Just this week, news media all over the world are reporting on a manuscript that was discovered which again raises the question about Jesus having a wife. Have you heard this story yet? If not, you can bring yourself up to speed by clicking on the news story here. Harvard researcher Karen King gave us an ancient fragment, of papyrus the size of a business card with the phrase, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife.’” It also mentions Mary, which most believe it is a reference to Mary Magdalene – certainly not the first time agnostics, atheists, and heretics have claimed Jesus was married to her.
Remember the gospel of Judas? Me neither – and that was a couple of years of back. How about The Da Vinci Code book and movie from 2003? Author Dan Brown also thinks Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Apparently he went on to make big bucks with his book and adaptation of it in a Hollywood blockbuster.
Why is this important? It’s important to bring up because Christianity has been, is and will be under attack whether you like it or not. Jesus and the gospel is the story of the Bible, the core of Christianity and so it’s only logical that the core of Christianity will be attacked by others trying to dismantle it. So how should Christians respond when stories like this pop up? How should we answer our classmates, family, friends and co-workers when they ask us about how really truthful your Bible is? While we hold the Scriptures as sacred and as God’s revelation on his story of redemption, the skeptics want us to only believe that God is a fable and Jesus was merely another man.
I’m not a New Testament scholar….not even a scholar by a long shot. But I have done some homework on the veracity, accurateness and truthfulness of the Bible and you should as well. You can click here to hear our doctrine series on how the Bible was put together if you missed it. There’s also a long outline you can read if you click under “Community Group Content.”
A few things to keep in mind in light of this new manuscript is that it is 400 years removed from the time of Jesus, while the 4 gospels were written within the same century that Jesus lived. Other ancient manuscripts we acknowledge as accurate today have copies of manuscripts over 1,000 years removed from the original and only a handful of copies are available. Compare that to the New Testament manuscripts, roughly 5,800 manuscript copies that exist with only minor grammatical errors which result in an accuracy rate of 97%.
Our confidence in the Bible is not based on the evidence as much as the faithfulness of God. God loves his people and it is important for him to have his own words being read – that’s why you have a Bible! God is sovereign and in control of history. The historical data on the Bible is reliable and accurate even by secular standards. Lastly, the Bible has changed the lives of millions and millions of people including yours.
Dr. Al Mohler from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote a great piece on this new manuscript and you can read it here about the sensationalism in the new media over this manuscript and how it is masqueraded as scholarship. I highly recommend it.
When was the last time you read God’s word? God has in his sovereignty allowed you to have access to his word as a book, an audio file, and a smartphone app. You have access to God’s very own words to get to know him and his plan of redemption for you. You have access to the Bible today, more than any other people in the world. Are you treasuring the word of God? I encourage you to read the Bible and if you have doubts, do your homework. Investigate the evidence which proves God’s word is true. That’s the evidence the media won’t report on.