Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

Talking about marriage the last few years there has often been much controversy if Jesus loved some one other person, a woman (Mary Magdalene/Miriam of Magdala)  or a man (John the evangelist) or was even married.

Many organisations, like ours receive several questions about Jesus his marital status. Some may think that it was born of the popularity of Dan Brown’s controversial novel, The Da Vinci Code, but already before that novel was published we got many questions about that issue. Every now and then it comes up  again. The Thomas and Judas gospels brought a big amount of letters in our mailbox, followed by the Da Vinci Code and now by the finding of the Jesus ‘ papyrus. Last year the screening on the Flemish National Geographic channel the Gospels of Judas and Mary once more brought tongues loose about those women round Jesus.

Brooklyn Museum - Mary Magdalene at the Feet o...

Brooklyn Museum – Mary Magdalene at the Feet of Jesus – James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1896 in Egypt the Gospel of Mary (or the Gospel of Mary Magdalene) a Gnostic version of New Testament events alleged to have taken place,  particularly in association with Mary Magdalene, was found. We should be aware that it is probably written in the fifth century and includes three additional works: 1) the Apocryphon of John, 2) the Sophia of Jesus Christ, and 3) the Acts of Peter. These writings were published in Coptic. But there have also been found two additional manuscripts of the Gospel of Mary which are in Greek and date two centuries earlier. Portions of the text in the Gospel of Mary are incomplete.

The Da Vinci Code (which is fiction, so people should remember it is not reality) advocates the thesis that Jesus was in fact married to the woman we know as Mary Magdalene. It even goes so far to tell the reader that they had a child together, and that this “truth” was covered up by the church for self-serving reasons. At one point, to an online religious website Beliefnet survey, 19% of respondents said they believe that Mary Magdalene was in fact Jesus’ wife.

English: Image of the Last Page of the Coptic ...

Image of the Last Page of the Coptic Manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas. The title “peuaggelion pkata Thomas” is at the end. Courtesy of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 114 sayings written in the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, discovered in the Nag Hammadi collection of documents in Egypt in 1945, known as the Gnostic gospels, brings:

“hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.” {Gospel of Thomas}

Because Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas uses words like ‘couch’ or ‘bed’, saying a.o.:

“Two will rest on a couch. One will die, one will live.”

There are persons who prefer “bed” to “couch” in the translation, like used in a later section in that the same Coptic text. Those who translate couch to “bed” in Salome’s speech, give her words a sexual aspect since she is a woman, and Jesus a man, yet nothing else in the dialogue implies any sexual element.

Salome asked Christ:

“Who are you, man, that as if you come from unity, you climbed on my couch and ate off my table?”

Marvin Meyer notes that the Coptic is literally “as from one,” but translates it as “as if you are from someone”. Bentley Layton has “like a stranger” as an emendation and notes that it literally means “As for one” Thomas Lambdin leaves it as an ellipsis.

You can question if we have to interpret the Coptic ‘OGA’, literally “one”, to mean unity, as it does in, for instance logion 22, and in other places, where it is used in the “two into one” motif. This fits well with the emendations in the rest of the dialog.

Jesus said to her:

“I am the one who lives from unity. I received that which is my father’s.”

“from that which is integrated. I was given some of the things of my father.” (Layton)

“I am the one who comes from what is whole” (Meyer)

“I am he who exists from the undivided.” (Lambdin)

In the four canonic gospels clearly we can hear Jesus speaking of the unity he has with his Father, with his followers and the unity we do have to have with him, with his followers, and with his Father.  There too is indicated we all have to be ‘one’ and have to be “made whole” or have to be “integrated”or “unified”. The union Jesus is talking about has nothing to do with sexual unity or physical oneness between man and wife or between two people in general.

Also in the Gospel of Thomas we can find it is not exactly Salome or  the ‘woman’speaking as “woman” or “wife” but as  “student” (‘Maqhthes’) as opposed to the other pupils closer to Jesus  the ‘disciples‘ and  the chosen or selected pupils, the ‘apostles‘. (In many Aramic translations therefore there are clearly different words used to indicate what sort of pupil it is.)

English: Gospel of Mary, discovered in 1896. P...

