Matthew was written A.D. 65-70, Mark was written A.D. 48-55, Luke was written A.D. 57-62, and John was written in A.D. 90, all of the authors were disciples of Christ or in the case of Luke, able to talk with eye witnesses about the events of Christ’s life. This is the verified truth. Any document, especially one that comes several hundred years after Christ walked on the earth and does not line up with biblical record must be found wanting. Jesus talked about the Church being His bride, thus His wife, and perhaps this is where an error was made in this manuscript. To believe that the inspired Word of God would leave out the fact that Jesus was married, when it covered every other aspect of His walk here on earth is absurd.
Karen L. King, Hollis Professor of Divinity, a historian on early Christianity did caution that this fragment of papyrus, which according to the article in the New York Times is smaller than a business card and its origin unknown,
“should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married. The text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early, historically reliable Christian literature is silent on the question, she said.”
Her excitement hinges on her hope to show that marriage and sex, was part of Christ’s life and therefore a life of celibacy not a requirement to be a follower. However, the translation of the text is lacking much context and similar to the Gnostic writings of Gospels of Thomas and Mary, and not included in the Canon of the Bible.
Somehow the idea of a tiny fragment, lacking clarity and context, hundreds of years after Christ walked the earth, and upheld as the proof text that Jesus was married, seems reaching at best. The documents most closely written to when Jesus walked on earth are the Gospels found in the New Testament and these do not allude to such a life. Because God created marriage and does say much about it through out the Bible, it follows that had Jesus been married, He too, being God, would have spoken about His own married life and how to live and love successfully. But the text of the Bible, not silent on marriage, but deathly silent on Jesus being married, makes suspect any text found that makes such claims, especially when it is so many years past the time of Christ.
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