Tag Archives: Jesus

Papyrus Fragment Claiming Christ had a Wife

Matthew was written A.D. 65-70, Mark was written A.D. 48-55, Luke was written A.D. 57-62, and John was written in A.D. 90, all of the authors were disciples of Christ or in the case of Luke, able to talk with eye witnesses about  the events of Christ’s life. This is the verified truth. Any document, especially one that comes several hundred years after Christ walked on the earth and does not line up with biblical record must be found wanting. Jesus talked about the Church being His bride, thus His wife, and perhaps this is where an error was made in this manuscript.  To believe that the inspired Word of God would leave out the fact that Jesus was married, when it covered every other aspect of His walk here on earth is absurd.

Papyrus Fragment Claiming Christ had a Wife

Karen L. King,  Hollis Professor of Divinity, a historian on early Christianity did caution that this fragment of papyrus, which according to the article in the New York Times is smaller than a business card and its origin unknown,

“should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married. The text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early, historically reliable Christian literature is silent on the question, she said.”

Her excitement hinges on her hope to show that marriage and sex, was part of Christ’s life and therefore a life of celibacy not a requirement to be a follower.  However, the translation of the text is lacking much context and similar to the Gnostic writings of Gospels of Thomas and Mary, and not included in the Canon of the Bible.

Somehow the idea of a tiny fragment, lacking clarity and context, hundreds of years after Christ walked the earth, and  upheld as the proof text that Jesus was married, seems reaching at best.  The documents most closely written to when Jesus walked on earth are  the Gospels found in the New Testament and these do not allude to such a life.   Because God  created marriage and does say much about it through out the Bible, it follows that had Jesus been married, He too, being God, would have spoken about His own married life and how to live and love successfully.  But the text of the Bible, not silent on marriage, but deathly silent on Jesus being married, makes suspect any text found that makes such claims, especially when it is so many years past the time of Christ.

Life and Death Walk Hand in Hand

Life. It comes in all shapes and sizes, colors and characters, and makes up the world in which we live. And when it is gone, we recognize our waste, ache because of our apathy and yearn to return and do it again, better somehow.

Life ended all over the world today, yet more specifically in my world, seven people this week breathed their last, a grim wake up call that life and death walk hand in hand.

Two men who loved and served their God and families left this earth. An uncle, whose funeral had more words about partying, than about God, left the world and his family behind. Two young men, ready to play football in college had their dreams destroyed in a car crash. Evan, just adopted from an orphanage in Georgia, died in an Israeli hospital of health complications, with his new American mommy and daddy trusting in the Sovereignty of God and clinging to His love. And perhaps the death that staggered my world the most was that of Norma Lopez, a seventeen year old girl, who was abducted and murdered only miles from my home, my church and my world.

Life and death walk hand in hand, but when life is taken in a vicious, evil manner, the breaking of my heart is almost audible. All I can think is how broken the heart of God must be as He gazes on this world, past, present and future, and sees the wickedness of mankind. Yet God stays His hand, as Lamentations states, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.”

Praise the Lord that He stays His hand and does not consume us, for though most are not murderous and evil according in the world’s standards, all of us are wicked in God’s eyes in light of His perfect holiness. None have lived perfect lives and therefore we are damned without Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.

Jesus, God’s perfect Son was nailed by evil to the cross because He loved the world and desired all to be rescued from the evil fallen state in which we live. He aches because of the evil and He promises that justice will prevail and yet He waits for all to have a chance to hear and believe that He has come to save each person from sin and death and offer an eternal home in heaven with Him.

Death is no respecter of persons, it takes at any age and when it so pleases. It either leads to eternal life in heaven with God or eternal damnation in hell.  The choice lies solely on the individual and what he or she does when confronted with the truth of Jesus.

The hope and beauty of eternity is found only in Jesus Christ and it is only in His own dance with death and his resurrection that gives every human the opportunity to turn from this evil infested world and turn to the kingdom of God which we were created for; a kingdom with no end.

