Published on April 13th, 2014
Papyrus in which Jesus speaks of his wife has been confirmed (VIDEO)
A papyrus that has generated much controversy, in which it’s evoked the “wife of Jesus” is really ancient and not a fake made in modern times, according to recent scientific analysis, presented in a study that was published Thursday in United States, informs AFP.
Information about the existence of this document revealed in 2012 by Karen King, a professor of history at Harvard Divinity School, which suggests that Jesus was married, was received with much skepticism by the Vatican, but also by historians who said it mostly it most likely a fake, “verdict” based on the indefinite origin of the document, the shape of the letters and characters and also grammatical errors.
The papyrus fragment has the size of 3.8 x 7.6 inches, where the following words are written in Coptic , “Jesus said to them «my wife»” and “She could be my disciple”. This phrase has generated debate in some churches about priestly celibacy and the place of women and the role of marriage in the church.
None of the Gospels state that Jesus was married or that he had women disciples.
Karen King says that this document proves that Jesus was married. In her opinion, “the text emphasizes that women, mothers and wives, may also be disciples of Jesus, a topic that has been the subject of heated debate in early Christianity”.
Scientific analyzes have concluded that the papyrus and ink, as well as writing and grammatical structure indicates that this document is really ancient. According to the same analysis, the document dates from a period between the late sixth century and the ninth century.
“All these analyzes and historical context indicates that this papyrus is almost certain product of ancient Christians and not a fake”, said the authors of the study, published in the Harvard Theological Review.
This document has undergone various dating techniques, including spectroscopy (ink) and radiocarbon (papyrus), by researchers at Columbia University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “According to these experts, the chemical composition of papyrus and its corresponding to oxidation of ancient papyri, and that the Gospel of John”, said the study authors.
However, these findings have not convinced all historians.
Leo Depuydt, Egyptologist at Brown University, believes that these analyzes do not prove the authenticity of the papyrus.
He said it was easy to get pretty old papyrus sheets on the market. In addition, he says, ink analysis proves that the structure and its composition is similar to ancient ink but not the time. It ‘s easy to replicate using candle soot and oil, he added.
Finally, the gross grammatical errors in this text and that writing words except “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…'” is identical to that of the Gospel of Thomas, an ancient text discovered in 1945, “can not be just a coincidence” added the same Egyptologist, who considers “suspect” that the owner of this papyrus remained anonymous.