Holy Da Vinci Code! What a fury of media attention about not much of anything. Recently it was confirmed that a fragment of papyrus is very old. Normally this wouldn't cause a stir, but a reference to the wife of Jesus has made this moderately newsworthy. One article describes the circumstances clearly:
Skepticism about the tiny scrap of papyrus has been fierce because it contained a phrase never before seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife...’ ” Too convenient for some, it also contained the words “she will be able to be my disciple,” a clause that inflamed the debate in some churches over whether women should be allowed to be priests.
The test results do not prove that Jesus had a wife or disciples who were women, only that the fragment is more likely a snippet from an ancient manuscript than a fake, the scholars agree. Karen L. King, the historian at Harvard Divinity School who gave the papyrus its name and fame, has said all along that it should not be regarded as evidence that Jesus married, only that early Christians were actively discussing celibacy, sex, marriage and discipleship.
The only aspect of this which I appreciate is that it is a nudge for all of us to consider the humanity of Jesus, which includes his sexuality and the possibility of entering into a committed relationship with another person. Did he? I sure don't think so. Could we consider Jesus as the Christ if he had married and had a family? Well, Peter was married, since the gospels mention a mother-in-law.. Perhaps Paul was as well? It was expected that rabbis of that day would have a spouse. Our sexuality is not a liability. It is a gift.
What are your thoughts?