Death is either a doorway into glorious life forever in perfection, or it is the passage that leads to the hellish punishment man deserves for rejecting Christ. God is good and just, He loves profoundly and this love caused Him to bleed and die. Yet He won’t let those who disregard His perfect standard and His free gift to soil His perfect kingdom. He holds the key and is still holding the door open to any who desire to come to Him, but one day it will be too late. One day, the door will be shut and there will be no chance to return and try again. It is appointed once for man to die; be it by heart attack, murder, car crash, health issues or old age…we all die, and then the judgement. We are judged for our acceptance of Jesus Christ or our rejection.

Life for the Christian begins at death, for eternity is where reality truly is found. Eternal death begins when pride and sin keep one from accepting the reality that only through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection can a man be saved.

You and I are going to die. What is waiting for you on the other side? Do you know the Giver of Life who holds the keys to eternity? Or are you banking that on the fairy tale that all roads lead to heaven?

My Christmas Guest

A beautifully embossed Christmas card arrived today, sealed in wax with an ancient royal signet ring.  Mystified, I carefully opened the envelope hoping to keep the wax seal intact to show my husband the intricate beauty. As I pulled out the translucent parchment and began to read, my hands shook with disbelief. I paused to sit down and halt the flow of salty tears that threatened to run the ink on this priceless letter. I could hear the beating of my heart in the silent room as I resumed reading. The message was truly a tiding of great joy for my family, and a blessing more desirous than anything my heart could have hoped for. To tell you the contents of this note would almost be sacrilegious without great pomp and circumstance attached; yet poetry eludes me and song flies away in the face of this momentous note. So I will just write it bluntly, without the prescribed celebration. Jesus, the Son of God, will be visiting our house on Christmas Day!

There has never been enough money to go around during the holiday season. We always have more year, more month, and more day at the end of each paycheck. We always have more Christmas wishes and guests than our finances can afford, and this year our house will be full again with family and friends, full of love and joy. Each year my heart is filled with the desire to make everyone’s wish list come true and an inability to do so; and now I have the most famous guest of all arriving on December twenty-fifth. How am I to prepare of this? The King of the universe is coming to my humble dwelling. Royalty will be sitting on my old couch. Nothing in this house is clean enough for my Lord. Nothing will ever make my home worthy of such an arrival.

A week is all the time I have to clean, bake, decorate and shop.Only a week to prepare for Immanuel. How have the chosen few from Bible stories of old prepared for this type of visitation?  The women during Passover so thoroughly clean their homes that no dust remains even in the darkest corners. Do I have time for that? I must! Jesus can’t enter this house with cobwebs in the eaves and fingerprints on the window panes.

What kind of meal should I prepare? Traditional? Gourmet? Or perhaps something Jewish in flavor? It has to be perfect. Nothing less will do! But I am far from a gourmet chef, so perhaps I should have this momentous meal catered. I better get a cookbook, as well as a restaurant guide, when I go to the store. Who will have the honor of sitting on either side of Him at the dining table? Should I draw straws as each family member enters the dining room? Jesus, of course, will sit at the head of the table. We will request His blessing on our feast, whatever we end up eating. Oh, who will monitor the topics of conversation? What if someone says something wrong? What if somehow we dishonor our Guest?

Finally, what kind of gift should I buy? What does a person wrap up in Christmas red and green for the owner of all the cattle on the hills? What could I possibly give the Give of Life?

So you see my dilemma. I am so honored, yet so unworthy, so unready. I have spent three days spring cleaning my home in the dead of winter. It has never been so sanitary. The carpets are clean, the windows Windexed, an the children’s toys have been wiped down and put in the proper places. Any sign of a mess will result in some form of discipline!

All the customary Christmas decorations are put in place. I wondered if I should put any Santa Clause decorations out, or leave them packed away for next year? Is there anything in my traditional Christmas that would offend my Guest?

I now face the challenge of a lifetime, the mission impossible, the task of finding the perfect present for God’s perfect gift to me. Ironically, I end up at the mall with a mass of humanity also looking for their perfect gifts as well. I wander through the shops and realize how ludicrous it is to search here for a gift for God. What would He want from a mall? A tie? a Sweater? After-shave?  How about a monogrammed stationary set? I can just see it now, embossed in gold, “GOD” in the center of the page. Perhaps something from His creation would be more appropriate: a perfect poinsettia or basket of fruit might make a lovely gift. Yet after three days of frantic searching, I still haven’t found anything to wrap up for the King of kings. As I sit at the foot of our Christmas tree, looking at all the other gifts, I weep because of the loss I feel not having something for my Savior.

