The Genre of the Gospels

We not only have to look at the Gospels as historical documents and eye witnesses to the events. The main part of the writers was to give an idea who Jesus was, what his teaching comprehended and to teach the world the importance of following those teachings of their master teacher. As Phillip J. Long writes, the Gospels should best be described as historical-theological documents.

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For the writers it was perhaps less important to give a historical view about the events, and therefore the chronological part of their writings was not as important as the part of giving a picture of who Jesus was and what the essence of his teaching was.

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  • Surprise! It’s Possible Jesus Never Existed (awaypoint.wordpress.com)
    Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.”  In other words, based on the evidence available they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity. At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.
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    For a variety of reasons, the practice of pseudonymous writing was common at the time and many contemporary documents are “signed” by famous figures.  The same is true of the New Testament epistles except for a handful of letters from Paul (6 out of 13) which are broadly thought to be genuine.  But even the gospel stories don’t actually say, “I was there.” Rather, they claim the existence of other witnesses, a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has heard the phrase, my aunt knew someone who . . .
  • Did the historical Jesus exist?: 5 Reasons to suspect Jesus never existed (sott.net)
    For over 200 years, a wide ranging array of theologians and historians – most of them Christian – analyzed ancient texts, both those that made it into the Bible and those that didn’t, in attempts to excavate the man behind the myth. Several current or recent bestsellers take this approach, distilling the scholarship for a popular audience. Familiar titles include Zealot by Reza Aslan and How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman.
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    More academic arguments in support of the Jesus Myth theory can be found in the writings of Richard Carrier and Robert Price. Carrier, who has a Ph.D. in ancient history uses the tools of his trade to show, among other things, how Christianity might have gotten off the ground without a miracle. Price, by contrast, writes from the perspective of a theologian whose biblical scholarship ultimately formed the basis for his skepticism. It is interesting to note that some of the harshest debunkers of fringe Jesus myth theories like those from Zeitgeist or Joseph Atwill (who tries to argue that the Romans invented Jesus) are from serious Mythicists like Fitzgerald, Carrier and Price.
  • Jesus Did Not Speak in Parables – the Evidence (vridar.org)
    In The Five Gospels Robert Funk, Roy Hoover and the Jesus Seminar confidently point to the triadic structure (groups of threes) as well as the repetitions and catchwords — all characteristics of oral sayings – in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4) to assert that this parable most likely originated as the very words of Jesus himself. The same year (1993) saw Barry Henaut’s publication, Oral Tradition and the Gospels: The Problem of Mark 4, that comprehensively demolished the claim that triadic structures, repetitions and mnemonic catchwords are unique to oral communications and demonstrated that the same features were also characteristic of ancient literary compositions that were written to be read aloud to audiences.
  • Comparing Paul’s Epistles to Augustine’s Letters (vridar.org)
    Reacting to Dr. Richard Carrier’s recent article over at The Bible and Interpretation website, the beloved Doctor of Whoville, James McGrath has offered up yet another dog’s breakfast of red herrings and dead horses.
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    There is no serious doubt that Augustine thought that Jesus had lived as a real human being. And yet if you read his letters, you will find far more places where Augustine doesn’t refer to Jesus/Christ at all, much less in a way that makes unambiguous that he viewed him as a historical figure, than places where he does. One can make the same point with most ancient correspondence. (emphasis mine)
  • Christian identity comes from Holy Spirit, not ‘theology degrees’ (catholicnewsagency.com)
    Jesus was not a “commonplace preacher,” the Holy Father said, because his “authority” came from a “special anointing of the Holy Spirit.” Jesus is the “Son of God, anointed and sent out” to “bring salvation, to bring freedom.” Pope Francis added that there were those who were “scandalized” by his style of preaching.
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    Saint Paul did not preach because he took a course at a pontifical university, such as the Lateran or the Gregorian, Pope Francis said. The source of his preaching was “the Holy Spirit,” not human wisdom.A person might have five theology degrees, the Holy Father said, but not have the Spirit of God. “Perhaps you will be a great theologian, but you are not a Christian, because you do not have the Spirit of God! That which gives authority, that which gives you your identity and the Holy Spirit, the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”“Paul preached with the anointing of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said, “expressing spiritual things of the Spirit, in spiritual terms. Man, left to his own devises, cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit of God. Man alone cannot understand this!”
  • Answer Number 2: Jeannie’s Question When Did Jesus Know (pattyperkowski.com)
    Most scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark was written by a second-generation Christian and Mark’s material was dictated to him by St. Peter, who later compiled it into his, (Mark’s), gospel.  He seems to not be from the area, because much of the geography was wrong, but that does not take away from the importance of the message.

Reading Acts

Various explanations of the possible literary genre of the four gospels have been offered.  Most Christians approach the gospels as biographies of Jesus.  The do have some biography-like elements, but they are not biographies by the standards of the modern world. Only two show any interest in his birth, only one story occurs before his public ministry, and the majority of the material comes from the last week of Jesus’ life.  Most biographical questions are left unanswered.

A few scholars have suggested that the gospels are patterned after Greco-Roman Aretalogies.   This is a “divine man” biography, the history of a famous hero that has been built up to make him a god-like person (a biography of a god-like person, Julius Caesar, for example.) The Greek word aretai means “mighty deeds.”  Aretalogies are the records of the mighty deeds of a god or hero.  An example from the second century is…

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Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Asherah goddess of heaven by some called also the Wife of Yahweh

 

Drawing on ancient inscriptions that mention “Yahweh and his asherah,” some scholars (notably William Dever in Did God Have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel) have in recent years posited that the ancient Israelites worshipped Asherah and other deities alongside Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament. In the previous chapter I tried to show you that Yahweh’s supposed wife Asherah was no part of the real followers of the One True God YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} of Hosts is his Name, the Holy One of Israel or better:  the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.

