Religious Dogma / Rethinking Christianity

What If Jesus Had A Wife?

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, wit...

A story reported by the New York Times today, as well in Dr. James Tabor’s blog, reports that a newly deciphered papyrus being referred to as the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife includes the words, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…” and “she will be able to be my disciple.” These are little words which carry heavy weight to impact mainstream Christianity. If Jesus had a wife then he surely wasn’t God incarnate, and if he wasn’t God then…..

Let the bible verse quotations and apologetics begin.

For a heretic like me who has already concluded that Jesus was a mortal man who obtained divine providence, this news comes not as a shock but as a possible validation to my changed beliefs on Jesus and the bible. For my fundamental family, this news has faith infringing consequences. They have built their religious structure from pulpit sermons that have taught Jesus was God incarnate, and that the bible is god-breathed and infallible. This will be a hotly discussed topic, but it won’t change their minds. In fact, I feel certain they will call up 2 Timothy 4:3 and assign this news to the prophecy of itching ears and false doctrines.

When my own beliefs began to change, admitting to myself that I truly believed that Jesus was a mortal man who became the Christ was not difficult because it was what I had always believed based on my interpretations of the scriptures, even if I dared not admit it to myself. When I openly accepted that this was what I believed and I didn’t burst into flames, I began asking myself more questions. One, why was it necessary to believe that Jesus was not a man? After all, it seemed more likely to me that he had to be a man or the sacrificial atonement carried no weight. Could God sacrifice omnipotent, omniscient God for the sins of Adam the mere mortal man? Can you make an apple pie with oranges? If it was the being of man within his own will who incurred the sin, then it had to be the being of man within his own equal will that atoned for the sin.

And two, does Jesus simply being a man negate the message that he taught? Should I discard his moral teachings into the trash heap just because he was not God incarnate? Do his teachings carry any less merit being uttered from the mouth of a man rather than the mouth of God?

I do not believe that God sacrificed his supreme, immortal, infinite being to salvage us from our sins. I do believe that an extraordinary man capable of divine wisdom and righteous spirit did. For me, accepting that Jesus was mortal allows me to forgo ridiculous arguments over doctrines such as the virgin birth and instead focus on the message that he taught.

With regard to this little fragment there will likely be much discussion, debate and defense of established doctrine. The New York times reports, “Until Tuesday, Dr. King had shown the fragment to only a small circle of experts in papyrology and Coptic linguistics, who concluded that it is most likely not a forgery. But she and her collaborators say they are eager for more scholars to weigh in and perhaps upend their conclusions.”

As the discussions mount, I look forward to the many documentaries that will be produced if this news carries the controversial momentum of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

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11 thoughts on “What If Jesus Had A Wife?

  1. Many believe the scripture which speaks of the disciples questioning “why” Jesus kisses Mary is now in direct correlation to this NEW Scroll which was found. But if Jesus was married he would have every right to kiss his wife. These arguments are false and many will be deceived. But really enjoyed reading your post…many, many blessings to you…Robin

  2. The problem is that Jesus or more correctly Yeshua, is God by his own words. ‘Before Abraham, I AM’ not before Abraham I was’. I AM is the translation of the Hebrew verb which is also the holy name of God. I and the father are one. Is another quote from Yeshua. So the question is not really was he God or was he just a man, he was God and he was a man. And as a man, he was open to the same emotions and feelings as the rest of us. As God he was above the impulses that we have.

    This then brings us to the question, did Yeshua have a wife….would the spotless lamb have remained spotless had he married a former prostitute? (After all that is what Mary Magdelene was). Obviously I think the answer is no. He was a man of great compassion and had a fondness for some of the women who worked with him. The evidence of any marriage rests on gnostic writings of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, speculations and this piece of papyrus which it turns out is most likely a forgery.

    If you believe the word of God – John said that the Word was God and the Word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us.

    • Respectfully, why do believe Jesus would not have remained spotless if he married a prostitute?

      If she had seven demons cast out of her, (Luke 8:1-3) she would no longer be under the influence of evil,correct?

      And isn’t true that the Bible says, MANY times that those who repent of their sins and turn to Jesus are forgiven (1 John 1:9)? Furthermore, it certainly says that the sacrifice Jesus made paid for the sins of all? (Ephesians 1:7)

      Since Mary Magdalene witnessed his crucifixion (Mark 15:40), Went to his tomb to anoint him (Mark 16:1), and was the FIRST to see him after he rose again (Mark 16:9) — I believe it’s safe to assume she was following him. Moreover, purely speculation on my part, but it seems as if she was rather close to him — considering all of those things. Furthermore, she went to the tomb with his mother: having made a considerable study of men over my years, I have noticed that frequently the two women who are closest to them are their mothers and their wives… and some things never change.

      And Jesus was not exactly the type to hold a grudge, unless you happened to be a fig tree (Mark 11:12-26). He instructed those who were without sin to throw the first stone (in other words to be the first to condemn those had sinned [like prostitutes], regardless of whether or not they had since repented.) (John 8:1-11) He told someone who had sinned according to the law that he did not condemn her (John 8:11)

      And Jesus did some unpopular things that were CONSIDERED against the law (Matthew 12:10-13), which I find excusable since he said he came not to abolish, but fulfill the law (Mark 5:17)

      Why then would he not be allowed to marry? Obviously, Jewish men were and are permitted to marry. And Jesus was both man AND God.

  3. My understanding is slightly different in that I believe each soul contains the spirit essence of God and when Jesus referred to himself in the verses you cite that he was referring to that spirit essence, which in him was manifested as greatly as it could become in a physical world. So in that respect I agree that he was both man and God. I don’t disagree with the principle of the word becoming flesh because I believe the word of God to be his divine will. In Jesus the word was established and exampled in the physical realm for all to follow. I don’t see our conclusions differing, only how we understand them.

    As for Mary Magdelene being a prostitute. I’m not aware of any scripture that confirms Pope Gregory’s commentary in making this assumption.

  4. I’m so happy to have found this blog (you had “Liked” one of my own posts);I think that much of our thinking runs along the same lines.

    On the subject of whether or not Jesus (I believe that his name would have been pronounced something along the lines of “Esa” in Galilean Aramaic) and Mary Magdalene were lovers and/or husband and wife, I think that there’s another question that should be asked–who “decided” that if that was the case (and I’m certain that it was), it would mean that Jesus could not still be an incarnation (and I believe that God has incarnated in many ways, in many places, throughout history) of God, or a clear channel through which God could work and communicate completely? Who’s to say that God-on-earth would not want to experience life as fully human? Look at Peter’s misogyny in so many of the non-canonical Gospels–could that kind of attitude have had something to do with the idea that Jesus, as the “Son of God”, would, by definition, have to be celibate?

    Just one of the many thoughts I’ve had about these things :).

    Nancy

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