It’s Likely Jesus Had A Wife.

The new piece of parchment which refers to Jesus’ wife is not new to many who study this.  In fact, these people think it unlikely he was celibate.

The Jewish faith at the time of Jesus followed the dictate of go forth and multiply.  A Jew, especially a prominent one, would have been roundly criticized for not having several children.

The Gnostic Gospels discovered in the 1940’s describe Jesus’ love for Mary Magdalene including kisses.  She was his constant companion. Peter, Jesus’ main man, was married.

There was an author in the Bible that could have cleared up many mysteries of the life of the Biblical character, Jesus.  That was Paul.

Paul was the author closest to the time of Jesus.  If anyone could have included a testimony about personal characteristics later attributed to Jesus, it would have been Paul.

But Paul didn’t say a word about Jesus’ life as a person. Then, many years later, writers start to add details about Jesus.  The later the writer, the more detail was filled in.  As I understand it, this is the opposite of what one would expect in “oral history”.

To a large segment of Christianity, it will not matter that much if it is eventually established Jesus had a wife.  It is said it will undermine the celibacy of the Catholic priesthood.

I think the Catholic hierarchy likes celibate priests because they are cheaper, not because Jesus was celibate.  They will change only when they have to.

111 Responses

  1. Wanna B Sure

    Jon; Not surprising you should jump to such a conclusion. Strange you didn’t refference, (on the Huffington Post just early this morning), the article; Harvard Journal: “Jesus ‘wife’ papyrus unverified.” Many issues you fail to mention, or consider. Questions on timing, agendas, reliability of sources, provinance, the money factor of the unamed owner of this and other material reportedly, probably engineering interest in the material to raise the selling price, and political opportunity come to mind. There is also the question/problem if the material was smuggled out of Egypt, bypassing the antiquities controll. And then there is the Gnostic factor.

  2. Wanna B Sure

    Jon; Your ” …Then many years later, writers started to add (emphasis on add mine,) details about Jesus. The later the writer, the more detail (speculation, mine) was filled in.” (added to, mine). ” As I understand it, this is the opposite of what one would expect in ‘oral history'”. Says a lot to the unreliability of the source you promote.

  3. Stan

    You should be titling this as Jesus MAY have been married, not likely. Several things to think about on this.

    In the first place, if we believe he was God then it makes sense he wasn’t. No where in the Bible does it say that Jesus didn’t know what was going to happen to him. He had a mission to die for the sins of the world and several times we has been shown while he had an option he was not going to turn from his mission. So how could a compassionate caring person wed and have children just to abandon them? IF he had left a widow and children there would have been a physical presence, a part of him left. Them as all the popular fiction puts it there would have been attempts to create dynasties and kingdoms.

    The Prophet Mohammed left children, how did that affect Islam? It started fracturing it within a short time as one faction or another violently attacked the others. That has been going on for the last 1300(aprox) years. How woulkd the same help Christianity. I don’t believe we can find too many cases of Christian on Christian violence in the first 350 years. they were too busy trying to survive. Was there disagreements? Of course but it usually meant throwing someone out of the church community, not death. That didn’t happen until some in the church took on the power tht the Secular government had.

    It amazes me that people who deny the authenticity of the Bible in the first place such as you will attempt to use the Gnostic writings to prove a point. It has been proven that the Gnostics were written 100-200 years later then the Books of the New Testament and have very little truly in common with those works in the Bible. That is why they were not included in the canons. Have you ever noticed that they don’t have much in agreement with the selections for the New Testament? So why include them if they just muddy the waters of the message. In most of them they don’t even follow the message.

    They may have been written using the framework of the NT but the message is not the same. Have you heard about a little TV show called American Idol? It’s a big hit right? Well how many shows appeared after it became a hit. I view the Gnostics the same way. Someone trying to cash in on the popularity and success of Jesus, not someone adding to the works. The inconsistencies prove that as much as this scrap of paper “proves” Christ was married.

    Paul did not write about Jesus’ life on earth because Paul wasn’t part of that life. Paul was an enemy of Christ at that time. He was a lawyer, a Pharisee, an up and comer who had studies under some of the greatest of his day. Paul’s message was the MESSAGE. We had four Gospels, why have a fifth. Would it convince anymore people? Paul had a mission and if you read both Acts and the Epistles you would see he hold to it very well. Even through beatings and the specter of death.

    HuffPuff isn’t the most friendly to Christianity Jon and I am sure that most of the readers would love it if Christianity would just disappear but I have to put reporting like this in the same category as The National Enquirer BatBoy type of reporting. I could l
    ink to several places where what I say is said by people who know more then I but you probably would discount them because while they may have degrees up the posterior section they are believers. They started as believers or become them later, you believe all that believe are delusional anyway. I write this not for you but the supposed others who come to read this site. If you want the links I will go and find them for you.

