Ancient artifacts connected to old religious stories intrigue me. Which is why I've long been fascinated by the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus.
Something similar has happened with a small piece of papyrus (pictured here) that came to public attention in 2012. In the writing on it there is a clipped reference to Jesus saying "my wife."
Well, it set the religious scholarly world abuzz, partly because the person who first let the world know about it was a Harvard University professor, Karen King.
Since then researchers have gone back and forth about whether it could be authentic. And back and forth again.
The latest information, contained in this piece, suggests it's a fraud. Which somehow doesn't shock me. Though look in the "Related Posts" below for a piece suggesting it really is an ancient document that could be what it's been cracked up to be.
When the matter first surfaced, Unity Magazine asked me to write a piece about what difference it might make if Jesus had been married. So I produced this article, which of course was the final and definite word on the subject -- at least until a further final and definite word came along several hours later somewhere else by someone else.
In any case, I'm never going to believe Jesus was married until I see the marriage license, which, if it exists, is somewhere in a vault in either Kenya or Hawaii, which seem to be where all such disputed documents are kept, as President Obama certainly knows.
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MORE ADAM HAMILTON ON THE BIBLE
Last weekend I wrote here about the Rev. Adam Hamilton's new book on the Bible. Now he's done this interesting interview with Religion News Service about his biblical views. I agree with Adam about how to make sense of the Bible because, as I've said before, you can take the Bible seriously or you can take it literally but you can't do both.
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P.S.: Do you have my own new book yet? It's Woodstock: A Story of Middle Americans, and I think you'll find it engaging. You can read about it here. If you want an autographed copy, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll tell you how we can make that happen.