Jesus Married? Here We Go Again

According to an article (18 Sep 2012 and undated 20 Sep 2012) in the Huffington Post:

Harvard Divinity School professor Karen L. King says she has found an ancient papyrus from the fourth century that, when translated, appears to indicate that Jesus was married.

The text is being dubbed “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.”  The part of it that’s drawing attention says, “Jesus said to them, “my wife'” in the Coptic language.  The text, which is printed on papyrus the size of a business card, has not been scientifically tested to verify its dating, but King and other scholars have said they are confident it is a genuine artifact. . .

The quote about Jesus’ wife is part of a description of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples.  In the conversation, Jesus talks about his mother twice and speaks once about his wife. . .

So here we go again.  Since Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, there has been increased speculation about Christ’s marital status.  King’s discovery should fuel the fires of Christian feminism.

Taylor G. Petrey, writing for bycommonconsent.com (19 Sep 2012), cautions:

Dr. King has rightly cautioned that this text does not shed any light on the historical Jesus, namely, what the first-century Jewish teacher from Galilee actually said or did.  Rather, it is evidence of an early Christian interest in representing Jesus as married.  The existence of the text reveals that early Christians, beginning in the second century, disputed whether Jesus was celibate or married.  They looked to Jesus’s own practices to settle the issue of Christian attitudes toward marriage and sexual intercourse. . .

Why should we care?  If Christ had a wife then there is nothing dangerous about the sexuality of women and no reason for anyone to deny themselves a sexual identity.  Which brings into question the practice of celibacy among Roman Catholic priests.

Is it so bad to contemplate that Christ had a sexual life?  One of the reasons He came to Earth was to get the mortal experience.  Why shouldn’t it be the complete human experience?

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3 Responses to Jesus Married? Here We Go Again

  1. dor says:

    Perhaps the hardest part of any relationship (including the relationship with ourselves) is being able to adapt our image of a person in a dynamic fashion, being able to adjust our expectations, and needs in an on-going fashion. How much harder then is it to do so with our relationship with Jesus?
    There are so many Jesus’: the Jesus of myth, the Jesus of history, the Jesus of Scripture, the Jesus of tradition, the Jesus in our heart, etc.
    That Jesus may have married, that his wife may have been “the disciple whom Jesus loved” is, as you say, something that can make him more accessible rather than less so. That the document, if it is authentic, should surface now, is part of the “miracle” of continual revelation. It is a wonderful tool for helping us to be as flexible with our image of Jesus, and therefore as authentic with our relationship with him, as we need to be with the other important relationships in our lives. Like the discovery of nag hammadi library, we are challenged to see Jesus with greater complexity, greater depth and breath and therefore to embrace a larger, more nuanced view of Divinity.

  2. rogerdhansen says:

    I believe that Jesus had the WHOLE human experience. To deny Him any form of sexuality just doesn’t make sense.

  3. rogerdhansen says:

    According to Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press (28 Sep 2012):

    “The [Vatican] newspaper, “L’Osservatore Romano, published an article by leading Coptic scholar Alberto Camplani and an accompanying editorial by the newspaper’s editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, an expert in early Christianity. They both citied concerns expressed by other scholars about the fragment’s authenticity and the fact that it was purchased on the market with a known archeological provenance.

    “At any rate, a fake,” Vian titled his editorial, which criticized Harvard for creating a “clamorous” media frenzy over the fragment by handing the scoop to two U.S. newspapers only to see “specialists immediately question it.”

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