A Revealer between many gods

A certain Andy on the bible Gateway Blog writes:

That the ancient Israelites worshiped many different gods is not news to anyone who has read the Old Testament. Although God revealed himself to His people as the one and only true God (even singling out Asherah worship for condemnation), the Israelites, surrounded by other nations that worshiped many gods, constantly backslid into idolatry. This idolatry didn’t always take the form of an outright denial of God—rather than denying Yahweh, the Israelites would often start worshipping other deities (like Asherah) alongside Yahweh; or sometimes they would worship Yahweh in a way that he had expressly forbidden. Much of the Old Testament describes theforbiddenworshipofpagangodslikeAsherahandtheBaals and the failure of Israel’s leaders to outlaw such cults. {Did God have a wife?}

Cover of "Did God Have A Wife? Archaeolog...

Cover via Amazon

Writings from the world

In the previous chapter I showed you God’s amazement at Israel’s constant backsliding into idol worship, despite all that God had done for them. I mostly spoke about the Old World except at the end when I looked at the prophetic writings in the Bible and compared it to the situation today, about what we have seen happening in several churches.

 I also wanted to warn you how we do have to be careful for writings from the world and so called findings, which are not exactly historically proven to be genuine. We have seen that many people try to bring a lot of attention to the Gnostic writings and to more contemporary writings as the Da Vinci Code. In such writings there may be spoken of a wife for God and a wife for Jesus, but nowhere in the Bible is this even hinted at.

 It is not because we can find in those papyrus manuscripts chunks of the same Bible texts that we may assume they original writings to be taken serious. I do believe many of them were retroactively rewritten to falsify the record. As I told previously it is strange that God did not protect such writings like He did with the other canonic writings. Everything which was notated in one language and translated in other languages, could be compared to early and later writings, which compared with manuscripts found much later but written much earlier confirmed the writings we had or have so far.

Human or spiritual needing or not having sexual appetite

English: Noah's testament with God

Noah’s testament with God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Abrahamic God is not a God recognisable as a human figure needing sex like the other gods of the pantheon. The God of Moses, who is the same God of Jesus has no sexual qualities or desires.

When there is spoken about Asherah in the Bible she is not depicted as God’s wife. The true believers of God do not need to see or find a God with the same attributes as themselves or as any human being. We are made in the likeness of God, so naturally many attributes we do have come from God. But because God is a Complete God of gods, without any deficiencies we may assume that those elements which can weaken us can not be found by the Most High God. Sexuality is such one of the elements God does not have to have.

Canaanite and other gods

Robert Wright writes in his book The Evolution of God:

Many scholars have said no. Indeed, in Kaufmann’s view, the “non-mythological” nature of Yahweh “is the essence of Israelite religion” and sets Israelite religion “apart from all forms of paganism,” certainly including native Canaanite religion.

There is doubly bad news for those who, like Kaufmann, would hail Yahweh as a clean break from pagan myth. First, there are signs that the break wasn’t so clean—that, like so much else in the history of religion, it was more evolutionary than revolutionary. Second, when you try to trace this evolution, you see that Yahweh’s family tree may contain something even more scandalous than an early fusion with the Canaanite deity El. It may be that Yahweh, even while inheriting El’s genes, somehow acquired genes from the most reviled of all Canaanite deities: Baal.… {Did Yahweh have a wife? Excerpt from Chapter 5: Polytheism: The Religion of Ancient Israel}

Virgin Queen of heaven

Astarte, the goddess, the Queen of Heaven, whose worship Jeremiah so vehemently opposed.

From the previous posting you may also have come to the conclusion that God Himself who told Jeremiah that He was grieved by the idol worship of the “queen of heaven“, would than also not be married to such a queen. Many ancient sky goddesses got that title and later the Roman Catholic Church added their “queen of heaven”  or the “Blessed Virgin Mary”  The fact that archeologists have found Asherah in Samaria is not surprising when you know that according to biblical history, about half of the kings of Israel worshipped other gods and built altars and Asherah to them.

Concerning that wife of Yahweh, I presented Biblical writings where the position of the Only True God and His people is presented, under the figurative way of speaking about the relationship and bond or covenant between a husband and his wife. I do hope that you  readers came to see that  “that wife” is not Asherah or any other cultic goddess. The wife is none other than God’s people. In the Word of God (the Bible) the Creator compared His relationship with a young man youth who married a virgin, and as the bridegroom at such an occasion would rejoice, joyeth over the bride,
so shall He who is the God of gods, the Elohim rejoice over them.

“For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.  (6)  I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are Jehovah’s remembrancers, take ye no rest,  (7)  and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.  (8)  Jehovah hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy grain to be food for thine enemies; and foreigners shall not drink thy new wine, for which thou hast labored:  (9)  but they that have garnered it shall eat it, and praise Jehovah; and they that have gathered it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” (Isaiah 62:5-9 ASV)

Zion and Backsliding children

God could only see His people wandering off many times, though He often called them and asked them to remember what He had done for them:

“Return, O backsliding children, says Jehovah; for I am married to you. And I will take you, one from a city, and two from a family; and I will bring you to Zion.” (Jeremiah 3:14 VW)

aka. the Moabite Stone (2007-05-19T14-10-19.jp...

aka. the Moabite Stone (2007-05-19T14-10-19.jpg) Mesha Stele: YHWH, the god of Israelites as mentioned in the Moabite inscription in line 18 (context: and I took from there tvessels (or hearths) of YHWH and I dragged them before the face of Kemosh). Transliteration (modern Hebrew characters): יהוה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Zion is also a bride to the Most high. in Jerusalem shall be His bed, his throne, which will be given to one of the sons of Adam, who would be the righteous son of Abraham and son of king David. This young man would become the new wife but also the new husband. Zion or Tzion for The God of Abraham is the spiritual point from which reality emerges, located in the Holy of Holies of the First, Second and Third Temple. It was that what was build up by God. as happens more in the Holy Scriptures Jerusalem and the Jewish people are personified. Naming the holy city “daughter Zion” was a common practice in the Hebrew language. Not only Jerusalem was called this way, but also Babylon, Tyre and Tarshish were referred to as “daughter”. In the New Testament the Daughter of Zion is the bride of Christ, also known as the Church, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews (see Hebrews 12:22). In this sense the lower hill with the temple mount is of course the Daughter of Zion as a geographical or ‘earthly’ manifestation of spiritual reality, as well as the lively and alive place of the human congregation.

