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Gospel about Jesus' wife likely an ancient text, researchers say

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  • SammyB Provo, UT
    April 10, 2014 2:21 p.m.

    I have never understood why Jesus being married was such a big deal. Scriptures are replete with verses stating that marriage is an honorable institution. Families are important so why the big deal? Is it nothing more than priests not marrying and this rocks that boat? For the first few centuries priests were allowed to marry.

    This is not the only text that indicates that Jesus was married but it takes a long time for wheels to turn for acceptance of evidence.

  • Crusader Layton, UT
    April 10, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    Kind of makes me wonder how many kids they had together.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    April 10, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    Jesus being married makes sense...why the controversy???

  • che1968 Exton, PA
    April 10, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    If we take the position that Christ is our example in all things good and wonderful, healthy and admired; then having a wife is within the realm of reason. I believe in BY "Journal of Discourses" this subject was breached.

  • The Reader Layton, UT
    April 10, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    Just because the paper and ink are old does not make the words written on it true. It is probably a figment of imagination to make something written with old ink and paper true. Sounds like wishful thinking from someone with an agenda, not someone looking for the truth.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    April 10, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    @the reader,

    Your entire comment could just as easily apply to the BOM, the bible, the koran, the torah, and any other religious document.

  • Gene Poole SLC, UT
    April 10, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    Jesus (Joshua bar Joseph Cohen of Nazareth) was referred to as "rabbi". To receive this title, He had to be married. It was the rabbinical law at the time. Why the fuss? Because it kind of does away with the notion that to be the Christ, He had to be a virgin and never "tainted" by a woman. Hmmm... If Jesus Christ was/is who He said He was/is, and I know that He is, then being married was a part of His responsibility as a Divine Example. I have often pondered, with no supporting evidence to validate my ponderings, that the reason Mary visited His tomb was to anoint Him because she was His wife. Seems logical to me. I also feel that the reason there are no references to His marital status was to create a Divine support for practices that were introduced long after He ascended to His Father. The other possible reason is that the writers of the early scriptures were well aware of how the Savior would be ridiculed and profaned. Therefore, they chose not to have His bride treated the same.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 10, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    I have known people with really bad diabetes or cystic fibrosis who chose not to marry because they knew they were going to die young.

    I am sceptical that he was married. He knew he was going to die young, why would he intentionally leave behind a widow?

    I think that this could be authrentic, but the context could very well be that he was referring to the church as his wife. Paul mentions that, "Husbands love your wives like Christ loved the church." This would be a carry over from the Old Testament where Jehovah refers to the Israelites using a husband-wife metaphor.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    April 10, 2014 9:08 p.m.

    I agree with Mom of Six and others who question the controversy. This isn't even an issue for me. Indeed, I find comfort in knowing the Savior is well-aware of the trials and tribulations of marriage. This simply does not lessen His Atonement in any way.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    I too can't understand why the question of whether Jesus was married or not is at all controversial. At least in the sense that there is some kind of scriptural sanction against the idea. That simply makes no sense.

    As for controversy, imagine if rather than an isolated reference to simply "my wife" it said something about "my wives"! Now **that** would really raise some eyebrows!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 10, 2014 10:07 p.m.

    Catholics don't believe he was married and they believe Mary was a virgin even though the word virgin in Isaiah means young woman and the Bible says Mary had other children. No religion gets it all correct, LDS teach that Jesus didn't drink alcohol. Yet I the New Testament talks about Jesus having a reputation as a wine biber. ( drinker).

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    April 10, 2014 10:18 p.m.

    Christ is God in human flesh and to some relgions being married and possibly having children would seem beneath him. It also doesnt seem to match his sole mission which was to complete the Atonement. I can easily see how him being married would be controversial to many people.

    On top of that, what if Constatine, monks or whoever made the final decisions had included the Gospel of Mary into the bible. Talk about controversy about women and the priesthood.

    The Gospels are basically written testimonys. I can easily see how more books could have been added to the bible.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 10, 2014 11:32 p.m.

    The controversy is that for thousands or years doctrine was built around Jesus not being married. There are entire parables and metaphors in the Bible explaining how Christ is wedding the Church. The Bride and the Bridegroom. The other problem is, if Jesus was married he would more than likely have children. Those children would be Deity, right?

  • Curtis Hight Anchorage, AK
    April 11, 2014 12:03 a.m.

    cjb,

    Do you have a reference for your statement that "LDS teach that Jesus didn't drink alcohol." In decades as a Latter-day Saint I've heard this ventured once or twice, but not from anyone with authority. I presume that He did. I've never drunk an alcoholic beverage, I rarely even drink soda, but I don't have a problem with Him having done so. In a world without refrigeration food preservation was a much different matter. "In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you . . . ." isn't a statement about the dietary practices of Jesus of Nazareth a couple thousand years ago.

