Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

In the previous postings I talked about the torn, business card-size fragment which found instant fame when Harvard historian Karen King announced its discovery in September 2012, because it bears the startling line: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'”

The manuscript written in Coptic, the language of early Christians living in Egypt, has the beginning and end of each line of the manuscript missing. It could be interpreted as a record of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples, in which the disciples tell Jesus: “Mary [Magdalene] is not worthy of it,” and Jesus responds that his wife — presumably Mary Magdalene — “will be able to be his disciple.”

Example Jesus

“Christ gave the example
Now you have been called to this, really, because Christ also suffered in our behalf, leaving you17 an example that you should follow in His footsteps:  (22)  who did not commit sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth;  (23)  who being reviled did not revile in return, suffering did not threaten but committed it to Him who judges righteously;  (24)  who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, so that we, having died to those sins,18 might live for the19 righteousness; by whose wound20 you were healed.” (1Pe 2:21-24 WPNT)

For many Christians Christ Jesus should give the good example. This means that a male of that age should have been married, so Jesus should have had a wife and normal sexual relationship. Most Christians take Jesus also to be god, forgetting he is the son of God and not god the son, he like the Father in heaven ‘Yahweh” would have a wife.

Essence of life belongs to only One

It is very well know that between the 10th century BCE and the beginning of their exile in 586 BCE, polytheism was normal throughout Israel. According to many scholars it was only after the exile that worship of Yahweh alone became established, and possibly only as late as the time of the Maccabees (2nd century BCE) that monotheism became universal among Jews. As a believer I do believe the Holy Scriptures and accept that there have always through history have been people honouring and worshipping the Only One True God, who later gave His Name to be known all over the world as “The I Am Who Is the Being, the Essence of Life”, the Elohim God of gods Hashem Jehovah.

Threat of false teachings

The false teachings of those who liked the plural gods soon entered the world of the followers of the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ). The apostles described already in the Acts of the apostles that their community was already under threat for this danger. The acts of Peter show more of those false teachings having been entered in the Christian faith.

Mother goddess

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Asherah אֲשֵׁרָה Goddess of motherhood and fertility, Lady of the Sea

One of those teachings was that the god of heaven and earth had a counterpart or Dione, which like ‘Elat means “Goddess”. Before Christ Jesus the prophets, like Jeremiah, also warned people not to fall for such “Queen of Heaven” or a “Mother god”.  In the Book of Jeremiah, written circa 628 BCE, where the people pray to ha asherah or Asherah ( ‘ṯrt; אֲשֵׁרָה‎, ʼAṯirat, Ashratum/Ashratu) the mother goddess or the Queen of Heaven Jehovah is provoked to anger. (Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:17–19, 25).

Yahweh of Samaria and his Asherah” and “Yahweh of Teman and his Asherah.” are inscription been found. We should know that several polytheist also adhered Yahweh and even Romans kept a shrine for the God, Whose name they were not quite sure He had. (The unknown God of heaven and earth.)

Relation between Yahweh and other gods

Yahweh having had a temple in Samaria raises a question over the relationship between Yahweh and Kaus (Qaush, Kaush, Qaus, Kos, and Qaws), the national god of Edom. {Keel, Othmar; Uehlinger, Christoph (1998). Gods, Goddesses, And Images of God. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 228. ISBN 9780567085917. Retrieved 10 March 2014.}

It has been suggested that the Israelites might consider Asherah as a consort of Baal due to the anti-Asherah ideology which was influenced by the Deuteronomistic History at the later period of Monarchy. {Sung Jin Park, “The Cultic Identity of Asherah in Deuteronomistic Ideology of Israel,” Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 123/4 (2011): 553–564.}

Male or female god

For certain Christians The Hebrew God Yahweh or Elohim is conceived of biblically as a male deity, which is is of course not surprising in a patriarchal or male-ruled society. Lots of Christians seem to overlook that in the Bible is written that God the Elohim is not comparable to a human being and is an eternal Spirit and as such does not have a male or female site, no bones, no flesh with blood running through.

Susan Ackerman notes also that there are some feminizations of Yahweh in Isaiah (e.g., “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you” [66:13]; see also 42:14 and 49:15). But then Isaiah also refers to kings as “nursing fathers” (49:23) and to daughters who “shalt suck the breasts of kings” (60:16), words that cannot be taken literally. In any case, Yahweh outside of some Isaianic imagery is masculine in the Hebrew Bible. In the New Testament, “God” translates the Greek Theos, with God remaining a male deity. Thus Jesus regularly uses the word Father (Greek Pater, in Jesus’ Aramaic Abba) for God (e.g., Matthew 6:8-9; Mark 14:36; Luke 10:21; John 17:1; see also Paul’s use in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6).

