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Tyler

Jesus's Wife?

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J.A.A. Purves wrote:

: The Da Vinci Code already took all the novelty out of it, way way back in 2003.

I wouldn't give Dan Brown that much credit. The question of Jesus' marital status -- and what its implications might be -- was already a popular topic of discussion going back to The Last Temptation of Christ, the film version of which came out in 1988. And it might go back even further, though that's around the time I first became aware of these discussions myself.

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Tyler   

Analysis of the papyrus and ink indicate it's not a modern forgery, and is more likely from the 4th-8th century.

 

 

The papyrus fragment has now been analyzed by professors of electrical engineering, chemistry and biology at Columbia University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who reported that it resembles other ancient papyri from the fourth to the eighth centuries. (Scientists at the University of Arizona, who dated the fragment to centuries before the birth of Jesus, concluded that their results were unreliable.)

The test results do not prove that Jesus had a wife or disciples who were women, only that the fragment is more likely a snippet from an ancient manuscript than a fake, the scholars agree. Karen L. King, the historian at Harvard Divinity School who gave the papyrus its name and fame, has said all along that it should not be regarded as evidence that Jesus married, only that early Christians were actively discussing celibacy, sex, marriage and discipleship.

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BethR   

This interview with non-canonical gospels expert Nicholas Perrin wins the headline prize (as someone tweeted the other day): How to Date Jesus' Wife

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NBooth   

Hey, look. Another book claiming to have found an ancient text proving Jesus had a wife.

 

In “The Lost Gospel,” set for release Wednesday, authors Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson argue that the original Virgin Mary was Jesus’ wife – not his mother – and that there was an assassination attempt on Jesus’ life 13 years before he was crucified.
 
The writers say they spent six years working on the book. Their arguments are based on an ancient manuscript dating back nearly 1,500 years, one they say they found in a British library, translating the text from an Aramaic dialect into English.

 

 

Of course, it would be very little skin off my nose one way or the other if someone came along with an officially notarized first century marriage certificate. That's not what bugs me about this story. But, heavens, every couple of years the same story comes out with the same breathless headlines and it still gets treated like it's some sort of dark, possibly-subversive revelation about the early days of Christianity: "Ah-ha! I'm saying the exact same thing Dan Brown said! I'm destroying the church!" [And, of course, see Peter and Jeremy above]
 
This story at least has the virtue of nominating the Virgin Mary as Jesus's wife (though if they had two kids I don't imagine she would have kept the title for long). That's new, as far as I know. But it's the same boring old story as last time--and the same as next time, too, I'll warrant.  
Edited by NBooth

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This story at least has the virtue of nominating the Virgin Mary as Jesus's wife (though if they had two kids I don't imagine she would have kept the title for long). That's new, as far as I know. But it's the same boring old story as last time--and the same as next time, too, I'll warrant.  

 

 

So wait...he married his own mother? 

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NBooth   

 

 

 
This story at least has the virtue of nominating the Virgin Mary as Jesus's wife (though if they had two kids I don't imagine she would have kept the title for long). That's new, as far as I know. But it's the same boring old story as last time--and the same as next time, too, I'll warrant.  

 

 

So wait...he married his own mother? 

 

 

Presumably in this iteration she isn't his mother. Or else it's a rewrite of Oedipus

 

EDIT: Ha! The book is out now and so available for closer inspection on Amazon. Apparently the book conflates Marys. Or something.

Edited by NBooth

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NBooth   

LARB: Anthony Le Donne on The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene

 

THE LOST GOSPEL is not the worst book ever written. I once attended a party where I was subjected to an excerpt of dinosaur erotica. It was a lovely gathering otherwise, but my ears were assaulted by pages from Taken by the T-Rex. I will say no more for fear that I will corrupt you, gentle reader. The silver lining of my turpid tale is that I now have a new barometer for beastly books. While The Lost Gospel is no match for dinosaur erotica, it is equally daring.
 
Here are some of the claims that Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson make: (1) a 6th century text that never once refers to Jesus or Mary Magdalene is secretly about Jesus, Mary, and their children; (2) the character “Joseph” named in this text represents Jesus, Apollo, Helios, Mithras, and a Roman emperor simultaneously; (3) Mary Magdalene was not Jewish and was, moreover, a priestess of Artemis; (4) when Jesus refers to the Queen of Sheba (Matt 12:42), he is speaking of Mary in code; (5) Jesus — not a peasant, but a powerful figure in the world of Roman politics — was the victim of not one but two assassination attempts, both of which he survived; (6) the Roman general Germanicus was the second threat to Jesus, but a Roman prefect named Sejanus saved him, Mary, and their children; and (7) the wine of the Last Supper symbolized Mary’s menstrual blood. As you will see below, this is only a small sampling of this book’s originality.

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NBooth   

The AtlanticThe Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife

The American Association of Museums’ Guide to Provenance Research warns that an investigation of an object’s origins “is not unlike detective work”: “One may spend hours, days, or weeks following a trail that leads nowhere.” When I started to dig, however, I uncovered more than I’d ever expected—a warren of secrets and lies that spanned from the industrial districts of Berlin to the swingers scene of southwest Florida, and from the halls of Harvard and the Vatican to the headquarters of the East German Stasi.

Karen L. King herself says that the investigation here is pretty convincing.

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