Dr. Mary L. King, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University, claims to have discovered a papyrus fragment which provides “evidence” that Jesus was married. Dr. King has a long history of claiming that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. This theory flies in the face of orthodox Christianity and is unsupported by Scriptural authority. She has previously cited claims from the gnostic “Gospel of Thomas” and “Gospel of Mary” found at Nag Hammadi. Her latest evidence is based on a fragment no larger than a business card, which purports to be from the 5th century (over 400 years after Jesus). The scrap is from an unknown manuscript, from an unknown author, and of unknown provenance. The fragment has not even been subjected to scientific analysis to determine whether it comes from the 5th century or is a more recent forgery. Christians should be outraged.
Dr. King further conflates this scrap into an entire “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”, placing it on a par with the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—Canonical Scripture for which we have multiple complete texts that have been authenticated from a much earlier period close to the time of Jesus. She would be laughed out of any meeting of professional historians with a claim based upon such a flimsy piece of documentation. It is as though I were to find a post-it note that says that John Smith was married to Pocohantas. We know, factually, that Pocohantas married John Rolfe and we have contemporaneous primary sources to support that fact. This simply doesn’t stand the test of objective historical analysis.
And yet, The Smithsonian Channel will premiere a special documentary about the discovery on September 30 at 8 p.m. ET. Why is an agency of the U. S. government promoting this assault of the foundations of Christianity. Why are my tax dollars being spent to attack my faith?
I have to wonder if airing of this video will send angry mobs of Christians by the tens of thousands into the streets, attacking American embassies around the world. Will Christians become so enraged that the founder of their faith has been insulted, disparaged and demeaned by this video that they will tear down the American flag and hoist the Christian banner in its place. And, if they do, what will be the reaction of the Obama administration and the American media. Will they claim that Christians are understably angry and that this Harvard professor is responsible. Will they ask the Smithsonian Channel to remove the offending video. I doubt it. I expect they would call these Christians “fanatics”, extremists”, “nut-jobs” and worse.
I invite you to read some of the coverage in the media already:
From the N. Y. Times: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49075679/ns/technology_and_science-the_new_york_times/#/?ocid=ansmsnbc11
From the Huffinton Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/the-gospel-of-jesus-wife-_n_1891325.html
From the Baptist Press: http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=38755
From the Smithsonian Magazine itself: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Inside-Story-of-the-Controversial-New-Text-About-Jesus-170177076.html?c=y&story=fullstory