How would a discovery that Jesus was married affect your understanding of Christianity?

Scholars say they may have found written evidence that suggests Jesus was married and had a woman disciple. Today’s Question: How would a discovery that Jesus was married affect your understanding of Christianity?

  • Kurt

    I don’t know, I’d probably just burn an embassy or two.

  • reggie

    While some might see this discovery as a cynical ploy on the part of the christian church to regain some relevance, it’s really jumping the shark. Christianity had a pretty good two millenium run (well, there were the Dark Ages, the Crusades, and the Inquisition, which weren’t so good if you weren’t a knight or a cleric), but it’s a declining idea. Let’s move on.

  • Annie Perkins

    I’ve always been intrigued by Jose Saramago’s “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ” portrayal, which I feel encourages people to think of the gospel story as a part of history. If we can discover more things about Jesus’ life, we should welcome that fuller picture.

  • Dianne

    Knowing some of the history of the treatment of women, I have long believed that there were women disciples and women who were instrumental in the development of early Christianity. I would not be surprised that Jesus was married. In those times, I think it would have been rare for a Jewish man not to be married. I am excited about this discovery and hope that this will inspire more talk about the role of women in the Christian church.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Religion– the only topic more likely than politics to elicit uninformed, misinformed, misleading, hostile and derisive diatribes on these pages.

  • Gary Newton

    The issue to me is who defines the term “scholar.” If NPR defines a scholar as anyone who claims to have found a document that is authentic then they have essentially undercut their reputation as an unbiased branch of the news media. Previous attempts to present the findings of such groups such as the “Jesus Seminar” as authentic research entities undercuts both liberal and conservative biblical scholarship. Rather than supporting respected standards of historical research accepted throughout the academic disciplines, NPR is stooping to sensationalism, cultist fads, and speculative theology. NPR has got to be careful that they keep consistent standards between the disciplines of what they label as “research.” I would have no problem accepting any new facts about Jesus’ life if they were backed up by the oldest and most reliable historical documents. Historical research has already established the most reliable historical documents related to the life of Christ. Any new documents would have to be judged against what historical research has already substantiated. It is pure speculation to ask such a question when “new research” has not been tested against the most reliable documents affirmed by scholars in the field of biblical research. Let us focus more on accurate research than pushing a political or social or philosophical agenda.

  • Jim G

    Jesus knew the promise, compromise, joy, and pain of marriage? This fact isn’t a bad thing for Christianity, a religion that claims Jesus is fully God and fully man. It’s also not surprising that a woman could be written out of the Bible by men whose collective bias against women is a historical fact.

  • Sue de Nim

    The question mischaracterizes what the “discovery” was. Read the NYT article carefully. It does not say scholars have discovered evidence that Jesus was married. It says one scholar has discovered an apparently “genuine” or “authentic” (i.e., not a modern forgery) fragment of a document from three centuries after Jesus that appears to quote him referring to “my wife.” The document is in a language (Coptic) not spoken by Jesus or the first generation of his followers (Aramaic or Greek). It doesn’t come close to being evidence that it records an authentic saying of Jesus.

    That said, there are hints in the New Testament that women were more prominent in Jesus’ ministry and in the earliest decades of the Church than is usually recognized, and that this may have been suppressed in subsequent centuries.

    But MPR is tone-deaf about religion. I can tell you folks are trying to be unbiased, but your ineptitude shows. This question is about as misinformed as if you had asked, “How would a discovery that Mitt Romney really supports polygamy affect your understanding of his tax reform proposal?”

  • Ann

    Jesus is who the Bible says that He is. He said, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” He is the Triune God–Father, Son, Holy Spirit in One.The tomb is empty. He rose from the dead. I can’t go to heaven the way that I am. So I need the Savior. The Savior is Jesus. This life is not home for Christians.What could “scholars” do to add to this wonderful truth?

  • P. Nielsen

    Does bother me one bit. The early church fathers successfully wiped out women’s roles in the church thereby ensuring their dominant roles over society, and look where that has gotten us.

  • Dennis Ingolfsland

    The comment by Sue de Nim is absolutely correct. Even the Harvard scholar who revealed this papyrus said that it doesn’t tell us anything about the Historical Jesus (it wasn’t written until about 300 years after Jesus lived)! The factually false statement by NPR (i.e. “Scholars say they may have found written evidence that suggests Jesus was married”), however, may tell us a lot about the biases of some who work at NPR. I would expect such sensationalism from various gossip rags, but we should not expect it from NPR.

  • Leonard

    MPR doesn’t have fuel left to bias listeners with one sided views so they post a ridiculous slanted bit about some ” scholar”. Why don’t we talk about tolerance in do we tolerate tax payer $ for puke art showing the Virgin Mary doing sex acts with a crucifix or similar art shown in NYC the prior year of Jesus with excrement about him..yeah_ that’s real art huh?

    How come these artists don’t use Mohamed the Prophet in similar dispicable art shows?

