Did Jesus have a wife?
The New York Times reported it; long live Dan Brown. Perhaps you’ve seen the news reporting a fragment containing the words, “And Jesus said to them, my wife….” Wow – this would be the first text of antiquity ever discovered that says Christ was married, despite the claims of The DaVinci Code. Are the walls of orthodox Christianity crumbling around us?
Here are the quick facts: we have a Coptic (not Greek) fragment, of unknown origin, oddly, very rectangular in shape, dating to the fourth century, possibly to a region containing those other works of historical fiction we call spurious gospels, saying that Jesus has a wife. Those are a lot of qualifiers for this find to overcome. When we contrast this dubious papyrus segment to the historical strength bolstering the four biblical gospels, it’s hardly time to change the way we understand Jesus’ relationship to Mary.
Here are some learned posts if you are interested in studying this issue:
- Evangelical Textual Criticism:
- The Far Less Sensational Truth about Jesus' 'Wife' (Gospel Coalition)
- Tyndale House: Did Jesus have a wife?
- A Response to the Claim Made in a Supposed Fourth-century Papyrus Fragment (Answers in Genesis)
- Al Mohler: The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife? When Sensationalism Masquerades as Scholarship