How do I know if I’m called to ministry?

Lots of people do think only theologians may lead the church. they forget that the first churches in Christianity were not lead by theologians nor by very highly educated people, except the ecclesiae lead by Luke and Paul.

The followers of Christ arranged the meetings to bring and to keep people in the faith. also today it are those who have come into the faith who should arrange meetings and make the best of a service to study the Word of God and to worship God.

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Each believer should take up his or her task according the talents God has given him or her. Each person in the Christian community should remember that it is God Who calls and gives the blessings. We should be pleased with God’s election unto salvation and treat it carefully (Matt 9:13; 1 Cor 1:9; 7:18, 22; Gal 1:6, 15; 1 Thess 2:12; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 1:9).

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We do have to follow God’s call and have to pursue the mission we are required to fulfil by Jesus Christ, going out into the world proclaiming the Gospel of the coming Kingdom. Those who are married, have no excuse saying they can not be a priest, pastor or ‘theologian‘. There is no obligation of celibacy. It may be more difficult as a married person to work for God and having a family, needing to work for a living, etc. when we do feel like we should engage ourselves in the work of God we should go for it. We should make work by studying the Bible and not as much all those theological books , writing of human beings, who were themselves not the chosen ones from God. Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Mordecai David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Habakkkuk, Zephania, Zecchariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude were the men god has asked to write down His Words. Their writings we should take as the most important study material. Writings of others may be of help, but never may be receiving the priority, like they get at university and theology colleges.

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We always should remember that Jesus asked his disciples to proclaim the Word of God, and that is what each Christian should do. The biblical criteria for being qualified for ministry is not having a degree in theology but is most of all the will to be a servant for God. It is lowering yourself and giving yourself to take any position needed to have an ecclesia or church working and growing. To get life into an ecclesia there has first to be enough desire (1 Tim 3:1) and the right character to help all those in the group of believers. (1 Tim 3:2-7).

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God Himself has given the directions for creating, making and keeping a community of believers = an ecclesia or church. We should follow His directions and offer ourselves as a person willing to take up the necessary job in that ecclesia. Please never come with the excuse you are not a theologian, for not having to organise a bible study class, or to bring prayers in front of the community, or to lead a worship service.

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To remember

  • How do I know if I’m called to ministry? = common question posed by men + women feeling a tug to full time vocational ministry.
  • Each of us called to love our neighbor as ourselves + each of us is called to ministry of reconciliation that Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians 5.
  • some are called to pastoral ministry as a vocation.
  • Thomas Oden’s book, Pastoral Theology, offers some very helpful + probing questions to ask yourself if you’ve received a “call” to life-long church ministry.
    • intellectual ability up to it
    • Having means of grace (worship, sacraments, Scripture) ingrained in lifestyl
    • How much willing to give up in order to serve
    • competent to lead a community of faith
    • communicate Christian message with persuasiveness and integrity
    • cultivating spiritual disciplines
    • capable of becoming competent interpreter of Scripture
  • = good gut-check

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Preceding messages

Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church

Good Morning January 25 We are theologians

Mental Enslavement and Sins Syndrome (MESS)

Luther on Being a Theologian: Oratio, Meditatio and Tentatio

The Pastor Theologian

Theology as Discipleship

What Makes a Theologian

What Should I Preach ?

How to Choose a Bible for Preaching

 

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Additional reading

  1. To know Christ is filling life with meaning
  2. A voice and a Word given for wisdom
  3. Bible for you and for life
  4. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  6. When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
  7. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8Hope by faith and free gift
  8. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  9. Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats
  10. Making church
  11. Looking on what is going on and not being of it
  12. Breathing to teach
  13. Showing by the scriptures that …
  14. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  15. Different assessment criteria and a new language to be found for communicating the faith
  16. What Should I Preach ?
  17. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  18. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  19. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  20. A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways
  21. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  22. Preaching Christ Is Not Enough
  23. Preaching by example
  24. Daring to speak in multicultural environment
  25. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  26. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  27. Crisis man needed in this world
  28. It is Today
  29. Signs of the Last Days
  30. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  31. When discouraged facing opposition
  32. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  33. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  34. Counting sands and stars
  35. The Big Conversation
  36. The Big Conversation – Christadelphians in the United Kingdom
  37. The Big conversation – Antagonists
  38. Trying to get the youth inspired
  39. Preachers should know and continue the task Jesus has given his followers
  40. Being Missional
  41. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  42. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  43. A Synod to speak freely and to listen without reservations

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Related articles

Praxis

Slide1

This is a common question posed by men and women who are feeling a tug to full time vocational ministry. Now, I get it. In one sense we’re all called to ministry. Each of us is called to love our neighbor as ourselves and each of us is called to the ministry of reconciliation that Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians 5. I’m all for this!

But while each of us is called to ministry in that way, I do believe some are called to pastoral ministry as a vocation. Thomas Oden, in his book, Pastoral Theology, offers some very helpful and probing questions to ask yourself if you think you’ve received a “call” to life-long church ministry.

The questions speak for themselves. They are as follows:

Is my intellectual ability up to it? Can I write complete sentences? Think critically? Spell sacrament? Speak intelligibly? Identify a leap in…

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Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

Divinity Hall, Harvard Divinity School, view f...

