Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Was Jesus married?

This scrap papyrus says that Jesus had a wife

People are buzzing over the discovery of an ancient papyrus fragment in which Jesus mentions “my wife.”

The standard Bible texts don’t say anything about Jesus’ marital status. I usually focus on the possibility of a queer Christ here at the Jesus in Love Blog, but the idea that he was married at all opens up new options for affirming sexuality of every kind.

SF Gate’s new piece about the papyrus discovery includes a link to my reflection on The Many Faces of Mary Magdalene, the woman most likely to marry Jesus. Here’s the part that sent hundreds of new visitors to the Jesus in Love Blog:

The adorable tale of Jesus’ sexy wife is like a sly teaser to a grand movie we can’t quite see just yet, but which we’re all fully participating in, every single day.

There’s also a medieval tradition that Jesus married a man -- his beloved disciple John -- at the wedding in Cana where he turned water into wine.

Related links:
Jesus’ Gay Wedding at Cana (Queering the Church)

A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife (New York Times)


Trudie said...

From "The Last Temptation of Christ" to "The Da Vinci Code", the temporal marriage of Jesus seems to be an obsession with some. Again, I can only reassert that I believe your interpretation of the reality of the wedding of Christ and the Holy Spirit, leading to his marriage to all believers, is far more significant. That is an INCLUSIVE concept, whereas singling out ONE follower, whether male or female, as Jesus' "one and only" is really a contradiction of the entire meaning of his message.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Trudie, you put it better than I did myself. And if Jesus being married to all makes him “queer” and leads to “promiscuous communion,” then so be it.

“Promiscuous communion” is a real term used by some religious leaders for communion open to all.

But perhaps the idea that Jesus married a woman might help the status of women in the church.

I created a fun poll on the side of the blog asking people who Jesus married. But I didn’t think of having the option that he was married to all believers. Oh well. So far results are mixed, with most saying that he was married to God.

Trudie said...

I really think you should excerpt the Pentecost scene from "At the Cross" to emphasize and expand this concept. And it is ABSOLUTELY THEOLOGICALLY VALID!

Kittredge Cherry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kittredge Cherry said...

I was looking at this papyrus from the viewpoint of the historical Jesus, but you are so right that the risen Christ invites all believers into the mystical marriage. Here is a link to the Pentecost scene from “At the Cross.” :
Pentecost comes alive with erotic Christ

Thanks, Trudie, for always reminding me of how my novel applies to this and other situations in life.

Br G-M said...

Hasn't this proven to be a fake?

Kittredge Cherry said...

Some experts have dismissed the papyrus as a likely fraud, but the debate rages on...