    How come MPR / NPR doesn’t ask the Question in current events priority? ( Islam up risings protesting Death to America suggest we ought to look closer at what traditonal ISLAM is really about instead of trying to make up “scholar” find crap to denigrate the philosophy of being a Christian?: Once again the media attacks all Christians just as Obama attacks Catholics. Lets look at the alternate form of the day’s question that MPR could have asked, if not biased and not agreeing with Obama’s anti First Amendment tendency.

    Here is a Question, MPR should ask tomorrow to show non bias and to balance the inane comment about a scholar finds_

    The day’s Q for tomorrow could be?__”How would a discovery that Mohamed the Prophet of Islam was married to a ten year old little girl and trained her to be a wife, affect your understanding of Traditional Islam? ”

    A: It wouldn’t __because that fact is already clearly written in the Quran.

    Or how about this other truth within the question’s basis?

    ” How does the fact that traditional Islamic Muslims in the middle east, have killed more of their own and recently killed our U.S. Ambassador that had worked to get them freedom all because our state dept. wouldn’t provide decent security for the consulate, affect your voting to renew our weak apologetic President?”

    or try this Question to be fair:

    Q: ” Does the fact that within the past 10 years, Middle East and African nation Muslims have killed more of their own people than any other responsible group while also killing Christians and burning their churches, affect your desire to visit Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Libya or Saudi ?”

    Get the point…MPR needs to stop the biased “nudging” they do to sway opinions for one party.

  • Jim

    I’m waiting for the nude sunbathing pictures.

  • David berg

    HMMM..what if Mary wasn’t a virgin?.. lots of questions that beg us to discover what makes us Christians. I didn’t become a Christian to go to Heaven.. I became a Christian because I sensed the presence of another spirit within me.. The spirit of Christ..I have received no promise other than the promise that He will be with me forever..

  • Gary F

    Think MPR will ask this question tomorrow?

    Have the raids and killings at the US embassies abroad affect your understanding of Islam?

  • GregX

    Given that the entirity of the bible is an opressor (Roman government) revised document to make use of the former illegal populist religion ( of Jesus Christ) as population management and social practices enforcement tool – negages any need to even be politically, socially or theistically concerned with Jesus’s marital status. Until the apochrypha and all other texts, notes, and documentation regarding the life of that individuals actions are published and sanctioned by the Church – the sham of Christianity exists on its own demerits. As for Islam – any religion that cannot withstand , peacefully, the misunderstandings of non-believers is a religion that has no substantive core that its followers can lean on. I have the same feelings about the Judeo-Christian-Islamic effort to enshrine marriage as some “constitutional amendment” because they, apparently, are fearful that their religion’s edicts aren’t valid – even to their own followers. Shame!

  • suzie

    First of all, there was more than one Mary involved in the life of Jesus.

    Second – who cares if he was married or not.

    Remember all that was written about Jesus, and then translated, was by men. And the translation of may of these writing was and is terrible.

  • Linda in Plymouth

    First off, lets be clear on what this nonsense is about and remind MPR Question writer to get a better grasp before he/she panders to the Progressive’s anti-Christian folk.

    Christianity is NOT a religion_ it is a philosophy that millions try to live their lives in accordance.

    Catholicism, Lutheran, Babtist, ECOC, Mormon, and even Islam ,etc. are Religions.

    Minnesotans want to discuss what really matters today_with less than two month before we vote. we want answers on our current government policies and how that affects all of us at the store, for our national security, for our children’s future. Why aren’t Minnesotan women talking more about the past four years of change we have endured and how that affects everyone? I see we have added $5 trillion to our deb. we have 23 million or more unemployed, Iran is closer to nuclear arms to wipe our our ally, Israel, the American dollar is down, first ever national credit down rating in history, our Embassies and American Consulates are not protected but left exposed with unarmed civilian guards with no US Marine back up and all we hear from the news is more topics to ignore these crucial issues. Why is that happening?

    Sincerely yours,

    An unhappy former Obama supporter.

  • Sue de Nim

    I’m sorry if my earlier post gave aid and comfort to those who were looking for reasons to bash MPR. I love MPR and want it to be even better. Those who are taking such deep offense at MPR for asking this question are different only in degree from the mobs that assail our embassies over slights to Islam. It’s the same underlying attitude.

  • georges

    Surely you jest, sue de nim.

    You can’t be so out of touch with reality that you would suggest that people who slightly differ with MPR are the same as those who murder ambassadors and burn embassies and burn Obama in effigy while shouting death to all Americans.

    Or, maybe you can be.

  • Sue de Nim

    Georges: Not at all. It’s a very great degree of difference, but still only a degree, not a qualitative difference. Reacting in hostile fashion to perceived insults to one’s faith is not what Jesus taught.

  • Mary

    It wouldn’t make a difference to me at all. I don’t take the Bible as the literal truth. You have to consider how the Bible started out. It was an oral tradition passed down through generations before it was ever written. Think a game of telephone if you will, and we all know how accurate the end of the game inevitably is. Then “The Church” got involved and did some editing. I believe in the core teachings of Christ and consider myself a Christian. I believe everyone should have the chance to marry and live in a life of shared love. So to think of Christ as married is not a strange concept to me at all.

  • pat

    At least it is not a GLBT question.