Divinity Hall, Harvard Divinity School, view from Divinity Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King agrees that the fragment, written in Coptic, she analysed,

“does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married, nor does it prove that he was not married. The earliest reliable historical tradition is completely silent on that. So we’re in the same position we were before it was found. We don’t know if he was married or not.”

In the previous postings I mentioned already that when we look at the accounts of Jesus’ life in the Bible and the many non-religious writings of the early centuries, there is no mention of his marital status, while the accounts do mention Jesus’ mother, father and siblings.

Darrell Bock, a senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminar said:

“There’s no indication we have that Jesus was married. One could say the text is silent on Jesus’ marital status because there was nothing to say.”

Bock agreed with the notion that the text fragment shared similarities with the Gnostic Gospels and said the text could be referring to a gnostic rite of marriage but

“it’s a small text with very little context. We don’t know what’s wrapped around it to know what it’s saying.”

King writes:

“the importance of the ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ lies in supplying a new voice within the diverse chorus of early Christian traditions about Jesus that documents that some Christians depicted Jesus as married.”

In “Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh” and “Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage” I pointed out to the Wife of God, indicating the Book of books speaks about God being married to Israel, but this being spiritually talking about the relationship of Jehovah God with His Chosen People, Israel, or the Israelites, the religious Jews. From the Old Testament text we can understand that Jehovah God cast Israel off as a wife, and that it was impossible for Him to marry her as a “virgin” (Jeremiah 3:1-18; Ezekiel 16; Hosea 2; 3:1-5). We can see what faithless Israel has done and find God giving her the notice or her certificate of divorce and having sent her away because of all her adulteries.

“She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore.” (Jeremiah 3:8 ESV)

"Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, &quo...

“Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him…” (Photo credit: -Reji)

God had made a promise to Abraham, that his seed would multiply and God would make a people for Him out of his descendants. God always keeps to His promises. One of them, at the beginning of human history,just after the foundation of the earth, was also that He would provide a solution for the sin the first man and woman (the 1° Adam and Eve) committed. There He indicated already His special relationship with the human beings, and planned for a son to whom He would give the throne to restore the paradise and bring to fulfilment the clean and safe Kingdom of God (the 2° Adam).

” And [Psa. 102:25-27 says “Thou, Yahweh/Adonay/Jehovah”], “Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hand. (11)  They will be destroyed, but you will remain. And they [i.e., the heavens and earth] will all wear out like an article of clothing. (12)  And you will fold them up like a robe, and they will be changed like an article of clothing. But you will stay the same and your years will never end.” (13)  But which one of the angels did God ever say [this] about [Psa. 110:1], “You should sit at my right side until I put your enemies [in full subjection] beneath your feet?”” (Heb 1:10-13 AUV)

“So [then], we [Christians] should pay closer attention to the things we have heard, so that we do not drift away from [believing and practicing] them. (2)  For if the message spoken through angels proved to be binding [Note: This is a reference to the Law of Moses. See Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19], and every violation [of it] and disobedience [to it] received a just penalty, (3)  how will we escape [punishment] if we neglect such a great salvation? [For it was] first announced [to people] by the Lord and then confirmed to us [i.e., the writer and other Christians] by those who heard Him [i.e., the original apostles]. (4)  God also testified, along with those people, by [giving them] both signs and wonders and various miracles, and by [supernatural] gifts distributed [to them] by the Holy Spirit, as He desired. (5)  For God did not place the coming inhabited world [Note: “The coming inhabited world” here probably refers to the present Christian age. It was viewed as “coming” from the perspective of Old Testament times], under the control of angels [and] that is the world we are talking about.” (Heb 2:1-5 AUV)

With regards to which of the angelic messengers “emissaries”, none where invited tocome to sit next to God, but His son Jeshua (Jesus Christ), who was first lower than the angels (remember God is, was and always shall be the Most High) was placed higher after his resurrection and invited to come to sit at the right hand of God to become a mediator between God and man. In case Jesus was God he could not be sitting next to himself nor take on the duty of mediator or intermediary. His position as arbitrator for man and woman would be of no value either when he would have been God and the end judge of it all. The third party has to be someone other than the principals who are involved in a transaction. In the Bible is also written that he would hand over the Kingdom of God to his Father. In case he himself is the same person as the Father there is no use nor any possibility to hand over the Kingdom to himself.

But in the text in front of us we hear about the world to come: the New World. The angels are ministering spirits, servants, with no royal dignity; having a subordinate role of serving God. God’s concern is not with angels, but with us, and He accordingly sends those angels or messengers of God, to bring help to those who will inherit salvation.

“And if children, then also lawfully-allotted ones, lawfully-allotted ones surely of God, moreover, lawfully-allotted-with the Anointed One, if- we -wholly suffer-with Him, in order that, we may also be given splendor-with Him.” (Romans 8:17 AS )

In the Old Times God shared His passion with His people, who kept stubborn and did not want to recognise the Promised One, the Christos, or Christ the Messiah. God placed Jesus in a higher position than His angels and by doing this God’s glory becomes Christ’s glory and finally, in measure, our glory also, because in him, Jesus Christ, we can be saved and become part of the Body of Christ. The apostle Paul brings some ‘with’ words in his 8° letter to the Romans (8:1-39), that testify of what we are and what we do jointly with Christ. There it is said the Anointed One should be from-within us, being lawfully-allotted ones,  joint-heirs with the Anointed, even when we ourselves still dare to groan inside ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the ransom of our body, we may find not such an adoption, becoming children of God, but also finding the redemption of the body we still have here on earth. (In this world.)

