The earth-shattering news, in a document written in Coptic, is that it appears to mention Jesus having a wife, subject to all the gaps in the narrative. Obviously, this document fulfils all the necessary criteria for being an earth-shattering challenge to Christian orthodoxy.
That is, in line with the “Hermeneutic of Saleability”:
a) It’s not referred to by any other contemporary document.
b) We don’t know which community produced it.
c) It’s written 300 years after the original Easter so almost completely irrelevant as a source.
d) You can make out it’s a challenge to what Christians believe.
So here’s the fragment as we have it reported:
“not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe]
The disciples said to Jesus,
deny. Mary is worthy
Jesus said to them, “My wife she will be able to
be my disciple
Let wicked people
As for me, I dwell with her in order to
Thankfully, we have the original, which I picked up on a Nile cruise a few years ago. I’m glad to fill the document in for you, to explain the context. The text above is in black – the missing words in red.
“James and John – they’re handsome single blokes. Women pay a lot of attention to them,” said Jesus, “but not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe] and now Joseph’s gone I need to look after her.” The disciples said to Jesus, “you have a great mum – that’s something you can’t
deny. Mary is worthy to be counted blessed by all generations. That’s the end of it.” Jesus said to them, “My wife, if she existed, would be a very disappointed woman. If any woman thinks I’m a good catch, let her look at the way I live. Then she will be able to to see that anyone wanting to be my disciple has to be a bloke. Mary Mag is just a good friend.
Let wicked people in later years try to overturn the truth, as written by young Mark here in what he seems to be calling his “Gospel”.
Their heads may well swell up when they grab a few verses of an obscure document and try to make something special of it – when it’s just talking about how I look after my mum.
As for me, I dwell with her in order to look after her – until John has to do the job for me.
In years to come, my mother will be the most famous woman in the world. There won’t be a Catholic church without an image of her.”