Metaglossia: The Translation World
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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Coptic papyrus fragment refers to wife of Jesus

Linda Goodstein reports in The New York Times that Karen L. King, historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, has identified a scrap of papyrus allegedly written in Coptic in the fourth century and containing a phrase: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife …'"

The faded papyrus fragment of 4 by 8 cm is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”

Video: Dr. Karen L King displays and discusses coptic fragment with reference to the "wife of Jesus."

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Coptic Text Mentions Jesus’ Wife

The New York Times, the Harvard Gazette, The Huffington Post and other media outlets are breaking the news that Karen King, a scholar well known for her work on the phenomenon usually referred to as “Gnosticism,” has come into possession of and has been studying a Coptic papyrus fragment which is likely to be authentic, dates from around the 4th century, and has Jesus mention his wife. UPDATE: King has posted online a pre-publication version of an article she has written about the text.
It is important to note that this is clear evidence only of one thing, namely that the author of this text, centuries after the time of Jesus, believed that Jesus had been married.
Anything beyond that is speculation, although there certainly do seem to be points of intersection with, or echoes of, other previously known extracanonical texts referring to Mary Magdalene.
Having made the above points, I should add that many people find the idea that Jesus was married inherently unbelievable, and there is no reason why they should. It may be that thinking of Jesus being married makes him seem too human. But that is not inappropriate, given the evidence.

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Coptic group calls for protest against proposed constitutional changes - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online

Amid ongoing negotiations over Egypt's new constitution, Maspero Copts United – a Coptic-Christian revolutionary movement – announced its rejection of recent proposals to make Islamic Law "the sole source" of Egyptian legislation.
"We will not approve a constitution that abolishes the civil state and encourages discrimination," the group declared on its official Facebook page on Wednesday.

The movement is calling on all Coptic-Christians to take part in a protest outside Cairo's Coptic Cathedral in Abbasiya on Friday at noon. Protesters will call on Coptic Bishop Bakhomios, who is currently acting as interim pope, to withdraw all church representatives from Egypt's Constituent Assembly – tasked with drafting a new national charter – "after their failure to preserve constitutional articles and allowing Egypt to be turned into a religious state," according to the group's statement.

A final decision has yet to be taken regarding the constitution, yet Salafist parties – members of which adhere to an ultra-conservative brand of Islam – have stepped up efforts to impose strict Islamic tenets on Egypt's new constitution. The two leading Salafist parties, the Nour and Asala parties, both seek to change the first three articles of Egypt's 1971 national charter. While they have been successful in their attempts to change the first article, they failed to change the second or third articles due to pressure from Egypt's Al-Azhar institution and liberal forces.

On Article 1, the Constituent Assembly’s basic components committee approved the Salafist request to add the word 'consultative' (a literal translation of the Arabic shura) to the article. Mohamed Emara, an Islamist thinker and committee chairman, said the revised article now reads: "The Arab Republic of Egypt is democratic, consultative, constitutional and modern, based on the separation of powers and the principle of citizenship." It adds that Egypt "is part of the Arab and Islamic nation, with strong ties to the African continent."

Previously, Article 1 had read: "The Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic state based on citizenship. The Egyptian people are part of the Arab nation and work for the realisation of its comprehensive unity."

On Article 2, Salafist parties insisted on removing the word 'principles' on the grounds that it provides judges with a means of circumventing implementation of Islamic Law. They also believe that Islamic Law, not merely its principles, should be the main source of legislation to ensure that the hudood, or the ordinances of God – such as amputating the hands of thieves – be applied.

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