The controversy is this: Did Jesus have a wife?
So let us ask the question already, right? Did Jesus have a wife? He does and He didn’t. Does that make any sense to you? Okay, here’s the scoop. One professor, namely Karen King of Harvard apparently received a piece of papyrus that dates back to around the fourth century. So believed because of the style of writing that was used on the document, because the document was written in the Coptic language, which is an Egyptian language that uses Greek lettering, plus a few more.
Peter Williams, the Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge, England has this to say:
It is written in Coptic, the language of Egypt which descended from the even earlier language of the Hieroglyphs. Coptic is Egyptian written in the Greek alphabet with a few extra letters. Because Coptic was only emerging as a written language in the third century and papyrus went out of use in the seventh century the 8 cm x 4 cm fragment has to be dated some time from the third to the seventh century and the scholars involved with this fragment have stated that it is fourth century on the basis of the handwriting.
Since we have virtually no firmly dated Coptic handwriting, this date is just an educated guess. Then we turn to the date of the contents. Here Professor King puts the text in the late second century, but all that we really know is that the text is at least as old as the manuscript.
Professor King has dubbed it as “The Gospel of Jesus’ wife.” This is not the name that is on the document, since the document doesn’t even have a name on it, seeing that it is but a fragment of another document. The papyri originated in Egypt, but has been in private ownership for many years, but the name of the owner has been withheld at least for now.
TheNew York Times had this to say:
The provenance of the papyrus fragment is a mystery, and its owner has asked to remain anonymous. Until Tuesday, Dr. King had shown the fragment to only a small circle of experts in papyrology and Coptic linguistics, who concluded that it is most likely not a forgery. But she and her collaborators say they are eager for more scholars to weigh in and perhaps upend their conclusions.
Even with many questions unsettled, the discovery could reignite the debate over whether Jesus was married, whether Mary Magdalene was his wife and whether he had a female disciple. These debates date to the early centuries of Christianity, scholars say. But they are relevant today, when global Christianity is roiling over the place of women in ministry and the boundaries of marriage.
So then we must also ask, ‘If Jesus had truly been married, why did not His faithful twelve disciples, four of whom penned the Gospels that are now canonized, openly write about His marriage?’ We know that Peter had a wife, it is recorded in the Gospels along with the historical fact that the Lord Jesus healed her of a fever. It could be argued that it was never recorded due to the fact it is not relevant to Christ’s salvific purposes. However, this writer does not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was married while He was living on this earth and here is why; let us look at the Scriptures for any attestations concerning the possibility of this being true.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
When Martin Luther penned his famous words, Sola Scriptura…this is the same mind-set that we need to have as well. This in no way does not preclude or exclude any ‘new findings’ at all; scholars just need to take their time in adjudicating their findings.
When the Scriptures state: ‘who shall declare his generation,’ it should be noted that Isaiah is making a clear reference to the Messiah. He also is making a clear statement that obviously the Messiah would not have any of his own offspring. During the historical time of the Lord Jesus Christ, birth control as we know it was not available. If a married couple was fully engaged in their married life, conception was not long afterwards in that day. It is highly doubtful that the Lord Jesus, who defended women and lifted them up to their proper places next to the men. Who also gave women the opportunity to be His disciples, which many were and many chose to physically follow Him during the time of His ministry, while many also financially supported Him. It is very difficult for this writer to believe that He would have chosen to physically marry a woman and then not behave as a proper husband would have behaved in His duties towards a wife. Therefore, this writer also believes the witness of the book of Isaiah as well as the witness by the Apostle Luke when he quoted from the book of Isaiah when he penned the book of Acts are true.
Now this writer also believes however, that the Lord Jesus Christ does have a wife, or a Bride and we find this in the Book of Revelation.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
While the Bible makes mention that the Lamb, or the Lord Jesus Christ will indeed have His own Bride, it is not just one woman, but it will be the inhabitants of the city of New Jerusalem. Whosoever is worthy to enter therein, shall be the Bride of the Lamb. Amen.
If you are wondering who will be able to enter therein, then read the previous verses beginning in:
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
So if this newest find of this particular papyrus that may have been written in the fourth century and could possibly have been copied from an even older document is true, it is also noted that the Lord Jesus does indeed have a Bride-to-be; He is espousing those inhabitants right now for the city of New Jerusalem. Amen.