Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jesus' wife and Shakespeare

The papyrus fragment which mentions Jesus' wife has been found to be authentic, time-wise ... Harvard Magazine: The Jesus’s Wife Fragment: The Scientific Evidence. For more information, see Duke NT professor Mark Goodacre's post: The Jesus' Wife Fragment is Back.

Would it matter if Jesus had been married? Depends on how you look at it. The Catholic Church would, I think, have a harder time justifying mandatory celibacy for priests if Jesus had been married, and James Martin SJ has a post asserting that Jesus was *not* married ... Did Jesus Have a Wife? No. One of the arguments Fr. Martin makes for why he believes Jesus wasn't married is that being single would have allowed Jesus to make a "single-hearted commitment to God".

I'm unconvinced by the idea that being married would get in the way of being wholeheartedly devoted to God or others ... most (all?) of the apostles chosen by Jesus, including Peter, were married, and there are many examples of married people devoted to God and their neighbors (like Albert Schweitzer). Love and devotion aren't like a finite pile of widgets that gets depleted if used in intimate personal relationships ... loving only increases love. As Shakespeare had Juliet say ... My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite :) ...


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