By Ali Younes
Did Jesus have a wife? or he didn’t in according with official teachings of the Catholic church which holds that Jesus remained celibate all of his life on earth which later became the foundation for the Catholic Church . A notion that later obligated the pope and persists to live the way Jesus lived, a singular life without ever marry or be with a woman.
In its December issue,
The Atlantic Magazine published a highly controversial story about an ancient papyrus fragment which believed to be a translation from an early Christian Coptic Gospel of Saint Thomas that mentions a reference to “Jesus’ wife” that was thought to have originally written in the 2nd century AD. Karen. L King a professor of early Christianity in Harvard School of Divinity and the first to publicize the fragment to the world believes that the fragment authenticity could either way depending on if new evidence would emerge to prove its authenticity or forgery. Although King thought initially that the fragment was part of perhaps a second century biblical text, testing later determined that it was in fact an eighth century fragment. The fragment refers to Jesus speaking of his “wife” in the following lines:
1.not [to] me. My mother gave me li[fe]
2. The disciples said to Jesus
3. deny. Mary is n[ot] worthy of it
4. Jesus said to them, My wife
5. she is able to be my disciple 6. Let wicked people swell up 7. As for me, I am with her in order to . 8. an image .
According to the Atlantic report which was written by professors Joel Baden and Candida Moss the debate to determine whether the fragment was authentic or not was fierce between those who believe that the fragment was real and authentic based on testing that showed it is rather an ancient fragment and others who claim it to be a forgery.
The ramification for those who support the claim that the fragment was authentic, even though it was written almost 8 centuries later, are huge. The stakes for this claim are huge giving that Christianity itself will be put to the test if it ever proven that Jesus did in fact had a wife
But skeptics, those who believe the fragment was a fake point out the fact that all the words and their position in the fragment are identical to the same words found in the Coptic Gospel, Saint Thomas.
In the fragment, the authors of the article in the Atlantic wrote that “The first line has Jesus recognizing his mother’s importance. The second and third lines have the disciples seemingly debating the worthiness of Mary—a probable reference, given the words my wife in the fourth line, not to the Virgin Mary but to Mary Magdalene, the oft-maligned patron of the Jesus movement. This Mary, Jesus says in line five, can be his disciple, and in lines six and seven he castigates those who would oppose such discipleship as “wicked,” drawing the contrast with himself, who is with her.”
Absent of any real provenance evidence, the story of Jesus wife, fake or fiction will remain hotly debated and controversial among those who believe in the historical purity of the Catholic Church teachings and the skeptics who believe in the possibility of Jesus might have had a wife.
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