There’s a little controversy in the Christian world about a fragment. The bit of papyrus has written on it a reference to someone named Mary as the wife of Jesus, the legendary founder of Christianity. Some people are asserting that the fragment is fake, because the grammar doesn’t seem quite right.
Wouldn’t that criterion of authenticity make the writings of most students fake?
Many Christians presume that the legendary Jesus was different than almost all other men in that he never had sex and was not sexually attracted to women. In what appears to be an attempt to mollify these Christians, the Associated Press, writing about the little text, cites a professor as suggesting that, “the fragment, which she called the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, doesn’t prove Jesus was married, only that some early Christians thought he was.” But then, the entire New Testament doesn’t prove that Jesus ever existed, only that some early Christians thought he did.
As for authenticity, it has been accepted by most academic analysts of the Bible that the people who were initially claimed to have written many of the books of the New Testament were, in fact, not the authors at all. In fact, like a cheap paperback, the books of the New Testament seem to have been written by teams of writers and editors.
So, what does it matter if the “fragment” actually comes from where it was initially said to have come from? Would that make it any more fake than the New Testament?
There have been many modern Christian writings that assert that Jesus was married. What makes them less authentic than the New Testament?
Is it where a piece of writing comes from that makes it matter?