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Was Jesus ever married? University panel says facts inconclusive

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 7:49 am, Sat Dec 8, 2012.

It is very difficult to verify whether a small piece of papyrus indicates that Jesus Christ was married, according to three biblical scholars from University of the Pacific.

"I have no intention of debunking the Bible," said Dr. Anthony Le Donne, a visiting professor at Pacific from Sonoma County. "But this conversation is worth having."

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  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 8:01 pm on Fri, Dec 14, 2012.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    Great catch, Cecil. I was wondering where the H- Schroeder got that notion or why she accepted that translation of the saying... lol

  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 12:08 am on Fri, Dec 14, 2012.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    Cecil - I am familiar with the Thanksgiving Hymns, but have never heard that theory. Do share! My curiosity is piqued.

    I say clear answers because these things were written nearly 2,0000 years ago. Contextually to the field of scholarship, things can be agreed upon, but it is not a hard science.

  • Mark Hillyard posted at 6:34 am on Wed, Dec 12, 2012.

    Mark Hillyard Posts: 11

    The main point of the Cross was the Redemption of Israel, the wife of the God of Israel who is Jesus Christ. The law stated that in case of divorce and remarriage the couple can not come back together unless the contract is nullified, therefore the Cross and by that sacrifice Salvation came to all mankind.
    Isa 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
    Isa 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
    2Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem?
    So of course Jesus, The God of Israel, was married to Israel and in Revelation The Marriage of the Lamb is talked about. These are Christians/Israel and not the Jews who rejected the Messiah. It's all in the Bible but the idea that the Jews consist of all Twelve Tribes of Israel has confused the Church. See Gen 48 & 49 to get a picture of all Twelve Tribes of Israel as told by Jacob/Israel before he died.

  • Michael Cecil posted at 1:16 pm on Tue, Dec 11, 2012.

    Michael Cecil Posts: 2

    In reply to Sarah Elizabeth Tygert:

    Don't know exactly what you mean by "Clear answers simply can not be obtained in scholarship." The Thanksgiving Hymns of the Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, were written by Jesus (as I have established over more than 30 years of research); but the 'official' Dead Sea Scrolls' scholars are prepared to swear that Jesus did NOT write them.

    That is certainly a clear answer.

    Clearly WRONG.


  • Michael Cecil posted at 1:07 pm on Tue, Dec 11, 2012.

    Michael Cecil Posts: 2

    Interesting that respondents are required not to lie about anything or anyone, yet the article itself contains at least one vicious lie about the Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of Thomas was excluded from the New Testament because it contains statements of Jesus which the Christian theologians CANNOT explain. (Just ask ANY Christian theologian to tell you what Jesus said to Thomas--Saying #13). NOR does the Gospel of Thomas say that only males are "capable of salvation". That is simply a bald-faced LIE.


  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:33 pm on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Thanks for the information Ms Tygert! Sounds like you appreciated the event and benefited from it's presentation.

  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 7:37 pm on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    Naturally, there was a lot more said in the meeting last night than could possible be summarized easily in an article... But I do find it strange than although there were 3 professors present with 3 varying perspectives, that Shroeder possesses most of the references in the above article?

    Anyway, Mr. Baumbach - The meeting was exactly as I wished it to be! To me, it was nothing more than a standard college lecture with time at the end for open questions. It brought me back to my Bible school days without the fighting and drama.

    Although the answer to the question is "inconclusive," readers should understand that reaching a yes or no on the issue of if Jesus' was married was hardly the point. Clear answers simply can not be obtained in scholarship. However, was the meeting did go to show is that the question is more than controversial, it is raised in many manuscripts besides this one anonymous papyrus still in the process of being verified. It isn't a new issue, but one that we can use to bring Biblical matters and religion back onto the table to civil and intellectual discussion.

  • Ross Farrow posted at 9:45 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    Ross Farrow Posts: 104

    Carrie: I just corrected the article to reflect that you were referring to the Book of Thomas. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Carrie Schroeder posted at 9:16 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    CarolineSchroeder Posts: 1

    Thank you so much for covering this panel. We were all very pleased to see so many members of the Stockton, Lodi, and surrounding communities attend. The discussion at the end with the audience was especially good.
    I would like to add a couple small points of clarification to the detailed coverage here. The publication of the New York Times article and Harvard Professor Karen King's presentation in Rome were simultaneous. King has hypothesized that the papyrus is a translation of second century Greek text (from the 100s). Also, it's the Gospel of Thomas that suggests that women (particularly Mary Magdalene) become male to be saved, rather than the Gospel of Philip. Translations of the Gospels of Philip, Thomas, and Mary can be found at http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html. The article is right that the papyrus has an anonymous author; questions about forgery center more on the anonymity of the owner of the document and questions about where the document is originally from -- where it was discovered, the chain of ownership, and so forth. We have many, many anonymous or pseudonymous early Christian texts that are in fact ancient texts.
    Thanks again to everyone who joined the conversation last night, and thanks to the Lodi Sentinel for broadening the conversation to include more people.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:58 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405


    So why would the New York Times hype this topic? Why is this front page in a world famous paper?

    Karen L. King, a historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School said it may cast new light on the history of early Christianity, including the formation of Christian views of celibacy and whether women were members of Jesus’s inner circle, issues still intensely relevant to the Catholic church, which allows only celibate men to be priests.

    Why did King decide to publicize her discovery before completing testing on the composition of the ink on the fragment. In other words, it still may be a forgery yet it was a front page story at the New York Times.

    Could the real reason for this debate be a concerted effort to promote allowing women or married men to enter the priesthood ?

    In 1994, John Paul issued an apostolic letter saying that the church “has no authority whatsoever” to ordain women, citing among its reasons that the apostles of Jesus Christ were all men.

    Why did the media many times blame priestly celibacy for creating pedophiles in the church?

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:57 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I think the true intent of this focus can be brought out only by focusing on the implications and desired outcome by the people who are fueling this debate.

    article stated... While Schroeder and King were at the conference of biblical scholars in Rome, the New York Times published a front-page story on King's finding. Schroeder said she had no idea that the Times article was published until journalists throughout the world came to Rome to write their own articles about it.

    Previous conferences in Rome had always been low-key affairs, Schroeder said.

    In a previous thread, Ms Tygert stated... I hope that it's ( UOP conference) at least informative in some way, but one can find pretty much all they need to know about this piece and it's history with a careful google search...

    Mr Randell stated.. The biggest question, he said, is whether it's important if Jesus was married. It only matters if you have religious beliefs that make it important, Randels said.
    "Otherwise, it doesn't matter one way or the other," he said.



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