  • georges

    So, in your mind, sue, murdering people and burning and rioting and stuffing some old rags with more rags and calling it Obama and burning it has the exact same “quality” as suggesting MPR fails to understand an issue.

    The same Quality…..un-huh……I see……..

    I think, sue, the next time we are having dinner together…….I will choose the wine.

  • GregX

    Gary F. asks if MPR would ask …… Have the raids and killings at the US embassies abroad affect your understanding of Islam?

    for me – Nope. Islam, is an Abrahamic religion – just like Christianity before it, and Judaism before that. They all fall back on the use of violence (wrath of god) in the name of defending their faith as the solution to temporally intractable problems. And the all provide mechanism for alleviating the guilt and responsibility for the “wrath” executed on others for that holy purpose.

    – in the hands of someone wishing to use violence to achieve an end – they are all just very complex rationalization and justification schemes

  • Mary

    We were, thus it doesn’t.

    Jesus was a polyamorous tantric master.

  • Douglas Shambo

    Would it make a difference if Jesus had been married and/or had a woman disciple? It wouldn’t – because the preponderance of evidence points to it not being true. One cannot put much more than interest in a single document from four centuries after Jesus’ time on earth, when there are multiple versions/sources for the New Testament that nowhere mention any spouse. And while he certainly had women friends, none of them are named as disciple in any source except this newly-surfaced one. Scholars may argue, but without more convincing evidence than one sole and very late document, the biblical evidence stands.

  • Sue de Nim

    Georges: You’re deliberately misconstruing what I wrote.

  • JasonB

    If I’ve come away with anything from the gospel it’s how morally and spiritually enriching it’s been to my life, not an exact account of history or science. Whatever evidence is uncovered, whether the sun does not go around the Earth or that Jesus was married, it doesn’t threaten my faith or adherence to my religion.

  • jockamo

    Christianity is about ideas, not people.

    The stories about the people are fine. Folks like stories.

    But the core of the faith will always be the ideas. If the ideas fail, the faith fails.

  • Rich in Duluth

    It doesn’t change my understanding of Christianity; it makes me shake my head in dismay that something that should be of interest only to historians is newsworthy to the general population.

  • Pearly

    Spot on again Leonard!

  • Hans

    I’m not sold on the concept of jesus being married… But I wasn’t sold that a virgin could give birth or a guy could come back to life after he died either… so i guess he being married is more believable than some of this other nonsense.

  • kim

    Not at all. Most rabbis of the time were married. It’s actually more unusual if Jesus wasn’t. He never says anything about it one way or the other. I take that to mean it isn’t an important topic.

    Jesus had female followers. Several are named in the scriptures, Mary, called Magdalen, among them. Granted, the 12 people specifically listed as apostles were all male. I have the impression that was a distinction that was more important to the 12 than it was to Jesus.

    As it is, there are many examples of Jesus interacting with women in ways that were very unusual for the time and very kind and respectful. I know he viewed men and women as equals and that’s all that matters to me.

  • CJ

    I’m not a Christian, but I did read the translation of the gnostic gospel according to Mary Magdalene out of curiosity. Thought provoking stuff there.

    I guess Christians long ago and still today have a hard time separating their theology from their sexuality. Fortunately for us monotheists, we have very little conflict in this regard. Our myths are full of lusty stories so we don’t have to go digging for evidence of demigods getting it on with humans. Happened all the time. I’d like to think it still does.

  • CJ

    Oops, sorry about that. Make it polytheists rather than monotheists. Always edit before posting. Do as I say not as I do.

  • Steve the Cynic


  • jockamo

    The libs among us keep alive the childish conflicts of brothers and sisters, never growing up and grasping the staff of life of adults.

    I don’t care that a Republican appointed the first female to the Supreme Court. Is she objective? Can she do what is right? That’s all that matters. Right knows no gender, and only the habitually wrong care about the first this or that.

    When I see the old gender argument raise its ugly head again, I think of the words of the poet:

    from the homicidal bitchin’….

    that goes down in every kitchen….

    to determine who will serve and who will eat.

    And I wonder why God made it impossible for man and woman to get along with each other.

    And I came to the conclusion that he wanted them to live close enough to each other to procreate, but not close enough to be constantly in earshot.

    Hence, at any point in human history, whenever he could, man furnished a separate home for woman. Nearby, to be handy, but at a distance that provides quietude.

    Be it a twin mansion, or a similar granite cave, seek a separate abode, provide love and peace.

  • Steve the Cynic

    See what I mean?

  • Joe in Minneapolis

    I would be nowhere near as surprised to find Jesus was married as I would be if I found out that Jesus was GAY married.

    Who thought that’s what they meant when they talked about the “Beloved Disciple”!

  • wa6ic

    It affects my understanding of Christianity the same way the existence of Mrs. Claus does. Santa and Jesus are both believe persons with magical powers, so it doesn’t really matter.

  • Wally

    Oh, it would affect me about as much as if some “scholars” “discovered” that the 12 apostles were the founding members of the Jerusalem Gay Men’s Chorus.

  • Michelle

    Jesus was sexy. Read all about his spiritual-sexual relationship and learn to have one too in “A Spiritual Sex Manual” by the Christ Foundation, Jesus, and Charlene Webster.