The “Jesus’ Wife” Heresy

As an outstanding article in The Atlantic  put it, The Bible Refers to Jesus’ Wife, Too–The Church.

Whether the media-hyped ‘fragment’ turns out to be a fraud [which seems likely]*  or simply, false teaching, Christians, who are grounded in Scripture and the teaching of the Church, know better than to entertain this fantasy.  The Incarnation does not open the door to such a path.  Christ is not a bigamist.

In his commentary on “The Hymn in Honor of Christ” in Colossians, F.F. Bruce notes that “an intelligent appreciation of the doctrine of Christ is the best safeguard against most forms of heretical teaching…”

Many arm-chair Christians need to take up a Bible and read.  Colossians 1 and such passages as the prologue to John, Hebrews 1, Ephesians 1, Philippians 2,  etc. , are a powerful antidote to the godless speculation of our day.

Colossians 1:15-20

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
*NOTE: Links in text  became broken; paper on fraud was by Francis Watson of Durham University.   If link does not work,  do search.

[It is now beyond reasonable doubt that this is a fake. {“There’s an error in the fragment that is reproduced from an online version of the Gospel of Thomas.“} /jesuss-wife-textual-fingerprints-of-a-forger/

But, again, the key point is that it does not matter. Fake or simply fourth century false teaching, it is heresy.]

7 comments on “The “Jesus’ Wife” Heresy

  1. Michael Snow says:

    Two things have amazed me about this fraud. First, how many Christians are open to accepting heresy. Secondly, the lack of any evidence that Christians are awake to the opportunity that news like this gives to them to be faithful witnesses to their neighbors. Both are indicative of the self-centered religion of our day.

  2. Michael Snow says:

    “The only surprise was that it’s September. Normally things like this emerge in the ‘silly season’ … No serious scholar, whether Christian, Jewish or atheist, will give it more than a sad smile.”–N.T. Wright

  3. Dan Trabue says:

    A couple of questions:

    1. How is thinking that Jesus might have been married a “heresy…”?

    2. How would Christ being married have been bigamy (you said, “Christ is not a bigamist…”)

    Let me be clear: This ancient fragment of writing is not “proof” of anything. It’s a fragment of a sentence, for one thing. What is the rest of the sentence? We don’t know. Beyond that, we don’t know anything about who wrote this or the context. No, this fragment is not proof of anything, nor does it even suggest anything very solid.

    But I just don’t see how it’s an issue if some people (for no solid reason) thought, “You know, maybe Jesus was married, like all good Jewish boys of his day…” The bible never claims that Jesus wasn’t married, any more than it claims that he was married. And even if he was married (or not) how does that impact the gospel message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus?

    I just don’t see how this is a topic to fret about at all, and I certainly don’t see how one could call it a heresy, that seems like an overly dramatic and uncalled-for stretch, not a little lacking in grace. Unless I’m missing something…

    So, how is it you think this notion is somehow “heretical…”?


    • Michael Snow says:

      There is no ‘proof text’ verse to answer this. Read and consider the passages cited in the article above and ask how Jesus having a wife could possibly fit into this. Rather, it clashes with this Such is the sense of the total Doctrine of Christ that we get from Scripture and the Church. Considering the implications of the Incarnation; his mission; his passion, leaves no other word to describe this false notion than heresy.

      • Dan Trabue says:


        Thanks for the answer, but I don’t see how it addresses the questions I asked.

        I can’t fathom how “heresy” applies in any sense. The factual state of Jesus’ marital status is quite simply not part of Christian essentials and is a complete non-issue, biblically speaking.

        It’s like saying, “What? Some people are claiming Jesus was left-handed?!! Why, that’s heresy!!”

        I just can’t see how things that are left unsaid in Scripture (and Jesus’ marital status is completely unaddressed in Scripture) can in any possible sense be “heretical.”

        Holding an opinion about Jesus’ favorite color, would that be heretical?

        Holding an opinion about Jesus’ belonging to a boys and girls club as a child, would that be heretical?

        These are all things not spoken of in Scripture.

        I don’t think it can even be called a “false notion.” At best, we could call it an unsupported notion, but since we can’t prove Jesus’ marital status, how could we reasonably call it “false…”?

        Are you suggesting that anyone who holds ANY opinion about Jesus’ time on earth that is not mentioned in the Bible, that this person holds a heretical opinion?

        Also, in what sense would Jesus being married somehow equate to bigamy?

        I just don’t think you’re using those words correctly.

        I have looked at the texts you offer, I see nothing to suggest even in the slightest that having an opinion about Jesus’ marital status is somehow heretical or false or bigamy.

        In Christ, all things were created and have their being. And, Jesus on earth happened to be left-handed and have a wife… Where is the mistake? Where is the heresy?

        How are you defining heresy? (Typically, “A belief or opinion contrary to accepted doctrine…,” right?) Does the church even HAVE a position on Jesus’ marital status? I don’t think it does. I’m wholly unaware of any official opinion. We certainly don’t have any doctrines dealing with it, not in any faith traditions of which I’m aware.

        I know traditionally, we haven’t had any reason to really think so, but it seems more of a “meh, I see no reason to think so, but I see no reason to argue about an unknowable opinion…”

        Jesus’ marital status is not addressed in any creeds of which I’m aware, it is not spoken of in the bible… I just don’t get this hubbub about an unknowable hunch.

  4. Dan Trabue says:

    By the way, I love the concept of this website – texts in context, a great idea!

  5. Love the line, “christ was not a bigamist”. Awesome.

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