“Did Jesus Have A Wife?”: Nigerians React On Social Media And SAHARATV
A question posed to one of the guests on SaharaTV weekly live TV show in New York ignited social media circuits garnering over 700 comments on Facebook alone in the last 24-hours.
Venerable Ike Chukwuka, the guest of Rudolf Okonkwo on SaharaTV’s Roundtable described the story as a sign of the end of time. “It is not a surprise to have a Harvard professor make such a claim,” he said. “Jesus is Lord, no controversy, no matter what any other person thinks or feels about it.”
The director of the Redemption Church in Calgary, Canada, said, “Many have come up and made a lot of claims.”
Asked why Christians had not taken to the street in protest of the research publication, Venerable Chukwuka noted that, “When the world comes back to say some horrible things about Him … we as Christians don’t respond the way the other religion respond when their leader is attacked.”
Last week, Harvard’s Divinity Professor Karen King said that a fourth-century papyrus text explicitly referred to Jesus as having a wife. She made the announcement at a conference of Coptic scholars in Rome. King, an expert in the history of Christianity said that the text contains a dialogue where Jesus refers to “my wife.” In the text Jesus identified the wife as Mary. But King said it did not provide proof that Jesus was married.
Hundreds of Nigerians stormed Facebook and Twitter to express their opinions.
“Yes, so many blasphemies have been made and written against Jesus Christ,” wrote Peter Udiong on Saharareporters Facebook page, “but in Christianity, our belief is that it is only God that can judge. Again, we believe that our God will always fight for us because He is living and all powerful God and that is what makes Him God. Christians cannot fight for their God because He has the ability and He is not a dead God!”
In his reaction, Obinna Chukwu wrote, “I have nothing to say, other than that religions are the scourge of the world. If we abolish religions, especially Islam & Christianity (which are religions of hatred and falsehood), the world will be a more peaceful and a much safer place. As for Mohammed and Jesus, their true identities will come to light in no long time.”
Taking on the researcher, Mutimba Mazwi wrote, “I think the Harvard researcher at the center of all this had academic fatigue and is going through a bad patch. To imply the Messiah had a wife is insulting, considering he advised Paul against getting married, only if he could stand living alone.”
Another commentator, Auwal Ahmed wrote, “Muslims believe and give trust to all the prophets of Allah including Jesus. Sahara Reporter you better stop this instigation if you don’t want the wrath of Nigerians to jump to you. Please keep away from religious comment.”
Many other commentators took their anger on Saharareporters. Simon Lar wrote,” Sahara, it seems you have your evil plan against our country Nigeria. You cannot succeed. You better ask your reporter of such article to repent. Nigerians are not your people who think they can fight for their god. Such article cannot distract us or cause us anything.”
Other researchers in the history of Christianity have dismissed the text from which Karen King arrived at her conclusion as fake. Professor Francis Watson of Durham University called the papyrus fragment a patchwork of texts from the Gospel of Thomas. He alleged that genuine Coptic-language Gospel of Thomas was copied and reassembled out of order to arrive at a new conclusion.
It would not be the first time that scholars have insinuated that Jesus had a relationship with a woman. In Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel, The Last Temptation of Christ, it was suggested that Jesus had a relationship with Mary Magdalene. Martin Scorsese’s 1988 adaptation of that novel, in a film of the same title, built on the same theme, including having Jesus imagining himself engaged in a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene.
Writing on Saharareporters Facebook page, Raphael Ogar Oko noted that, “Many things that Jesus did were not written in the Bible. Let us not ignore the fact that Jesus did not write the Bible himself and he did not supervise the writing. Others were inspired to write and we cannot say that they wrote all. There is no account of Jesus’ life from age 13 to 30 years. Where was he and what was he doing? Never anywhere in the Bible we read today.”
In her reaction Liz Udie wrote, “Which wife? What was her name? From which tribe? Is that meant to discourage? No amount of such cheap lies would change my mind about Jesus! He remains the Lord of Lords, King of Kings and the Savior of the world. Whether he married or not is irrelevant!!”