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April 24, 2014

RONN MOTT: Again

The specter that Dan Brown wrote about in “The Da Vinci Code” has again become a topic among religious scholars and the popular curiosity of the American people.

A couple of years ago, Karen King, Harvard scholar and researcher, discovered on a small piece of papyrus the phrase, Jesus said to them, “My wife,” meaning his wife was one of the Apostles. This has been talked about, written about, exploited and it has been explored before, and after, Dan Brown wrote and published The Da Vinci Code.

All the disciples, all the male disciples, were married, so in a harsh reality it doesn’t seem difficult to imagine Jesus could have been married as well. When this troupe of people, the disciples, the wives, and the children, all meandered about Palestine, it was a very large group. So the question could certainly be asked, “Where did Christ sleep when all the others picked up and went to bed?” It would seem at that point Jesus being married would be a logical thing to do. But this story of his ministry, which lasted roughly three years, doesn’t fit into any logical sequence, at least the kind normal people take part in.

Ms. Karen King’s research shows the papyrus that was the object of the research was written about 650-850 A.D. Which means it was most likely written by the Coptic Christians living in Egypt. The Coptic Church was one of the oldest, or the oldest, churches formed shortly after Christ’s death.

It certainly isn’t very much to go on as far as accurate research is concerned but, again, it may be much about nothing. Does it matter? I don’t believe so. Is it going to change anything in the established Christian faith? I don’t believe so. And if we could get a question to Jesus in that great celestial hall, we would ask, “Does it matter?” And I think he would say, “I don’t believe so.”

There has been much knowledge about the early church and its practitioners that has been covered up and subjected to politics, personal prejudices and that sort of thing. I think the fact that we celebrated Easter just a few days ago is probably proof positive we have carried it all through from the beginning to now. And whether Jesus was married or not doesn’t really matter. 

The church in Rome has kept the priests celibate and the last few years would show that celibacy may not be the right thing to do.

All the disciples that were hand-selected to carry the message of this new religion went to do the request. Almost all died for it. Whether they were married or not, doesn’t seem, again, to matter.

This question will not be subdued by the little bit of significance of this sentence, or statement. Jesus said to them, “My wife.” The only thing I can say for certain is it will stir more people to look and, hopefully, find an answer that is definite.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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