    1. entech

      Stan, I took a long look @ your 1:19 and had quite a few thoughts, my September 23, 2012 at 2:37 am almost became a direct reply, if it had been you would not have described it as balanced. (3:59)

      Para. 1 As neither Jon nor I believe that your literal God exists there is really nothing much I could say to that aspect.
      September 23, 2012 at 2:15 am – Yes, consistency is not a tenant of atheism. The objective is not to prove there is no God but to tear down those who do believe.
      It is not possible to prove that there is no God (any form of creator or even creation), his supposed mysterious ways and there is discussion going back about the unknowability of god.
      Neither is it possible to prove the existence of god, one of the best attempts is that of WL Craig with his cosmological argument (everything had a beginning, nothing comes from nothing and so on) I follow his reasoning and mainly believe it to be valid, but he takes tiny steps from commonsense approach to speculation and in the end saying that there must have been a creator outside of space and time and to his mind that role is best filled by the Christian God.
      Eventually we must come down to the non-believer saying show me and the believer saying I have my faith. Neither position can be demonstrated.
      I don’t think the compassionate carer is actually relevant (and this covers paragraph 2.) The premise was that the end of the world was imminent, give away your possessions, ignore your family and follow me. Follow where? to the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom is at hand. He was not going to abandon them he was going to take them with him to glory.

      Para 3. & 4.The only point that can be proved from Gnostic writings is that there were many variations on a theme in the early Jesus Movement. Although there is nothing to prove it many believe the Gnostic movement precedes the Jesus movement going back to older mystery cults. No difference really because I think that all of this was written from the viewpoint of a ‘true and committed’ believer from faith. That a certain number of writings became the canon and others were excluded is, to me, a matter of luck and says nothing about the veracity of either the included or excluded. The only thing we can say is that they were written by people that believed they were true.

      Paul did not write about the life of Jesus because it was the death, resurrection and return (the any minute now return) that was the basis for the Jesus Movement. The promise of life everlasting when the world ended and the kingdom of god on earth was established was what he was all about. When the return never came, when the originals started to die, when Paul himself could see his death coming before the second coming is when it all started to change. The message of the imminent end seemed to be fading and failing, the message had to change and the beginning of the move to Christianity began.

      Last paragraph, everybody that writes about this subject writes from a point of view as you say at 3:59, I would not expect the Huffington Post to have the same storyline as the Catholic Gazette or the Southern Baptist Chronicle or the Atheist Times (titles mainly invented), link away, I always read the source after the article, to confirm that my acceptance or rejection is independent, it cannot, however, be independent of my own thoughts and preconceptions (faiths and beliefs if you like, but I would interpret those words differently). Back to your 2:15 wouldn’t disproving of God be the same thing as tearing down the basis of belief, how would this be the tearing down of the believer? There are some who take a personal tack just as there are some (couple or three on this site) who consistently make generalisations and derogations starting with “the atheist” – pots and kettles – same colour in the end. What colour is ad hominem anyway.

  4. That piece of parchment supposed- evidence is a colossal heap of horse dung!
    Only someone who has such an anti-Christ agenda would fall for it. The gnostic gospel is also false. The silly Dan Brown novels that used gnosticism in the content of his book(s) were way off track but very appealing to those who want to reject the true gospel accounts. Gnosticism was denounced early in the Christian church’s history because of all the false things in it.

  5. Henry

    So one (1) manuscript implies Jesus may have had a wife (kissing) in contrast with the twenty-five thousand (25,000) manuscripts that do not indicate Jesus had a wife. Jon leaps to the 1:25,000 odds and presents that Jesus had a wife as if fact. Typical Jon and atheist “reasoning”.

    1. Wanna B Sure

      If that’s the kind of economics Jon taught at NDSU, I’m glad my children didn’t go to NDSU. He probably would have flunked them, as they wouldn’t go along with such a loose apprehension of “facts”.

  6. Henry

    Then in earlier blogs, Jon questioned the existence of Jesus, but now accepts His existence if someone comes up with a far-fetched theory of Him having a wife.

    1. Stan

      Yes, consistency is not a tenant of atheism. The objective is not to prove there is no God but to tear down those who do believe.

    2. Henry 1:47 You may not have caught that I referred to the “character” in the Bible, Jesus, early in the post. I didn’t want to write that laboriously over & over again, so I just wrote the name of the character. If I was writing about Luke Skywalker, I would not have said over & over again, “the character Luke…”

      I don’t know if there was a Jesus or not. If there was, we don’t have evidence to establish that Jesus did super natural things or died for anyone’s sins.

      1. Henry

        Sure. Then to be consistent, you would have discussed His “character wife” instead of just “wife” (at least one time).