God did not spare His own son Jeshua, but delivered him up for us all. (Romans 8:32) This Jesus is raised up, and is actually at the right hand of God, and makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:34) In the Old World the angels were in charge.

” Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, And see the reward of the wicked.  (9)  For thou, O Jehovah, art my refuge! Thou hast made the Most High thy habitation;  (10)  There shall no evil befall thee, Neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent.  (11)  For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways.  (12)  They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:8-12 ASV)

But now God choose a cornerstone in His son, to whom angels already came to minister him in his lifetime (Matthew 4:11; cp Matthew 26:53)

” You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,  (8)  putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.  (9)  But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:7-9 ESV)

We all share in flesh and blood, the same as the son of God Jesus Christ partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the evil, the adversary of God. For ages God’s People where thrown through and fro and often did not make a proper choice. Because of His great dissatisfaction god was not inclined any more to keep the bond of His ‘marriage’ with them alone. Too many times the Israelites were  ill-disposed to their Creator. They often behaved unlawful and that hurtled the Most High in such a way that He allowed His son to provide a New Covenant, to deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Hebrews 2:15).

God renewed His bond or covenant with His son and with the Spiritual Israel, which had to become the Church of God, the Body of Christ where the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus) would be the cornerstone, to bring the lovers of God close to Him and to put down the adversaries or hostile ones, their necks under his foot.

Besides the heavenly Bride, the transfigured, translated, and risen Church, reigning over the earth with Christ, there is also the earthly bride, Israel, in the flesh, never yet divorced, though for a time separated, from her divine husband, who shall then be reunited to the Lord and be mother Church of the millennial earth, Christianized through her. Note, we ought, as Scripture does, restrict the language drawn from marriage—love to the Bride, the Church as a whole; not use it as individuals in our relation to Christ, as Rome does in the case of her nuns.” { All the Women of the Bible » Chapter 4. Symbolic and Representative Bible Women » The Bride, The Lamb’s Wife}

In his teaching period Jesus explained that some people may prefer to stay single “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:12). We should understand that by choosing celibacy to have more time to devote to proclaiming and living out God’s kingdom. They would find earthly responsibilities, such as those that go with marriage and parenting, a hindrance to their kingdom calling. This is similar to the situation of the disciples who were called away from their professions (fishermen, tax collectors, etc.) in order to follow Jesus with singular purpose. As I mentioned earlier such people consider themselves as married to Christ. They have taken Christ as their “bride“, like Jesus preferred to stay single and be the spouse or “wife of God“.

We always should remember that the Old Testament uses a lot of metaphors, and marriage is such one of them. Early Christians also used such metaphors to describe the relationship between celibate believers and Christ. Nuptial imagery is commonly used to describe salvation and heaven in the New Testament; and later Christian martyrs are sometimes called or portrayed as brides of Christ.

In the most difficult book of the bible, the apostle John describes in his vision the marriage scene in which the Bridegroom makes His Bride His wife. The ones who accept Christ as the son of God and their saviour may be glad and rejoice, and give honour now to him they wanted to follow and God raised out of the dead. He, the Lamb of God has now been taken up in heaven where the marriage of the Lamb took place. The ‘new’ wife of God or the wife for us in heaven has made herself ready in the presence of the one who is presented in fine linen, clean and white, like so many women their wedding dress. For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints, the ones who are set-apart from the world.  The followers of Christ may become part of the new Israel, the new chosen people of God, though they might have been gentiles, they are now called righteous and also sons  and daughters of God. We should know that blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, Jesus Messiah. We all better listen to the true sayings of God.  We best remember what He has done for us and whom He provided for us and how we should worship that only One True God,the Father of Jesus, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;  (8)  it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.  (9)  And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”  (10)  Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:7-10 ESV )

A woman, of course, only becomes a wife on the completion of her marriage to the man to whom she has been engaged or espoused. In this age of Grace, the church is the affianced Bride of Christ. At the marriage of the Lamb, she becomes His wedded wife (Ephesians 5:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 11:2). { All the Women of the Bible » Chapter 4. Symbolic and Representative Bible Women » The Bride, The Lamb’s Wife}

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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.

Conclusion

Professor King has devoted much of her scholarly career to making a case that the early church falsely constructed an orthodox understanding of Jesus that minimized the role of women. Back in 2003 she released The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, in which she argued that at least some ancient texts pointed to Mary Magdalene as an apostle. In 2012 she told the writer for Smithsonian: “You’re talking to someone who’s trying to integrate a whole set of ‘heretical’ literature into the standard history.” {It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and the State of Modern Scholarship}

King saying

“it does not make sense that a forger with poor Coptic and scribal skills could also manage to acquire the right kind of papyrus and ink, and leave no ink out of place at the microscopic level.”

in her judgment may be right that “such a combination of bumbling and sophistication seems extremely unlikely” and that the world has a genuine old manuscript. But this does not mean it is a worthy “gospel” fragment or a sacred text.

King said.

“Is Jesus talking about a real wife, or the church, or a sister-wife? Who is the Mary—his mother, his wife, or some other Mary entirely?”

