A new documentary set to premiere on "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" repeatedly reminds viewers that while testing shows the papyrus fragment indeed is an authentic ancient document, its contents do not actually prove that Christ was married. Yet, that does not keep the hour-long TV program from exploring, with titillating dramatizations, the possibility that Jesus was more than Mary of Magdala's savior.
While speculation that Jesus and Mary were an item are nothing new, "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" documentary airing on the Smithsonian Channel asks important questions and wonders how the acontextual lines found on the ancient papyrus add weight to the argument.
"The Gospel of Jesus's Wife" first became known to Karen King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, in 2010 when she received an email from a man claiming to be in possession of a piece of ancient Coptic papyrus. The artifact, belonging to a private collector who wants to remain anonymous, is a 1 1/2 by 3-inch fragment of a fuller document that contains 33 words written in Coptic script, and which include the translated blockbuster line: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ...'" While testing strongly supports that the papyrus originates from between the 6th and 9th centuries, the words themselves are believed to possibly have been written as early as the second to fourth centuries. more >>
A group of Spanish archaeologists claim they may have recovered one of the earliest images of Jesus Christ, painted on the inside of a 6th Century, underground structure near burial tombs in Upper Egypt alongside Coptic inscriptions and plant motifs.
Josep Padro of the Catalan Egyptology Society led a team of archaeologists in discovering the image, which was painted on the wall of an underground structure among burial tombs in the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus in Upper Egypt. The town has been considered to be archaeologically rich because of its ancient people's worship of the Egyptian God Osiris, but this most recent find is from much later, the 6th Century, and relates to the Christian religion.
As Padro told La Vanguardia newspaper, his team discovered "five or six coats of paint on the walls [in the underground structure], the last of which was from the Coptic period of the first Christians." more >>
The Internet has been abuzz with intriguing headlines announcing that scholars have determined that the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" papyrus is "authentic" and that there is "no forgery evidence" in the manuscript.
What exactly does this mean? And should Christians be concerned that a new discovery might contradict the biblical account and undermine their faith?
Actually, the report from scholars working with the Harvard Divinity School found that the manuscript is much younger than previously thought – in other words, it is even further removed from the time of the New Testament than scholars originally believed – meaning that, at most, it is a very late myth without a stitch of historical support. more >>
The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced this week that it has uncovered a 3,300-year-old ceramic coffin containing a male skeleton and a scarab in the country's northern region.
Archaeologists said workers accidentally discovered the Bronze Era tomb while installing a natural gas pipeline through the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. The tomb contained ceramic pieces and a ceramic coffin containing the skeleton of a man. Next to the skeleton sat a scarab affixed to a ring that bore the name of Seti I, considered to be one of the most powerful pharaohs in Egypt during the Nineteenth Dynasty.
Seti I is the father of Ramesses II, believed by some to be the Pharaoh in the biblical story of the Exodus who drove the Israelites from Egypt. more >>
The controversial "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" ancient papyrus is not a modern-day forgery, according to newly published research in the Harvard Theological Review which insists that the fragment where Jesus supposedly mentions His wife dates between the sixth to ninth centuries CE.
The Harvard Theological Review states that the papyrus and the carbon ink have gone through "extensive testing" over the past few years, which has included analysis of the handwriting and grammar, as well as two radiocarbon tests to determine the date of the document.
"Microscopic and multispectral imaging provided other significant information about the nature and extent of the damage and helped to resolve a variety of questions about possible forgery," the update states. more >>
A new study conducted by Liverpool scientists suggests the Shroud of Turin proves Jesus was crucified with his hands over his head in a "Y" shape, rather than to the sides in a "T" shape, as traditionally depicted in Christian art. The scientist leading this recent study says this new crucifixion would be "very painful" and likely cause asphyxiation for the victim.
Scientists at the Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K. announced their findings at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences earlier this year. They argue that the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus, shows an image of a man with blood stains streaking down his arms. Matteo Borrini, who led the shroud study at the John Moores University, argues that these stains could only have been obtained if the victim's arms were hung over his head in a "Y" shape, instead of the "T" shape that is so prevalent in Christian art.
The scientists reached their new conclusion after having scientist Luigi Garlaschelli of the University of Pavia, Italy, act out different crucifixion poses with donated blood dripping down his arms via a cannula. more >>