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.