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Apologetics

Was Jesus Married?

From: Chris Ho-Stuart <>
Newsgroups: aus.religion.christian
Date: Tuesday, 9 March 1999 9:03
Subject: Re: Questions. Any Answers?


Able <> wrote:
> On Mon, 08 Mar 1999 13:51:49 GMT,  (The
> Shadow) wrote:
>
> >The KJV says "Jesus was called", not invited. Also, the Gsopel refers
> >to "...the mother of Jesus was there...", not that she was invited.
> >Seems she was there by some sort of right.
>
>  In the KJV it says that Jesus was called and his disciples, by your
> logic it was a multiple wedding.
>   Now why don't you ask Chris Ho-Stuart for his opinion on this , you
> would do well to IMHO.

Thanks Able,

I've been wanting to say a bit about this; but I suspect it will
not go down well with either side of the debate.

Jesus was most likely not married. It is true that it would be
normal for a man in his position to be married; but we can take
it as given that Jesus was not normal. The silence of the gospels
on this matter is not conclusive, but it *is* evidence.

I'd be curious if Able would agree with this...

There is no reason to think the wedding in Cana was Jesus' own
wedding. That is pretty silly. There is a plain reference to the
bridegroom in the story, and no suggestion that this is Jesus.
At the end of the story, Jesus goes with his mother and brothers
and disciples to Caperneum.

For all that a jewish rabbi of the time would be expected to have
a wife; there *were* sects who deprecated marriage, such as the
Essenes; and Jesus had more in common with such sects than with
the mainstream.

If Jesus was married, he'd be a hopeless husband. Jesus' teaching
is fairly consistently anti-family. (Hark? Can I hear people
bristling all over the internet?)

The wedding at Canna is widely used as an proof text for
Jesus santifiying the institution of marriage. If we read
the passage, this is *very* telling. In this story there is
nothing said in support of marriage at all. It was just a
convenient venue for a miracle, and a point at which Jesus
disavows his mother -- or breaks away from family ties. And
yet this is the best the church can do to associate Jesus
with marriage.

Or perhaps we could cite Jesus on divorce. Yet here too, Jesus'
teaching continues to take control out of the hands of married
couples. A focus on the evils of divorce is indicative of a
concern for regulation, and for marriage as a discipline to
be imposed as having value in its own right; rather than as a
manifestation of a couples own determination and decision to
give primacy to each other and their children.

The church through history has consistently rated marriage and
family as a second best option: less than virginity and celibacy.
It has also consistently -- and correctly! -- recognized that the
family is a potent threat to the church's claim that we give
primary loyalty to God.

I heard a comment once, which struck a definite chord with me.
The sermon on the mount is a wonderful and inspiring sermon. But
it is a sermon for singles. Taking no thought for the 'morrow
is admirable -- or at least thought provoking -- for an itinerant
preacher. It is gross irresponsiblity for someone with family.

Jesus, whether married or not, was no husband.

Cheers -- Chris




-----Original Message-----
From: Nigel B. Mitchell <>
Newsgroups: aus.religion.christian
Date: Tuesday, 9 March 1999 7:38
Subject: Re: Questions. Any Answers?



The issue of whether or not Jesus was married is fascinating, and has
been discussed here before. As usual, Chris has shown an excellent
understanding of the relevant scriptures and issues. 

I have just a few comments.


Chris:

>>I've been wanting to say a bit about this; but I suspect it will
>>not go down well with either side of the debate.
>>
>>Jesus was most likely not married. It is true that it would be
>>normal for a man in his position to be married; but we can take
>>it as given that Jesus was not normal. The silence of the gospels
>>on this matter is not conclusive, but it *is* evidence.

I do not think that Jesus was married, but I am prepared to be
convinced. The two difficult issues are: How did Jesus gain any
credibility with _anyone_ if he was unmarried. In Jewish society of
Jesus' day, a single man of 30+ would have been extremely unusual, and
a single "Rabbi" impossible. Secondly, what were all those women doing
following Jesus and the disciples around (Matt 27:55-6, Mark 15:41,
Luke 23:27,49,55) if they were not the wives of Jesus and the
disciples? 

