Did you know Jesus had a wife?

At a conference in Rome this week a piece of papyrus the size of a business card was offered as evidence that Jesus may have been married.  Harvard Divinity prof Karen King admits the 33 Coptic (Egyptian) words on the scrap which include Jesus saying “My wife…” (remainder is cut off) to his disciples–followed by him saying she is able to be his disciple, offer nothing like proof.  But Dr. King claims, “Christian tradition preserved only those voices that claimed Jesus never married.  The Gospel of Jesus’s [sic] Wife now shows that some Christians thought otherwise.”

Initial reports say the fragment’s a 4th century translation of a 2nd century writing.  Some hope that evidence that Jesus had a wife and/or women in his chosen band of disciples, would overturn Christianity’s long-held teachings about women in ministry, and torpedo the Catholic Church’s requirement that priests remain unmarried and celibate.  But dubious scholars from Quebec to Egypt are coming out of the woodwork to suggest it’s a forgery.  Some observers wonder if this week’s announcement was meant to escalate the value–and subsequent selling price, of the piece owned by an anonymous collector.

The Bible nowhere suggests that Jesus had a wife while on earth.  Doesn’t say He didn’t, it’s just that there’s no hint of it.  Then again, Jesus does have a wife.  Let me introduce you to His beloved Church; isn’t she a beauty?  The collected saints of all time whom He wooed, courted, sacrificed Himself for, sanctified and cleaned”..to present [her] to Himself without spot or wrinkle…,or blemish” (Eph.5:25-27).  We’re the bride.  But the big wedding celebration is yet to come (Rev.19:7).  Unlike the wife’s dowry which some cultures demand, Jesus has already paid the price.  Gotta love the Church because Jesus does; He died for her and claimed her as his bride. 

Author: Keith Rohrer

Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Gospel-lover, churchplanter, pastor, woodworker, biker.

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