“on the contrary, you have come to mount Tziyon, that is, the city of the living god, heavenly Yerushalayim; to myriads of angels in festive assembly;” (Hebrews 12:22 CJB)

God having been married to Israel, the People of God; His son Jeshua (Jesus Christ) shall be married to the spiritual Israel, which is the Body of Christ or the Church.

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Preceding articles:

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

 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

 To be continued with:

 Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Another way looking at a language #6 Set apart
  2. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  3. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  5. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  6. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  7. Signs of the Last Days
  8. Misleading Pictures
  9. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  10. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  11. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  12. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  13. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  14. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  15. Easter: Origins in a pagan Christ
  16. Hellenistic influences
  17. Position and power
  18. Politics and power first priority #1
  19. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  20. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  21. Worship and worshipping

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Also of interest:

Did God Have a Wife?

  • Never Mind Jesus–Did God Have A Wife? (theatlantic.com)
    The recently revealed “evidence” that Jesus had a wife deserves those quotation marks. As various people have argued, a fragment of text written centuries after the crucifixion doesn’t carry much weight as a biographical source. However, when it comes to the question of whether Jesus’s father had a wife, the evidence is stronger. And I’m not talking about Joseph, but, rather, about Jesus’s heavenly father–God.
  • Asherah, Wife of God (fractalfortress.wordpress.com)
    Asherah is a Semitic “mother goddess” who appears in several ancient sources. She was loved by the Jews, Akkadians, Hittites, Canaanites, Sumerians, and possibly the Ancient Egyptians. Due to syncretism, she absorbed the traits of the Goddess Athirat. Her titles are similarly many and include Queen of Heaven, Creator of the Gods, Lady of the Sea, and Holiness.Contrary to what you may believe, Jews were not always monotheistic: the worship of many deities was at one time a common and acceptable practice. Monotheism came late to Israel’s history. During this early time period, some scholars believe, the Goddess Asherah was worshipped alongside Yahweh, the god of the Bible. We can find evidence of this in the “Good Book” itself: in 2 Kings 21:7, Manasseh builds a statue of Asherah, and Solomon builds temples to many deities. Goddess figurines, along with numerous references to “Yahweh and his Asherah,” have also been unearthed in Israel. Furthermore, biblical verses that describes God as mother [Deut 32:18; Num 11:12-13; Isa 45:9-10, 49:15; 66:13] were probably absorbed from Asherah.
  • Asherah – the Queen of Heaven, who is Astarte and Ishtar (magickwyrd.wordpress.com)
    In biblical text the Goddess Asherah was worshiped in the temple Solomon built for Yahweh in Jerusalem. In the Book of Kings, we’re told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel (2 Kings 21:7) wove ritual textiles for her. Ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in the ancient Canaanite coastal city called Ugarit, now modern-day Syria, include reference to Yahweh and Asherah. Inscriptions are found asking for blessings together from Yahweh and Asherah, which reveals that God was not alone and his wife was a revered Goddess who had a part in religious practice and belief. All of these artifacts describe that Asherah was a powerful fertility goddess. As time passed, and over centuries, Asherah has been carefully edited out by authors who put bible texts together, to clear the way for focus on the worship of a single male god, Yahweh.
  • Asherah: Was God’s wife edited out of the Bible? – Christy Choi (bharatabharati.wordpress.com)

    “What remains of God’s purported other half are clues in ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in an ancient Canaanite coastal city, now in modern-day Syria. Inscriptions on pottery found in the Sinai desert also show Yahweh and Asherah were worshipped as a pair, and a passage in the Book of Kings mentions the goddess as being housed in the temple of Yahweh.” – Christy Choi
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    “Traces of her remain, and based on those traces … we can reconstruct her role in the religions of the Southern Levant,” he told Discovery News.

    Yahweh & AsherahAsherah, he says, was an important deity in the Ancient Near East, known for her might and nurturing qualities. She was also known by several other names, including Astarte and Istar. But in English translations Ashereh was translated as “sacred tree.”

    “This seems to be in part driven by a modern desire, clearly inspired by the Biblical narratives, to hide Asherah behind a veil once again,” Wright says.

  • Know Your Bible Lesson 14: Ahab & Elijah (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    By now we’ve learned that wives have a powerful spiritual influence over their husbands. Every time the Israelite men jump in the sack with some idolatrous women, they turn away from Yahweh to worship other gods. We saw this happen during the wilderness journey in Period 2, and we saw King Solomon take himself down by collecting lovers from all over the pagan world. We’re going to see this pattern again with Ahab, but somehow we get the feeling that Ahab knows what he’s doing when he rushes out to marry a sexy Baal worshiper.
  • Celebrating the Wiccan Way on Litha (anytimecostumes.com)
    Held on June 21st, the longest day of the year, this exciting holiday is a celebration of light, power, fertility, and nature. It’s meant to honor the Sun God when he is at his strongest and the Goddess pregnant with life before the harvest. It’s a bittersweet occasion as well, though–once it ends, the days begin to get shorter and shorter, marking the decline summer and the beginning of winter.
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    There are a few different stories Wiccans retell during the Litha Sabbat (holy day).
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    Since it’s a time of fertility and communion, marriages and handfastings are often held on Litha. One of its bynames–Vestalia–comes from the Roman goddess Vesta, the ruler of the hearth, and so, marriage. Juno, the goddess of union, is also the presiding deity over June, making it a popular day for couples to tie the knot…or jump the broom, depending on your preference.
  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (pterprof.wordpress.com) > Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh + Asherah, Part II. + Asherah, Part III: The Lion Lady « Queen of Heaven

    The archaelogical record suggests that Asherah was the Mother Goddess of Israel, the Wife of God, according to William Dever, who has unearthed many clues to her identity. She was worshiped, apparently throughout the time Israel stood as a nation.  In many homes, images like the one above decorated household shrines.

