‘Jesus’ Wife’: Three Responses
  • Friday, September 21, 2012

Charles Wingate at Tune: Kings Lynn

It is far too reminiscent of letter to Harry Potter's mother that he finds in the last book, which has been truncated at a point which allows a reading wildly divergent from the text read as a whole: how convenient that we get this tantalizing phrase, cut free (literally) from any context, which fits so nicely into the restorationist tropes of mainline liberalism with their vision of a purer faith captured by those, well, patriarchs and then enslaved by the Constantinian state.

If I were a betting man, I could put my money on this coming to nothing. Orthodox theologians are not going to be disturbed that the corpus of gnostic writings has gotten one text larger anyway, but I would lean towards counting it as a fake.

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Bishop Kirk Smith of the Diocese of Arizona

Even before Dan Brown’s publication of his fantasy novel, The DaVinci Code, there has been plenty of speculation on Jesus’ secret life — was he married?  Perhaps to Mary Magdalen?  Did he have children?  Did they have something to do with the Knights Templar?  Conspiracy theorists love this kind of stuff, but there is only one problem: the silence of the historical record. There is no Biblical or ancient tradition contemporary with the Apostolic church about Jesus being married — and such a thing would be hard to keep secret!  It has always struck me that it would have been the normal thing for a Jewish rabbi to be married, but then again, Jesus was hardly normal!  In every aspect of his life, he was “counter-cultural,” and I suspect his celibacy was, too.

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General Theological Seminary’s GTS News

Deirdre Good and Katherine Shaner, General Seminary’s professors of New Testament, are offering teaching about a fourth-century fragment of a papyrus codex, written in the Coptic language, that includes an electrifying sentence suggesting that Christians in the late second century believed Jesus had been married.

The teaching will include a webinar, open to anyone, on Tuesday evening, September 25, at 7:30pm EST. “A Conversation about the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” will be an informal presentation about the papyrus fragment that was newly unveiled this week by Professor Karen L. King of Harvard Divinity School at a Coptic Congress in Rome. Soon, GTS will send out a special invitation by email.

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