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Did Jesus Have A Wife?

It is all but impossible to express anything close to scholarly or historical commentary about the Bible, Jesus, God, Christianity, etc. in the insane arena of theology, religion, or spiritual authenticity in the United States especially.  If you think Islam has strange cults, groupings, schisms, sects, etc., try to make sense out of what has been done in the name of Christianity through the years. Think Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, burning at the stake, shunning, condemnation to Hell, eerie interpretations of the Bible, bigotry, pedophilia, sexism, ad infinitum.  All of it "Biblical."

When fundamentalists, pentecostals, Roman Catholics, etc. enter historical accounts and discussions, there is absolutely no room for accuracy or truth.  Absurd beliefs of one kind or the other get in the way of honest scholarly study and historical accuracy.  It becomes a house of mirrors, a rubber room, and hocus-pocus and voodooism take over.  We live in a university of lies, deceptions, cover-ups, and anti-intellectual B-movies and strange projections.  Our religious "beliefs" are more in tune with the 5th century than the 21st.

Recently a small piece of material, about the size of a credit card, became known to the world after it was studied and projected to be from the first five centuries of the Christian era.  It was but a fragment.  It indicated that Jesus referenced his "wife" who could be a disciple for the church.  What a stir it caused! 

In some circles it was immediately discounted because women traditionally and historically never held such a position in any mainstream Christian denominations.  And many thought it was blasphamous to challenge the "real" Bible!  And because it was a piece of Coptic Christian writing, it was also dismissed by the :"true" elements of Christianity.  If the critics only knew how little they know.

Where does one begin in trying to bring some semblance of rationality to the discussion?

First, the Bible that we call authentic today is anything but "authentic."  The translations most used are either in Latin or older English, or some later translation of them.  First, Jesus not only did not speak Latin, he did not speak Greek, English, or any more recent language.  Jesus probably spoke Aramaic.  But that does not add anything to our understanding [or misunderstanding]. 

And the "authentic" Bible, whichever you choose, has been translated and re-copied so many times through the centuries, and by educated and uneducated scribes, that what comes forward is a hodge-podge of text and language.  Perhaps a translating monk misinterpreted a phrase or context and added his own interpretation.  Perhaps in a dimly-lit room he misread something.  Perhaps he put his own believe system into the resulting words.  Perhaps words, phrases, or even meanings were influenced by political considerations of the day. 

What we now view as the canon of the Biblical books were decided upon and included or excluded by a series of Councils [Council of Carthage, for example].  At these Councils were religious and political representatives from the various parts of the Mediterranean who brought with them their own set of beliefs and political requirements.  Inclusion of a couple of the Gospels might be understood, but the Book of Revelation is a strange inclusion.  In any case, the Hand of God presented itself in a strange man-made stew of selfishness, belief and misbelief, political and regional needs and wants, ad infinitum.

Did Jesus take a wife?  Who knows?  The very church itself was called the "bride" by many Christians in the early centuries.  Certainly relying on any of today's or yesterday's denominational "scholars" gets us nowhere but into an argument.  People become uneasy when their beliefs are challenged.  Some people kill to protect their belief system, as happened many times in historical Christianity.  Christians slaughtered hordes of Moslems during the Crusades, for example.

And our Christian "leaders" have never been the source of truth or wisdom.  Through the years you could go to hell for eating meat on Friday, or marrying a Christian outside your sect, or not going to Confession or taking the Eucharist, or living "in sin," or being a practicing homosexual, or saying the Bible was not literally God's word, or any number of little shall's and shall not's.  Forgiveness was often hard to come by, but strangely not for today's pedophiles wearing a Roman collar.

And those are but a tiny sampling of the crazy, absurd, and uninformed rituals and beliefs that are or have been practiced by "true" Christians.  Mary gave birth to Jesus when she was about 13 or 14 years old.  That would absolutely shock many people.  Jesus was probably born, not in 1 A.D., but several  years before that.  The earliest biblical manuscript known for many years was the "Codex Vaticanus," held inside the Vatican so no biblical scholar could see it because it was thought to "deviate" from some commonly-held Christian beliefs and practices pronounced by the Roman Catholic Church.   How many important documents were purposely destroyed through the years by the Church itself, is unknown.  But the most powerful leadership in Christianity has always been reluctant to share truth and scholarship with the "common people."  One common translation may have been offered to excuse a king's divorce.

If it turns out that Jesus did marry, how much would it shake your faith?  I hope very little.  We know not much about the historical Jesus or his times.  All we know is that it is and has been the Christian church that has acted in acts of barbarism, violence, war, burning at the stake, ostracism, condemnation, etc. to those who think outside the restrictive box of organized religions of any type.  It would be better for you to search for truth, not comfortable adherence to anti-intellectual belief handcuffs.  Believing nonsense does not help us understand whether Jesus married or not.

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