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'Jesus's Wife' Papyrus Controversy: Christian Leader Says Church Is the Bride of Jesus, Not Mary Magdalene

( [email protected] ) Jul 14, 2016 09:36 AM EDT
A tiny piece of papyrus that allegedly proves Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene created a stir in several Christian organizations. However, after a thorough investigation, experts claim the papyrus called the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" is fabricated.
Copy of “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” papyrus Biblicalarchaeology.org

A tiny piece of papyrus that allegedly proves Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene created a stir in several Christian organizations. However, after a a thorough investigation, experts claim the papyrus called the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" is fabricated.

In response to the issue, Answers in Genesis (AIG) CEO Ken Ham said Jesus' bride is the Church, and not a woman who lived on Earth (Ephesians 5:23-32).  He also added many persecutors tried to prove that the Gospels contained inaccurate information of Jesus' life.  But in the end, "the Bible was right all along," Ham posted on AIG's website. 

Harvard Professor Karen L. King, holder of the oldest endowed academic chair in the country, presented a study of "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" papyrus in 2012.  King said she got the papyrus from a man named Walter Fritz from Florida. She explained Fritz emailed her in 2010, asking her to have a look at a papyrus that might prove Jesus was married.

After King had received the papyrus, she took it to a renowned papyrologist, Roger Bagnall, who thought it is an authentic fourth-century artifact. The piece of paper in question presents lines of words written in the Coptic language that makes reference to Jesus' marriage to a woman, possibly Mary Magdalene. The fragment contains the words "Jesus said to then, 'My wife..."

However, many scholars of Coptic language say there are many grammatical errors in the text. Also, a series of studies published in the journal New Testament Studies in July 2015 reveals the papyrus has been copied from an online translation of the Gospel of Thomas published in 2002.

Boston Globe reported all of the documents that Fritz gave to King are all forged.  King's interview with the Atlantic last month marked the first time she had admitted that the fragment is probably fake.

Many Christian groups criticized King's findings on some occasions. Latest studies and evidence shows the papyrus is not authentic. Many also believe the document was just an attempt to destroy the foundations of the Church.

In times of persecution, Ken Ham says Christians should trust God's Word, which was right all along. He also quoted Romans 3:4: "Let God be true but every man a liar. We can always trust God's Word, from the very beginning,"

Tags : Gospel of Jesus' Wife, Walter Fritz, Karen L. King, Jesus, Gospel of Jesus Christ, Bible