She Reads Truth is a beautiful website full of devotions, studies, and meditations on God’s word. It’s focused on women and authored by women, but I’ve already found a share of encouragement there. Perhaps you will as well.
I like that the title of this post sounds like an advice column. Anyway:
In the Gospel of Philip, there are intimations of Jesus being married, or at least having a partner. The Coptic term is a little ambiguous, at least regarding Mary. It’s a mysterious text, but what’s going on, to the best of our knowledge, in the Gospel of Philip is that Jesus and Mary are reconstituting a kind of mythic primeval androgyny. What the folks behind the Gospel of Philip are saying about Jesus is that he is the new Adam and Mary is the new Eve. And the whole point about redemption is to get male and female together once again (in my interpretation) but this time without sexual intercourse.
I believe the Gospel of Philip represents a sect where men and women cohabitated and followed Jesus, but forbade sexual intercourse within what would otherwise be a marriage relationship. So the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife fragment could give theological warrant to that.
Neat stuff, and the article concludes with a reminder that, even if this does turn out to be accurate, it should unsettle no one’s faith.
The Wife of Jesus fragment should not be at all unsettling for the Christian faith. It reflects the belief of someone who was writing between the fifth and ninth century. That belief might go earlier, but when we know that there were all kinds of heretical beliefs cropping up around the end of the first century, so we also know this is nothing new.
Lead researcher Karen King acknowledges that her findings don’t prove that Jesus had a wife, though she believes it does indicate that early Christians were discussing issues related to sex and marriage. In her view, the document proves that “women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus,” though not everyone is convinced of its authenticity.
Fascinating stuff, but I’m not convinced that Jesus’ marital status would have any impact on His divinity or teachings.
Christians read (and quote) Scripture in tiny, artificial fragments all the time. And by doing so, do we alter the meaning without even realizing it.
Digital Bible apps make it easier than ever to Twitterize holy writ. But we’ve been doing it for ages. Here are some of the most commonly misused Bible verses.
Wonderful. I especially like the inclusion of Matthew 26:11, a verse I’ve heard too often used to justify some pretty callous worldviews.
My friend Tim has been doing an overview of baptism in the New Testament over on his blog, The Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts, and it’s been interesting to follow his progress. Here are some links to the entires he’s posted so far:
Human beings still judge poorly in their own cases. They still deceive themselves about their own righteousness. They still fool themselves into believing that their motives and intentions are pure when pride is really what’s driving them. And when these traits are amplified into collective (communal, political, national) endeavors, the logic of self-interest becomes overwhelming and inescapable.
Prideful self-regard is woven into the very fabric of our fallen world. In particular cases, an individual can act out of authentic self-abnegating love for another. But as a group? That is nearly always impossible, at least in this vale of tears.
Which is why Christ taught nonviolence — and Christianity should preach pacifism and the renunciation of political rule.