Very recently a scrap from a manuscript has come to light that indicates Jesus was married. The text is as follows:
1) “not [to] me. My mother gave to me li[fe] … ”
2) The disciples said to Jesus, “
3) deny. Mary is worthy of it
4) ” Jesus said to them, “My wife
5) she will be able to be my disciple
6) Let wicked people swell up
7) As for me, I dwell with her in order to
8) an image
Despite the initial reaction of conservative Christians, no one is claiming that this is document represents the historical Jesus. It is surmised that this belief that Jesus had a wife, however, is indicative for some sects of Christianity around 300-400AD. It is also surmised that documents like this, indicating Jesus had a wife, have been suppressed by the church. Both of these claims are probable, after all, we know of Christian sects who believe Jesus had a twin brother and also those who believe he killed other children when he was young. We also know of a vast collection of gnostic texts that had been destroyed by the church, and entire collection, hidden from the church, has been found as is now known as the Nag Hammadi library. Another possibility is that this was written as fiction that was never intended to be taken as history or non-Christian parody of Christianity such as the Toledot Yeshu.
But this all is beside the point. Was Jesus married?
The Bible indicates no. Although the Bible’s does not forthright identify who was married (Peter and the other apostles are exposed through tangential means (e.g. Mat 8:14 1and Cor 9:5)), there is some suggestion that Jesus was not married. Paul should have known having persecuted the first Christians, the very same who talked to and lived with Jesus. Paul writes:
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Paul, here, is explaining how husbands and wives should treat each other. If Christ had his own wife, there would be no need to draw the parallel between Christ and the church. He would draw the parallel between Christ and Christ’s wife. Even if he was making some grander theological statement, wouldn’t Christ’s wife be worth mentioning in a passage using Christ to illustrate marriage?
The historical Christ was not married. But if he was, how would that affect theological notions of his divinity? Was he destined to never be married, due to his nature, or could he freely have entered into a love relationship if he so chose?