‘Jesus’ wife’ fragment is not a fake, scientists claim – Jesus Was Not Married
Several years ago, when The DaVinci Code book, and later film based on the book, was released, there was a great big hulabaloo over it and its claims. The book claimed that Jesus snuck off to France, got married, and had a kid or something.
Many conservative Christians were in an uproar that an author dared to suggest that Jesus was married and a literal father of biological children.
It is true that Jesus never married and never had children. But, as I’ve written before, I notice the only time Christians care to defend adult virginity and singlehood is anytime Hollywood or a group of scholars suggest that perhaps Jesus was married and had sex.
It’s bad enough that the present-day American group of Christians tends to forget that Jesus was single and a virgin – they have turned marriage and parenthood into idols – but it’s also infuriating when the seculars, the Non Christians, try to take away one of the main never-married and lifelong celibates in the Bible from also-never-married, lifelong celibate Christians.
This story has been in the news lately (more links about this below):
(Link): ‘Jesus’ wife’ fragment is not a fake, scientists claim
If you’ve read anything about the Gnostic Gospels and similar issues, you know this stuff is bunk. Just because something is very old does not necessarily mean that the contents are trustworthy or accurate.
Even within a few decades of Jesus’ death and resurrection, false teachers were already infiltrating the church and they made up bizarre, untrue things about Jesus or issues pertaining to soteriology, so no, one should not be surprised that in the 500, 600 years after the death of Christ, that scholars can and will find ancient papyri from that era stating all manner of things about Jesus, including the idea that he was married.
I have some more comments below this following excerpt. Notice the part in bold face type, where it says Christians used to respect and revere virginity and celibacy to the point people wondered if married women and mothers were saved or could serve God. How times have changed.
We have now reversed course in much of Christianity in America and other parts of the world: virginity (and celibacy) is not only (Link): not valued, but it is (Link): viewed as an impediment or inconvenience, (Link): virginity is attacked, even by (Link): famous Christians, all due to the fact that (Link): fornicators say their feelings get hurt when they hear Christians support virginity and sexual purity.
I wonder about people – Christian and Non – who have this burning passion or desire to believe Jesus was married and a parent.
I wonder if it’s due in part to the very deep bias contemporary cultures have against celibacy, adult virginity, and adult singleness? Does it make them feel more validated to believe Jesus was married with a kid because they are?
Here are some links about the papyrus fragment.
- Though she [Karen King, a Harvard Divinity School historian] dubbed the fragment, “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” King said that the papyrus does not prove that Jesus was actually married – just that ancient Christians discussed the possibility.
“This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what the role claims of Jesus’s marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family,” King said.
Other Christians have suggested that Jesus may have been speaking metaphorically in the sentence fragments quoted in the papyrus. Some New Testament writers refer to the church as “the bride of Christ.”
King and other scholars said they are equally intrigued by Jesus’ mention of a female disciple.
“The main topic of the fragment is to affirm that women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus — a topic that was hotly debated in early Christianity as celibate virginity increasingly became highly valued,” King said.
…Depuydt’s criticism centers on the fact that the papyrus scrap contains a grammatical error in Coptic – one that mirrors a similar miscue in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.
The chances that two ancient works would have the same mistake are minuscule, the scholar said, strongly suggesting that the author of the”Jesus’ wife” scrap copied from the Gospel of Thomas.
Not that I agree with the “called to singleness” view (see this post, this (“The Myth of the Gift – Regarding Christian Teachings on Gift of Singleness and Gift of Celibacy”) and this (“There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One”))
Excerpts from the Bock article:
- So if we ask what the hard evidence is that Jesus was married, there really is a very short answer. There is none.
So why remain single? What advantage is there to this?
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul elaborated on Jesus’ theme about ‘eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom.’
Paul expressed his preference that people remain single.
Paul explained that the present time of distress, by which he meant the difficulty of life until Jesus returns, made being single better when it came to serving the kingdom.
The married person must worry about the affairs of earth: how to care for his wife and, by implication, his family. The unmarried person can serve the Lord without such distraction (1 Cor. 7:27-35).
Nevertheless, Paul also made it clear this was a choice, not a command: “But if you marry, you do not sin.” (7:28).
Paul himself chose to remain single, probably for the very reasons he suggests in 1 Corinthians 7. He understood, as Jesus did, that others were not called to be single (1 Cor 7:1-7).
(Link): Was Jesus Married?, from Apologetics Press
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