quarta-feira, 19 de setembro de 2012


A new debate on celibacy of Jesus Christ was opened after the book best seller by Dan Brown called "Da Vinci Code." This time, the debate was who brought the researcher Karen King, a professor at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge (Massachusetts). She revealed the discovery of a fragment in Coptic language (ancient Egyptian language) the size of a credit card that reveals the following sentence: "Jesus said to them: my wife ...". In his lecture in Rome, she admits she would not be a proof that Jesus was married. However, it shows that it was a discussion among Christians of the second century on this topic.

We need know that old documents are not synonymous with authentic, as heresies and heretics are also old. The reason is that in the first century there were many heretics and their writings were also passed at that time. Until scribes who were responsible for making copies of the Scriptures tried to corrupt them. Pickering cites in his book The identity of the New Testament Text a quote from Metzger:

Metzger says: Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius, and many other Church Fathers heretics accused of having tampered with the Scriptures in order to provide support for their particular viewpoints. In the middle of the second century, Marcion eliminated their copies of the Gospel according to Luke, all references to the Jewish background of Jesus. A Harmony of the Gospels Tatian contains several textual changes that gave support to the view or ascetic sect encratita.[1]

At that time, several documents were rejected by the Christian church for not bringing the apostolic signature, nor be consistent with the scope of the rest of Scripture. Because of this, several documents were written on behalf of the apostles, being called "Pseudoepígrafos." Even so, the church, in the early second century, had already closed the canon, although it was not officially organized. Because of this, every document that was not the Scriptures, already recognized by the Church, was rejected.

Besides, according to Dr. Pickering, "from 50 AD now has many Jesus'es, and many Marias. '" Therefore, as evidence that this text refers exactly to Jesus Christ and not the other? Anyway, even if it was, could not undo the testimony of thousands of manuscripts, writers, historians in various places without even mention Jesus as married.

The main focus of heresies that tried to undermine Christianity was in Egypt. William Burgon says:

Rather, the early Christians of Alexandria were probably heavily influenced by the heretics who grew up there and that are known to have corrupted the New Testament text, by Basilides, for example, and Valentinus and his disciples.[2]

So not only had old documents that were ignored and considered apocryphal and heretical, as there were those who tried to omit portions of Scripture or make a canon to support their own heresies as in the case of Marcion. Therefore, a single snippet that says the opposite of other scriptures should not bring any bother to anyone.

Against this is still the testimony of several writers and historians of the early second century would never have referred to Jesus as married or having a wife. Among them are: Papias, Justin, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Eusebius, Chrysostom and Jerome. All they quoted Scripture and confirmed from the years 100 to confirm its authenticity which, by omission and inference that Jesus was never married.

Another difficulty against Coptic fragment is that since the fourth century versions of the New Testament had circulated in Egypt by name or Menphitic Dialectic of Lower Egypt. If there was any doubt about the celibacy of Christ, the Gospel would not be so accepted in Egypt, and even to translating the vernacular of the region. So if these are translations of Greek copies, then had the release of the Gospels long. The own version, from the original Greek for the Egyptian language of the time demonstrates its authenticity and worthy of acceptance by the Egyptian church.


The internal evidence about the celibacy of Jesus Christ is only by inference theological and the total omission of the stories of the apostles and prophets. In fact, Jesus would come as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn 1:29, 36). He would come with one purpose: to be the redeemer and the means of salvation for His elect, the Church. Isaiah's description leaves no room for marriage or having a family, since the description of a lamb is suffering:

Isaiah 53:2-4 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground no form nor comeliness; watched him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows about yourself, and we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.

Although the text does not explicitly celibacy of Jesus shows that he, like lamb and silent sufferer, have a mission of suffering and dedication to redeem himself, since he would be the most rejected of humans and without any appearance.

However, it is noteworthy that marriage is not an obstacle to faith, as some thought monks. However, the purpose of Christ was specific as redeemer of his church, and his bride herself.

The apostles identified that the Church was the very Bride of Christ. This showed that it came with one purpose: to rescue a bride who is not the child of man, but his church whom he called "Bride of the Lamb."

Paul wrote:

Ephesians 5:25-27 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, having cleansed her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish.

In this text, Paul uses the image of a bride to teach that Christ came to love his church is his bride, demonstrating his main purpose in coming into the world - redeem it. Paul infers through this text that the marital relationship of vacuum was filled by Christ in his mission to redeem his church.

In several passages that John was an eyewitness reports that the church is the bride of Christ:

John 3:28-29 28 You yourselves are witnesses that I said to you I am not the Christ, but I was sent as his forerunner. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. For this joy is fulfilled in me.

Revelation 21:2 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, adorned as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:9 9 Then came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife;

Revelation 22:17 7 The Spirit and the bride say, Come! He that heareth say, Come! Let him who thirsts come, and whoever wishes to receive for free the water of life.

So perhaps still can find other fragments heretics, but will be difficult to breach the barrier and historical testimony of the apostles and prophets manuscripts scattered in museums around the world. The testimony of the manuscripts is very important since been found in several different places, demonstrating that the authority of the autographs in Greek was a reality and its acceptability as truth is incontrovertible.

[1] PICKERING, Wilbur N. The identity of the New Testament Text. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980, p. 41
[2] Burgon, John William. The last twelve verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark. Ann Arbor: The Sovereign Grace Book Club, 1959, p. 25-26

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