  7. Michael Ross

    Jesus’ ministry on earth did not include marriage but He has a Bride coming:

    “Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”(Hebrews 12:2)

  8. entech

    I look forward to a lot of commentary on this subject. About thirty years ago I had a book called ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’ (probably the source for Brown’s strange story) the book came out of Leeds University which at that time had a very strong Hebrew department, and probably written from that standpoint. The first few chapters made a good case for Jesus being married (haven’t seen the book for years so don’t ask for details that I don’t remember) an argument to explain the lack of talk about married or not is that at the time it was expected that a man have a wife, it would have been so rare to be single that it would have been mentioned that he did not have a wife.

    Jon, I think it would have been better titled as ‘It’s possible Jesus had a wife”, this would have reduced the possibility of personal attack on you and concentrate on the proposal.
    There was a very good article in the local paper, it was quite clear that it was only a snippet, don’t think there is even a complete sentence and no overall context. They have confirmed the age of the papyrus and are still waiting for analysis of the ink. The provenance is a bit of a problem, anonymous owner, bought as a part of a job lot from the previous German owner. The investigator says herself that it is not to be considered proof but simply opens up the possibility – that possibility has always been there from the beginning. Don’t forget the Jesus Movement was apocalyptic, the Kingdom of God was imminent, hence the talk of drop everything and follow me, early Pauline writings follow the theme which explains why little was written of the life of Jesus, the death as a precursor to the return of the kingdom was the important point. Much of what is written about marriage is strange, celibacy is best but better marriage than sin etc. Go forth and multiply would lose its importance if the end of the world was expected almost daily (luckily celibacy didn’t catch on otherwise there would be no one left to tell the tale).

    If authentic it appears to have been written sometime in the first couple of centuries, the period was very unstable as far as an orthodoxy was concerned, the nature of Christ was promulgated from many points of view, been through them enough, actual son, adopted son, even an illusion ( if the illusory idea is valid – how could god die, even more how could an illusion marry). As a position was being reached it became part of the belief that Jesus was never married and lived a pure and celibate life, I think it was Tertullian who first stated this categorically.

    Just something else for the true believer to rail against, if it conforms it is a great find if not it is a forgery/heretical/work of the devil/conspiracy and so on. For the non-believer just another example of how the whole thing could be a mess of possibilities, most likely none of which are true and accurate.

    1. Stan

      Very balanced Entech. As in many things regarding Jesus, it is looked at through the cloudy lens of our own beliefs and prejudices. I do accept that to many, belief is silly or to some stupid. I have come to believe and then reject many things over the years. This one is here to stay.

  9. Michael Ross

    Any marriage prior to the Cross would mean that Jesus was marrying a sinner and teachings of an early marriage are yet another false set of teachings that are attempting do away with the need of mankind for the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and His glorious resurrection and an attempt deny the special relationship Jesus has with His Bride – the Church

  10. Wanna B Sure

    I suspect that Jon is being nothing more than provocative by the choice of his wording. If he is, he can expect “personal attacks”, and they would be appropriate, as he is the source of the provocation. He should expect it.

    1. entech

      Provocation? ask Mathew, he told us that whatever we look for we will find. Bit more poetical perhaps, and, of course for the likes of Jon and me the next sentence is appropriate if you think of Fats Domino.

        1. Wanna B Sure

          His Mathew must be a different feller. He only has one t in this one. Re; Fats I hear you knocking, verses 2 &3 fit nicely.

      1. entech

        Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
        (Mathew 7:7)

        whatever we look for we will find., “seek and ye shall find”. My inference is that you are looking for a reason to launch an attack, that what Jon may think of as a way of provoking thought, you interpret as provocation to argument. As if you were asking for a reason to say Not surprising you should jump to such a conclusion. which is in itself provocative – a more reasonable approach might be to ask the basis for such a conclusion.

        Next sentence and Fats Domino, he had a great song called “I hear you knocking but you can’t come in”.
        (An apology, they are clauses not sentences, separated by semi-colons not periods, memory not what it used to be, should have looked it up.)

        You are the master of obscurity, just following your example.

        1. entech

          If I had checked before posting I could have corrected Matthew.
          But you knew all along what I was saying, just trying to provoke me 😳

        2. Wanna B Sure

          First there is a statement, then the response. Jon made the statement. We shouldn’t respond? Sounds like censorship.———-About verses 2 & 3 ? Not very obscure.
          Based on Jon’s history, the “basis for such a conclusion,” (Jon’s), is his anti Christian bias.” Even Karen King didn’t come to the conclusion , or decleration that Jon did; see (huffpost “Jesus Wife”; “Five big questions about the discovery “.

          1. entech

            Verses 2&3 etc. I had only read your 11:07, the rest must have come while I was typing, must learn to check before hitting send.