Masculine and feminine terms

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God-Bearer, Lady of the Sign, temper on board, 19th c., Russia – Supraśl – Museum of Icons

In the previous chapters I spoke about those Gnostic gospels where we can find the thought of the divine in both masculine and feminine terms, with Jesus referring to the Holy Spirit as his Mother in the Gospel of Thomas and in the Gospel to the Hebrews, and with the Apocryphon of John describing the Trinity as Father, Mother, and Son. It is in that trinitarian thinking that most people adhere to the mother of god-idea, taking Miriam/Miryam or Saint Mary or Virgin Mary as “Blessed Virgin Mary” being the mother of Jesus Christ, the mother of God or even the Theotokos, literally “Bearer of God”.

Gerunds no personal figures

Man Satan and Lady Wisdom

Several Christians do like to give nouns, substantives or gerunds a personal figure, and as such make the word ‘satan’ which means the adversary a literal figure with the name Satan. Wisdom they make into God and as such find proof that God is also a Woman. This is than affirmed for them in the Apocrypha where ‘Lady Wisdom‘ is identified with the Torah or biblical law (Sirach 24:23; Baruch 4:1). Many Christians like in the same way to use the Greek word Logos as the person Jesus, where in the New Testament the preexistent Word (Greek: Logos) at the beginning of the Gospel of John is reminiscent of Wisdom and of being God and being Christ Jesus, as such them having to be one and the same person. When the apostle Paul later calls Christ “the wisdom of God” (Greek Theou Sophia) then the cat’s away the mice will play. (1 Corinthians 1:24)

Husband and wife metaphor

The metaphor of Yahweh and the Hebrew people as husband and wife is found first in the book of Hosea, and continues in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. When there is spoken of a troubled marriage, for despite Yahweh’s “love toward the children of Israel,” they “look to other gods”  it is not about a literal marriage.

“And Yahweh said to me, Go again, love a woman loved by a companion, but [is] an adulteress, even as Yahweh loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods, and love cakes of raisins.” (Hosea 3:1 UPD)

Children of Israel

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The Israelites, god’s chosen people more than once forgot what their Protector and Redeemer had done, and committed ‘adultery’ in the eyes of God.

Yahweh or Jehovah loving the sons is not love like many would like to imagine they having to love some one. The love of Yahweh/Jehovah has nothing to do with a sexual relationship. His love for the sons of Israel which will return (Hosea 3:5) has all to do with the People God made for himself. The wife and/or the bride of which the Bible speaks God has is a figurative ‘wife‘ or ‘spouse‘. The ones that seek Yahweh or Jehovah their God, and David their king, and will come with fear to the Only One True God and to His goodness in the latter days, He is willing to take unto Him like a man would take a wife unto him.

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim:  (5)  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek YHWH their Elohim, and David their king; and shall fear YHWH and his goodness in the latter days.” (Hosea 3:4-5 RNKJV)

Bride Israel

In several places in the Holy Scriptures we can find “The Wife” or “the bride” as a metaphor for the Israelite people, the “Chosen Ones” or the Jews, and later for the Jews and gentiles or converted heathen who wanted to follow the son of God.

Marriage strict bond between God and Israel

As marriage is a matter of a strict bond, Jehovah wants also to have a strict bond or covenant between the two parties, Him (the Creator) and the ones who want to be connected with Him, God His people, or “Israel“. The bed or couch God wants His people to take is with Him, who is the Maker of all. In the past Jehovah had to see more than ones that His people Israel choose to have their beds down with others. For that reason He also provided a new bond or a new marriage, with His son and those who wanted to recognise him as the son of God and as the Messiah, as presenter of the New Covenant.

“For thy Maker is thine husband; YHWH of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The Elohim of the whole earth shall he be called.” (Isaiah 54:5 RNKJV)

” Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.  (8)  Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.” (Isaiah 57:7-8 RNKJV)

“For as a youth marries a virgin,  thus your sons marry you:  and as the bridegroom joys over the bride,  thus your Elohim rejoices over you. ” (Isaiah 62:5 ECB)

Israel showing no fidelity to marriage vows

The backsliding children (the Israelites) had neglected many times the pleas of the Most High, though He let them know that He  was totally connected to them like man and wife are connected with their marriage vows. he always wanted to offer the honourable and honest the safest place where they could find rest in His bed. The Elohim, God of gods is the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, and His name is Holy, and everybody should come to know His Name: Jehovah; the One Who dwells in the high and holy place, even with the contrite and humble of spirit; to make live the spirit of the humble and to make live the heart of the contrite ones.

