New Coptic Fragment Says Jesus was Married

Well the new story is all over the internet. Jesus was married? This reminds me of when The Gospel of Judas story broke.  Like that turned out to be a real defeater to the Canonical Gospels? Not really.  Anyway, I am going to go ahead and respond to this with a bit of humor. Given I have talked to many Jesus mythers (people who actually don’t think Jsus existed), I will go ahead and pretend as if I am talking to a Jesus myther:

Skeptic: Hey Christian, got any sources for Jesus outside the NT?  After all, all writers of the NT were all biased so we will have to ignore them.

Christian: Well, we have some info about Jesus in Josephus and Tacitus.

Skeptic: Nah, those are no good. We know they are forged.  And who cares what Paul Maier (who is a Josephus scholar) has to say about Josephus. What else you got?

Christian: Well, despite that the dating of all four Gospels fall into the period before the end of the first century we do have Gnostic texts that are dated really late like 2nd century-150-180 ad.  The Gospel of Mary has been dated at 160 A.D, the Gospel of Peter at 170 A.D, while the Gospel of Thomas is dated at 180 A.D. Given the late dating of these texts, it can be shown that given enough time, distortion and embellishment will creep into an ancient text .For example, the Gospel of Peter speaks of three men coming out of the tomb- two of them supporting the one, and a cross following them. Then the head (s) of the two reached up to heaven, but (the head) of the one being led by the hand extended above the heavens.

Skeptic: Hey, that sounds like something we should really take seriously.

Christian: And now we have a 4th century text that says Jesus was married.

Skeptic: Oh man, that sounds like something that is really, really, important. And who cares that it is 4th century.

Note: No one tells us what else is on the fragment, if anything. If there is nothing there to identify the “Jesus” in question with Jesus of Nazareth what is the big deal here? Jesus was a common enough name in those parts and those days (even today in some Latin countries). In the end, stick with the New Testament.  You can start with this issue here: From Jesus to Us: A Look at P.O.W.E.R.  And in the end, as one of my friends says, “Yes,  Jesus is married. Her name is The Church!”

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