            No censorship and you know it, I was only suggesting that an initial response need not be a frontal attack.

          2. Wanna B Sure

            I can see that disagreement could be considered a “frontal attack” by the one making the initial statement. Now who is being sensitive, without considering the sensitivities of others. Such a bold statement deserves a bold reply. No apologies.

          3. Stan

            Entech, lets be fair, if Jon wanted to be unbiased he wouldn’t have a blog. He has called made insinuations to the intelligence and education of believers many times here. Lets get real.

          4. entech

            Stan, Wanna compared to many sites this is positively gentile genteel. I find Jon consistently polite even when we get some unprovoked references to unpleasant things in the punchbowl and similar.

            Any perceived insult to intelligence or education reflects more on the receiver than on the actual commentary. Perhaps who were thinking of friend Bob who seems to have other things to do at the moment.

            Stan I make a similar point @ 1:20, one of points of the blog is to call into question Christian beliefs and their right to be imposed on general society. It is also a public forum, anyone is free to come or go, that we all keep coming back is actually an endorsement of the blog, we would not respond otherwise.

  11. Wanna B Sure

    Since Jon is familiar with Christian post, he could consider from the apologetics section; “Why the singleness of Jesus makes the best sense of the historical evidence”

      1. Wanna 11:36 “Jon probably didn’t go there as it didn’t tickle his ears.”

        I did, in fact, read that post. As per usual, probably we each took something different from it. I liked the part where, as I interpreted what he wrote, he explained to complication of telling a story where the character who plays the hero has heirs. They split up and fight over who inherited the gold ring, as happened in Islam, he pointed out. Thus, it works better politically for the hero, not only to be a bachelor, but to have no children.

        So, actually, the post did tickle my ears.

          1. Wanna 3:00 “And the “Harvard Journal” and my 12:54 AM.”

            When I selected the title, “It’s Likely Jesus Had a Wife,” it was not based primarily on the Gnostics but on cultural values at the time of the character, Jesus’ (trying always, here, to not imply I am convinced there was such a person who could perform super natural deeds). My take on the period is it was unlikely such a person could have had a following of Jews unless married with children. You have choosen not to discuss this issue.
            There is enough uncertainty floating around the Bible and the character, Jesus, so we can all find something to hang our hats on.

          2. It occurs to me being unmarried without children among the Jews of Jesus’ time would have been a taboo among Jews in the same league as gay marriage is today among some evangelicals.

            He would have been, “Destroying the institution of marriage.”

          3. Stan

            Jon, I wrote a long post @ September 23, 2012 at 1:19 am that addressed every issue you brought up. It seems to have been ignored by you and Entech. I believe it was reasoned and polite.

    1. entech

      “It is an embarrassing insight into human nature that the more fantastic the scenario, the more sensational is the promotion it receives and the more intense the faddish interest it attracts … ”
      Fascinating opening to the defense of orthodoxy, one wonders if this sought of conversation was doing the rounds in the early days of the Jesus Movement?

      Mr Jones gives credit to Dr. King for saying that the finding does not prove or disprove the contention. To his own credit Mr. Jones effectively says it is a non issue “If I woke up tomorrow morning and saw that archaeologists had exhumed incontrovertible evidence that Jesus was married, it wouldn’t destroy my faith. Jesus would still be the risen Lord”

      Why should it be an issue? Fully human and fully divine – fully human should not exclude a wife and even offspring.

          1. entech

            OK. you don’t agree, all the same to me.

            About being an issue for Jon, I can imagine him saying, “It does not matter if you think an imaginary character was marries or single or many other speculations about his essential nature you can imagine whatever you like about an imaginary character, it won’t make him any more real.

          2. entech

            I am sure he can answer for himself, I am not answering for him. But, I ask that you think about something – if he didn’t ask these questions or raise these topics – why have a blog at all. As a freethinker and self declared non-believer what would you expect? Heart warming stories of modern miracles.

            All the complainers come back at more or less regular intervals, probably many more read without comment, you and I come back because we enjoy the dialogue (most of the time). What I am actually suggesting is that time is on your side, start by asking for clarification, not silly things like, “what was the topic of the meeting our Muslim correspondent attended when you were speaking” many such things are nit picking and irrelevant, get some real answers, build up your case and then pounce.

          3. entech

            I hope you ponder a while before pouncing – we could both be wrong and The Buddha correct.

            Not really but I will dream up an answer.

          4. Wanna B Sure

            “What was the topic” was a relevent question, and in context.

            Is Freethinkers only a single issue movement? According to the home site, it is more diversified than that. You wouldn’t know it by Jon’s constant anti Christian blogs.

            As we speak, I have been trying to get behind Jon’s statements, but no clarification or explanation has been forthcoming.
            See my 12:54 AM and 12;00PM. No response from Jon. With these, I provided opportunity for response, but was met with silence.