  • Sally Smiles-a-Lot Vernal, UT
    April 11, 2014 2:48 a.m.

    I took an Institute class from Elder Bruce R. McConkie in about 1967-68. It was his belief that Jesus was married, and that Mary who came to the sepulchre was his wife. He based it on many writings that he had seen and shared with us at that time, as well as the fact that Jesus was here to set an example for all to follow, among many other things. He was baptized, although He was without sin. Since eternal marriage is the higher law, it makes sense to me that He would have followed that commandment, too.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    April 11, 2014 4:50 a.m.

    Dear CJB:

    In Christ's day they drank what was referred to as new wine. We know it as grape juice. When it got a little older it would ferment a little bit, but it was nothing like alcohol as we know it today.

    I have always felt that it was highly significant that Mary was the first one that Christ appeared to after He was resurrected. This was no accident. She was clearly a person of great personal importance to Him. That was very likely because she was His wife and he wanted her to be the first one to see him.

    Catholics didn't even introduce celibacy into their clergy until the twelfth century. It was done because the church was tired of priests giving church property to their children. So, the rule was established that one could not be a priest unless one remained celibate. The whole celibacy thing was never part of the earlier Catholic church.

  • kfriddle polk, FL
    April 11, 2014 4:52 a.m.

    How could Christ " learn obedience through the things that he suffered" without being married?

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    April 11, 2014 5:56 a.m.

    I can see why the Catholics would dismiss this idea because of their belief that priests cannot marry. But as a member of the church who has done lots of temple work it just makes sense to me that Jesus will have a wife, an eternal companion. And I would want him to have one.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 11, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    Jesus may have been married. It really doesn't matter; if it did there'd be more and clearer record of it. It's fun to think about, but sometimes a distraction. More than the validity of discovered documents, my main concern is the observation that over any given such document, if a major church says A, people pretending to look for truth will say B, and if a major church says B, said pretenders will say A.

    As for why he would marry with the intent to leave a widow? Because families are forever; He, more than anyone else to ever live, would certainly approach such a matter with an eternal perspective, and no doubt he would marry-hypothetically or actually-a woman with a similar perspective.

    ... Touching back on distractions though, what would that make their children? If Jesus was the literally begotten Son of God, literally biologically half-God, do genetics make their children quarter-Gods? Or does that immortal nature not inheret past His own life?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    April 11, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    RE: Mom of Six, The “pale” of Christianity believes the birth of Jesus was a unique miracle by the Holy Spirit/Ghost, same Greek word (Pneuma,Luke 1:35),“l know not a man”? Did Mary tell a lie?
    Mary knew the reality of her own virginity. She declared that her pregnancy was the result of the miraculous overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, not from a sex act with a man (even if that man is the immortal God in a human body)'

    If Jesus had been married, the Bible would have told us so. Scripture would not be completely silent on such an important issue. The Bible mentions Jesus’ mother, adoptive father, half-brothers, and half-sisters. Why would it neglect to mention the fact that Jesus had a wife? Those who believe/teach that Jesus was married are doing so in an attempt to “humanize” Him, to make Him more ordinary, more like everyone else. People simply do not want to believe that Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14; 10:30).

    So, they invent and believe myths about Jesus being married, having children, and being an ordinary human being.

  • Rosemarie Buckeye Powell, OH
    April 11, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    I am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but before my conversion 10 years ago, I had spent many years in/out of other Christian churches on my search for 'my place'. The Catholic Church (it is rumored and surmised) initially took the position that to remain unmarried (for priests) was the best way to follow Jesus (reference Paul's writings), and to discover, even in this late age, that they purposefully, intentionally left out many 'facts' from the discovered Scrolls and Ancient writings verifying that Jesus, himself, was married, would be devastating to their theology. For the rest of us, it would simply support everything we already know to be true; that marriage and family is what our Heavenly Father designed for us to all experience, based on His likeness and knowing what Man truly needed to be here while in human form. Jesus being married (as I believe He was, because He was HUMAN and had needs, and He would not choose to fornicate and go against everything His Father requires of us) would be setting THE EXAMPLE.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    April 11, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    Sharonna,

    There were a number of early Christian writings that indicate that Jesus was married but by the time the religious cannon was put together, it was decided that priests should no longer be allowed to marry. That was one of the reasons those writings were labelled apocryphal and not canonized.