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    In Ugarit, She was known as Athiratu Yammi, She who Treads on the Sea.  This suggests She was responsible for ending a time of chaos represented by the primordial sea and beginning the process of creation.  The Sea God, or Sea Serpent Yam is the entity upon which She trod.  In a particularly bizarre and suggestive passage in the Bible, 2 Kings 18:4, one monotheistic reformer, pursuing the typical course of smashing sacred stones and cutting down Asherahs records this additional fact: He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

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    Asherah, Part II: The serpent’s bride

    In Minoan Crete a mysterious goddess bearing serpents is very ancient; in classical Greece, Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, bears the serpent covered head of Medusa on her shield.  Throughout ancient Canaan, images can be found of a goddess holding or surrounded by serpents.  Some believe she is Astarte (the Canaanite version of Ishtar, who is in turn the Babylonian version of Inanna).  Inanna is said to have stolen the me, the magical tablets of wisdom, from Enki, and to have delivered that knowledge to her own people. Others believe the Canaanite serpent goddess is Asherah, in part because this goddess is often depicted standing on a lion and Asherah is also called the Lion Lady (a topic for another day).
    Asherah, Part III: The Lion Lady « Queen of Heaven
    The flower and the nudity are natural symbols of fertility; the snake is associated with wisdom. This fits with the archaelogical evidence that Asherah was worshiped by the Canaanites and later Israelites as the Mother Goddess and the Tree of Life.  (See Asherah Part I and Part II.) But why is Asherah the Lion Lady?

  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (farpointe.wordpress.com) Originally posted on Queen of Heaven
    They worshiped Her under every green tree, according to the Hebrew Bible (what Christians call the Old Testament).  The Bible also tells us Her image was to be found for years in the temple of Solomon, where the women wove hangings for Her.  In temple and forest grove, Her image was apparently made of wood, since monotheistic reformers demanded it be chopped down and burned.  It appears to have been a manmade object, but one carved of a tree and perhaps the image was a stylized tree of some kind.
  • Know Your Bible Lesson 13: Warring Kingdoms (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In Lesson 10, we learned about how there are two different series of books which give us chronological summaries of the kings of Israel. One is the Samuel-Kings series, and the other is the Chronicles series.
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    David’s line is the true royal line—anyone else is just an imposter. The only time we hear about the kings of the north in 2 Chronicles is when they have an interaction with the kings of the south. So Chronicles is about the kings of Judah, while the author of Kings leaps back and forth between the two nations.

Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment in Egyptian Coptic

In the previous chapter we saw how Mary Magdalene was portrayed in the 3° century Pistis Sophia. The 2° century writing of the Gospel of Mary, portrays Mary as a source of secret revelation because of her close relationship to the Saviour. At one point Peter asks,

“Sister, We know that the Saviour loved you more than the rest of women. Tell us the words of the Saviour which you remember – which you know but we do not nor have we heard them” (section 10, trans. George W. MacRae and R. McL. Wilson).

Mary reveals what the master-teacher had told her, not as a physical man on earth, but in a vision. When she would have been the wife of Jesus, why did he not spend time enough with her to talk about such matters and why did he have to come to her in a vision?

Mary reports herself that several of the disciples were none too impressed by Mary’s purported insights into heavenly things. Andrew responded to her revelation by saying

“I at least do not believe that the Saviour said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas” (section 17).

Such remarks, and the one of Peter who asked:

“Did he really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?”

may be inserted in the writings on purpose to give it more credibility? But also from the replies we do not get a clear insight that the woman speaking would have received such a special place to become the spouse of the Messiah. they also seem to doubt that Jesus would have spoken privately to that woman, called Mary Magdalene. Again when she would have been his wife than Jesus would certainly have taken time to speak with her privately.

In the canonic gospels we come to hear Jesus calling Peter a satan. This is now also repeated by Levi who speaks up for Mary. He chides Peter because he has

“always been hot-tempered.”

and says:

“Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Saviour made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Saviour knows her very well. That is why he loved her more than us” (section 18).

For many having in the Gospel of Philip having the most suggestive passage:

“And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. But Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, ‘Why do you love her more than all of us?’ The Saviour answered and said to them, ‘Why do I not love you like her?’ When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. Then the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness” (sections 63-63).

Do not be Afraid

Women around Christ – Do not be Afraid (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

The text may very well use the metaphor of kissing to say that Jesus revealed truth to Mary. If this is true, the The Gospel of Philip is consistent with what we have seen elsewhere in the Gnostic gospels. But also by kissing a woman on the mouth this should not yet mean he had a very intimate relationship with her as a lover. He also just could have been very befriended or have considered himself as a protector of her, and as such kissing her affectionately. (In certain cultures it is also not strange to kiss other people on their mouth, without having to be the husband or wife.)

In 2012 professor Karen L. King announced the existence of a papyrus fragment with writing in Egyptian Coptic that includes the words, “Jesus said to them, ‘my wife…'”.  She and her colleague AnneMarie Luijendijk named the fragment the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” for reference purposes. King has stated that the fragment:

“should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married”.

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.

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.

