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Did Jesus Have A Wife?

Submitted by on September 19, 2012 – 4:24 pmOne Comment
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An Egyptian document from the fourth century suggests Jesus was married, says a Harvard researcher.  The finding adds to the controversial scholarship that attributes all sorts of relations- brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, and even lovers- to the historical figure.

The BBC reports:

Harvard divinity professor Karen King unveiled the 4th-Century Coptic script at a conference in Rome.

She said researchers had identified the words “Jesus said to them, ‘my wife’”, which might refer to Mary Magdalene.

King acknowledges that the document was written several centuries after the death of Jesus, but says that it still displays concerns and debates among early Christians who were much closer to the source information. King highlights the issues of marriage and sexuality, and how Christians turned to Jesus’ own life for answers.

The same article quotes a Baptist preacher and writer who diminishes the meaning of the single document:

Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: “A statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything. It’s nothing more than a statement ‘in thin air’, without substantial context.”

(Really? A biblical Christian wants to say that ancient writing about Jesus “isn’t proof of anything?”)

Scholars have cited biblical evidence of brothers and sisters existing for Jesus, even leading to intense debates and conflicts among various churches. Some posit that even if Mary was a virgin when she bore Jesus, that she and Joseph had other children afterwards. The Catholic Church and others reject this idea, saying Mary was a virgin her whole life.

What do you think of Jesus’ possibly growing family tree?

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