Chris:
>>There is no reason to think the wedding in Cana was Jesus' own
>>wedding. That is pretty silly.

The thing that neds to be explained is why Mary took responsibility,
and expected Jesus to do something about it. It would make sense if it
was Jesus' wedding. It would also make sense if Jesus and his
disciples were gatecrashers and/or heavy drinkers, and therefore the
cause of the wine running out. If it was neither of these things, why
did Mary and Jesus feel they ought to act?
 
Chris:
>>For all that a jewish rabbi of the time would be expected to have
>>a wife; there *were* sects who deprecated marriage, such as the
>>Essenes; and Jesus had more in common with such sects than with
>>the mainstream.

The Essenes deprecated marriage because they were a monastic
community. They did not live in society as celibate singles, nor did
they travel about. 

Chris:
>>If Jesus was married, he'd be a hopeless husband. Jesus' teaching
>>is fairly consistently anti-family. (Hark? Can I hear people
>>bristling all over the internet?)

I think that anti-family is a bit harsh, but I cannot fault what you
say about Jesus and marriage, nor about his teaching being more easily
applied by singles than by married people. That is one of the reasons
that Christian monasticism and the celibate priesthood have been so
successful until the current century. It would be interesting to
reflect on what has changed in this regard.

>>The wedding at Canna is widely used as an proof text for
>>Jesus santifiying the institution of marriage. If we read
>>the passage, this is *very* telling. In this story there is
>>nothing said in support of marriage at all. It was just a
>>convenient venue for a miracle, and a point at which Jesus
>>disavows his mother -- or breaks away from family ties. And
>>yet this is the best the church can do to associate Jesus
>>with marriage.

>ROTFL.

I don't know what Able is ROTFL about, but offhand I cannot think of
another occasion where Jesus says or does anything positive about
marriage. 

Chris:
>>Or perhaps we could cite Jesus on divorce. Yet here too, Jesus'
>>teaching continues to take control out of the hands of married
>>couples. A focus on the evils of divorce is indicative of a
>>concern for regulation, and for marriage as a discipline to
>>be imposed as having value in its own right; rather than as a
>>manifestation of a couples own determination and decision to
>>give primacy to each other and their children.

Able:
> More ROTFL.

It is great that Chris can bring so much laughter into your life.

I think that you miss the point of Jesus' teaching on marriage, Chris.
He is talking about committment and promise-keeping (this is not a
reference to the movement of that name). If a promise and committment
is made before God and/or other witnesses, it should be kept. There
are no extenuating circumstances for going back on your word, other
than _maybe_ if the other party to the covenant reneges. That is how I
have always understood Jesus' teaching on marriage.

Chris:
>>The church through history has consistently rated marriage and
>>family as a second best option: less than virginity and celibacy.

Able:
>The Church throughout  history has had many roles for many people.
>We are one body and many parts.

I support Able's comment here.

Chris:
>>I heard a comment once, which struck a definite chord with me.
>>The sermon on the mount is a wonderful and inspiring sermon. But
>>it is a sermon for singles. Taking no thought for the 'morrow
>>is admirable -- or at least thought provoking -- for an itinerant
>>preacher. It is gross irresponsiblity for someone with family.

Able:
>You really have not got the big picture Chris.
>You are taking snapshots.

I think Chris has made an interesting point here.

The $64,000 question for Able, or anyone else who wishes to promote a
"family values" type Christianity, is this:

Can you find one "traditional nuclear family" (ie 1 mum, 1 dad,
 2+ kids concieved and born after the marriage) in the Bible?

There are only a few.

Now try and find one that is not violent, incestuous, or otherwise
dysfunctional.

Good luck!

cheers

N+

Nigel B. Mitchell


 

Discussion

One comment for “Was Jesus Married?”

  1. “Was Jesus Married?”can be answered both yes and no.

    No, he did not have a wife. Because Jesus did not have a human father, Jewish law proclaimed him a “foundling.” This made Jesus ineligible to marry a fully Jewish girl.

    Yes, he did participate in an ancient mystical ritual that proved he had God’s blessing. This ritual was called “The Wedding.”

    Posted by nventr | February 20, 2011, 4:03 pm

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