014, Harvard
announced the results of carbondating
tests, multispectral
imaging, and other lab analyses:
the papyrus appeared to be of
ancient origin – between AD
659 and 859, or possibly earlier
– and the ink had no obviously
modern ingredients. However,
the text itself was tracked down
to an interlinear translation of
the Gospel of Thomas published
online in 2002. Phrases from this
had been lifted and chopped
up to make the phrases in the
fragment, something that showed
up in a very unusual word-break,
and one of the words had a
missing letter that was found
only in the PDF description.
Furthermore, the lettering
was suspiciously splotchy, the
grammar poor.

A wonderfully persistent
researcher called Ariel Sabar
has now traced the papyrus’s
provenance and in June 2016
published his findings in The
Atlantic magazine. The forger
turned out to be Walter Fritz, a
smooth-talking German living in
Florida, who contacted Prof King
in 2011, showing her the papyrus
and requesting help in its
translation and authentication.
He claimed to have bought it and
five other Coptic papyri from
Hans-Ulrich Laukamp in Florida
in 1999. The latter had allegedly
acquired them in East Germany
in 1963. Laukamp was a rather
simple-minded alcoholic who
died in 2002. His relatives denied
he ever possessed any papyri,
and also insisted he was in West
Berlin in 1963, unable to cross
over to the Communist side, and
was in Germany attending his
dying wife when Fritz claimed to
have bought the papyri from him
in Florida.

Fritz studied at the Free
University in Berlin around
1988, took a job as a tour guide
at Berlin’s Egyptian Museum,
backpacked around Egypt, and
studied Coptic. Following the fall
of the Berlin Wall, he blagged his
way into the directorship of a new
museum of East German history
in the old Stasi HQ in East
Berlin in about October 1991,
but disappeared in the Spring
of 1992 after exhibits started
to go missing. He then popped
up in Florida as a director of
an auto-parts company. Sabar
discovered that Fritz bought the
domain name gospelofjesuswife.
com on 26 Aug 2012, more
than three weeks before Prof
King publicised the papyrus.
Confronted with the revelations
concerning Fritz, Prof King has
now admitted that the fragment
is a forgery.

In 2003 Fritz had launched a
series of pornographic websites
that showcased his wife having
sex with other men – often more
than one at a time. One home
page billed her as “America’s
#1 **** Wife.” There was no
charge, but the men had to agree
to Walt’s filming. The couple’s
work belonged to a fetish genre
called “hotwife”, built around
fantasies of cuckolded husbands
powerless to stop their wives’ lust
for other men. Sabar reported:
“On one of his wife’s sites…
passages from Goethe, Proust,
and Edna St. Vincent Millay are
interspersed with philosophical
musings on Jesus’s teachings, the
slippery nature of reality, and
‘the Perfection of Sluthood.’” She
also would babble in a language
Fritz supposed to be Aramaic
while they were having sex. She
herself claimed that she had
been a clairvoyant since the age
of 17, and had been instructed
by angels to do everything she
subsequently did. Int. NY Times,
11 April 2014; Live Science, 25 Aug
2015; Catholic Herald online, 17
June 2016; Church Times, 3 July
2015, 24 June 2016..
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