A Harvard researcher, Karen King, has a tiny piece of papyrus – no bigger than a credit card – that is sure to shock the Christian world. It is barely readable and only fragments of sentences are available, but like a politicians gaffe on CNN, it is enough to draw attention. Jesus says “my wife” and, from Smithsonian:
The “wife” Jesus refers to is probably Mary Magdalene, and Jesus appears to be defending her against someone, perhaps one of the male disciples.
“She will be able to be my disciple,” Jesus replies. Then, two lines later, he says: “I dwell with her.”
Wow, so Jesus was married and living with his wife and had plans to make her a minister. How’s that for upsetting the balance – Catholics and celibacy, all Christians and female preachers – and the inevitable Dan Brown, Da Vinci Code, references.
Did he get it right?
It’s possible, but the papyrus was written a century or so after Jesus’ crucifixion and could be as much fiction as Dan Brown’s novel. But the age and authenticity of the text has been verified and so this story is ready to explode into the Christian mind.
As long as it isn’t proved to be a fake…
The Smithsonian has the inside story on this controversial text.
Continue reading New papryus shows Jesus had a wife, female minister – and it’s been proven authentic
“The interesting thing about Islam,” says Professor Constant Mews, “is that it was a much more commercial culture from the outset than Christianity.”
And from around the middle of the eighth century to the middle of the 13th, while European Christians were struggling through the Dark Ages, the Islamic world enjoyed a golden age.
Arab merchants had a lot to do with it.
“They developed alternative ways of regulating funds,” says Mews.
“In particular the core Islamic principle is simply one of sharing profit and loss. The desire is to promote investment by taking commercial risk.
“Risk, incidentally, is an Arabic word, referring to where you lend money to others without requiring a return unless there is profitable growth.”
And for some 500 years, this financial model underpinned advances in science, the arts, architecture, and innovation generally. Then came the Crusades and the Mongol hordes, and the Islamic model of finance declined, the space becoming filled by that other model.
Islamic finance, however, is undergoing something of a renaissance.
It is now a USD1 trillion industry…Mohamed Ariff continues the litany of statistical growth: there are 57 majority-Muslim nations, 76 countries which already practice Islamic banking, 350 banks, 15 insurance companies and about 1,200 mutual funds.
Keep reading – Jesus saves, Moses lends, Muhammad invests
Continue reading Jesus saves, Moses lends, Muhammad invests – Islamic finance accounts for 1 trillion in banking
I recently listened to a podcast that brought up several interesting ideas about Christianity. The most important of which was a huge debate between Arius and Athanasius in 325 A.D., concerning the “Divinity of Jesus.”
Arius was against saying Jesus was God, while Athanasius believed Jesus definitely was. This debate had been raging for hundreds of years before these men, indeed all the way back to when Jesus was alive.
The reason why these two men come up? Politics. The Emperor of Rome, Constantine, called together all the Christian leaders of the day and asked them to pick one or the other. He hoped to stem the flood of fights and deaths that were occurring over the topic.
They agreed to banish Arius, condemning him as a heretic for his thinking (Jesus was not a God).
Of course, it didn’t work. The next Emperor brought back his ideas, now called Arianism, and condemned and exiled Athanasius.
Which was then followed by several hundred years of constant civil war over the topic.
Eventually the Arians were all killed or exiled and the dominant position became anti-Arian. Fast forward 1,500 years and today we have largely forgotten this debate. We take it for granted that Jesus was God.
But, a few churches persevere, like the Unitarians who “maintain that Jesus was a great man and a prophet of God, perhaps even a supernatural being, but not God himself.”
And, the debate rages on…