@b0yle does a bang up job on ACTUALLY REPORTING on the wife of Jesus idiocy

First, check out his article here.

A couple of points I’d like to express. First, Boyle sorta misses the boat with the Gospel of Judas connection. It has been debunked – and shares a connection with King. No doubt, King is an apt scholar, as Mark Goodacre as pointed out; however, her tendencies are like those of Elaine Pagels – very, very esoteric. Her reading of the Gospel of Judas is awful. And, her identification of every group as “Christian” is hardly accurate.

Page from Codex Tchacos.

Page from Codex Tchacos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gnostics – whom Boyle points out as connected to the idea of a higher role for women – were hardly Christians, but predated Christianity. They, like the orthodox Christians, had their own ideological drives. This scrap of paper, even if it is authentic and can be dated to the fourth century, is hardly authentic in relation to the Historical Jesus. All this does is show us that in Egypt, the Gnostics still carried some weight, still taught of Mary and Sophia.

King has suggested that this better relates to the struggle of women in the early Church. While this struggle is real, it is hardly the struggle predominating the fourth century. Does anyone remember the period between 325 and 381? You have to remember that this was a time of Roman dominance of Christianity. It was not until later that the role of women in the Church came under fire. Read the canons of the synods and councils post 381. And Ehrman… oh Bart… He is following the same hunting trail as King.

What may be a better explanation is that the scrap of paper is from a Greek original, translated into Coptic, with the translator, as they often do, changing the outcome. So, it goes it from woman to wife. See 1 Corinthians 9.5 and the varied history of that verse, especially in the Aramaic.

Would it matter if Jesus had a wife? Not to me, but what does matter is good scholarship, and not the speculations we are seeing now. King should have stopped at releasing her paper sans speculation. This is not Jesus’ marriage certificate, but a piece of paper suffering bad translation, or perhaps, a part of a larger piece of an anti-Gnostic text (less likely, but still…)

One other thing. It is more than disingenuous to have called this the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. While this may have been a play on words (Hey, everybody, Jesus had a wife, good news!), it is misleading and allows others to invest into the document an authority not inherently present. A Gospel is not a piece of paper – and yes, we can say this because we know what a Gospel is (see Mark).

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Post By Joel Watts (10,109 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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15 thoughts on “@b0yle does a bang up job on ACTUALLY REPORTING on the wife of Jesus idiocy

  1. Rather tough on gnostics, and King. “King should have stopped at releasing her paper sans speculation”….oh my, scholarship without speculation. Impossible, unless you are a CPA bean counter. Mustn’t promote censorship. Then all the cosmologists would have to quit talking about what multi-universes and 11+ dimensions mean, and just print the dusty old eiganfunction wave equations, which doesn’t give anyone the feel for what reality is. That takes the fun out of scholarship. I think King and Pagels have payed their dues, to release whatever they want to. Unless the “higher role for women” bothers people. If so, the critics should go to their room without supper

    • Just as a follow up, King’s conclusion was, “Karen L. King, the Harvard Divinity School professor who received the fragment from an anonymous owner, emphasized that the discovery does not serve as evidence that Jesus was married. Rather, it suggests that there was a debate within the early Christian church on the status of women”….does anyone in their right mind suggest there was no debate? Paul wasn’t exactly pro-women. Clearly clergy wanted to stay in control, from Paul, Irenaeus, to the current pope. So I don’t see the rationale for trashing King.

    • Oh come on Gary – we do not have to provide speculation when we put forth a real scholarly find!

      I’m not bothered by a higher role for women, but I am bothered by bad scholarship.

  2. Will miracles never cease??? Watts wrote some things that i agree with, not everything he wrote but some things.

    I will disagree with Gary’s comment referring to King’s statement. This fragment shows no such thing. it just shows that the author of it had Jesus say the words ‘my wife’. Anything that Ms. King says about it is read into the fragment and has no evidence to support her conclusion.

    One place where I do disagree with Watts is his comment about how scholarship is more important to him than the truth and good theology. it should matter to him if Jesus was married or not for the ramifications for salvation are immense. But then supposed scholars don’t care about things like that, they just want good discussion.

          • Attacking others for pointing out your slips only shows that you do not take responsibility for your words. Here is the line that says it all:

            “Would it matter if Jesus had a wife? Not to me, but what does matter is good scholarship, ”

            You clearly state that the truth doesn’t matter and that good scholarship means more. It should matter to you if Jesus had a wife because it would change everything and the truth should be far more important than ‘good scholarship’. Scholarship means nothing the truth means everything.

  3. Now I have realized what is Dr King’ agenda:

    ” It casts doubt “on the whole Catholic claim of a celibate priesthood based on Jesus’ celibacy. They always say, ‘This is the tradition, this is the tradition.’ Now we see that this alternative tradition has been silenced.” (from her interview at the Smithsonian.com)

    • I do not take sides. However, it is all open for discussion. People that want to suppress discussion have a clear agenda. Thanks for the reference, since what King said at the Smithsonian site was ““Why is it that only the literature that said he was celibate survived? And all of the texts that showed he had an intimate relationship with Magdalene or is married didn’t survive? Is that 100 percent happenstance? Or is it because of the fact that celibacy becomes the ideal for Christianity?”
      Sounds logical to me. Iraneaus and Athanasius had all the texts (gnostic) burned that disagreed with their position. Which is ironic, since the gnostics thought spirit and flesh were separate, with flesh being bad. But the clergy was to be celibate, to be closer to God (I assume that is the point), which sounds almost a gnostic rationale. The only reason we have the gnostic texts is because some liberated monk decided to bury the texts in some jugs. I didn’t see a King quote saying “It casts doubt on the whole Catholic claim”, but maybe I just missed it. Regardless, if a person totally disagrees with King, OK. But trying to suppress the debate is very un-scholarly. It reflects the days of book burning by the original clergy, like it or not.

        • Actually, I was referring more to Joel and suppression, not you. Just based upon the title, “…Wife of Jesus Idiocy”. If it is idiocy, why not just burn the parchment, and forget about it. Sorry about that.

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