*INSINUATIONS THAT JESUS CHRIST HAD
A WIFE ARE DEVILISH, SAYS GKS
BY BEN HART
IT is well known that some people take undue advantage of the perfect patience, tolerance and long-suffering of God Almighty to make jest of sacred things and thereby provoke Him to anger.
However, God tolerates men and is slow in taking vengeance upon them so that the misguided and ignorant ones among the living may have opport-unity to hear the gospel and repent of their folly, as it is written: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentan-ce.’ (II Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 33:11; Ecclesiastes 8:11-14 and Romans 2:4-6).
The Papyrus fragment
Recent publications by Harvard Divinity School Professor, Karen King that “Four words on a prev-iously unknown papyrus fragment provide the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married” has generated heated react-ions from Christians and non-Christians and ren-ewed an old and even time-worn allegation, promoted by the enemies of Christianity, that our Lord Jesus Christ was married. One of the re-ports with the headline: “Newly revealed Coptic fragment has Jesus mak-ing reference to ‘my wife’”, dated September 19, 2012, was carried in the CNN website.
According to the report the ‘findings’ were contained in a centuries-old papyrus fragment, written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians. It stated that Professor King, in announcing the discovery, believed that “some group of early Christians drew spiritual strength from portraying the man whose teachings they followed, as having a wife. And not just any wife, but possibly Mary Magdalene, the most-mentioned woman in the New Testament, besides Jesus’ mother”. The mischief-motive of her publication is evident, at least in part, from the fact that she decided to give her presentation the title: “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.”
But a closer reading of the CNN online report shows that the Havard professor and her fellow travellers had no basis for their claims other than a determination to give a false image of Jesus Christ.
The report went on: “The fragment’s 33 words, scattered across 14 incomplete lines, leave a good deal to interpretation. But in King’s analysis, and as she argues in a forth-coming article in the Harvard Theological Review, the “wife” Jesus refers to is probably Mary Magdalene, and Jesus appears to be defending her against someone, perhaps one of the male disciples.”
It is for this reason the reporter stated: “But Dan Brown fans, be warned: King makes no claim for its usefulness as biography.” (Dan Brown wrote the controversial 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code) The CNN story continues, “The text was probably composed in Greek a century or so after Jesus’ crucifixion, then copied into Coptic some two centuries later.”
He adds; “Because chemical tests of its ink have not yet been run, the papyrus is also apt to be challenged on the basis of authenticity; King herself emphasizes that her theories about the text’s significance are based on the assumption that the fragment is genuine, a question that has by no means been definitively settled.”
If not for the over-arching zeal to make jest of Christianity, why should Professor King or anyone for that matter be cock-a-hoop about a piece of writing which was certainly the work of some spiritually deranged elements who were hostile to the Christian faith? Why should she go to town with her so-called findings when she knew that no tangible work had been done to ascertain its source and authenticity? The reasonable thing was for her to have done all the ground-work before deciding what to make of it. (Proverbs 18:13).
Statements that Jesus Christ had a wife are all inspired by the devil to cast a slur on his divinity and impugn the integrity not only of Jesus Christ but of the Holy Bible. Such are not new; but they are all figments of people’s wild imagination.
Jesus Christ was Jehovah’s Executive in creation, meaning that he was the One God used to create all perfect things, visible and invisible, including human beings. (The woman Eve, we must recall, was created as a companion to Adam and for the purpose of procreation.) (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; 1:26-28). Jesus Christ was the chief of the angels of God in heaven and was known as the Logos, or Word, mean-ing Interpreter or Spokesman for God Almighty. It was when he made the great sacrifice of lowering himself from his high position in the divine realm to become a human being in order to free man from sin and death that he was called Jesus Christ, meaning “Jehovah’s Anointed Saviour”. (John 1:1-3; Proverbs 8:22-30; Matthew 20:28; John 3:16; Hebrews 2:9-17; Romans 5:6-19; etc.)
He was raised from the grave the third day by God Almighty Who “set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and domi-nion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come”. (Ephesians 1:20-21) Jesus Christ is the One God Almighty has appointed as King of His Kingdom where all the fondest hopes and desires of mankind would be realized. Right now he is gathering His sheep into his kingdom so that they might be saved. To make mockery of Jesus Christ therefore amounts to opposing this gathering work for which the gospel is being preached round the world, thereby preventing people from the blessings which God has promised His people through His crowned King, Jesus Christ. Such efforts will continue to fail for no one can kick against the pricks. We should know that it is a dangerous thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Acts 9:5; Hebrews 10:31).
