Did Jesus Have a Wife?

In this papyrus, Jesus mentions "my wife" and suggests she is his disciple

In this papyrus, Jesus mentions “my wife” and suggests she is his disciple

W.J. Astore

Did Jesus have a wife? Or, if not a wife, did his mention of “wife” symbolize a greater role for women as disciples? I’ve always wondered about the proudly patriarchal Catholic church and its marginalization of women. WWJD?  Would would Jesus do about a church that is so male-dominated?  So proud of its prejudices and biases vis-a-vis women and their reputed weaknesses?  I’m thinking Jesus would not have approved of official church teachings on women.

The papyrus in which Jesus mentions a wife is suggestive but not conclusive.  Nevertheless, it should spur the church to reexamine its teachings on the proper roles for women within the church.

Women should not be segregated in separate and unequal communities. They should be incorporated in the church as disciples every bit as equal and whole as male disciples.  They should be able to become priests and to administer the sacraments.  No more Adam’s rib and weaker vessel nonsense, Catholics.

It seems a radical concept to a church burdened with two thousand years of woman-marginalizing tradition.  But Jesus came to forge a new covenant, a new world order.  It’s time for the church, at least partially, to fulfill His vision.

Open your hearts, Catholics, to the equality of women within the church.  By doing so, you’ll be following Jesus more nearly.  Or so I believe.


4 thoughts on “Did Jesus Have a Wife?

  1. We’re waiting to find out if the new Pope is like Obama, great liberal rhetoric combined with the same old policies that keep the old order in place with no fundamental change. We noticed today the Pope’s apology to survivors of pedophilia priests but are waiting for real on the ground action.

    It still sounds like women will have to stand at the end of the line for redress until the church allows priests to marry and women to become priests.The church made a big mistake in overreaching to be recognized as a “political” state and thus subject to the same corruption that all political entities suffer from.

    • From an essay by Bertrand Russell, “On Catholic and Protestant Skeptics” (1928)

      “In the realm of philosophy a very interesting example is Mr [George] Santayana, who always loved orthodoxy in itself but hankered after some intellectually less abhorrent form than that provided by the Catholic Church. He liked always in Catholicism the institution of the church and its political influence; he liked, speaking broadly, what the church has taken over from Greece and from Rome, but he did not like what the church has taken over from the Jews, including, of course, whatever it owes to its founder. … This outlook is, no doubt, reinforced by the nostalgia for the past which an unwilling and prolonged contact with America was bound to produce in a Spanish temperament.”

      Which reminds me of the old joke summarizing Professor Santayana’s religious philosophy: “There is no God and Mary is his mother.”

      • Yes. Sadly, the ideal woman for the Church is the Virgin Mary, unsullied and desexualized. “Normal” women are deeply suspect to the men who run the Church, even though it’s women who are generally more observant and more involved in the day-to-day running of the Church (among the laity, naturally).

  2. From an essay by Bertrand Russell, “Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Society?” (1930)

    “There is nothing accidental about this difference between a church and its founder. As soon as absolute truth is supposed to be contained in the sayings of a certain man, there is a body of experts to interpret his sayings, and these experts infallibly acquire power, since they hold the key to truth. Like any other privileged caste, they use their power for their own advantage. They are, however, in one respect worse than any other privileged caste, since it is their business to expound an unchanging truth, revealed once for all in utter perfection, so that they become necessarily opponents of all intellectual and moral progress.”

    “The worst feature of the Christian religion, however, its its attitude toward sex — an attitude so morbid and so unnatural that it can be understood only when taken in relation to the sickness of the civilized world at the time the Roman Empire was decaying. We sometimes hear talk to the effect that Christianity improved the status of women. This is one of the grossest perversions of history that it is possible to make. Women cannot enjoy a tolerable position in society where it is considered of the utmost importance that they should not infringe a very rigid moral code. Monks had always regarded Woman primarily as the temptress; they have thought of her mainly as the inspirer of impure lusts. The teaching of the church has been, and still is, that virginity is best, but that for those who find this impossible, marriage is permissible. ‘It is better to marry than to burn,’ as St Paul brutally puts it. By making marriage indissoluble, and by stamping out all knowledge of the ars amandi, the church did what it could to secure that the only form of sex which it permitted should involve very little pleasure and a great deal of pain. The opposition to birth control has, in fact, the same motive: if a woman has a child a year until she dies worn out, it is not to be supposed that she will derive much pleasure from her married life; therefore birth control must be discouraged.”

    Or, as the ladies can always say to the church fathers in the end: “Mother’s baby, father’s maybe.” So much for St. Joseph the village cuckold. What kind of a man could bear the shame of repeatedly hearing his so-called son wandering around town crowing about how he had a “larger” and “higher” father? How about that Mr George H. W. Bush? How does it feel?

    Even more damning to church dogma, a virgin mother could give birth to a child with only half the normal complement of human DNA, which would make the child a female clone of the mother. It seems to me that women would do themselves a greater service by starting their own matriarchal church — to the extent that they really want to go in for religious mind-poisoning — than by trying to become part of a misogynist organization that has considered itself a temporal power ever since Emperor Constantine’s “donation” unifying church and state in the third century. Humanity still hasn’t yet recovered from that “fatal gift.”

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