Monday, October 1, 2012

Coptic Papyrus Fragment on Jesus' Wife: The Vatican and Other Experts Call It a Fake

A Coptic papyrus fragment that mentions Jesus' wife
Photo courtesy: CNN

The Vatican and some other experts in Europe cast a doubt on the authenticity of the fourth-century Coptic papyrus fragment that mentioned Jesus’ wife.

The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on its September 20 issue called the papyrus fragment a fake, reports the CNN Belief Blog.

The L’Osservatore Romano’s editor-in-chief Gian Maria Vian wrote: “Substantial reasons would lead us to conclude that the papyrus is actually a clumsy counterfeit.” “In other words, in any case it is a fake,” he added.

Karen King, professor of early Christianity at the Harvard University’s Divinity School, USA, announced the papyrus finding on September 25 at an international congress on Coptic studies in Rome, Italy, reports the Associated Press.

The Coptic language text is thought to be a translation from a second-century Greek text that gives a dialogue where Jesus Christ refers to “my wife” and means it to be Mary Magdalene.

The Associated Press also reports, Coptology professor Stephen Emmel of the University of Muenster, Germany, said the text accurately quotes Jesus saying “my wife,” but he questioned the authenticity of the document. 

The same report mentions of Germany’s University of Hamburg papyrologist Alin Suciu saying: “I would say it’s forgery. The script doesn’t look authentic” compared with other samples of Coptic papyrus script of that time.”

Most of the Christian Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, teach that Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, was unmarried.

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