Whatever one thinks of the authenticity or otherwise of the papyrus fragment that seems to be stuck with the title the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” I think it is useful that people are talking about the possibility of Jesus having been married. Some react to the idea with such an excessive dismissiveness, as though their faith were at stake, that is makes me think that some people have a view of Jesus that bears no relationship at all to the human figure in the earliest New Testament Gospels. I made this to sum up their view using the popular meme:
Phil Fox Rose has some discussion of whether Jesus having been married would matter, and to whom, and why – concluding with a few suggestions on how the text might have continued.
If there is one thing that everyone should agree about, it is that this papyrus’ authenticity or inauthenticity, and its interpretation, do not tell us whether or not Jesus was married. And there is circumstantial evidence that might suggest whether he was or was not married. But none of those points explains why people react so viscerally to the idea that Jesus was married. If you are among those who do, I’d be interested in discussing why. Is it, in fact, because you think that Jesus Christ was “too holy for sex” and if so, does that suggest a radically different view of sexuality than is found in at least most of the Bible?