Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jesus Married? Doubt It!

The Trinity is the Trinity is the Trinity. Though no one, this side of Heaven can fully comprehend the Trinity, the second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, is considered by Christians to be the Son of God and God. I doubt very much if God incarnate, Jesus, would have married. Just doesn't make sense. Besides Jesus was very busy during his active years- preaching, saving, healing, moving around a lot. Being the second Person of the Trinity and being fully human and fully divine, was enough, more than enough. No time for marriage, I'm sure.
As most everyone has heard, a small fragment of fourth-century papyrus was found that has the words "Jesus said to them, 'My wife..........'" In another part of the papyrus it appears to say, "She will be able to be my disciple..." Scholars believe the fragments written in Coptic are authentic. Karen King, a church historian at Harvard Divinity School  recently presented these findings, at a conference in Rome.  But who knows who wrote these phrases and for what reasons. There are more questions than answers, but that didn't keep comedians from having some fun with the incomplete phrases.
The intriguing question of whether Jesus was married or not keeps surfacing. Dan Brown, the novelist, became rich and famous by writing the mystery-detective novel, "The Da Vinci Code." The book suggests that Jesus might have been married to St. Mary Magdalene. But as Fr. James Martin (he's a  famous Jesuit and a prolific writer as well), in his recent New York Times article titled, "Mr. and Mrs. Jesus Christ?" wrote "The silence in the gospels about a wife and children in this context most likely indicates that Jesus did not have a wife and children during his public ministry or in his past life in Nazareth......What about the popular candidate for the role: Mary Magdalene? Could she have been Jesus' wife, as supposed by Dan Brown's novel........Mr. Brown's hypothesis fails by another criterion: Mary would have been referred to, like every other married woman in the Gospels, by her husband's name. She would have been identified not as Mary Magdalene but certainly as "Mary, the wife of Jesus." That makes a lot of sense. (Unless Mary Magdalene insisted on keeping her own name-Just kidding!)
I thought Fr. Martin's article in the Times was excellent. It's an article that priests, deacons and others should read, because there will be a lot of questions about this topic from Catholics in the pews and it's good to have intelligent answers when questioned on this topic.

UPDATE: Suspicions are arising among scholars that the papyrus is a fake.