Did Jesus Have a Wife? (And does it matter?)
Have you heard? Jesus might have been married!
A couple of members of the church where I pastor sent me links to articles describing an ancient fragment of papyrus that seems to indicate that Jesus was married. One article was in the Huffington Post and the other in the New York Times. Both church members asked for my thoughts, and I thought I'd share them with you here.
My Thoughts on the Possibility that Jesus was Married
1. I don't think this necessarily proves anything one way or the other. It's an ancient document that seems to possibly suggest that maybe Jesus perhaps might have been married.
2. If you read the update in the Huffington Post article, one scholar suggests that this might have been a homily (a sermon) and not a gospel (an account of Jesus' life). If so, it carries much less weight.
3. Jesus is married. To the church, which the New Testament calls "the bride of Christ." I know this Harvard scholar doesn't think that's what it refers to--but it might.
4. Maybe Jesus was married to an actual woman in the first century. That's fine. Doesn't change a thing for me. He's still the Son of God. He still died for my sins and rose again. His teachings still inform and guide my life. Nowhere does the rulebook say you have to be single to be the Savior of the world.
It Doesn't Really Matter
Stretchychurches don't really worry about stuff like this. These things are distractions from the main thing--namely, the mission to which we've been called by God. Sure, we could argue about this. We could spend hours debating whether or not this papyrus proves anything about Jesus. But where would that get us?
I'm convinced that God doesn't care about whether or not we think Jesus was single or married. God cares about whether or not we are living out the Kingdom of God in a broken world.
What do you think about all this? What if Jesus had been married? Would that affect your faith or your theology? Why do you think this does or doesn't matter?