The Jesus Wife papyrus

The Jesus Wife papyrus

Every time hard evidence appears arguing for Jesus’ marriage to Mary Magdalene, a chorus of theologically driven academics shout “forgery!” When a tomb was found in Talpiot, a suburb of Jerusalem, with coffins bearing inscriptions connected to Jesus and his family, these pseudo-scholars shouted “foul”. They admitted that there is an ossuary (bone box) in the tomb with the name “Jesus, son of Joseph” inscribed on it, and they admitted that the name “Mariamene” inscribed on an ossuary in the same tomb is associated – in all of Greek literature – with Mary Magdalene and no one else, but they argued that “Jesus was a common name” and that the official Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) catalogue had misread the “Mariamene” inscription. It really stated “Mariamne” (without the extra “e”), they said, making it a more common variant of the same name. In this way, the naysayers severed the Mary Magdalene connection. Put differently, as long as this tomb was not perceived as connected to Jesus, there were no mistakes in the IAA catalogue. But the minute the tomb was linked to Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the theologically driven pseudo-scholars found retroactive mistakes decades after the fact.

Similarly, in 2012, Harvard scholar Professor Karen King, publicized the discovery of a 6-8th century Coptic papyrus found in Egypt, in which Jesus clearly states that he has a “wife”. The papyrus alludes to a “Mary” as that wife. Immediately – without conducting any tests – the chorus of naysayers cornered King and spiked her article, arguing that the papyrus was a forgery. When every possible test e.g., carbon-14, epigraphy etc. argued for authenticity, the naysayers came up with a new argument. They now said that in the same private collection as the so called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” there was another papyrus called the “John papyrus”. Since, according to them, that papyrus is a forgery, and since the ink on the “Jesus Wife” papyrus is identical to the “John papyrus”, the “Wife papyrus” must also be a forgery.

And so it went….until today, when Columbia University’s James Yardley announced that a new battery of tests confirmed that the two inks are different and that the ink on the “Jesus Wife” papyrus is ancient; once again arguing for the “Jesus Wife” papyrus’ authenticity. Put differently, Jesus had a wife.

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