“(1.5)  For thus said the High and Lofty One that inhabit eternity, whose Name is Holy; I dwell in the high and Holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.  (16)  For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.  (17)  For the iniquity of his covetousness I was wroth, and smote him: I hid Me, and was wroth, and he went on forwardly in the way of his heart. ” (Isaiah 57:15-17 RHB)

“Jehovah also said to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have you seen what the apostate Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every green tree, and has fornicated there.  (7)  And after she had done all these, I said, She will return to Me; but she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  (8)  And I watched. When for all the causes for which the apostate Israel committed adultery, I sent her away and I gave the writ of her divorce to her. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she also went and fornicated.  (9)  And it happened, from the wantonness of her harlotry she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with pieces of wood.  (10)  And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but with falsehood, says Jehovah.  (11)  And Jehovah said to me, The apostate Israel has justified herself more than treacherous Judah.  (12)  Go and cry these words toward the north, and say, Return, O apostate Israel, says Jehovah. I will not cause My face to fall on you, for I am merciful, says Jehovah; I will not keep anger forever.  (13)  Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have rebelled against Jehovah your God and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice, says Jehovah.  (14)  Return, O apostate sons, declares Jehovah; for I am Lord over you. And I will take you, one from a city, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.  (15)  And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.  (16)  And it will be, when you multiply and increase in the land in those days, says Jehovah, they will no longer say, The ark of the covenant of Jehovah! Nor shall it come to the heart, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they miss it, nor shall it be made any more.  (17)  At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah. And all nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem. And they shall not walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart.” (Jeremiah 3:6-17 LITV)

The Bed of Jehovah

The bed of Jehovah and the throne of Jehovah, are the places where those who love God should come to. We like the children of Israel should remember:

” Turn O backsliding children, declares YHWH; because I am married to you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family and I will bring you to Zion:” (Jeremiah 3:14 UTV)

Broken bond

The marriage bond was broken by those people of Israel, because they committed ‘adultery‘. Ezekiel 23 allegorizes Samaria and Jerusalem, the Israelite and Judahite capitals, as two sisters with a host of foreign lovers while both are married to Yahweh and should have known the Will of this Most High Jehovah. It are such passages which deem to be very disturbing to feminist commentators when they look at what they call the brutal punishment of the women by God. Those women symbolize Israel’s unfaithfulness. As noted by Kathleen M. O’Connor, the portrayal of physical abuse by the divine in such passages implicitly condones such behaviour in humans.

Open Invitation to non-Israelites

Kinsmen Redeemer

In the Holy Scriptures we can find the invitation of the Divine Creator God to human beings to become His People and to come and sit down. For the daughter of Babylon (the unbelievers but also the spurious church) may sit on the ground; though they might say to be on the throne of Peter, there is no throne, because they will have lured many people in their base, but would find that at a certain time they would no more be called tender and delicate. We may even see that at such a time those in high position may become  undressed. They shall be bare and many (not all) shall come to see their nakedness uncovered. In such way there might still be hope, because then  her shame (of those institutions or the church) will be seen. But no way out, Jehovah will take vengeance and He says in the Book of Jeremiah that He will not meet them as a man.  As for our kinsmen- redeemer, YHWH יהוה {Jehovah} of Hosts is his Name, the Holy One of Israel or better:  the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.

“Come down and sit upon the dust, thou virgin daughter of Babel, sit upon the earth: no throne, thou daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt not be added for them to call thee tender and delicate.  (2)  Take the two mill-stones and grind flour, and uncover thy veil; strip off the train, uncover the leg, pass through the rivers.  (3)  Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, also thy reproach shall be seen: I will take vengeance, I will not make peace with man.  (4)  Jehovah of armies redeemed us, his name the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 47:1-4 Julia)

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Whore of Babylon (woman of Babylon) – Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)

Virgin daughter of Babylon

We may find it cruel that Jehovah strips “the virgin daughter of Babylon” in Isaiah 47:1-4, and helps the Babylonians rape Jerusalem in Jeremiah 13:26 and that He trods “the virgin” Jerusalem “as in a winepress” (Lamentations 1:15), and that He raises up their lovers against them as a jealous husband, stripping them out of their clothes.

