Once again our faith is under attack. The sensational claim is once again being made that Jesus was married. We need not be afraid because we have the answers to this question but we need to be equipped with answers when questions are asked about this claim by others. See Jesus’ wife? A survey of responses below for answers. Please forward this email to people on your mailing list.
The South African Apologetics Ministry “Was Jesus ever Married?”
BREAKING NEWS

A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and                                                                                                                                                                                contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife ...’ ”

The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the                                                                                                                                                             papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”

The finding was made public in Rome on Tuesday at the International Congress of Coptic Studies by Karen L. King, a historian who has published several books about new Gospel                                                                                                                                                                                      discoveries and is the first woman to hold the nation’s oldest endowed chair, the Hollis professor of divinity.

http://www.nytimes.com/September 18, 2012

Jesus’ wife? A survey of responses by J.W. Wartick September 19, 2012⋅(CTRL+ click will take you to the resource source.)

There has been a bit of an uproar about a 4th Century Coptic Manuscript which purportedly provides evidence that Jesus had a wife. Apart from the fact that it is 4th century and therefore a few hundred years after the events and during primetime for Gnostics making up facts about Jesus to undergird their own theological leanings, many seem to think this is somehow evidence against Christianity. Well, here are some great responses to the discovery.

New Coptic Fragment Says Jesus Was Married- A summary of skeptics’ attitudes towards historicity.

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife?- Glenn Andrew Peoples has a simply fantastic discussion of the implications of this discovery. One of my favorite lines: “Prepare yourself. Suddenly, people are going to read a sensational article about a tiny scrap of parchment and become experts on early church history.”

Did Jesus Have a Wife?- A post which focuses on the authenticity of the document and the implications if it is indeed authentic. Another great response.

So What if Jesus did Have a Wife?- Definitely an alternative approach. John Byron notes that Christians could grant that Jesus was married without somehow undermining the core doctrines of Christianity. This one is really interesting and I’m sure will be controversial. While not a response to this article, Aggie Catholics has a very different view of the implications of the discovery, while denying that it has historical import other than as showing the beliefs of Gnosticism: Proof That Jesus Was Married?

Stop the presses! Jesus was married! Oh no!- Carl Olson at the Catholic World Report comments on a number of issues with jumping to conclusions about the text. I found this one particularly insightful about how the discovery is being portrayed in the media.

Quick Thoughts on the New Jesus Wife Text- Darrell Bock, a prominent NT scholar, shares his thoughts on the implications of the text. It’s highly informative and concise.

Get Ready for A Wave of Gnostic Looniness Again- James White notes that the discovery was made by a woman who loves to sensationalize gnosticism.

Note: No one tells us what else is on the fragment, if anything. If there is nothing there to identify the “Jesus” in question with Jesus of Nazareth what is the big deal here? Jesus was a common enough name in those parts and those days (even today in some Latin countries). In the end, stick with the Canonical Gospels. They are the ones that challenge your autonomy before God. And in the end, as one of my friends says, “Yes, Jesus is married. Her name is The Church http://chab123.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/new-coptic-fragment-says-jesus-was-married/

We trust that the answer to the important question “Was Jesus Married” will strengthen your faith and lead you to commit your life to Jesus Christ if you haven’t already done so.

We would like to have feedback from you. Please forward this email to people on your mailing list.

Yours in Christ

The South Africa Christian Apologetics Ministry

Joshua Gilbert jgilbert@mweb.co.za

The Christian Apologetics Ministry South Africa

 

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