REALITY CHECK: There would be no Bible had Jesus said ‘I do’

Reality Check | Mike Taylor

There is no way Jesus was married.

I’m no theologian (as will soon become apparent) but I know this much: Jesus was a bachelor. Lately, some folks have been debating the issue.

At a recent academic conference in Rome, Karen L. King, a church historian at Harvard Divinity School, displayed a fourth century manuscript, written in Coptic (the official language of cops, I assume), that shows the Nazarene referring to a mystery woman as “My wife,” though not as part of a “Take my wife. Please!” joke.

Skeptical scholars at the conference noted the manuscript in question was written about 350 years after the crucifixion, whereas the four Gospels were penned much nearer the events related therein. In other words, King’s manuscript is in no way an eyewitness account and should thus be taken with a grain of salt.

Also, if Jesus had been married, the scholars say, surely Matthew, Mark, Luke or John would have mentioned it somewhere.

Theologians quote yards of Scripture to back up their assertion, but there’s really no need for that. Anyone who’s been married already knows Jesus was not.

I’ve said “I do” several times myself, so, though I’m no Biblical scholar, I am something of an expert when it comes to marriage. (Getting married, I mean, not staying that way.) Anyway, take my word for it, had Jesus been married, His story would have been far different from the one history relates.

I can just picture a typical day in the life of the married Savior: The sun is shining over the Sea of Galilee; there’s a gentle breeze blowing wisps of foam from the tops of the breakers as the fishing boats prepare to leave shore. Gulls cry in the distance. It is an altogether perfect morning.

Jesus downs the last of his second cup of coffee and turns to His wife, Edna (a nice, Biblical name). Edna, dressed in a faded, blue housedress and pink bunny slippers, is washing up the breakfast dishes.

“Well, I’m off then,” Jesus says, reaching for his hat.

“Are you?” Edna says, eyebrow arching. “Off where?”

“Fishing,” Jesus says.

“Fishing? For fish? Something that’ll put a little food on the table?”

“Um … well, no, actually,” Jesus says. “Fishing for men. You know. The work of my Father and all that.”

Edna wrings her dishrag, sighs deeply, pats her work-chapped hands on her apron. “And then?” she asks, understated menace clear in her voice. “Any plans for after ‘work?’”

“Well, I thought I might drop by the Den of Iniquity Lounge and hang out with the gamblers and thieves for a while. The dregs of the Earth need my guidance most, y’know.”

“Uh-huh,” Edna says. “And will there be girls there?”

Jesus scratches under his collar. “Well … you know … prostitutes and stuff, but let he who is without sin cast the first—”

Edna pelts Him with a rather large stone. “How about you get some carpentry done instead?” she suggests.

“But dear…” Jesus says.

“You can start with the loose door on the shed,” Edna snaps, turning back to her dirty dishes. “You’ve been promising to get that taken care of for 40 days and 40 nights!”

Jesus sighs, picks up his tool box, exits, muttering under his breath the whole time. Edna pretends to not notice.

And that’s pretty much how things would have gone had Jesus been married. So, see, even without the assurance of theologians, we can assume He was not.

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