Baker Academic

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Was Jesus Ever Married? - Le Donne

This Lodi, CA newspaper attempts to document our public lectures on this topic last night at the University of the Pacific. Here George Randels is pictured alongside an enthusiastic me. Not pictured here is Carrie Schroeder who was integral to the event. Carrie, a Coptic expert, gave a very balanced account of Gnostic Christianity, the Gospels of Philip, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Thomas, and the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife".

Unfortunately, the newspaper article above misrepresents several of Carrie's points and completely missed one of her most important points concerning a very suspicious typo in the Karen King find.  Schroeder is of the mind that Jesus was probably not married.  I am more open to this possibility but think that an "early Church cover-up" is highly implausible. Moreover, Jesus doesn't seem to reflect much interest in the institution of marriage (as this would have been understood by his contemporaries).

My final point: any theory of Christian Origins that appeals to conspiracy theories and suggest that Mary Magdalene was Jesus' lover are not the best explanation of our earliest and best sources for Jesus' life.  The canonical Gospels contain several embarrassing details about Jesus' awkward relationship with his family. If the early Christians were concerned with covering up such details, they failed miserably.  More on this topic in my inexpensive Jesusbuch (which makes a lovely stocking stuffer).


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