Gospel of Mary, discovered in 1896. P. Oxyrhynchus L 3525, Papyrology Room, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When people got to read the Gospel of Mary and find in the second part the Sophia of Jesus Christ (3° Century):

Then Son of Man consented with Sophia, his consort, and revealed a great androgynous Light. His masculine name is designated ‘Savior, Begetter of All things’. His feminine name is designated ‘Sophia, All-Begettress’. Some call her ‘Pistis’ (faith). {Eugnostos the Blessed, from chapter III & V from the Nag Hammadi Library}

Some may interpret that also as having the 2° Adam (Christ Jesus) his consort or partner, being his wife Sophia, and making him having even more than one wife, or to have somebody who begot everything from him, or who could generate everything. This making a clear allusion to an other god or goddess in union with the other god (Jesus).

When you consider that the contents suggest Mary Magdalene as the alleged author, it is strange the real Mary of Magdalen, the one from Magdala or Mary Magdalene, would consider herself as a sort of goddess. But here too the writer tells us that she will proclaim to us hidden teachings from Jesus that Peter and the other disciples did not remember (Gospel of Mary 5:7). Lots of research is done on this document also coming to the conclusion that it is clearly not authored by Mary nor that its message would be consistent with the New Testament’s writings. Mysterious statements about God, good and evil, and the afterlife regularly contradict or add additional material than in the New Testament existing narratives.

In these books we may find the underlying false teachings which the Church loved to agree with the Roman rulers to coincide with the Roman and Greek Gods.

Texts like in a vision to John, Jesus saying:

“John, why doubt? Why be afraid? Don’t you know this image? Be not afraid. I am with you (plural) always. I am the Father, The Mother, The Son, I am the incorruptible Purity. {Prologue to the Teaching of the Savior,The Revelation of the Mysteries Hidden in Silence [Those Things that He Taught to John, His Disciple] from The Secret Book of John (The Apocryphon of John), Translated by Stevan Davies}

would like to insinuate that Jesus declares to be the God of the universe. A woman touch may be added:

His self-aware thought (ennoia) came into being. Appearing to him in the effulgence of his light. She stood before him.

[This, the first Thought, is the Spirit’s image]
She is the universal womb She is before everything She is: Mother-Father First Man Holy Spirit Thrice Male Thrice Powerful Thrice Named
{The Secret Book of John (The Apocryphon of John)}

and Jesus is presented as an androgynous eternal realm, first to arise among the invisible realms.

But when they would look at other places, an other light might be shed again, where it is remembered that the True God can not be seen:

The One cannot be seen For no one can envision it The One is eternal, For it exists forever, The One is inconceivable For no one can comprehend it The One is indescribable For no one can put any words to it.

Most English translations of the Gospel of Thomas in use today were published in the period 1987-1998. Q-Thomas Reader, Kloppenborg, Meyer, Patterson, Steinhauser (1990) and The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus, Patterson, 1993 don’t contain the words ‘man’ or ‘men’ – in spite of the fact that the Coptic word for ‘man’ (rwme) occurs 35 times in the text! That word is instead translated usually as ‘person’, sometimes ‘human being’, etc., but never as ‘man’ or ‘men’. In contrast, the M-P family never translates the Coptic word for ‘woman’ as ‘person’.  There is a linguistic rationale sometimes given that the Coptic word rwme corresponds to Greek anthropos, which is said to be gender-neutral, as opposed to anhr/andros, which designates a male.

Mike Grondin says:

The claimed correspondence simply isn’t true, however. Rwme was used to translate both anthropos and anhr/andros in Coptic translations of the Greek NT. Evidently, then, the word rwme included both meanings. Nor can we tell which Greek word lay behind each instance of rwme in the Greek version, for only one instance is extant; in all other cases, we’re guessing. Furthermore, even if everything this rationale assumes were true, it still doesn’t follow that ‘man’ should disappear from Thomas. It hasn’t, after all, disappeared from the Scholar’s Version of the canonical gospels, and even in several parallels to Thomas sayings where the Greek has anthropos, SV has ‘man’ instead of Meyer-Patterson’s ‘person’.{No Man’s Land: The Meyer-Patterson Family of Thomas Translations}

The John papyrus fragment (right) comes from the same anonymous owner as the Gospel of Jesus's wife and has the same line breaks as a papyrus transcribed in 1924 (shown on left). The papyrus and Gospel of Jesus's Wife have similar ink and writing styles, suggesting the latter is a fake.

The John papyrus fragment (right) comes from the same anonymous owner as the Gospel of Jesus’s wife and has the same line breaks as a papyrus transcribed in 1924 (shown on left). The papyrus and Gospel of Jesus’s Wife have similar ink and writing styles, suggesting the latter is a fake.

