The front side of a papyrus fragment believed to date to the 4th century,… (Karen L. King / Harvard Divinity…)
Sorry, “Da Vinci Code” fans, the Vatican just rained on your parade, again.
An editorial published this week in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano proclaimed as a fake a piece of papyrus that appears to show that some early Christians believed Jesus had a wife.
The Times reported Friday:
L’Osservatore Romano editor Giovanni Maria Vian said the fragment, unveiled to the public last week by Harvard Divinity School professor Karen L. King, was a “clumsy forgery” that had been hyped by the American media only to be immediately called into question by specialists.
Hype? The American media? That’s only done with important stories, like those on Lindsay Lohan or the Kardashians, or on how Mitt Romney’s going to cut taxes and grow the economy and save Medicare and help the middle class. You know, believable stuff.
Then again, what other line would the Vatican put out?
As our story says:
The discovery nonetheless set off a media firestorm, spurring comparisons to the plot of the bestselling novel “The Da Vinci Code,” which swirls around Jesus having married Mary Magdalene. The idea of Jesus being married would upset existing church doctrine, possibly calling into question the practice of priestly celibacy.
That firestorm started because the papyrus fragment contains the phrase, “Jesus said to them, My wife ...”
Now King, the Harvard Divinity School professor who unveiled the fragment last week, says the find doesn’t prove that Jesus was married but perhaps shows that some early Christians believed he was.
But c’mon, professor, you can do better than that. And if you can’t, I can. Because you have to admit, the fragment makes for an intriguing story line. Wouldn’t you love to know what the rest says?
Well, maybe it showed Jesus’ domestic side: “Jesus said to them, My wife … says I need to get home, and on my way, I need to pick up some bread and goat cheese. Anyone know if the market is still open?”
Or perhaps his frustrated side: “Jesus said to them, My wife … has anyone seen my wife?”
Or maybe his, well, more emotional side: “Jesus said to them, My wife … just doesn’t understand me sometimes. She says I’m spending too much time with my disciples. But a guy needs guy time.”
Heck, he might’ve even been showing his humorous side, a la Rodney Dangerfield: “Jesus said to them, My wife … made me join a bridge club. I jump off next Tuesday.”
Who knows. Maybe Jesus was the son of God -- and sometimes, a regular guy too.
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