Saturday, September 27, 2014

Does It Matter If Jesus Was Married?

Bart was invited to a discussion at the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in the Beam Music Center, Doc Rando Hall, UNLV. Which is an International Center for Creative Writers and Scholars. The event was open to the public, hosted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 7pm. Bart Ehrman, Karen L. King (Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School) and Mark Jordan (Distinguished Professor at Washington University, Saint Louis) discuss the underlying question: What would a married Christ mean for the theology, practices, and politics of Christian traditions as they grapple with changing times?

In 2012, Harvard's Hollis Professor of Divinity, Karen King, shocked the Christian world by revealing an ancient papyrus text in which Jesus refers to his "wife." Written on a piece of papyrus now reduced to just four centimeters high and eight wide, the fragment addresses issues of family and discipleship. "This is the only extant ancient text which explicitly portrays Jesus as referring to a wife," King writes in her scholarly paper on the "The Gospel of Jesus's Wife." In an interview, King emphasized that this discovery does not prove that the historical Jesus was married. This gospel, like others dated to the second century which make opposing claims—that Jesus was celibate, for example—are too late, historically speaking, to provide any evidence as to whether the historical Jesus was married or not, she says. But the fragment does suggest that 150 years or so after Jesus's birth, Christians were already taking positions on such questions. Significantly, this new text pushes the date at which some Christians were asserting that Jesus was married back to a time contemporaneous with the earliest assertions that he was celibate.

Video discussed on Bart Ehrman's Foundation Blog:

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude.

Ancient Papyrus - Does It Matter If Jesus Was Married?

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