Get ready to be bombarded with this image. This scrap of Papyrus (no not the overused font, the real deal) was discovered and a part of it was translated to say “Jesus said, My wife.” The media will have a ton of fun with this, so why don’t we? First of all, a true Christian knows that this shouldn’t matter at all. We don’t believe that men of God can’t married, we don’t believe that it is a sin to be married, so how does this affect our faith? Jesus never told us not to marry, that was a man-designed, nonsensical decision made by a tyrannical church.
Next, I’d love to know if there was only one “Jesus” who ever lived. This papyrus was found 150 years after Christ’s crucifixion. I haven’t yet seen any proof that this is referring to our Jesus. I may be wrong but that was my first thought. Media, especially the Huffington Post, that evil, corrupt, one sided, lying…. okay, I’m getting off course now…. Media will have you believe that the writings refer to Mary Magdalene, however, this is untrue. I just quoted what the section says. I’ll do it again:
“Jesus said, My wife.” – Not exactly conclusive evidence is it?
In a time when marriage and celibacy amongst holy men was in question (the catholic church decided that priests must be chaste in 304AD) this would be perfect propaganda against such things. Who is to say this wasn’t some silly tract handed out around town? Everyone on earth misquotes Jesus today (God helps those who help themselves, the Lord works in mysterious ways, God knows my heart… the list goes on) Why wouldn’t we believe that people were misquoting Him in 200AD?
How many times in the New Testament did Jesus refer to Himself as the Bridegroom, or to the church as His bride? Why would it be out of the question to believe, if this were legitimate, He was doing the same thing here?
The author of this, a third party, is unconfirmed. The legitimacy of the document is unconfirmed. The details surrounding it are sketchy (the owner is selling it to Harvard but only if other pieces of his collection are purchased along with it). And the subject of the writing is inconclusive.
Let’s play the devils advocate. Jesus was 33 when He was crucified. It was customary to be married at around 14 years old. There is nothing unholy or evil about being married, so who cares?