    Christ's family was in danger, this is why Joseph of Arimathea, the Lord's uncle, took Mary, Mary Magdalene, and other family members away from Israel. Hiding personal information about Jesus's relatives was crucial to their safety.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    April 11, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    @Cats
    Celibacy in the Church dates from at least the third century and perhaps earlier. People in Jesus's time did actually drink wine that is substantially the same as wine today. Wine doesn't ferment a little bit. It either ferments or turns to vinegar. Jesus would have been very strange if he didn't drink wine with a 5% alcohol content during his life. And not to get off topic but what church today is trying to reintroduce celibacy for some of it's members?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 11, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Even if it’s an authentic document won’t conclusively corroborate any purported information it contains regarding Jesus. The early Christian era’s Christian communities produced an abundance of texts based on diverse contradictory traditions about Jesus that range from the contradictory to the fanciful, to the preposterous.

    Even the information provided in the New Testament canon is debated over with regards to its factuality. If Jesus was in fact married, the canonical gospels’ silence on the matter are a conspicuous omission. There’s no reason for it to have been left out or for the Church to have suppressed it.

    That, of course, won’t stop the tireless conspiracy theorists.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    April 11, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    Dear Sammy B: You must have different information than I have. I have read it was the twelfth century, but no matter if it was another century, the original purpose was to prevent priests from giving church property to their children.

    Dear Sharonna: The Bible, unfortunately, is not a complete record. It is a well known fact that there are many other ancient writings that were highly respected and used by the early Christians but were later discarded. Also, many plain and precious parts have been taken out of the Bible and were lost. So the fact that Christ's marriage is not mentioned in the accepted cannon is does not necessarily mean he wasn't.

    Also, I didn't say that Christ never imbibed any alcohol, they were living the Law of Moses at that time. But, what I wrote about new wine not being the same as wine today, was accurate. That is mostly what they drank.

    And...Sneaky Jimmy...Any church that teaches God's true word teaches celibacy outside of true marriage which is supported by scripture.

  • Let it Go! Omaha, NE
    April 11, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    Why are we focusing on Christ's wife? Does she matter more than he does?

    I certainly don't think so. If we found out that yes, Jesus was married, does that change anything about what he did for us?

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    April 11, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." So said Jesus when he was baptized, even though he had no sin to remit. To think that there was ever any commandment given to man that was not observed by Jesus, even if only for the purpose of setting a perfect example, is beyond reason.

    Marriage and multiplying were original, Garden of Eden commandments. We are told that Jesus endured every pain, every affliction, known to man for the purpose of possessing perfect empathy. Take that thought to its logical conclusion, and you must know he married and had children.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    I can understand why Mormons want him to have been married. But there is no mention of his wife anywhere in the New Testament. He had a wandering ministry which would not be conducive for having a wife or children. There is no mention of a female companion during his travels. One could say that wives were overlooked, but Peter's wife is mention. Surely if Jesus was married it would be worthy of mention in the Gospels, Acts or the letters. Also, there is no reference of any kind to eternal marriage or other Mormon-style temple rituals anywhere in the New Testament or other contemporary written histories of the Jews and early Christians.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 11, 2014 1:57 p.m.

    nonceleb,

    "....One could say that wives were overlooked, but Peter's wife is mentioned."
    ______________________________

    Excellent point, especially considering that Peter is claimed by the Catholic Church as it's first Pope. If Jesus had been married, the Gospel authors would have likewise mentioned his spouse, not as though it were any big deal but as a matter-of-fact detail of Jesus' life.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 11, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    sharrona,

    ".... So they invent and believe myths about Jesus being married, having children, and being an ordinary human being...."
    ______________________________

    Jesus was as human as you and I but ordinary he was not. It’s the extraordinary in him that caused believers to elevate him to mythic proportions. In popular imagination, Jesus is so up in the clouds that many Christian traditionalists find it blasphemous to imagine him in any other way.

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    April 11, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    Let's see.... since Jesus showed the perfect example of obedience to his Father, even when it really hurt to do so, He needed to enter into coventants through ordinances. So, Jesus being sinless, but needing to enter the covenant of obedience to His Father, He traveled to John for the ordinance of Baptism through which ordinance that covenant of obedience to the Father was entered into. And knowing that the power of God is manifest through ordinances, and Marriage is an ordenance through which "the new and everlasting covenant..." is entered into in order for man to obtain the highest...etc. Then it simply follows... right? He is our example in all things. Makes perfect sense.
    Summary.
    Jesus kept all the commandments of His Father. Jesus entered covenants the same way we do...through ordinances. He didn't leave anything undone there... me thinks. It is through the ordinances that the Power of God is manifest. Is this going to rock the world? Maybe it will to some.