As I tried to explain in these 10 chapters is that we might understand it that when we would like to translate it with “wife” we should understand it to be a “woman” or female person in the bond of covenant-ship of being a pupil or follower of Christ.

What also might be important is that certain conservative ideas about the role of women in church herewith would be contradicted. If the papyrus fragment reflects religious writing copied from earlier texts, perhaps ones in the fourth century, it would speak to early Christian concerns about the role of the family in the early Church, which famously called upon its adherents to put aside family and civic loyalties, King suggests.

“This is not evidence that Jesus was married. We don’t know,”

Professor King originally interpreted the document as a debate about celibacy and had said:

“But early Christians were extremely interested in questions about whether they should be married or be celibate.”

Last month she added:

‘Now when I come back and read the fragment, it seems the major issue being talked about was that Jesus was affirming that wives and mothers can be his disciples,’ she said in an interview earlier this week.

The Harvard Divinity School writes:

If ancient, this tiny, damaged fragment provides tantalizing glimpses into issues about family, discipleship, and marriage that concerned ancient Christians. The main topic of the dialogue between Jesus and his disciples is one that deeply concerned early Christians, who were asked to put loyalty to Jesus before their natal families, as the New Testament gospels show. Christians were talking about themselves as a family, with God the Father, his son Jesus, and members as brothers and sisters. The particular focus in the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, however, is on women: his mother, Mary, his wife, and a female disciple. The disciples discuss whether Mary is worthy, and Jesus states that “she can be my disciple.” These signs indicate some controversy over whether women who are sexually active (mothers and wives) can be disciples of Jesus. Other early Christian writings defend marriage and reproduction against fellow Christians who think virginity and celibacy are required for all, or who argue that “women are not worthy of life.”

This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what role claims about Jesus’ marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family. The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife makes it possible to say that some early Christians believed that Jesus was married. This conclusion potentially has significant implications for the history of ancient Christian attitudes toward marriage, sexuality, and reproduction.

I agree with professor King that the papyrus may show that there were early Christians for whom …

“sexual union in marriage could be an imitation of God’s creativity and it could be spiritually proper and appropriate.”

For her the so-called ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ may have been thrown out

“because the ideas it contained flowed so strongly against the ascetic currents of the tides in which Christian practices and understandings of marriage and sexual intercourse were surging.”

This representation of Jesus as a man with earthly passions and needs has not survived in the doctrines of the established churches, which emphasise celibacy and asceticism as a spiritual ideal. We as Christians should remember how Jesus preached equality between man and how we all had to love each other becoming one, united. Men and women equally united in the lord Christ Jesus, having the bride Jesus, him married to spiritual Israel, the Church.

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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Find in this series:

 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

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

 To be continued with:

The Bride New Jerusalem

 

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Additional reading:

  1. God’s promises
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  4. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  5. Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News
  6. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  7. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  8. God’s salvation
  9. Written to recognise the Promised One
  10. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  11. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  12. Messiah
  13. One mediator
  14. Slave for people and God
  15. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  16. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  17. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  18. Accommodation of the Void
  19. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  20. Angels
  21. Father counterpart of the mother
  22. Invitation to all who believe
  23. Belief of the things that God has promised
  24. Gospel = Good tidings, good news, a good message
  25. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  26. Walking in love by faith, not by sight
  27. United people under Christ
  28. Fellowship
  29. What’s church for, anyway?
  30. Church sent into the world
  31. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  32. Misleading Pictures
  33. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  34. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  35. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  36. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  37. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  38. Signs of the Last Days

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Please find also of interest:

The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ is Still as Big a Mystery as Ever
Given that King announced the discovery at a professional conference and immediately made preliminary test results and high-resolution photographs available to the world, it is difficult to know what she could have done differently.   Certainly a more somber title—something in Latin perhaps—would have conveyed more nuance and garnered less attention, but getting attention for the discovery and the field was King’s aim. It used to be the case that papyrus discoveries were routinely announced on the front pages of the Times of London, but things have changed. It’s tough out there when you’re not a Kardashian, and a catchy title and clear message can go a long way. It’s rare for scholars to pass up the opportunity to reach a broader audience when the opportunity presents itself, even if that means giving up some precision.

It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and the State of Modern Scholarship

Last week, the Harvard Theological Review released a much-delayed series of articles on the fragment. After a series of investigations undertaken by diverse scholars, the general judgment claimed by Professor King is that the fragment probably is not a forgery — or at least that it dates back to ancient times. The analysis suggested that the fragment dated from about four centuries later than Professor King had first suggested. This would place the fragment, if authentic, in the context of eighth-century Egypt — hundreds of years after the New Testament was written and completed.

The language used by the national media in reporting the story this time reveals the lack of confidence now placed in the fragment. The Boston Globe reported that the tests “have turned up no evidence of modern forgery,” but the reporter had to acknowledge that at least one of the scholars writing in the Harvard Theological Review insisted that the fragment is not only a forgery, but an amateurish effort. The New York Times ran a story that featured a headline announcing that the fragment “is more likely ancient than fake.” Note the uncertainty evident even in the headline.

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? When Sensationalism Masquerades as Scholarship,”
One British newspaper notes that the claims about a married Jesus seem more worthy of fans of Dan Brown’s fictional work, The Da Vinci Code, than “real-life Harvard professors.” If the fragment is authenticated, the existence of this little document will be of interest to historians of the era, but it is insanity to make the claims now running through the media.