Christmas morning arrived and the children rushed out happily to ransack their stockings. I was caught up in their smiles and happiness as we sat down to read the Christmas Story from the Bible. As the story unfolded, and the children sat quietly listening to the part where the angel told the shepherds about Jesus’ birth, a quiet rap came from the front door. All became silent as we realized Whom the knock represented. I quickly surveyed the room and the children, as my husband and I made our way to the door. Were we ready to welcome the Birthday Guest into our home? Before I could answer the knock however, my youngest child reached the entry way, threw open the door, and jumped into the arms of Jesus.

My heart stopped as I watched Jesus walk through the door with my child hanging on His arm. This wasn’t how I planned this moment. Was Jesus offended by such a rambunctious and an utterly un-worshipful welcome? I was mortified at what it said about my child’s behavior and my parenting!

The moment of entry seemed to last an eternity, until the shrill squeals of my brood restarted the hand of the clock. I realized that I had been holding my breath, as I sharply exhaled. I then caught a glimpse of Jesus’ face and the delighted twinkle in His eyes, as He reached down to touch each child. How I wanted to weep and repent, dance and laugh, at my foolish heart. I recalled the verse in an instant, that says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” I had been so worked up about how to make my home, my children and my life acceptable, that I had forgotten that He only requires my love. Nothing more, but my love.  All else had been done for me two thousand years ago on the cross.

He looked at me as He entered the room and held His arms open wide. I walked to Him and embraced Him with every ounce of love and devotion a hug could convey. He wiped the tears from my face and led me to the couch. We sat down and Jesus began to tell us about His Christmas Story. We were mesmerized as the familiar Sunday School lesson was told by the Author Himself. Awestruck, the children hardly moved as they listened to Jesus. The perfect Christmas gift sat on our couch and we worshiped Him.

As other guests arrived, the peace, joy and love that permeated our humble home, filled each heart. No other Christmas will equal the one spent with Jesus as the Honored Guest. Never will I forget how He played with the new train set or teasingly put on the princess crown and feather boa.  Always will we remember the laughter over Christmas dinner and the reverent thanks offered to God our Father.

However, my greatest memory was the forgiveness, unconditional acceptance and the love His smiling face, twinkling eyes and warm hug conveyed to me. Merry Christmas my Lord! I am honored to have You in my house each and every day!

Written by Mary Selby for her children Christmas 2003.

Look Who’s Chopping Down the Christmas Tree

Being from the Left Coast and Southern California to boot, I was not surprised to find Christmas under attack when I read Michelle Malkin’s blog.  Apparently, “Operation Santa Clause” and the Christmas tree that represented the toy drive for poor children, was offensive to someone.  According to the Orange County Register, the Christmas tree at the Orange County Superior Courthouse has been a twenty year tradition and the focal point for the toy drive.  The public could come and take a tag off the tree and purchase a toy for a needy child.  However, because of some intolerant, easily offended individual, the tree had to come down.

Court house employees started a petition to get the tree set back up.  “That tree holds the cards that contain the wishes and needs of those less fortunate than we are and shame on those who want to take that away from those of us who wish to give …” the petition says. “Now at the court’s darkest hour, our symbol of hope has been taken away from us.”

The public outcry did the trick and the court restored the tree.

“After assessing the situation, including case law on similar circumstances, and giving serious weight to the concerns expressed by staff, Judge (Kim) Dunning has concluded these trees are permissible for display in our lobbies,” the court’s chief executive officer, Alan Carlson, said in a statement. Dunning is the court’s presiding judge.

As a certified Christmas Tree hugger, I am grateful that the tree was restored.  It is a timely reminder that the good fight will never end.  There will always be Scrooges ready to kill “Christ”mas.  Herod tried to kill baby Jesus over two thousand years ago, and today many still have that murderous desire.  They will kill the traditions, the creches, the trees, the Holiday music, just as Herod tried to do so many years ago.  There are those who hate Jesus Christ and Christmas reminds them for Whom the Christmas bell tolls.

I am afraid that we will always need to make a stand for the Christmas Tree and for the Christ of Christmas.  Yet be encouraged, no one has ever been able to silence the message of the Angels, “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11-14).