Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator
Local church leaders weigh in on debate
There have been mixed reactions and growing controversy to the recent claim that has hit the Christian faith about the possibility that Jesus Christ might have had a wife.
"We have no biblical proof of this, but if someone can come with an authentic piece of material to prove this historically, I am willing to consider it," stated Bishop Herro Blair of the Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre.
"However, whether Christ was married or not means nothing to me. He would still be my Christ."
The world has been abuzz since last Tuesday's revelation about a scrap of papyrus containing the line in Coptic, "Jesus said, 'My wife … '".
Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King has said that the papyrus fragment is thought to be from the fourth century, but could be a copy of an early gospel from the second century.
King, based in Cambridge, Massa-chusetts, revealed that a dealer, who wishes to remain anonymous, brought the fragment to her to be translated and analysed in 2011. Last Tuesday, she presented her findings on the fragment to a conference on Coptic texts held in Rome, Italy, once every four years, which sparked a worldwide debate.
The professor speculated that it might have come from a complete gospel she and her research partners have dubbed 'The Gospel of Jesus' Wife'.
Blair was quick to point out that every decade or so there appears a new piece of material that speaks about the life of Christ in some form or the other.
"To say that Christ had a wife, I guess the next thing is for persons to now come out and question His lifestyle," Blair said when asked his views on King's claims. "The whole life of Christ seems to be touching on the religiosity of everyone around the world, each one trying to build a case to suit his own perspective."
Also expressing that whether Jesus had a wife was irrelevant, Pastor Charles Francis of the Faith United Church of God International, said this was neither the first nor would it be the last time someone would come out with claims challenging the long-held doctrines of Christianity. Francis said he views each one with an open mind.
"The Bible does not implicitly state whether He did or not, so I cannot definitively declare it to be true or false. But if it turns out that Christ had a wife, it would not make Him a bad person. It would also change nothing about Him or the fact that He is the Saviour," stated Francis.
Taking a more adamant stand, the Reverend Dr Lenworth Anglin, executive chairman of the Church of God in Jamaica, said based on the accurate biblical recording of the life of Jesus, with the exception of His missing teenage years, he opposed any view that Jesus had a wife.
"We are very clear that the documentation that we have used over the years are substantial and accurate, which makes no reference to such a claim. Therefore, we hold very strongly to the view that based on internal evidence of scripture, the canon and all the available evidence that we have looked at, Jesus was never married. Any other information would be spurious," Anglin stated.