Papyrological examination, scientific analysis of the ink and papyrus, and various forms of imaging were performed by multiple professional teams. These usually included comparative testing of a fragment of the Gospel of John in Coptic. No evidence of modern fabrication (“forgery”) was then found. Scepsis brought many interested to discuss and research the matter. Today not all are so sure about all the papyrus material being  ancient. Some even say it is clear that it is for 100% a forgery, because even the papyrus may be old the ink is not so old. According to several researchers the papyrus can be dated to the seventh to eighth c.c.e. and might the carbon composition of the ink, too, be consistent with ancient inks. Microscopic imaging was used to investigate whether the ink might be pooled in damaged sections of the fragment in ways that would indicate it had been applied after the damage had already been done. No evidence of such pooling was found.

Harvard University, which announced the papyrus’ discovery, has fallen silent on the artifact, not responding to requests for comment on new developments suggesting the find is a forgery. Giovanni Maria Vian, the editor of the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, had already called it a fake in September 2012 in an editorial that accompanied an article by leading Coptic scholar Alberto Camplani. For him the brownish-yellow, tattered fragment, about one and a half inches by three inches is a “clumsy forgery.”

According to a British theologian the finding of the papyrus could proof what he said already for some time, that:

“God, also known as Yahweh, had a wife named Asherah.”

And that the God had come to earth as a man and has taken a wife here on earth to. In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshipped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. Last December her findings where again broadcasted on the little screen in Belgium.

Those who consider Jesus to be God and do find he had to have a wife, may find them in both teachings. Some on the other hand say the “mother god Asher” was herself reincarnated in Mary (Maria/Myriam/Miriam), who gave birth to her son Jesus, the “incarnated Yahweh”. Those people do not wonder why their god than would have come to the earth as a reincarnation in the from of Jesus, when the Divine Creator of the World detest those who believe in reincarnations and returning ghosts. Though the Bible is clear that God is a ghost (John 4:24) who can not be seen by man or they would die (Exodus 33:20) and Jesus was seen by many people, who did not die [though God is not a human being or a god who tells lies (Numbers 23:19)].

The papyrus text has been constructed out of small pieces – words or phrases – culled from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas. Yes this gospel keeps turning up.  For those who like jigsaw puzzles and patchwork, here they can find their patchwork of words and phrases which might be copies of writings with lots of fantasy.

According to Karen L. King and AnneMarie Luijendijk

This is the only extant ancient text which explicitly portrays Jesus as referring to a wife.

But she also warned that

It does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married, given the late date of the fragment and the probable date of original composition only in the second half of the second century. Nevertheless, if the second century date of composition is correct, the fragment does provide direct evidence that claims about Jesus’s marital status first arose over a century after the death of Jesus in the context of intra-Christian controversies over sexuality, marriage, and discipleship. Just as Clement of Alexandria (d. ca 215 C.E.) described some Christians who insisted Jesus was not married, the fragment suggests that other Christians of that period were claiming that he was married. {See Stromateis III, 6.49; Greek text in Otto Stählin (ed.) Clemens Alexandrinus. Stromata Buch I-VI (Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1906) 218}

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)

High resolution digital photography and additional manipulation with Photoshop also aided in decipherment of both recto and verso, as well as viewing the manuscript itself in daylight and with magnification. Careful examination was also made of certain letters, especially the all-important alpha on the heavily inscribed side of the fragment (“recto”) in line 4, which reads “my wife”. If a sigma had been overwritten by this alpha, the meaning would have been changed from “the woman” to “my wife.” No evidence of overwriting is evident.

King has also done more research on the history of what early Christians had to say about Jesus’s marital status and on the interpretation of the fragment itself. She argues that the main topic of the fragment is to affirm that women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus — a topic that was hotly debated in early Christianity as celibate virginity increasingly became highly valued. In the previous chapters I spoke about that attitude opposite women. From the canonic gospels we can understand that there were single women, young ones, but also mothers and older women who followed Jesus, becoming his disciples and making themselves new pupils.

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Preceding articles:

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

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

To be followed by:

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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Find also:

  1. Translation of Gospel of Jesus’s Wife Papyrus
  2. The Gist
  3. Francis Watson on the papyrus

In Dutch:

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

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  • Papyrus fragment put to test (news.harvard.edu)
    A wide range of scientific testing indicates that a papyrus fragment containing the words “Jesus said to them, my wife” is an ancient document, dating between the sixth to ninth centuries C.E. Its contents may originally have been composed as early as the second to fourth centuries.
  • ‘Gospel Of Jesus’ Wife’ Papyrus Is Ancient, Not Fake, Experts Say (huffingtonpost.com) incl. Video
    An ancient, business-card-sized papyrus fragment that appears to quote Jesus Christ discussing his wife is real, Harvard University announced Thursday. The fragment caused international uproar when it was revealed by a Harvard historian in September 2012, with prominent academics and the Vatican swiftly deeming it a forgery.
  • How the ‘Jesus’ Wife’ Hoax Fell Apart (online.wsj.com)
    Then last week the story began to crumble faster than an ancient papyrus exposed in the windy Sudan. Mr. Askeland found, among the online links that Harvard used as part of its publicity push, images of another fragment, of the Gospel of John, that turned out to share many similarities—including the handwriting, ink and writing instrument used—with the “wife” fragment. The Gospel of John text, he discovered, had been directly copied from a 1924 publication.”Two factors immediately indicated that this was a forgery,” Mr. Askeland tells me. “First, the fragment shared the same line breaks as the 1924 publication. Second, the fragment contained a peculiar dialect of Coptic called Lycopolitan, which fell out of use during or before the sixth century.” Ms. King had done two radiometric tests, he noted, and “concluded that the papyrus plants used for this fragment had been harvested in the seventh to ninth centuries.” In other words, the fragment that came from the same material as the “Jesus’ wife” fragment was written in a dialect that didn’t exist when the papyrus it appears on was made.
  • ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Looks More and More Like a Fake (nbcnews.com)
    since the investigation was published, Live Science has been in contact with an agency in Berlin that issues permits for the exportation of antiquities. Representatives of that agency said they could find no record that a papyrus like this had been exported from their office. It’s possible that the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife papyrus was exported from elsewhere in Germany or from the European Union.
  • Radical feminists say it’s misogynist to reveal “Jesus’ wife” hoax (revisionistreview.blogspot.com)
    I’ve counted 10 different university-level scholars chiming in on two different online sites to heap coals upon the head of anyone who dares to think that King made a mistake, or that she should have consulted a wider range of experts before she helped the Smithsonian turn the papyrus scrap into a television documentary (which finally aired May 5) rather than afterward, as she did.
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    On May 5, the online magazine Religion Dispatches, published by USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, featured an article by Eva Mroczek, a religious studies professor at Indiana University, complaining about the title of one of Askeland’s blog posts: Jesus Had an Ugly Sister-in-Law.” Illustrated by a Walt Disney still of Cinderella’s homely siblings (stepsisters, not sisters, but close), Mroczek’s article took Askeland to task for “the sexist language — the use of an ugly woman as a metaphor for a sloppy, forged, worthless text.”Poor Askeland! Bet he never thought that calling a scrap of papyrus “ugly” was a misogynist attack on women! Even Bagnall had deemed the Jesus’ Wife fragment “ugly” in a 2012 interview in the Boston Globe. Mroczek had earlier taken Askeland to task about the word “ugly” in a comment on his blog post. And after Mroczek’s article appeared, he edited the word out of the post’s title.
  • New evidence casts doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    Anonymity, in the world of antiquities, is often a bad sign, compounding the inherent uncertainty when dealing with texts that are bought and sold rather than discovered in a firm archaeological setting.Then there were aspects of the text itself that seemed suspicious.For a fragmented scrap of papyrus, it seemed to have an awful lot of important content on it. Not only did Jesus refer to “my wife,” he also potentially described a certain Mary – perhaps Mary Magdalene? – as “worthy” and capable of being a disciple.It is (almost) too good to be true.At the same time, the handwriting seemed surprisingly sloppy.
  • Historian Says Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife (nytimes.com)
    Dr. King first learned about what she calls “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” when she received an e-mail in 2010 from a private collector who asked her to translate it. Dr. King, 58, specializes in Coptic literature, and has written books on the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Mary of Magdala, Gnosticism and women in antiquity.The owner, who has a collection of Greek, Coptic and Arabic papyri, is not willing to be identified by name, nationality or location, because, Dr. King said, “He doesn’t want to be hounded by people who want to buy this.”When, where or how the fragment was discovered is unknown. The collector acquired it in a batch of papyri in 1997 from the previous owner, a German. It came with a handwritten note in German that names a professor of Egyptology in Berlin, now deceased, and cited him calling the fragment “the sole example” of a text in which Jesus claims a wife.
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Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

The 4 New Testament gospels – do not tell us explicitly whether Jesus was married or not. They don’t mention his having a girlfriend or a wife. Nor do they state that he was unmarried.

Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Martha at Bethany

Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Martha at Bethany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Man is a strange being which thinks often a man has to have a sexual feeling and a sexual relation. Not talking about such sexual feelings would indicate, according to some, that there is something wrong. For that reason some see in the choice of canonic gospels a plot to cover up the truth about Jesus his true character and personal feelings. Others see the silence of the gospels as proof that Jesus could not have been married. I do think it is all speculation and really does not matter if Jesus had been married to Miriam (Myriam) of Magdala, today better known as Mary Magdalene, or to any other woman for that matter. The ones against the Bible naturally would love to bring up that the earliest Christians conspired to hide any information because it confirmed ‘the fact that Jesus wasn’t divine‘, but they do forget that the Bible tells everybody that Jesus is the ‘son of God‘ and nowhere is told that he would be the ‘god son‘.  So on that matter they have no leg to stand on.  Like my wife can be divine, Jesus also could and really was divine without being the divine, a big difference. Real believers in the One God do not have any reason to become conspirators, hiding more human factors of Jesus, nor looking at imaginative texts which are based on fiction, like the Da Vinci Code and the Gnostic Gospels.

The early gospel writers where not at all afraid to tell anything about personal issues of Christ, but what would it contribute to his message or to the reliability of this Messiah? At that time, most of them Jews, knowing that there was only One True Divine God, there was also no reason at all to make an explicit difference between His son Jeshua (Jesus Christ), the Master teacher or rebbe/rabbi they were following, and the Divine God. For the early followers of Christ it was clear as water that their teacher was a prophet and man of flesh and blood. There was no reason at all to explicitly bring any proof of his manhood into their writings, because everybody saw in him a man who was the son of Abraham and the son of David. There was not yet any question of a ‘Holy Trinity‘. Jesus his position as son of Adam, a man being born (begotten), having his mother Miriam (Mary/Maria) from the tribe of King David, had naturally the same human feelings like any other human being. That is why it is so important that the Messiah would be some one who really could know very well how human beings thought and felt. After he had totally done the Will of his Father in heaven, and not his own will, God made him higher than the angels and took him up into heaven to come and sit at His right hand to be a mediator between God and man.