No Evidence of Modern Forgery in Ancient Text Mentioning Jesus’s Wife,”
Specialists said, hypothetically, that a highly skilled modern forger could have obtained the right kind of ink and meticulously applied it to a blank piece of ancient papyrus.

Determining the age of the ink using conventional testing methods would destroy the tiny document, roughly the size of a business card. Groundbreaking work by Columbia University researchers may soon uncover a way to date the ink without harming the fragment, which would offer a more definitive verdict about its authenticity.

‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ likely isn’t a modern forgery, scientists claim
The Vatican has previously said that the document is most likely a modern forgery, but scientists from Columbia University, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say their analysis strongly suggests that it is indeed part of an ancient manuscript and that it wasn’t edited or tampered with. The researchers used micro-Raman and infrared spectroscopy to analyze the composition of the ink, looking for clues as to whether it may have been applied after the original document was damaged.
“There is absolutely no evidence for that,” Timothy Swager, an MIT chemistry professor who worked on the project, tells the New York Times. “It would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible.” The researchers dated the fragment to between the sixth and ninth century AD, noting that it bears a strong resemblance to other texts from that era.

The ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Is Real: What Now?
As with all scholarly work on the ancient world, it seems impossible to ever fully resolve disputes over the text and its interpretations. This isn’t the last word on the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, but it is a fragment of understanding about how early Christians saw their savior.

No Forgery Evidence Seen in “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” Papyrus
One report in the journal, by epigrapher Leo Depuydt of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, claims grammatical errors dog the text and concludes, “The author of this analysis has not the slightest doubt that the document is a forgery, and not a very good one at that.”

Overall, he suggests that the papyrus was forged from a copy of the ancient Gospel of Thomas text, discovered less than a century ago in Egypt.

King refutes those criticisms in a response in the journal, arguing that the grammar errors are misinterpretations by Depuydt. She also argues that writings similar to the Gospel of Thomas were then prevalent in the eastern Mediterranean, so words from that gospel would not necessarily be a sign of forgery.
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In the journal reports, a chemistry team led by MIT’s Joseph Azzarelli concluded that the age of the papyrus scrap matches that of a verified Gospel of John papyrus from antiquity. The team relied on microspectroscopy of the papyrus, which found the fragment only slightly less oxidized—aged by exposure to air—than the verified gospel.

Likewise, Columbia University’s James Yardley and Alexis Hagadorn looked at the pigments in the ink on the fragment. They found it similar to “lamp black” ink used on other ancient texts.

‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’: Doubts Raised About Ancient Text
In an effort to confirm the origins of the papyrus and discover its history, Live Science went searching for more information about Laukamp and his descendents, business partners or friends.

Our findings indicate that Laukamp was a co-owner of the now-defunct ACMB-American Corporation for Milling and Boreworks in Venice, Fla. Documents filed in Sarasota County, Fla., show that Laukamp was based in Germany at the time of his death in 2002 and that a man named René Ernest was named as the representative of his estate in Sarasota County. [Proof of Jesus Christ? 7 Pieces of Evidence Debated]

In an exchange of emails in German, Ernest said that Laukamp did not collect antiquities, did not own this papyrus and, in fact, was living in West Berlin in 1963, so he couldn’t have crossed the Berlin Wall into Potsdam. Laukamp, he said, was a toolmaker and had no interest in old things. In fact, Ernest was astonished to hear that Laukamp’s name had been linked to this papyrus.

Is the ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ a fake after all? Fresh doubts cast over ancient papyrus that suggested Jesus was married after another in the collection with the Same handwriting is proved to be a forgery
Fresh questions over the authenticity of the ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ papyrus have been raised after a text from the same collection written in the same handwriting was proved to be a fake, experts say.
Debate over the fragment’s authenticity is set to continue as some will no doubt question these latest findings.
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Additional tests showed that the ink’s chemical composition is consistent with other inks used by the ancient Egyptians, while microscopic imaging found no suspicious ink pooling that critics of the papyrus said was evidence of the ink being applied in more recent times.

At the same time, other papyri from the collection were tested for means of comparison. One of those was a fragment from the canonical Gospel’ of John written in a rare ancient dialect of Coptic known as Lycopolitan. A Lycopolitan version of John, which was first published in 1924, is now available online.
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Many people over the centuries have tried to work out a ‘bloodline’ for possible descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

Many historians agree that there is no historical, biblical, archaeological or genetic evidence to support the idea.

New clues cast doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’

Once we started carbon-dating papyrus, forgers started using authentically ancient papyrus. Once we discovered how to identify ancient ink by its chemical composition, forgers started creating precisely the same ink.

Like steroids in sports, it’s safe to assume that the best bad guys are always one step ahead of the science.

And yet, the dating of the papyrus and ink did shift the burden back on to the doubters. And just this past week, they seem to have discovered something as close to proof as we can really expect in cases like this.
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Add to this the fact that the carbon dating of the John papyrus puts it in the seventh to ninth centuries, but Lycopolitan died out as a language sometime before the sixth century. No one wrote anything in Lycopolitan in the period in which this text would have to be dated.
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This forgery was detected not through lab analysis but through good old-fashioned humanities-based detective work. This was Sherlock Holmes, not “CSI.”

‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Looks More and More Like a Fake

Just recently, Christian Askeland, a research associate with the Institut für Septuaginta-und biblische Textforschung in Wuppertal Germany, revealed new information that casts further doubt on the papyrus’ authenticity. His work is set to be published in the journal Tyndale Bulletin and is currently posted on a blog.

Askeland analyzed a second papyrus that, according to documents published in the Harvard Theological Review, was also purchased by the anonymous owner from Laukamp. It was presented to Harvard as a papyrus believed to be genuine.

This second papyrus, which has writing on two sides, includes text from the Gospel of John — and is a fake, writes Askeland, its lines being copied from a papyrus published in 1924. In addition, the researcher notes this papyrus has similar handwriting and ink to the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife, making it likely that the Jesus’s wife papyrus is also fake. [Proof of Jesus Christ? 7 Pieces of Evidence Debated]

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  • Centuries-Old Document Stirs Up Jesus Marriage Debate (fox8.com)
    A newly revealed, centuries-old papyrus fragment suggests that some early Christians might have believed Jesus was married. The fragment, written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians, says in part, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …”Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King announced the findings of the 1 1/2- by 3-inch honey-colored fragment on Tuesday in Rome at the International Association for Coptic Studies.
  • ‘Gospel Of Jesus’ Wife’ Papyrus Is Ancient, Not Fake, Experts Say (huffingtonpost.com)
    “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,” King, whose specialties include Coptic literature, Gnosticism and women in the Bible, said in a statement Thursday. “This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what the role claims of Jesus’ marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family.”The legible lines on the front of the artifact seem to form a broken conversation between Jesus and his disciples. The fourth line of the text says, “Jesus said to them, my wife.” Line 5 says “… she will be able to be my disciple,” while the line before the “wife” quote has Jesus saying “Mary is worthy of it” and line 7 says, “As for me, I dwell with her in order to …”
  • The Great Debate: Death and Taxes Matthew 22:15-33 (whatshotn.wordpress.com)
    Jesus has boldly claimed authority as Israel’s Messiah by His triumphal entry, His cleansing of the temple, and His possession of the temple for His teaching and healing ministry (Matthew 21:1-17). It is while Jesus is ministering in the temple that His adversaries,  the religious elite of Jerusalem  choose to challenge Him publicly, demanding that He declare the source of His authority for all He has been doing (Matthew 21:23).
  • did jesus kill himself (or, maybe, have himself killed)? (unsettledchristianity.com)
    Famously, some liberal theologians suggest Jesus only submitted to the cross after his example was wasted on the folk. Or, some suggest he was the first martyr. Neither of this, I think, does justice to what I am going to propose in my new dissertation. If we allow for the moment that devotio means, in its simplest form, “self-sacrifice,” then we can allow for an exploration of suicide as a form of devotio even if the proper term is not used.
  • The revelation of Jesus that John saw and heard (correctunderstandingofshinchonji.wordpress.com)
    The revelation that John saw, heard, and recorded is the revelation of Jesus Christ (Rv 1:1). Anyone who learns this revelation of Jesus is not learning from mere men; he is learning from Jesus and the angels coming in his name (Jn 14:26; Rv 10). This revelation contains prophecies and their fulfillment (Jn 14:29; Rv 21:6). The prophecies record the events of betrayal, destruction, and salvation (2Thes 2:1-3). The fulfillment of Revelation includes battles and the handling down of judgment (Rv 13; Rv 12). Revelation describes the war between God and the devil, and the battle between God’s promised pastor and the pastors of the devil (Rv 12).
  • Psalm 2 (The coming reign of Jesus on Earth) (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    the scenario of Psalm 2:2 shows that the rulers of the earth are aware not just of God but also about Christ his anointed One. It means that the around that time (which will soon come) most people will have the Gospel preached to them as a witness. So there will be some rulers who will try to go against the Gospel teachings.
  • The Bible backs same-sex couples: Point by point, why conservatives are wrong (salon.com)
    If the essence of marriage involves a covenant-keeping relationship of mutual self-giving, then two men or two women can fulfill that purpose as well as a man and a woman can. But is lifelong commitment between two adults sufficient for realizing a Christian basis for marriage? Or is there something unique about heterosexual relationships that prevents same-sex couples from truly illustrating Christ’s love for the church?
  • The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife ~ A Rogueclassicist Perspective (rogueclassicism.com)
    We also saw some things from the Smithsonian, which may have added some gravitas to the story:

    … and it became apparent that this was connected to a documentary on the subject which was funded by the Smithsonian and which will appear on the Smithsonian Channel later this month.

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Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

In the previous posting we saw that it was not uncommon to chose for celibacy. There were even leading Jewish thinkers who praised such men for their choice.

Also years and centuries after Jesus had died some major teachers wanted to stay unmarried. Several people who thought it was their duty to spend most of their time to study the Word of God, considered it not practical to go into a marriage covenant. Matrimony would take up more time than they wanted to lose to study Gods Word.