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To be continued:

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

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Please do find:

  1. First Century of Christianity
  2. Bible in the first place #1/3
  3. Raising digression
  4. Position and power
  5. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  6. Challenging claim
  7. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  8. The Nag Hammadi Library Melchizedek
  9. Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas
  10. Australian claiming to be the reincarnated Jesus Christ of Nazareth
  11. My twenty-odd Gospel of Thomas Commentaries
  12. Comparisson Bible Books in English, Dutch and French
  13. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering

In Dutch:

  1. Schriftkritiek
  2. Gnostiek, Judas evangelie, bijbelonderricht, zoon van God
  3. Gnostische geschriften toegevoegd aan de Bijbel

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  • The Top Six Alternate Gospels and Scriptures (glitternight.com)
    Everyone but the most sheltered Christians have known for centuries about the alternate, or apocryphal gospels. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the four canonical or “official” gospels that were accepted by the mainstream church but there were dozens of other gospels with wildly varying versions of the story of Jesus.
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    Since the Gospel of Mary has gotten so much attention following the success of Dan Brown’s writings and their screen adaptations I decided to throw a spotlight on the neglected woman named Thecla instead. Thecla supposedly became a follower of the man called “Saint” Paul after hearing him speak in Iconium. In this book Paul is depicted as an advocate of refraining from all sex, even when married, which points to the probable Gnostic origins of The Acts of Thecla.
    +
    The Infancy Gospel of Thomas – I like to refer to this enjoyable book as “The Young Jesus Christ Chronicles”. This banned gospel deals with the infancy and childhood years of Jesus in much greater detail than any of the other gospels, official or otherwise.
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    not be confused with The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, which consists of 114 (yes, Rosicrucian conspiracy kooks, 114) sayings attributed to Jesus.
  • The Forbidden Gospel of Mary Magdalene (humansarefree.com)
    For 1,500 years, Mary Magdalene was portrayed, in art and theology, as a prostitute whose life was transformed by Jesus’ forgiveness. This notion, based on Luke 7:38, was the result of an erroneous sermon preached in 591 by Pope Gregory the Great.
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    The stain of immorality attached to the figure of Mary Magdalene averted attention away from the significant role she plays in the unfolding of Christ’s teachings. The importance of Mary is especially apparent in Gnostic texts – some among the earliest accounts of Jesus’ ministry – which have been largely suppressed and ignored by Church authorities.
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    The Gnostics honoured equally the feminine and masculine aspects of nature, and Prof. Pagels argues Christian Gnostic women enjoyed a far greater degree of social and ecclesiastical equality than their orthodox sisters.
  • In the Resurrection Mary Magdalene Was the First Person to See Jesus (vineandbranchworldministries.com)
    Jesus did not rise and then march into the Temple to confront the religious leaders or Caiaphas; he did not dash to the Praetorium to say to Pilate, “I told you so!”; he did not go stand in the center of Jerusalem to impress the crowd.  Instead, Jesus revealed himself only to believers.  The first person to see him was a woman who had been healed and forgiven and who tearfully stayed at the cross and followed his body to the tomb.  As Jesus demonstrated throughout his life, he responded to those who waited attentively and faithfully.  Jesus dissolved the perplexities of the disciples.  He dried their tears.  He dispelled their doubts.  Jesus knows how similar we are to his original disciples, and he does not overpower us either.  Even though our faithfulness wavers, Jesus faithfully stays with us.
  • The Gospel of Judas Revealed (newdawnmagazine.com)
    The story of how the Gospel of Judas arrived in the Western world is a fascinating tale. Like many of the so-called Gnostic Gospels, it somehow travelled out of Egypt and arrived in the US with a large price tag. Unlike many manuscripts which vanish sight unseen, luck or providence if you like brought this manuscript not only to light but finally to restoration and publication. In the words of Professor Elaine Pagels, “the discovery of the Gospel of Judas is astonishing.”
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    The publication of the Gospel of Judas undertaken by National Geographic is unlikely to disturb the mainstream Christian church. In a recent interview, Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the Vatican’s Committee for Historical Science, called it “a product of religious fantasy,” and went on to say, “There is no campaign, no movement for the rehabilitation of (Judas) the traitor of Jesus.”
  • ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Looks More and More Like a Fake (nbcnews.com)
    The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” a papyrus written in Coptic and containing text that refers to Jesus being married, is looking more and more like it is not authentic, research is revealing.
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    Documents provided by the anonymous owner published in an essay by King recently in Harvard Theological Review say that the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife was purchased from Hans-Ulrich Laukamp in 1999 and he, in turn, obtained it in Potsdam, in what was East Germany, in 1963.

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11 thoughts on “Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

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