How to Date Jesus’ Wife

How to Date Jesus’ Wife

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.

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