  12. Margaret

    After reading “The DaVinci Code,” I read the books in the footnotes. I found that the possibility of Jesus having a wife and maybe achild simply increased my ability to know Him in His humanity, as well as His divinity. However, after more thinking, I remembered that Jesus cast a number of evil spirits out of Magdalene. The Bible says that evil spirits eventually return to the places in us that have been swept clean, bringing others with them, so Jesus would have imparted something of His Holy Spirit to fill those places within her that had been occupied by evil, so the evil would not have access to her inner self again. They would have been spiritually wed, which is why Spirit-filled Believers are thought of as the Bride of Christ. I don’t think Jesus had a wife and children in the physical sense. He had told those who said His Mother and brothers were outside of a place where He was teaching that those who believed were His family. Also, He gave the care of His Mother to John as He was dying on the cross. If He had a wife, He would have provided a Believer to care for her also. His brothers were not Believers before Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus knew that women had no way to support themselves in that time, which is why He raised a widow’s only son from the dead out of compassion for her plight.

  13. Does anyone catch the irony that the crowd who is adamant that a ‘bible based’ marriage between one man and one woman (at a time) is vehemently opposed to and in fact seems to be horrified at the thought of Jesus having a wife?

      1. Not hearing too much “Well, that’s food for thought now isn’t it?” or “I guess I never really looked at it that way” type statements.

        Pretty much NO! and that’s that.

        I’m gonna stand by ‘the thought of’ and ‘horrified at’. 🙂

    1. Stan

      Not horrified, I did a nice and reasoned take up above @ September 23, 2012 at 1:19 am. If it was low hanging fruit Entech and Jon would have swatted at it but they seem to ignore it. It doesn’t change my faith, but Jon seems to think he can use it as a weapon against the Catholic Church when it is a pretty weak weapon.

      1. Stan 1:04 I did read your 9/23 1:19 and just now re read it. Thank you for taking the considerable time to write a thoughtful post. We had so many posts in such a short time, we somehow did not get started discussing it and I apologize.

        As I read it now, I remember why I did not respond. It’s a little hard for me to understand you position on the holiness of the Bible story. I’m sure you are correct that there was turmoil during the hundred or so years after the alledged time of Christ. And, as you pointed out, somehow out of the turmoil came the writings and beliefs that were included in the Bible. You are also correct, I’m sure, that the newly found Gnostic scriptures were from a hundred or so years later and the writers might have been from a different gruop.

        To me, your explanation is such a “Catholic” way of reasoning, it’s hard to respond. This is not to say it’s worse than any other way of reasoning, it’s just not the way a Protestant reasons. That is to say, it seems like you are saying, “Look, there were all these different things written and ideas floating around. Men who were given the authority to decide what the Chruch’s doctrine was going to be made their decisions. That’s why we believe what we believe. One of those happened to be that Jesus was not married.”

        Maybe I’m incorrect in paraphrasing your case in this way, but that’s the way I interpret you. The way I recall all this being explained in my Protestant life is that God guided the writing of the Bible and everything else and made a Jesus who was unmarried. That God made the unmarried Jesus or the original authorities made this call both seem arbitrary.

        It also seems arbitrary to say the Gnostics versions of events were not included because either a) authorities at the time did not want them in the Bible or b) God did not want them in the Bible. Several centuries went by before the Bible was finalized and for whatever reason lots of writing was not included.
        The point I stressed, and I didn’t see it in your post, was that, so I have read, there was not a place for an unmarried celebate Jewish preacher at the alledged time of Jesus. If that is incorrect, it would be nice to know.

        1. Stan

          John, would you put a chapter on English into a math book? The Gnostic Gospels have about as much in common as the English chapter has to Math.

          You want the Church to include them so it would be “inclusive” and I understand that, it is a very liberal thing to want. I had a woman trying to tell me why her New Age religion was correct and why Christianity was wrong. I politely said no thank you and she promptly accused me of not being open minded and that she thought Christians were supposed to open minded. I explained that we can be open mindedm but not so much our brains fall out…..she was offended. I tried not to be offended when she called me many names.

          Doesn’t it make sense to you that you DO NOT add later Gospels which would poison the message already given? You quote from them but have you read them? I have tried and they are all about secret knowledge and codes and passwords. Would you include a rule for the Freethinkers Society that would require everyone to attend a Catholic Mass each week?

          Christianity as given in the Gospels and the letters is wide open to those who want to see. Love the Lord, love each other, repent and confess your sins and be saved. There is no secret handshake.

          1. Stan 3:00 “You want the Church to include them so it would be ‘inclusive’ and I understand that, it is a very liberal thing to want.”