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The apostles and followers of the movement of Christ Jesus (the Way), trusted so much in the position of Jesus Christ that they were not afraid to give their lives for their faith in him.There was no reason at all for the New Testament writers to include very personal material on their subject, which they considered to be the Messiah, the long awaited Saviour, about whom many prophets had spoken of for years. The apostles their writings containing no explicit answer to the question of Jesus’ marital state does not say anything about a well or not divinity of Christ, nor can it be proven that they omitted certain things for special reasons, to make their ‘figure’ more important or special.We may assume none of the four gospels mention Jesus his wife, nor that he was unmarried, because it was of no importance to the message or the bringing of Good News, which was the essence of the Gospel. The New Testament gospels give us everything we do have to know to place Jesus in his time. It tells how he was born and refers to Jesus’ natural relatives (his heavenly and his earthly father, mother, and siblings). Though Jesus had reached the age at which young men in his day married, Jesus and his family realized that he had a special calling which would make marriage quite difficult. From early in his childhood Jesus was aware of his calling and we can imagine that he also could have been aware which problems his task would bring onto the people around him. For him it could have been already very difficult to face that he was having to hurt his own earthly parents so much. The grief his mother would have when she would loose her son, could have been already sufficient not to involve any other female person in his life.

In our matriarchal and patriarchal societies most people assume a human being can not stay on his or her own and has to make a sexual connection with somebody of the other or of the same sex.  Not many people do believe two or more people can live together, without having sex with each other. Therefore two women or two men living together mostly bring certain ideas in the onlookers minds. Long time it has been considered strange as well, when a person wanted to live on his or her own. But through the ages there were several people who preferred to remain single.  At the time of Jesus this would have been perceived as an unusual, even a counter-cultural choice. But then Jesus never shied away from the unusual or counter-cultural, especially when it came to his relationships with women.

Lots of people forget that we do not only have to look at religious books to get something to know about Jesus and his time. Many lay books tell us about customs in the time we consider the Messiah lived. In case Jesus preferred not to have intimate feelings for somebody of the other sex and wanted to stay single by choice, he would not be a real exception. Jesus his mother Miriam (Mary/Maria) belonged to a Jewish sect (the Essenes) which was very devote and had many people who stayed single whole their life.

The Jewish philosopher Philo, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, was a contemporary of Jesus who wrote many volumes in the first half of the century. As in any time he looked at marriage and how people coped with it. He wrote:

Again, perceiving with more than ordinary acuteness and accuracy, what is alone or at least above all other things calculated to dissolve such associations, they repudiate marriage; and at the same time they practise continence in an eminent degree; for no one of the Essenes ever marries a wife . . . . This now is the enviable system of life of these Essenes, so that not only private individuals but even mighty kings, admiring the men, venerate their sect, and increase their dignity and majesty in a still higher degree by their approbation and by the honours which they confer on them. {Philo, Hypothetica 11.14-17}

An other well known Jewish historian wrote near the end of the century:

These Essenes reject pleasures as an evil, but esteem continence, and the conquest over our passions, to be virtue. They neglect wedlock, but choose out other persons’ children, while they are pliable, and fit for learning, and esteem them to be of their kindred, and form them according to their own manners. They do not absolutely deny the fitness of marriage, and the succession of mankind thereby continued; but they guard against the lascivious behaviour of women, and are persuaded that none of them preserve their fidelity to one man. {Josephus, Jewish War, 2.8.2}

It also deserves our admiration, how much [the Essenes] exceed all other men that addict themselves to virtue, and this in righteousness; and indeed to such a degree, that as it hath never appeared among any other men, neither Greeks nor barbarians, no, not for a little time, so hath it endured a long while among them. This is demonstrated by that institution of theirs, which will not suffer any thing to hinder them from having all things in common; so that a rich man enjoys no more of his own wealth than he who hath nothing at all. There are about four thousand men that live in this way, and neither marry wives, nor are desirous to keep servants; as thinking the latter tempts men to be unjust, and the former gives the handle to domestic quarrels; but as they live by themselves, they minister one to another. {Josephus, Antiquities 18.1.5}

According to Philo and Josephus many Essenes chose to be unmarried because they thought that women had a negative impact on men. A specific personal relation with somebody else could interfere with the connection and with the amount of time available for worship of God. They believed it was better to be unmarried and having enough time to spend to do the work for God, bringing people to know the Most High Elohim.
Some may think there is no reason to believe that Jesus shared this perspective, but been brought up in an Essene family it could well be. He too did join the Essenes in accepting an apocalyptic worldview that anticipated the coming of God’s kingdom. This helps to explain Jesus’s unusual attitude toward singleness and marriage.

The social decorum during the time of Jeshua and his apostles may have virtually forbidden a Jewish man to be unmarried, because according to Jewish custom, celibacy was condemned , in fact, we have solid evidence that some Jewish men chose to remain unmarried, and that leading Jewish thinkers praised them for this choice.

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Jesus wife payrus transcript Jesus wife papyrus translation

Preceding article: Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

Next articles:

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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Additional reading:

  1. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  4. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  5. Jesus begotten Son of God #12 Son of God
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #15 Son of God Originating in Mary
  8. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  9. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  12. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  13. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  14. The meek one riding on an ass
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Philippians 1 – 2
  17. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  18. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  19. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  20. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  21. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  22. Concerning gospelfaith
  23. Epitome of the one faith
  24. My faith
  25. Only One God
  26. God is one
  27. The Trinity – the Truth
  28. God’s salvation
  29. Knowing rabboni
  30. One mediator

