Archive for September 2012
“What does it matter if our own plans are frustrated? Is it not better to serve our neighbor than to have our own way?”— Dietrcih Bonhoeffer, “Life Together” pg. 95
Some of you may have heard about the reports of a 4th century fragment that claims Jesus referred to having a wife.
This is a great example of why the Gospels were written.
For about 30 years after the death of Jesus there were no written accounts of his life. The story of his life was preached verbally by the apostles.
During that time there were so many eyewitnesses to what Jesus did, to his miracles and the fact that he died and rose again, that people couldn’t get away with distorting accounts of Jesus in order to use his legacy to advance their agenda (See 1 Cor, 15). So if someone did try to distort something about Jesus, there were eyewitnesses who could set the record straight. There were too many people who would say “No that didn’t happen, I was there.” or “Yes that did happen, I was there”
However, as the eyewitnesses began to get older and die out it became clear that there needed to be accurate, authoritative accounts of the life of Jesus so there would be a reliable source that people could go to, to find out the truth about who Jesus actually was, what he actually said, and what he actually did.
That is why the Gospels were written. So if someone in the 4th century (or whenever) wrote something about Jesus there would be accurate sources of information about Jesus to validate or invalidate other claims.
So what we do with something that claims to tell us that Jesus had a wife, is we look at the gospels and see what they say. If that claim contradicts the gospels, we know it is false which is the case here.
For a more learned perspective on this keep up with what Dr. Darrell Bock has to say on his blog: http://blogs.bible.org/bock/darrell_l._bock/quick_thoughts_on_the_new_jesus_wife_text