            I apologize if I left the impression I wanted the Gnostics to be included. What I’m trying to explain is what is included in the Bible is there because arbitrary deicisons were made. Those assembling the Bible could have included them, they included all kinds of not relevant stuff in there–dietary rules, stoning of women and children, I could go on for pages. But, believers just ignore the parts they don’t like.

            So, the Gnostics could have been included and people would just ignore the parts they don’t like and use what they do like as their beliefs.

          2. Wanna B Sure

            “…arbitrary decisions were made…could have included them, they included all kinds of not relevant stuff in there–dietary rules, stoning of women and children, I could go on for pages. but believers just ignore the parts they don’t like”. Arbitrary decisions…could have included them”; Not really. There were legitimate reasons, namely the authenticity of, inaccuracies (timelines, and late dating of authorship, contradictions to earlier material, etc.). While interesting from a historical standpoint, nothing from which doctrine should be determined in much of the Gnostic material. “Dietary rules, stoning of women and children”; And many more; All cultural or Old Covenant issues. Remember men were stoned also. Remember the stoning of Stephen for the then understanding of blasphemy accredited to him. The New Covenant fulfilled, and completed the Old. It did not replace it, it fulfilled it, and made most of the “old laws” unnecessary or obsolete. The Old Covenant was primarily Law, (What must I do,) and the New Covenant is primarily the Gospel, (What has been done).

            “The Gnostics could have been included”….No, they couldn’t because of the heretical/contradictions in them. Much like prescribing an addition of stricchnine to a glass of wine for a greater kick. There is enough “ignoring” as it is, but that is generally due to attempting to justify pet behaviors. The Gnostics are of a different nature.
            We have been here before, yet it continues to be brought up again and again as time goes by.

          3. Wanna 4:50 “Dietary rules, stoning of women and children..all cultural or Old Covenant issues.”

            I am continually fascinated by the ability to blow off things that are not wanted as “cultural” or “Old “Convenant” while things that are liked, the cross, sin, etc. are treated as important. I guess it’s all in how you were raised.

          4. Wanna B Sure

            I am continually fascinated by the ability to blow off things that don’t fit into the scheme of the rejection of hisorical Christianity. A stronger pick and choose inclusion than what they are against. Despite a considered alternative, with evidence, The negative dogmatics of unbelief are strong here, and are most likely unreconcilable. A strong indication of the bound will.

          5. Wanna 8:02 “A strong indication of the bound will.”

            I think of it as applying the same standard of evidence and logic both of us apply to everything else in our lives. But, if others want to refer to it as “bound will”, they are welcome to do so.

          6. Wanna B Sure

            The will in bondage, AKA “the bound will” certainly does color/affect the world view of those affected by it. I am impressed that you accept the mantle so readily.

          7. Wanna 12:01 “Bound will.”

            I have no idea, nor, any interest in whatever bound will is. You used to refer to me as having a “hardened heart”. Is “bound will” an advancement or a demotion?

          8. Wanna B Sure

            The “hardened heart”, (an irreversable condition), would be the final stage of development in relation to the will in bondage, AKA “bound will”.

          9. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; That you “have no idea or interest in “…. is a symptom of the condition of the bound will. We went through this several months ago. Evidence that any conversation with you is only a one way conversation—your way. Disappointing, coming from someone with your credentials, or someone who claims to examine all things.

          10. entech

            Jon, your 7:14, I share your fascination with the ability to pick and choose between the old and new testaments, I have difficulty with covenant who is making a covenant and with whom? Is blood required to seal the covenant?
            The old version (if I recall) says something about anyone changing or adding will die, the new lot changed everything inconvenient and are still alive and for some reason actually flourishing – so much for law.
            Without the old, without the snake in the garden story there would be no sin and hence no need for redemption, a simple atonement would suffice, with no redemption no redeemer. What would be the basis for Christianity in that case?

          11. Stan

            Every thing you talk of there, dietetic laws, stoning and so forth was there long before Christians. You are quoting the Old Testament. Were we to throw away the sacred texts which predate Christ? Jon, you believe what you want to believe about the Bible without reading it. I believe because I have.

          12. Wanna B Sure

            My understanding of Biblical Covenant, apart from covenants (contracts/agreements) between people and nations, is- – – Irregardless of Dispensational Theology, or Covenant Theology; All are initiated by God , and either accepted or rejected by man. Man is not the initiator, but the receiver of the Covenants, in both the Hebrew Bible, (AKA Old Testament, and the New Testament. In the OT, blood was poured out in the Temple with the “sacrificial” animals, prefiguring what was to come in the NT. In the NT, Christ is the Passover Lamb “sacrificed” for our atonment. Communion in Christian Churches is a continuation, and/or a “remberance” of that sacrifice. ( The exact understanding varies by denominational tradition, yet is practiced by all.)