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  • ‘Gospel Of Jesus’ Wife’ Papyrus Is Ancient, Not Fake, Experts Say (huffingtonpost.com) (video)
    An ancient, business-card-sized papyrus fragment that appears to quote Jesus Christ discussing his wife is real, Harvard University announced Thursday. The fragment caused international uproar when it was revealed by a Harvard historian in September 2012, with prominent academics and the Vatican swiftly deeming it a forgery.Harvard officials said scientists both within and outside the university extensively tested the papyrus and carbon ink of the badly aged fragment, dubbed the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” The document, written in Coptic, a language of ancient Egyptian Christians, is made up of eight mostly legible dark lines on the front and six barely legible faded lines on the back. The handwriting and grammar were also examined over the last year and a half to confirm its authenticity. Scientists have concluded the fragment dates back to at least the sixth to ninth centuries, and possibly as far back as the fourth century.
  • Was Mary Magdalen Jesus’ wife or merely his bitch? (freethinker.co.uk)
    Christian tradition holds that Jesus did not marry. But a number of experts vouched for the authenticity of the fragment. They said, in the early years, Jesus’s marital status was subject to debate. This text, they added, proved that some early Christians believed Jesus was married.But Wolf-Peter Funk, a professor and noted Coptic linguist, who co-directed the francophone project editing the Nag Hammadi Coptic library at Laval University, in Quebec, questioned the claim
  • Reality check on Jesus and his ‘wife’ (cosmiclog.nbcnews.com)
    Fans of the Dan Brown thriller are already familiar with the theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a husband-and-wife relationship. The basis for such speculation lies in Gnostic gospels that came out in the second, third and fourth centuries, but were left out of the standardized scriptures — texts such as the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary and the recently reconstructed Gospel of Judas.Even though only a few phrases can be read on the papyrus fragment that’s just come to light, those phrases are consistent with the Gnostic view of early Christianity — which tended to give a more prominent role to women, and particularly to Mary Magdalene. The text, written in the Sahidic Coptic dialect, includes the phrase “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…'” as well as references to a woman named Mary being “worthy of it,” and to a woman who “will be able to be my disciple.”
  • ‘Too holy’ for sex? The problem of a married Jesus (usnews.nbcnews.com)
    If a fourth-century fragment of papyrus that purportedly quotes Jesus telling his disciples about “my wife” is authenticated, it could upend the modern church’s understanding of the “son of God.”“If Jesus is a normal human being and he’s sexual, that’s the real fear,” James Tabor, a biblical scholar at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the co-author of books about Jesus and his family, told NBC News. “You can’t think of Jesus like that because he’s too holy.”
  • Why Jesus Christ Is Not a Jewish Prophet (guardianlv.com)
    A leading rabbi claims Jesus Christ’s behavior in the New Testament was that of “not a very good Jew” in a candid interview in which he explains to Guardian Liberty Voice readers why the historical religious figure is not a Jewish prophet. On Wednesday, May 14, the Jewish faith marks Pesach Sheni (Second Passover), a time set aside one month after Passover to allow Jews to make up the Korban Pesach, or pascal lamb sacrifice, if they missed it the first time.Yet while Jews use the time to reflect on one of, if not the most significant date in their calendar, in three days’ time, Christians will observe Ascension Day, which marks the last earthly appearance of Jesus Christ. He was arrested on – before being crucified – the most talked about Passover meal in history.
  • Jesus as the “Way of Life”: Deconstructing John 14:6 (musingsfromabricolage.wordpress.com)
    The similarities between John and the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) indicate John’s author may have been familiar with one or more of the Synoptics. While scholars have debated whether or not John’s author used the other gospels as sources for his own work, most agree that he had known at least Mark’s – and possibly Luke’s – oral traditions and may have seen some of their pre-gospel manuscripts. For that reason, the majority of scholars claim that the earliest John could have been composed was after Mark’s composition date: around 68-73 AD.
  • Jesus Preaches in the Synagogues of Judea // Jesus Calls the First Disciples (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    The kingdom of Christ is closely connected with the ancient kingdom of David. For centuries David’s empire lay in ruins, existing only in the minds of the prophets who foretold its glorious restoration by the Messiah (Is 9:6-7; Amos9:11; Mk 11:10; Acts 1:6). Jesus now comes as the messianic heir to resurrect this fallen kingdom in a spiritual way, ruling from his throne at the Father’s right hand (Mk 16:19; Acts 2:33-36). His everlasting reign in the heavenly Jerusalem thus fulfills God’s covenant oath to establish David’s throne for all time (1:32– 33; Ps 89:3-4).
  • Avoiding the Sin of Adultery Matthew 5:27-30 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    In many ways, the Sermon on the Mount is a face-off between Jesus and Judaism. You see this confrontation in a number of places, such as in Matthew 5:20, where Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you are not going to make it into the kingdom of God” (my paraphrase). These are pretty strong words, especially for the scribes and Pharisees who thought they had 50-yard line tickets to the kingdom of God. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, you may remember that the people came away saying, “Wow!” They were amazed and said, “This man teaches with authority and not like the scribes.” And so the Sermon on the Mount is a confrontation between Jesus and the scribes and the Pharisees, who will be His most aggressive opponents in the Gospels.
  • Daily Homily: I Know Those Whom I Have Chosen Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter (blackpoolparish.wordpress.com)
    In their respective overviews, Peter emphasized the fulfillment of the prophets and psalms in Jesus the Lord and Christ; Stephen showed how the people resisted the action of God in the past and how they resisted and betrayed Jesus Christ, the Son of Man; Paul now emphasizes how God saved his people in the past and offers them definitive salvation (forgiveness of sins) through Jesus Christ, the descendant of David.
  • Man claims he’s Jesus, girlfriend is Mary Magdalene (mobile.wnd.com)
    An Australian man is gaining worldwide attention and followers from America as he claims he’s actually Jesus Christ of Nazareth and his girlfriend is Mary Magdalene from the Bible.
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    He says his first marriage fell apart when he began to remember details of his incarnation.But irrespective of Miller’s ex-wife in Australia, he refers to Luck as “my soulmate, and who was actually married to me in the first century, and was pregnant with our daughter when I died.”
    +
    Miller who lives near the small town of Kingaroy in the state of Queensland, has a regular following of some 150 people, and strongly rejects any suggestion he’s a cult leader forcing people to do what they don’t wish.

    “All we do is present seminars and answer people’s questions. I still for the life of me can’t quite understand where the cult thing has come from,” he told Sky.

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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.
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    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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