Jesus carried God His Word in his heart, but he was not afraid to loose to much time spending it with ordinary people. There were several Jewish teachers at the time of Jesus who secluded themselves from women accompany. Jesus was not afraid to come close to children and women. By the followers of Christ there were also some women in their company who had been healed of various evil afflictions and illnesses: Mary, the one called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out;  Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s manager; and Susanna—along with many others who used their considerable means to provide for the group. Those women serving the men from their possessions, let us known that they had a good relation with them all, but that they really believed in the cause of that Nazarene man Jeshua (Jesus Christ) (Luke 8:2-3)

“2 and a number of women who had been healed from evil spirits and illnesses—Miryam (called Magdalit), from whom seven demons had gone out; 3 Yochanah the wife of Herod’s finance minister Kuza; Shoshanah; and many other women who drew on their own wealth to help him.” (Luke 8:2-3 CJB)

Harold Copping Jesus at the home of Martha and Mary 400.jpg

Martha on the left, Jesus at the house of Mary and Martha, Harold Copping. – Virgin, Myrrhbearer, Wonder Worker of Southern Gaul

From the gospels we also get to know that Jesus not always travelled on his own. He had his followers around him and there were women like Martha, the sister of  Mary, who welcomed him into her home. The sister Mary sat at the rabbi’s feet and listened to him talk. Jesus considered Mary having made the right choice, listening to him. By listening to Jesus preaching many women learned from him and where able to give his teachings to others. Mary from Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, was also such a woman eager to learn form Jesus, who praised her for that. (Luke 10:38-42) Several of these women are mentioned by name in the New Testament gospels, including, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna, who together helped to support Jesus and his other disciples financially. But nothing in the New Testament suggests that Jesus was ever married to any of these women, or to any other woman, for that matter.

Magdala Archaeological site near the Sea of Galilee

Miriam or Mary was a very common name. Many women with that name are mentioned in the biblical gospels, including Jesus’ mother and Mary from Bethany. The other “Mary” who gets a lot of attention is the one from Magdala, also called “Magadan” at the coast. Dalmanutha, as it was also called, was on the shores of the Sea of Gallilee where Jesus went to after he fed the four thousand. (Mark 8:10) the place would later also play a role during the Jewish Revolt.

We can not tell if this place was Mary her home or her birthplace, but most Christian scholars assume that she was from the place the Talmud calls Magdala Nunayya. We do know that this “Magdalene,” which means “from the village of Magdala,” accompanied Jesus on his preaching mission and helped to support him financially (Luke 8:1-3).

The apostle Luke talks about seven demons that had been cast out of her, presumably by Jesus (Luke 8:2). Nothing in this passage suggests that there was anything unusual about Mary’s relationship with Jesus, other than the very unusual fact that she was included among Jesus’ retinue. Having this woman prominent present during Jesus’ last days, may indicate she really was a serious follower, and that she might have some special affection for him. But we may not gallop and think this would mean they had a sexual relationship.

File:José de Ribera 024.jpg

The Penitent Mary Magdalene as Thaïs, fragment – José de Ribera, Prado Museum, Madrid

Mary Magdalene was probably one of more women who where close to this teacher. Though Jewish teachers in Jesus’ day usually didn’t teach women or include them as followers, Jesus involved them in his spreading the Good News. Perhaps such an inclusive practice may have been virtually unique, and his relationship with Mary and her female counterparts quite counter-cultural. She and some other women were there supporting Jesus in his final moments and mourning his death. John the Beloved and she were the courageous ones who stayed with Jesus at the stake after the other disciples  had fled. She was also present at his funeral and when she with a couple of female companions went to the tomb of Jesus, found it empty. She is the only person that all four Gospels say was first to realize that Jesus had risen and to testify to that central teaching of our faith. This makes her also so special, because it was as if it was meant that she would be the first contact of the resurrected Christ.

Just because she was there at the

“beginning of a movement that was going to transform the West” {“Mary Magdalene, the clichés”}

many want to give her a special place of interest. In several countries she is even honoured as a saint and receives such devotion like she is a goddess. She is often called the “Apostle to the Apostles”, an honorific that fourth-century orthodox theologian Augustine gave her. {Doyle, Ken. “Apostle to the apostles: The story of Mary Magdalene”. Catholictimes, 11 September 2011}

We may assume she really was a young woman to have been of leadership among the women following Jesus.

Several centuries after the biblical gospels were written, Mary became associated with the prostitute or harlot who bathed and anointed Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50). But there’s nothing in Scripture that makes this connection. We have no reason to believe that Mary had ever been such a girl of light virtue. In case she would have been a girl with loose or lax morals, that would only prove that already in Jesus time those could become converted and take a whole different attitude in life, worthy to their master and in honour to God.

For some it might be a nice asset to have  a serious man, full of love for God, having also the love for such degenerated person. The moralists would love to see the story being true having like in a fairy tale, the bad becoming good and marrying the prince. Having Jesus as the prince of light and Mary Magdalene as the human being from the darkness. Those who suggest that, because of her previous ‘profession’, Jesus had a sexual relationship with her outside of marriage, do not know very well the teachings of Jesus and do not understand what Jesus tried to bring over to the people. He would not do something where he knew his Father would be against such attitude. In case they would have been free of anything of which they could be accused off, to be against the Will of God, and they would have felt very much for each other, they could have made their vows. But then Jesus would have known his responsibility for his wife and would have taken care that somebody would take care of her after he would have been taken from the living. Before he would have died he then would have entrusted her into the care of somebody like the Beloved Disciple, just as he did with his mother. The absence of this action could suggests that Jesus and Mary were not married.

We may assume that Jesus may have held Mary in the highest regard, though not as his wife. Ironically, the efforts to turn Mary the disciple of Jesus into Mary the wife of Jesus actually minimizes how truly extraordinary she was as a central follower, supporter, and witness of Jesus.

