I’m sure by now you have all heard or read about the fourth-century Coptic manuscript fragment that includes a section in which Jesus says, “My wife.” This has led to fact-checking and theological debate from scholars and clergy, a chorus of “whatever” from average believers, and a humorous hashtag on Twitter.
But the remark that brought the most clarity came in a single sentence comment from a poster known only as Eric: ”Maybe I’m off here but doesn’t Jesus refer to his wife (aka his bride, aka the church) quite frequently?”
Indeed He did. Matthew 9:15. Matthew Ch 25. Mark 2:19-20 (same statement as Matthew 9:15), Luke 5:34-35 (ditto), and, if you count the Revelation to St. John, five more places. That I could find with a quick search or remember off the top of my head.
What embarrasses me is that I didn’t think about it until I read Eric’s comment. We are (collectively) the Bride of Christ. It’s an insanely powerful image, one that (especially as a guy) is almost impossible to get my head around. I don’t know about any of you, but I think I don’t spend nearly enough time praying and meditating on the really strange, glorious truths of our Lord.
So, yeah, whenever the fragment was written, and whoever wrote it (maybe Dan Brown found a time machine), we already know Jesus has a wife. And that wife is us.