Friday, September 21, 2012

Lessons from the Jesus 'wife' story

A small ancient Coptic papyrus fragment was major news this week. And if you followed any of the reports on the fragment you might have become convinced that there is new evidence that Jesus was married. Based on the reporting, you might also believe that this news should make Catholics and other Christians who believe in the Bible very nervous. There are two problems with this line of thinking. First, proof of a married Jesus wouldn't make most Catholics and Christians nervous. Second, the evidence just isn't there that Jesus was ever married. Christians have no reason to be scandalized by the thought of a married Jesus because there is nothing in Christian theology that would eliminate the possibility. Jesus was pro-woman and pro-marriage. He attended weddings and even did his first miracle at a wedding feast by turning water into wine. When asked about marriage and about men who wanted to divorce their wives, Jesus defended the marriage bond with no equivocation: "what God has joined, men shall not divide." If Jesus chose not to marry--and the body of evidence, beginning with all of the Gospels and two thousand years of tradition, points overwhelmingly in that direction--it was only because he chose to give up something wonderful for the sake of his divine mission. Read more:

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