It is commendable of the CNN that it balanced the story by interviewing scholars who asserted that “In the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Bible, there is no mention of his marital status, while the accounts do mention Jesus’ mother, father and siblings. The four Gospels —Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—tell the story of Jesus’ birth and early childhood then skip to his short, three-year ministry before detailing his death and resurrection.” We agree entirely with these assertions. For instance in Matthew 12:46-50 the Bible states that there was a time the mother and the brethren of Jesus Christ (these were the children of Joseph and Mary) desired to speak with him. ‘But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)
In other words, his earthly family are the true worshipp-ers of God. No more, no less! Indisputably, all the three and a half years Christ spent on earth were completely devoted to spiritual matters. He certainly had no business with such mundane entanglements as having a wife. And if he had a wife, what of the child-ren? Why should the wife’s identity and that of the child-ren be concealed?
It was because the apostles of Christ knew that he had no personal relationship with any woman, that they were surp-rised when they met him talk-ing with a Samaritan woman. The Bible states: “Just then his disciples came. They marvel-ed that he was talking with a woman, but none said, “What do you wish?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” (John 4:27 Revised Standard Vers-ion). From the context of the entire episode, it was clear that the woman came to the well while he sat there to rest him-self and he used the opportu-nity to impart the word of God both to the woman and the Samaritans in that village of Sychar.
Moreover, it is wrong to argue, as some do, that with-out a wife a prophet cannot fulfil his mission. There are several examples of prophets of God who did not marry be-cause of the nature of their assignment. Who was the wife of Elijah? He was frequently on the move, to deliver the word of God to the people. And because he was under constant persecution, he had to conceal his movements sometimes. At a stage he had to flee because of Jezebel the wife of Ahab who was deter-mined to kill him and was fed by ravens to give him the strength for a 40-day journey. (I Kings 19:1-18) Elisha also had no wife. The Great Wo-man of Shunem had to step him to provide him with room to rest before he continued on his long journeys. (II Kings 4:8-10).
Truly did our Lord Jesus Christ state: “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (Matthew 19: 12).
If Jesus or any of the apostles or prophets of old had a wife there would have been no deliberate effort to conceal the information, as if having a wife is sinful. But a servant of God could deny himself of such pleasures so as to give himself to the work of God without distraction. In his letter to the Christians at Corinth, St. Paul stated that St. Peter as well other apostles were married but that he voluntarily chose not to marry because of the nature of his work. He asked, “Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the bro-thers of the Lord and Ceph-as?” (I Corinthians 9:5. Revis-ed Standard Version) Con-cerning his single state, St. Paul stated: “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this ma-nner, and another after that.” (I Corinthians 7:7) He added: “Nevertheless he that stand-eth stedfast in his heart, hav-ing no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.” (I Corinthians 7:37-38).
In regard to Mary Magda-lene, she became especially devoted to the service of God in appreciation of His good-ness on her in using Jesus Christ to cast out from her seven evil spirits. (Luke 8:2, 3) She was among the women who supported Jesus Christ and his disciples out of their substance. It was a measure of her faith that she was early at his tomb; and so had the privilege of being the first to see the risen Savior. (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 15:47; 16:1-10; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-2, 10-18).
It is sheer wickedness for anyone to suggest that becau-se of her support for the work of God, for which she became close to the ministry, she was the wife of Jesus Christ. Even Prof. King’s papyrus docu-ment only talks of Mary; she had to add that it was probably Mary Magdalene! What a way of working to a predeter-mined answer!
It is dangerous for anyone to make jest of sacred things for any reason, even if is to adv-ance one’s academic career. Agreed that the Bible states that in these last days scoffers will abound who would strive to bring Christianity into ridi-cule, even laboring to prove what is not true, but the Bible understanding shows that those to be involved in such machinations are instruments of the devil whom God Alm-ighty will punish in His due time. (II Peter 3:3-9)
That was why St. Paul warn-ed that skeptics who chose to “believe a lie” and “had pleasure in unrighteousness” shall be damned or destroyed in the day of the Lord’s anger. (II Thessalonians 2:10-12). He further stated: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (II Thessalon-ians 1:7-9).
We advise Prof. Karen King to pay heed to this warning and the protests of others and to stop promoting her obnoxious publications. But if she scorns, she and those of her ilk will bear the SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of their blasphemous acts. (Proverbs 9:12; 29:1; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).