History of Christianity

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Couchtripper Forum Index -> Historically Yours
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: History of Christianity Reply with quote

'Wife of Jesus' reference in Coptic 4th Century script
19 September 2012

An ancient scrap of papyrus makes explicit reference to Jesus having a wife, according to a renowned expert in Christian history. Harvard divinity professor Karen King unveiled the 4th-Century Coptic script at a conference in Rome. She said researchers had identified the words "Jesus said to them, 'my wife'", which might refer to Mary Magdalene. Christian tradition holds that Jesus did not marry - but Prof King said in early years it was subject to debate. The provocative find could spark debate over celibacy and the role of women within Christianity, she added.

But the announcement sparked scepticism from some theologians. Its unveiling could not be better-timed to generate controversy in the English-speaking world, coming just weeks before the Church of England takes a crucial vote on women bishops. Since the late 2nd Century, Christians have debated the theological significance of Jesus's close relationships with women. Did his female followers have the ability to "speak for Jesus" after his death, in the way that Peter and other male disciples were invited to? The idea of Jesus as a married man will generate its own controversy - but it would have seemed less surprising to early Christian communities when husband-wife missionary couples, like Prisca and Aquila in the letters of the Apostle Paul, were well known. Later, Jesus began to be remembered as an ascetic teacher, but in fact the canonical New Testament sources do not comment on his marital status.

Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: "A statement on a papyrus fragment isn't proof of anything. It's nothing more than a statement 'in thin air', without substantial context." Wolf-Peter Funk, a noted Coptic linguist attending the same conference as Prof King, said there were "thousands of scraps of papyrus where you find crazy things," and many questions remained about the fragment. Prof King said the document, written in ancient Egyptian Coptic, is the first known scripture in which Jesus is reported to cite his wife. She said the 4th-Century text was a copy of a gospel, probably written in Greek in the 2nd Century. She said initially she was sceptical about the yellowish brown papyrus, and started from the notion that it was a forgery - but that she quickly decided it was genuine.

Several other experts agreed, she said, but the "final judgment on the fragment depends on further examination by colleagues and further testing, especially of the chemical composition of the ink". Prof King said the script was not proof of Jesus's marital status. "It is not evidence, for us, historically, that Jesus had a wife," she said. "It's quite clear evidence, in fact, that some Christians, probably in the second half of the 2nd Century, thought that Jesus had a wife."

Prof King said it revealed the concerns of early Christians with regard to family and marriage matters. "From the very beginning, Christians disagreed about whether it was better not to marry, but it was over a century after Jesus's death before they began appealing to Jesus's marital status to support their positions. What this shows is that there were early Christians for whom sexual union in marriage could be an imitation of God's creativity and generativity and it could be spiritually proper and appropriate." According to Prof King's research team, the text also quotes Jesus as telling his followers that Mary Magdalene is worthy of being his disciple. This, in turn, could throw into question the long-held belief that Jesus had no female apostles, and raises issues about Mary's biblical role as a sinner, the researchers said.

Prof King presented the document at a six-day conference held at Rome's La Sapienza University and at the Augustinianum institute of the Pontifical Lateran University. The faded papyrus is hardly bigger than a business card and has eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. The private collector, who owns the fragment, has asked to remain anonymous because "he doesn't want to be hounded by people who want to buy this", Prof King said. She said he had contacted Prof King to help translate and analyse it. Nothing was known about the circumstances of its discovery, but because of the script used she had concluded it must have come from Egypt.


I've heard things like this before, but never with any evidence. Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Pitch Queen

Joined: 24 May 2007
Location: Sunshine State

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is pretty cool...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's only one way to settle this - FIGHT!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1500 year-old ‘ Syriac ‘ Bible found in Ankara
The relic was ‘rediscovered’ in the depositum of Ankaran Justice Palace, the ancient version of bible is believed to be written in Syriac, a dialect of the native language of Jesus.
23 Şubat, 2012

Ankara / Turkey – The bible was already in custody of Turkish authorities after having been seized in 2000 in an operation in Mediterranean area in Turkey. The gang of smugglers had been charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations and the possession of explosives and went to trial. Turkish police testified in a court hearing they believe the manuscript in the bible could be about 1500 to 2000 years old.After waiting eight years in Ankara the ancient bible is being transferred to the Ankaran Ethnography Museum with a police escort. The bible, whose copies are valued around 3-4 Mil. Dollars had been transferred to Ankara for safety reasons, since no owners of the ancient relic could be found.

The manuscript carries excerpts of the Bible written in gold lettering on leather and loosely strung together, with lines of Syriac script with Aramaic dialect. Turkish authorities express the bible is a cultural asset and should be protected for being worthy of a museum.

Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic – the native language of Jesus – once spoken across much of the Middle East and Central Asia. It is used wherever there are Syrian Christians and still survives in the Syrian Orthodox Church in India and a village in the vicinity of Syrian capital Damascus. Aramaic is also still used in religious rituals of Maronite Christians in Cyprus.

Experts were however divided over the provenance of the manuscript, and whether it was an original, which would render it priceless, or a fake. Other questions surround the discovery of the ancient bible, whether the smugglers had had other copies of the relic or had smuggled them from Turkey.
Vatican eyes the faith of the ancient relic

The Vatican reportedly placed an official request to examine the scripture, which was written on pages made of animal hide in the Aramaic language using the Syriac alphabet.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Couchtripper Forum Index -> Historically Yours All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum

Couchtripper - 2005-2015