If you follow current events closely, you may have seen the headline-popping research that points to Jesus potentially having married. Specifically, the NY Times featured this article titled Historian Says Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife. This is MAJOR. As someone who has been inculcated in Catholic doctrine, where there is absolutely no discussion of alternative gospel stories, I’ve widely assumed that Jesus lived the life of a singleton. His life as an unmarried penitent man lays the foundation for those who choose to be priests and leaders of the Catholic Church. Like Jesus, they too, cannot marry, cannot have sex, essentially cannot be human. I have always believed that a life of celibacy is the Church’s downfall as it leads priests to prey on and molest our children. How often do you see Episcopalian priests (they have the opportunity to marry) in the news for sexual deviancy, yet it happens time and time again, lawsuit after lawsuit with Catholic priests. What is the Church’s response? Denial, hush money, cover-ups. Pure evil!
The potential that Jesus was actually a married man would destroy the foundation for a male-only priesthood and I believe, would lead to a more righteous and genuine leadership. This research is well-timed given the rift that is currently playing out between Catholic priests and nuns. The Vatican issued a warning recently to the nuns telling them to refrain from their outspoken ways and to conform. Clearly, the Church doesn’t like its members to think, only to obey.
This archaic papyrus deemed by historians, theologians, and papyrologists to be authentic is significant because it gives some credence to long-running rumors that Jesus may have been married and may have potentially partnered with the prostitute Mary Magdalene. All this is relevant because it proves not only that Jesus was human, had human desires, but also was unwavering in loving all people.
Whatever the truth is, I believe. Whether he was married, single, gay, hetero, bi, whatever, I love the man. That is my faith. But the Vatican can be so holier-than-thou annoying that it’d be quite a hoot to find out that their way was wrong this whole time. Why women cannot partake in the priesthood is beyond me.
Brewing about this post, I remember watching an episode of the 1970s TV show Good Times. JJ brought home a painting of Jesus that he found at a garage sale. When his mom came home after work she was like, “What is that?” JJ said he thought she’d like it since it was a picture of Jesus. What’s funny is that in the picture Jesus is black. His mom freaked, “I been praying to Jesus my whole life and I know he ain’t black.” That episode cracked me up and I thought about it fondly while writing this. We all have our pre-conceived notions about what we believe in. And that’s fine. When you pray, you envision someone. That’s ok. But when rules are made predicated on antiquated scripture (women can’t be priests, gays can’t marry…that’s what’s in the gospel!), then that’s where you have to open your mind and consider, did Jesus draw those kind of boundaries? It’s the spirit of the law, people. Cmon! Open your brains!
Last thing that made me chuckle out loud. One of the comments on the NY Times article said, “If Jesus did get married, I hope he had a happy one and I hope his wife didn’t nag him too much about getting a real job.”