“Jesus’s Wife”

Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow, The Parable of the Ten Virgins, 1838-1842

Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow, The Parable of the Ten Virgins, 1838-1842

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.

Crazy, eh?

2 comments on ““Jesus’s Wife”

  1. Nathan Webb says:

    And my thought on the matter is, If Jesus shows up at my house with a group of people and maybe a woman at his side, I’m not going to ask before I let them in. I’ll let him make introductions.

    • Tim Dedeaux says:

      LOL! This may come as no surprise, but I like the way you think.

      Although I don’t believe Jesus had a (single, human, literal) wife, for a number of reasons:

      It would have actually been unusual in his day and time for a Rabbi to be married at 30, or even 33. Rabbis usually didn’t marry until late 30’s/early40’s, after they’d gathered and trained enough disciples that they no longer needed to travel to teach, but could ‘settle down’ and let the next generation do the traveling.

      It would have taken a heck of a conspiracy to cover it up. And people don’t tend to go to execution and torture for the sake of a lie.

      It only gets mentioned in stuff written centuries after Jesus’s life, by people who were clearly not eyewitnesses.

      That said, I don’t think it would “radically undermine Christianity” or even Christianity’s version of sexual morality. If Jesus had a (single, human, literal) wife, he’d have doubtlessly been faithful to her. That undermines nothing except maybe the celibacy of Catholic priests, but that’s more based on the Apostle Paul’s writings and a desire to avoid corruption/passing clerical offices on to biological descendants (apparently that was common enough during the early middle ages for the Church to do something about it).

      In other words, yeah, if Jesus ever shows up to my door (literally, physically), I’ll let him in no matter who’s with him.

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