In the next chapter we shall see that such marriage claims only rely on the evidence of non-canonical “gospels”  of which I mentioned already in the previous chapters that they have to be considered as a sort of fiction.

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Preceding articles:

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

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Next article: Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

  • Magdala on Sea of Galilee (israel-tourguide.info)
    Magdala Nunayya (Magdala of the fishes) was an important Jewish city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee established during the Hasmonean period, centuries before neighboring Tiberias. In Christian tradition, it is the birthplace of Mary Magdalene and where Jesus went after he fed the five thousand (Mark 8:10).
  • LISTEN: Mary Magdalene: The First Person to See the Risen Christ (The Unsung Heroes of Easter #8) (blackchristiannews.com)
    The first reason why Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene before anyone else could be because Mary Magdalene represented a direct triumph over the devil and his plan. Mark 16:9 states, “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene…” Of course, we can be content to know that Christ simply appeared to Mary Magdalene first because he chose to do so. But I believe it is safe for us to say that Christ appeared to a woman first as a symbolic expression that the curse of sin that had been brought on humanity by the actions of a woman had been completely removed.
  • First Century Synagogue at Magdala – Did Jesus Worship Here? (holylandphotos.wordpress.com)
    The site of al–Majdal (Arabic for “tower”) is located 4 mi. northwest of Tiberias, along the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  This is evidently the site of New Testament Magdala (from migdol “tower”) that is the same as Taricheae (“the place of salted fish”) mentioned by Josephus where a bloody naval battle took place between the Jews and Romans during the first Jewish Revolt (ca. A.D. 66–70; War 3.10.1–10 [462–542]).
  • Archaeologists: Bible town possibly found (mobile.wnd.com)
    Archaeologists say they’ve discovered an ancient town mentioned in the New Testament, and it could be the location to which Jesus sailed after miraculously feeding some 4,000 people by multiplying a few fish and loaves of bread.
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    Experts believe Magdala is the modern-day town of Migdal, slightly inland near Israel’s Ginosar Valley. Magdala is perhaps most famous for being the hometown of Mary Magdalene, a female disciple of Jesus who was the first person ever to see Christ after He rose from the dead.
  • Magdala on Sea of Galilee (lavenderturquois.wordpress.com)
    The original excavations at the site were done by the Franciscan, Corbo in the 1970s. Paved streets and a large colonnaded square typical of a Roman city were found, along with buildings with mosaic floors. On the floor of one urban villa, an image of a sailing ship, a type of Mediterranean vessel modified for the lake, was found in mosaic.
  • 14. Hike the Bible – Mary Magdalene (biblescienceguy.wordpress.com)
    It’s possible that Mary “was called Magdalene” (Luke 8:2), because she was very tall. Magdala means tower in Aramaic as does Migdal in Hebrew. It would distinguish her from others named Mary, just as today we might distinguish one Tom from another by calling one Big Tom. Contemporary slang translations might be “Mega Mary” or “Mary the Tall” or “Mary the Great.” In early Christian art Mary was often depicted as taller than the apostles.
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    The prominence of Mary of Magdala is further underscored by calling her simply “Magdalene” without connecting her to a family. Frequently women in the Gospels were identified by husbands, such as “Joanna the wife of Chuza” (Luke 8:3) or “Mary the wife of Clopas” (John 19:25) and by sons, such as “Mary the mother of James and Joseph” (Mat 27:56; Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1), Salome “the mother of the sons of Zebedee” and sister of Mary the mother of Jesus (Mat 27:56; Mark 15:40; Mark 16:1; John 19:25).
  • Mary of Magdala; Tenth in a Series “Chosen Women in the Life of Christ” (asistershugs.wordpress.com)
    Mary Magdalene seems to have shared the spirit of Peter; she saw, questioned, believed, and then followed through!  We see her mingling with the Apostles and the other disciples of Jesus; caring for their need of food and domestic care.  I can almost imagine the women washing clothes, fetching water, preparing meals; all the while listening to the men as they questioned Jesus and heard His teachings.  I can hear them singing along with the group as they walked from town to town; sharing stories between themselves as women always do.
  • Festival of Saint Mary Magdalene (brvanlanen.wordpress.com)
    Following the assumption (possibly quite misguided) that Mary Magdalene truly had been a spectacular sinner whose penitential sorrow was deep and complete — and possibly because John described her as crying at the tomb of Jesus — artists often portray her either as weeping or with red eyes from having wept. This appearance (and a slight corruption in translation) led to the English word “maudlin,” meaning “effusively or tearfully sentimental.” Magdalen College at Oxford and Magdalene College at Cambridge (note the different spellings) — both pronounced “Maudlin” — derive their names from this Saint Mary.
  • Mary Magdalene – What’s in a name? (christiantoday.com)
    “None of the historians, people like Josephus or any of the other Greek or Latin texts of that period, reference a town called Magdala,” she said at a lecture at King’s College last night.This is a rather large stumbling block for the traditional theory. If this town was called ‘Magdala’, why wasn’t it mentioned in the writings of the time?There is another problem too. The word ‘Magdela’ is the Aramaic word for ‘Tower’.

    Professor Taylor says this challenges the traditional theory as the name is “not distinctive” and “seems rather odd”.

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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.”
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    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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