A hotly contested, supposedly ancient manuscript indicates Christ ended up being hitched. But thinking its origin story—a real-life Da Vinci Code, involving a Harvard teacher, a onetime Florida pornographer, and a getaway from East Germany—requires a leap that is big of.
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This past November, I pulled off Interstate 75 into a stretch of Florida pine forest tangled with runaway vines on a humid afternoon. My GPS had been homing in in the household of a guy I was thinking might keep the master key to 1 for the strangest scholarly mysteries in current years: a 1,300-year-old scrap of papyrus that bore the expression “Jesus thought to them, my spouse.” The fragment, written in the language that is ancient of, had trigger surprise waves whenever an eminent Harvard historian of early Christianity, Karen L. King, introduced it in September 2012 at a seminar in Rome.
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Nothing you’ve seen prior had a manuscript that is ancient to Jesus’s being hitched. The papyrus’s lines had been incomplete, nonetheless they appeared to explain a discussion between Jesus in addition to apostles over whether their “wife”—possibly Mary Magdalene—was “worthy” of discipleship. Its main point, King argued, ended up being that “women that are spouses and moms may be Jesus’s disciples.” She thought the passage likely figured into ancient debates over whether “marriage or celibacy was the mode that is ideal of life” and, finally, whether an individual might be both intimate and holy.