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Latest papyrus does not prove Jesus was married according to professor

17th century African scroll with ancient old testament translations and early new testament writings,
17th century African scroll with ancient old testament translations and early new testament writings,
Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

The recent announcement of an Egyptian papyrus scroll alleged to be the words of Jesus has been upheld as an ancient writing, and not a forgery as some have proclaimed. The writings point to Jesus making mention of having a wife, but this idea fails the proof test.

According to the Daily News, the controversial piece of scroll is the size of a business card and a section reads, "Jesus said to them, my wife..." The papyrus fragment was introduced in 2012 by Professor Karen King of Harvard School of Divinity and caused quick disagreements amongst scholars and members of the Catholic Church especially.

The papyrus was immediately rejected and its authenticity was placed into question with experts referring to it as a forgery. However, according to Reuters, various studies were conducted over two years showing that the papyrus was indeed authentic. One test conducted by Harvard's Human Evolutionary Biology department places the scroll between the 5th and 9th centuries with a possibility of the 4th century.

King however insisted that the fragment did not mean Jesus actually had a wife. In fact, due to so many lines missing in the text, she admitted that the lines needed to connect Jesus with marriage were not available to put that idea into an accurate context. But what if this particular fragment was actually saying Jesus was married?

Since the completion of the bible with all of its writings, various non biblical texts have been discovered which also claimed to be scribed by members of a biblical discipleship. These writings are known as the Apocrypha (Greek for obscure). These were writings that were either written at a later time than the biblical books or, radically contradict the bible that its isolation from the biblical texts are obvious.

An example of various Apocrypha books include The Gospel of Peter, The Gospel of Mary Magdelene, The Gospel of Judas, etc. The list of these writings are extensive. A great example of why these books were rejected based on comparison with the biblical texts can be found in The Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

Within this book, Jesus as a young boy used his miraculous powers to turn clay into birds and to kill another child that accidently bumped into him. This is a drastically different Jesus from what is written of him in the four biblical Gospels. The sources outside of the bible such as Josephus that mention Jesus never make mention of the character Jesus is portrayed as in these non biblical texts either.

So, the recent papyrus which may or may not be alluding to Jesus being married is not a stumbling block to the average Christian with knowledge of the various Apocrypha sources that exist. The fact that the earliest dating of this fragment is the 4th century, this places it hundreds of years too late for New Testament validity. Likewise, the argument of Jesus being married does not coincide with the actual writings of the New Testament, or of any secular documented evidence thereof.

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