  • AL The Younger Gilbert, AZ
    April 11, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    @SammyB This is not evidence

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    April 11, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    Cats, you are right for official Catholic dictates but there was already a push toward celibacy with some influential leaders during the fifth and sixth centuries that influenced which books to accept.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 11, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    Re Cats

    Why would any society bother to label someone as a grape juice drinker? What would be the point?

    ++++

    Curtis Hight

    cjb,

    Do you have a reference for your statement that "LDS teach that Jesus didn't drink alcohol."

    ++

    Yes, it is what was taught in LDS church when I was growing up. It was 'common knowledge'.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    April 11, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    Since Mormons believe Joseph Smith to be a direct descendent of Jesus, then Jesus would have had to have had children. If that be the case it is most likely that he was married.

  • IMAPatriot2 PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    April 11, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    skeptic: Mormons DO NOT believe Joseph Smith to be a direct descendent of Jesus. Where do you get your information? I have been a member most of my life and this is the very first time I have heard what you claim to be our doctrine.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    April 11, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    @skeptic: Mormons believe that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a direct decendent of the Joseph, son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt. I have never read or heard anything that said he was a decendent of our Redeemer.

    Also, Jesus probably did drink wine with a small amount of alcohol, occasionally and in moderation. There weren't many alternative beverages in his time. The Word of Wisdom was given in our day, when non-alcoholic drinks are sanitary. It was given for the weakest of saints, who can now refuse alcoholic beverages altogether.

    Jesus was slandered as a wine-biber out of malice; it was a lie to diminish Him in the eyes of the people.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 11, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    The LDS church used to use wine in their sacrament, the grape juice thing has always been a lie.
    If Jesus is setting an example, why would he start a family by getting married and then leaving to
    preach, and with full knowledge he would abandon them when he was hung on the cross?

    Absentee Father, who will die young is an example?

  • Grandma 20 Allen, TX
    April 11, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    There are more important, serious things to consider than to spend our time speculating that Jesus had a wife. This has never been revealed in the scriptures or espoused by the prophet of the Lord.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    April 12, 2014 1:58 a.m.

    Do a google search on "Jesus Was Married" By "Ogden Kraut" for an interesting article.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 12, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Think of it in these terms. If Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, then it could be inferred that Jesus was married because marriage for time and for all eternity is part also of fulfilling all righteousness.

    Besides, it was Constantine and the councils of Nicea that determined the current doctrine that the Catholic Church and most mainline Christian churches follow. The Catholic Popes in the Dark Ages decreed that Mary Magdelene was a prostitute with no scriptural proof.

    Sharrona, remember that the Bible that we have now is a copy of a copy of a copy and men decided what would go in or not. There are no original texts written during Jesus' time that have survived to be included. Doesn't the Bible say that if everything Christ said was written the book would fill the earth? I'm not at all suprised that there is no reference to Jesus being married in the Bible. There is a lot missing.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    April 12, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    SammyB,In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.(John 1:1).Greeks used this term not only for the spoken word but the unspoken word Reason when applied to the universe they meant rational principle. The Jews used it as a way in referring to God. John used it in a way meaningful to both Jews and Gentiles. God becomes man, not man becomes God(John 1:14)

    RE: LDSareChristians ,Ogden Kraut. Eusebius, believed the Gospel of Thomas to be not only spurious, but "the fictions of heretics"
    .e.g Logos 114. Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."
    @ Books of the N. T. that are missing? Not everything Paul wrote was scripture like, his laundry list.

    "Dr. Phipps Greek translation of the Bible there's no difference in the word for `wife' and `woman'. Strong's G1135 gyne; I. a Woman of any age, whether a virgin, OR married.

    RE: Flashback .. Over 26,000 N.T. quotes from the(2nd c) disciples of the apostles and early church fathers can reconstruct the N.T. except 12 verses. Check Biblical lower criticism

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    April 13, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    @ Cats....the "new wind" thing was made up by members so Jesus could fall in line with the WOW.

    Jesus was married, did not live his entire life as a "virgin" religious folk would like to believe and had kids. That's because he was Jesus. Just another guy, just another Hebrew that apparently was a pretty nice guy. It was the Roman Church that turned him into Christ, very simple.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    April 15, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    Of course Jesus was married. His role as a preceptor was to demonstrate perfect obedience to God's laws, I imagine he was also a father. His life has stood as a beacon to the faithful for over 2,000 years. And how could He succor us in our infirmities if he had not experienced the difficulty and joy of marriage? He makes a perfect partner and exemplar for our marriages even today.

    The Catholic church didn't institute organizational celibacy until the tenth century.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    April 15, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    There are many years of Jesus' life that aren't covered in the Bible. He was doing something all those years.