The latest attempt to challenge the truths of Christianity has come in the form of a newly discovered papyrus fragment in which Jesus is quoted as referring to “my wife.” Reuters provides additional details:
A previously unknown scrap of ancient papyrus written in ancient Egyptian Coptic includes the words “Jesus said to them, my wife,” — a discovery likely to renew a fierce debate in the Christian world over whether Jesus was married.
The existence of the fourth-century fragment — not much bigger than a business card — was revealed at a conference in Rome on Tuesday by Karen King, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,” King said in a statement released by Harvard.
“This new gospel doesn’t prove that Jesus was married, but it tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.”
In the wake of this announcement, Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries yesterday warned Christians to prepare for another “wave of Gnostic looniness.” Writing on the topic again today, White discusses the failure of the media to actually study history, opting instead to run with any story that fits their anti-Christian bias. People love a good scandal, and if the scandal is about Jesus, then it is even more enticing.
White concludes his thoughts with an interesting and fitting comparison:
Finally, it is worthwhile to compare and contrast the response this story is getting with the worldwide Islamic rage against a vacuous, silly, absurd Internet video. Muslims are offended by its mockery of Muhammad. I am offended by the mainstream press propping up Gnostic absurdities and blasphemies about Jesus. We watch as Muslim Imams in Egypt tear up the Bible and then burn it in protest. We see death and burning and destruction as signs of an honor religion lashing out at a perceived denial of honor. And how do Christians respond to this attack upon our Savior? We seek to find ways to open dialogue so that we might speak the truth and dispel error. We consider the issues and point out deep and abiding world view issues and historical context errors. We respond with our minds, not with our fists. I truly doubt that Karen King has had to go into hiding due to the story about the papyri scrap. Christianity is not an honor religion. We leave judgment and vindication to the Last Day and we leave it in the hands of the Just Judge. Source
The world hates Christ, and yet He provided for Christians the ultimate example of how to respond to such vitriol. Whether this hatred is manifested in physical persecution, or in these repeated attacks on the truths of the faith, let the Christian be mindful of the model set forth by our Savior.
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Pet. 2:21–25