          13. entech

            Apart from a difficulty in accepting it as truth I always knew there was another reason for not liking it.
            This primitive and bloodthirsty description reminded me, thank you.

            Incidentally, dying is hardly a sacrifice when you are immortal.

          14. entech

            At the risk of being presumptuous I am going to take it that your three strange posts (only minutes apart?) refer to me, because obviously your imaginary friend is perfect and would never forget and become confused. Which brings me to a point so often overlooked, for the sake of discussion and brevity the conversation goes on ‘as if’ the were some validity to the God hypothesis and the Christian version.

            11:14. I do not accept the existence of this Christ of yours, so to say dual nature or any multiple you like is irrelevant.
            11:35 To accept that there is an explanation would require that something exists to be explained. What you have given is a description of one of the tenets of your belief system, a belief system I do not subscribe to.
            11:37 On the contrary or forget that I am not a fellow believer and confuse me with someone who takes your words as valid, in fact I am constantly trying to present an alternative viewpoint.

            None of this can possibly mean that I am right and you are wrong.
            The main point of difference between is that I am quite happy to say that I do not know the answers to creation and origins etc. I am also able to say that I don’t think your version is correct. You on the other hand seem to carry on the discussion not ‘as if’ it were true but in the sure and certain knowledge that it is true, I don’t agree and many in the early movement had diverse thoughts and many of them are different truths from those which became the “absolute truths” of orthodox Trinitarian Christian belief.

          15. entech 12:33 You came up, in these posts, with a brilliant analysis of the way Wanna and Henry reason. It’s their “as if it were true” way of thinking that puts them out of touch with traditional ways of discussing things.

            A typical discussion among people informed on a topic would be proceded by what assumptions were being made. Even in the U. S. legal system this is done. Before a trial, there is a meeting to discuss the facts of the matter both parties agree upon.

            The door to such a discussion is open here, but some participants will not go in. It would be so helpful to people who drop in and read these discussions if we could follow a logical and rational path. For example, it would be great if we could discuss whether specific things written in the Bible are myth or have been coroberated with other sources to determine they are reliable. But, instead something like, “the new covenant” is treated “as if it were true”, or, as if it really happened.

            Skipping over the argument about whether something is true or not and going directly to “as if it were true” must be a habit long ingrained and intractable.

          16. Since we are all free to make up labels for each other, such as “hardened heart” and “bonded will” (if I got those right?), I’m going to make up my own. It would refer to people who are compelled to refer to things in the Bible and in the faith as if they are true. I’m thinking of “hear-not hearts” and, perhaps, “blinded will”.

            I’m still working on this, but, they will be BIG when I get them established. : )

          17. entech

            Wanna, a brilliant, succinct and amazingly perceptive analogy.
            Any scientist will tell you that a perpetual motion machine is impossible.

            Bedtime, thanks for giving me a good ending.

          18. Wanna B Sure

            As it is equally impossible to accept without the benefit of the Holy Spirit, which Ya’all reject. Hence, the will is in bondage. This is where it starts,- – – – and ends.

          19. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; I think you meant “bound will”? “Bonded will” would be of a different nature. The product of of a Bound will; Not knowing what one is talking about. I think “Bounders” would be a good name for your team. I can see it now; The announcer reporting in a frenzy of excitement–“And the Bounders are rushing forward to the brink. They stumble, recover, stumble again, and there they go— over”! ! ! And from the stadium there is a roar of—-silence.

            “Hear not’, “blinded hearts” would apply also to your side. Not a clear distinction. Waiting for the BIG announcement. If you have to think about it, you lost the argument.

          20. Wanna B Sure

            Jon; If you can’t come up with something appropriate and accurately descriptive, “The Captives” would be close. Being held captive by the love of Christ fits, or just as correct is; “My conscience is held captive by the word of God, and to act against it is neither right nor safe”. Yup, “Captives” would be good. I kinda like the last one.

          21. entech

            September 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm
            God is not a machine. More evidence of the bound will.
            We need proof for the fact that the “bondage of the will” is in any way valid or relates to anything except the ego of Martin Luther.
            More, we need proof of what god is, not what he is not. Negative theology doesn’t suit your style.

            Note. because I used the pronoun ‘he’ should not be reason for diversion, it is simply a literary convention and is more polite than saying ‘it’ and briefer than this explanation.

          22. Wanna B Sure

            And again, more evidence of the will in bondage. You just can’t help it. “And he’s bound, bound, bound”. I think there’s a song in there.

          23. Wanna B Sure

            And——-The ego of David reinforces the bound will. “bound bound bound” Yesser, that has a ring to it. More fitting with a guitar though.

