|Photo by Prof. Karen L. King|
I am in possession of a document from 2003 that contains a quote: Galileo Galilei saying "I wrote all of Shakespeare's works.". I can even show you the laser printer it was printed on!
We should have the same faith in the veracity of that writing that we should accord the Egyptian Coptic papyrus fragment that is making the chat shows now. You know the one; Jesus is speaking and makes a reference to "My wife..." and “she will be able to be my disciple.”.
Let's look at this: a fragment, smaller than a business card, purportedly written in the fourth century AD, contains things found in no earlier manuscripts (of which there are multitudes). This is me being convinced. The New York Times, ever the theological Source of Record, breathlessly conjectures
Even with many questions unsettled, the discovery could reignite the debate over whether Jesus was married, whether Mary Magdalene was his wife and whether he had a female disciple.
The debate has been quite small, and primarily held amongst cranks. Scripture makes no hint of Mary Magdalene being married to Jesus, or to Shlomo the Tailor for that matter; her identity in Scripture is the woman from whom Jesus cast seven demons. As to female disciples: disciples, yes. apostles, no. The Gospels tell of women of means who helped support Jesus' ministry, so yes, there were female disciples. Herp, derp; why was this ever a question? Read the Book!
I reiterate the contention of Chez 'Vark: The Early Church Pseudepigrapha, with Gnostic Gospels like "Thomas" and "Judas" are Christian fanfic, rather like "My Immortal" and are to be respected as such.