The headline reads “A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife.” Further into the NY Times article – Click Here To Read – you can find out that the scrap is smaller than a business card, contains eight lines of broken text, is found in a different country than Jesus and his first followers lived in, hundreds of miles away from where He lived and preached, written a language He never spoke or wrote and was written more than 300 years after his death. Three hundred years. That’s longer than the history of the United States.
And the statement is only partially intact. The line in question reads “Jesus said to them my wife” and like most hand copied texts of this era, contains no spaces, capitalization or punctuation. Wouldn't you love to know the context? What went before this fragment and what followed?
Imagine a business card-sized fragment of paper found in Chile in an Andean native language that said “Washington had two wives.” Would that be news in the halls of university American History departments? Would careers advance in the field of “Presidential History?”