Saturday, September 29, 2012

Was Jesus Married?

The New York Times, as well as many other media, recently reported the discovery of a purported fragment of Coptic text written on papyrus which is said to contain words indicating that Jesus had a wife.  The scholar who presented the data, Dr. Karen L. King, is the current Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, the oldest endowed chair in the United States.  Dr. King is obviously no slouch!

The report of her finding went on to indicate the doubts that Dr. King had about the text's provenance and the steps she was taking to document its veracity.  She is awaiting analysis of the papyrus itself as well as determinants of the age of the ink that was used.  The fragment is tiny and incomplete.  Dr. King is, then, very aware of the science required to support the authenticity of the fragment and admits that until all the evidence is in, uncertainty must prevail.

But today the New York Times reports that the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, in an editorial, "dismissed the papyrus as an 'inept forgery'........'In any case, a fake.'"

The Vatican has undertaken a rush to judgment - not interested in awaiting evidence that Dr. King may present in the future - evidence that may either support or deny her finding.

Therein lies the vast abyss between the science of great scholars and the rushed, prejudicial conclusions of others.

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