  14. Matt Slocomb

    Jon, in the past you have argued that there is not a historical Jesus (singular) but rather there are many people named Jesus who existed at this time, and that the Biblical account is somewhat of a merging of their stories. It appears here you have changed your mind? Is there a historical Jesus (singular person) who Christians believe is the Son of God? If not, then I think your post is a mute point 🙂

    1. entech

      Matt has a good point Jon. Of the many, how many were married, given the general practice of the time almost all of them would have been married. Could it be that the one that remained unmarried became the paradigm for the final amalgam.
      In that case the fragment is probably a forgery, or worse, a fragment from a Gnostic text. 🙂

      Some would think all your posts should be mute(d).

  15. entech

    I think the Catholic hierarchy likes celibate priests because they are cheaper, not because Jesus was celibate. They will change only when they have to.

    Jon, this is not quite right – if you are suggesting that the upkeep of a family might be considered a burden. The real reason is that without a family to claim on it, the estate of the clergy reverts to the church.

    1. Stan

      And no more dynasties in a parish, diocese or the Vatican. The times when the corruption was the greatest is when concubines and mistress and fathers tried to bend things to guarantee the succession of their sons. Even when they try to do things right, the Church is wrong according to outsiders.

      1. entech

        OK I exaggerate, I take my own point of view and often present something shaped by that point of view. In this case I think we are both right and the two points can be taken together.

        I think that quite a few came into the priesthood from prosperous families, if married the new family would have a legitimate claim on the estate. At the same time, as you point out, no matter how honest and devout the clergyman was there is always the possibility (likelihood?) that the family would try to take some benefit from the position and influence of the Father, and there is a natural inclination to give your offspring as a good a start in life as possible.

  16. One commenter’s reference to HOLY BLOOD HOLY GRAIL took me right back to that ludicrous book which was not doubt part of Dan Brown’s fantasies.
    And it IS curious that an avowed Atheist is so concerned about (alleged)Jesus’s alleged wife.
    Jon stepped in it this time!!!

    1. entech

      Blood/Grail was a serious book from Leeds University, it was also wrong. As a non-believer it is obvious I would discount the book, but it was really based on a conspiracy theory that was almost plausible, but failed a reality check.
      Brown’s book was pure fiction based on imagination. The writers of the other book sued for plagiarism, and lost.
      What is curious to a non-believer is that so many people still take this stuff seriously – avowed atheist? still waiting for a definition.

    1. entech

      In a field so full of fakes and phonies it is not surprising that different people lend support to whatever comes closest to what they would like to believe. The Shroud of Turin needs to be investigated ad nauseam, anything not supporting orthodoxy is immediately denounced. Many of my Jewish and Muslim friends and acquaintances would say that for two thousand years you have fallen for the mythos surrounding a fake messiah.

      Your post September 23, 2012 at 1:47 am chides Jon as a non believer writing about such things and Jon did reiterate his view on the “Jesus Character”. Seems like any side of the argument is the same to you as long as it can be used to attack the perceived enemy, anyone that does not believe as you do.

  17. Matt Slocomb

    Still waiting for Jon to respond to my earlier post :). Why post this point about the fragment saying Jesus had a wife when you believe that their were multiple men named Jesus who led into the story of Jesus. Isn’t that point irrelevant if you can’t point to one Jesus. But if you can, you have to explain away the radically changed disciples who died for a lie that they knew was a lie (in your view), the empty tomb and thousands of primary documents from the era that dwarf in number other items from this era that are not doubted… maybe that is why you don’t want to respond 🙂

    1. Mat 2:39 “Why this post about the fragment saying Jesus had a wife…mutliple men named Jesus…”

      Please correct me if I’m wrong, but there was a news story about a fragment saying Jesus had a wife. My blog simply repeated that story and gave its source at the bottom. I didn’t say the fragment was about the ONE Jesus or the other Jesus’ because, of course, there may never have been the ONE Jesus.

      If there was the ONE Jesus, odds are he had a wife or else he would not have been a popular preacher.

      I’m glad you are having fun here. : )

      1. Matt Slocomb

        I re-read your original post a number of times and it still looks like you are speaking of Jesus as one person. I guess I was just confused about why you would speak so clearly about this source referencing one person in this instance when you had so strongly taken the stance that a singular Jesus is the source of the biblical narrative (whether it is true or not). By the way, do you have a reference to anything that supports this position (multiple Jesus theory, I will call it)? Post it and I will check it out. Thanks…

        1. Matt 2:08 re: Support for the multiple Jesus theory.

          I have books. But, just now I typed in “many Jesuses” and pasted the first one that came up in Bing. I see the title refers to the fact, which I wrote a blog about several months ago, that none of the contemporary writers of that period, including travelers like Josephus ever referred to a city of “Nazareth”. This, ever though in the Bible it was supposed to have been a place big enough to support a synogoge. This raises the question as to how there might have been a “Jesus of Nazareth”.

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