The world was confronted with a new sensation(2012): Jesus turns out to be married. This people have learned from the major newspaper editorials, which came up with these headlines: A new fragment, which proves that Jesus was married yet.
The fact that on 18 September 2012 at the X International Congress of Coptic Studies Harvard University professor Karen King presented to the public a new, previously unknown fragment. Its report was announced last, most listeners and participants of the conference were already tired, and nobody expected sensations, but from the first minute speech Karen King, it became clear that it expresses something completely new and unheard of.
The background of this discovery was as follows. In December 2011, an anonymous buyer turned to Karen King to help him to authenticate Coptic papyrus.
Karen King is one of the leading experts in the world of Gnosticism, she was the first female professor Hollis, who held the post in the department of theology at Harvard University, but she did not macrology, she could not authenticate itself Coptic text. So she turned to the other world-renowned expert Roger Banal, who conducted a preliminary assessment of the papyrus, and said that he may indeed be authentic and ancient.
In 2012, Karen King has launched a campaign for the introduction of the document in the global scientific revolution. To do this, she chose the Coptic Congress, because the text is written in Coptic. It should be noted that Karen King has prepared his speech very professional – it is per-released a communique offered all the leading newspapers that had to wait for her performances in Rome and the next day to publish this communique. A Harvard University, watching her performance in Rome, issued a document online. Therefore, starting from the next morning, all the participants Coptic Congress were subjected to constant attacks by journalists and had to answer the question of whether Jesus was married, and they are married to Jesus.
The debate that has caused this unremarkable piece of papyrus, went in two directions. One Direction – this is a purely academic debate, which run between scientists and humanists, lets call them so – experts in apology, a specialist in ancient Christian texts – and scientists, which we can call the techies, that is, scientists are engaged in the exact sciences: chemistry, physics, and so on, because of their participation in the history is very important. A second area of debate – a feminist discourse, as Karen King – one of the leading experts on Gnosticism not only, but also in the direction in history, which is now, called the Women’s Studies. Her study of the papyrus fragment was supported by one of the feminist funds, large sums of money were donated for research, and the whole debate that followed the publication aroused great interest of various feminist organizations.
What must be understood here? Feminists support the publication of this text, because it is, in their view, explains that Jesus never denied the importance of women and, on the other hand, has always believed that they are worthy to be among his students, including among its leaders. The same view is supported, indeed, Karen King, which published the fragment. She constantly stressed in their speeches that it is not interested in the question of whether Jesus was married or not married, and what role he assigned to women. The fact is that in the fragment, which consists of eight rows, there are the words it is worthy to be my disciple, in response to the comments of the Apostles. Since the fragment part – he clipped around the edges, we have only the middle part of the text – however the words it is worthy to be my disciple is very clearly visible in this papyrus fragment.
That is the debate in the feminist environment, the discussion among those who accepted the view of Dan Brown, the famous writer, issued the Da Vinci Code in 2003. Naturally, this discourse is interested in the media, and they began to publish an article by article, to produce all kinds of films: documentaries, interviews with Karen King and so on. At the same backgrounds of all this scientific debate was, in fact, what kind of text with which we are dealing.
At the time of the presentation of the text at the Rome Congress, two-thirds of the scientists who were present when the report Karen King, expressed the opinion that this fragment is a fake, and the modern. The next day, one of the leading specialists in early Christian texts and is an expert on Coptic Christian texts Askeland wrote the first criticisms. Then, more and more scientists began to speak with a critical assessment of this fragment.
What are the notes they expressed? The first point relates to the appearance of the fragment. It is not written by Kalam not pisalom cane, which has always enjoyed the Coptic scribes, and brush. The second point, which is expressed by the scientists, is that the letter is not well formed, they are not quite the right shape, and it shows that this is an amateur writer or a person for whom the Coptic is a second language. And the third point, which they expressed, – the presence of grammatical errors in the text, they can hardly be expected if it were Coptic scribe.
Initial observations Karen King suggested that the text refers to the IV century. She thought that the text is very early, IV century, and thus, it shows that among the early Christians, the question of whether Jesus was married or not, continue to debate. But then, a series of tests, and Karen King for two years, we can say, paused, stopped publishing on this topic, because results of the studies were not quite so, what she expected.
The first radiocarbon analysis showed that the papyrus must be dated to II century BC, that is, the Ptolemaic era, or a little bit closer.
Obviously, this result could not satisfy either Karen King, nor any of its followers. The second was conducted radiocarbon analysis – this time in the laboratory of Harvard University – which showed that, most likely, this papyrus should be dated from 659 to 859 AD, that is, most likely, from VII to IX century. The spread of scientific data makes it possible to say that there are thousands of years apart.
Tests were then conducted of ink and their chemical composition. These tests showed that the most likely the document is written in ink based on black. However, this does not prove anything, because you can get black and now, in our time.
At the same time scholars such as Mark Good acre, Leo Dependent continued to publish his criticisms of the text itself. Their studies have shown that, firstly, almost all the words and phrases in the text are taken from the so-called Gospel of Thomas, a long-known Gnostic source, which was published in 1924 and posted
Their second remark is that the words my wife – words most central piece – written with a little more pressure and placed in strict center of the papyrus fragment, which, of course, leads to some doubt. Third, their concern was that the word wife is written with an error as the normative forms for the word wife would schema, while the wife of Jesus in the Gospels, we see the word hime instead of schema.
Karen King responded to these comments. She has published a series of articles, but nevertheless its objections were considered by most scientists is not enough convincing. In 2014, Christian Askeland conducted studies of another document, which belongs to the same group of papyrus caught Karen King. This is called the passage from the Gospel of John, written in dialect likopolskom.
The fact that virtually extinct dialect likopolsky to the VI century AD, and suggest that it was written on papyrus text of the VIII century, a bit strange, but it was not the most important. It was found that this fragment of the Gospel of John is an exact copy of the even lines of the electronic edition of the Gospel of John. Because they are written, apparently, by the same scribe, or at least very similar to hand, there are reasonable doubts as to whether, in fact, the so-called Gospel of Jesus fake wife the same master.
This leaves open the question of the origin of these papyri, their owner remains anonymous – at least, so says Karen King. And he, in turn, claims to have received it from East Germany by a man named Hans Laukamp. No trace of Hans Laukampa could not be found, and only Hans Laukamp, which the researchers were able to find, nothing to do with Papyrus, neither Christian antiquity never had, so the question of the origin of the fragment remains open and cause a very big remarks researchers. At the moment, the question remains open, because the chemists who conducted the re-analysis of the ink, said they used some completely new techniques that they have not yet been published, but which may prove that the ink also belong to the VIII century. In 2015, the question remains open since the publication of the results of chemical research has not yet occurred.