“For this, O Aholibah, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Behold me raising up those loving thee, against thee, whom thy soul was rent away from them, and I brought them against thee from round about  (23)  The sons of Babel and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, all the sons of Amur with them: young men of desire, prefects and governors, all of them third men, and celebrated, riding horses all of them.  (24)  And they came against thee firm with chariot and wheel, and with a convocation of peoples, shield and buckler and helmet, they will set against thee round about: and I gave judgment before them, and they judged thee with their judgments.  (25)  And I gave my jealousy against thee, and they did with thee in wrath: thy nose and thine ears they shall take away; and thy posterity shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters, and thy posterity shall be consumed in fire.  (26)  And they stripped thee of thy garments, and they took the instrument of thy glory.  (27)  And I caused thy wickedness to cease from thee, and thy fornication from the land of Egypt: and thou shalt not lift up thine eyes to them, and thou shalt remember Egypt no more.” (Ezekiel 23:22-27 Julia)

Mutilated wife

The Adonay Yah Veh, Jehovah looks at His people like a man looks at his wife. But this does not have to mean that He was really married to a wife and certainly not to Asherah, the consort of El (“god”), the supreme god of Canaan and father of the popular Baal.  Several Catholic theologians have written many books on Asherah as the wife of Yahweh. Some, not all, have overlooked these metaphors of Jehovah. For many of them the husband physically abusing his wife presents a challenge to modern biblical interpreters. Through such imagery “the Bible,” writes Sharon H. Ringe in The Women’s Bible Commentary,

“seems to bless the harm and abuse with which women live and sometimes die.”

The brutality seems hardly ameliorated by Yahweh’s assurances to his mutilated wife of a brighter tomorrow, for they make God sound like the stereotypical wife beater who minimizes what he has done and promises not to do it again:

“In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee… Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel,… and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry” (Isaiah 54:8; Jeremiah 31:4).

The French epigrapher Andre Lemaire looking at some graffiti, inscriptions dating from the eighth century BCE, found on walls and storage jars at two sites, Khirbet el-Kom and Kuntillet Ajrud, in Israel, declaring:

“I bless you by Yahweh of Samaria and by his asherah,” and “I bless you by Yahweh of Teiman and by his asherah.”

brings him wrongly to the conclusion that Jehovah should have a wife or woman goddess.

“Whatever an asherah is, Yahweh had one!”

he says.

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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

To be followed by:

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

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Further reading of interest:

  1. God or a god
  2. God of gods
  3. I am that I am Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh אהיה אשר אהיה
  4. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  5. Lord in place of the divine name
  6. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  11. Who was Jesus? – Video
  12. Around pre-existence of Christ
  13. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  14. A man with an outstanding personality
  15. Jesus and his God
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  18. Jesus begotten Son of God #9 Two millennia ago conceived or begotten
  19. Another way looking at a language #6 Set apart
  20. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  21. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  22. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  23. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  24. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  25. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data
  26. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4
  27. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  28. 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God in Christ
  29. Position and power
  30. Hellenistic influences
  31. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  32. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  33. Phoenicians sacrificed infants
  34. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  35. Religion and spirituality
  36. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  37. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  38. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  39. Signs of the Last Days
  40. Misleading Pictures
  41. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  42. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  43. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  44. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  45. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  46. Isaiah prophet and messenger of God
  47. Did Yahweh have a wife? Excerpt from Chapter 5: Polytheism: The Religion of Ancient Israel
  48. A New Jerusalem
  49. Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
  50. Jerusalem God’s City for ever

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  • Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh (farpointe.wordpress.com) >Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh + reblog: Asherah, Part I: The lost bride of Yahweh
    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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    Asherah’s image was lost to us not by chance, but by deliberate action of fundamentalist monotheists.  First Her images were torn down, then Her stories were rewritten, then Her name was forgotten.  In fact, Her name appears 40 times in modern translations of the Bible, but not at all in the first English translation, the King James Bible.  Since no one knew who Asherah was anymore in the 17th century when the King James Version (KJV) was being created, Her name was translated as groves of trees or trees or images in groves, without understanding that those trees and groves of trees represented a mother goddess.
  • The Way: Yahweh, The amalgamated Enlil and Enki (reverenddrred.wordpress.com)
    In this edition, I show how Yahweh/Jehovah may be Enlil and Enki. Not one, but two gods amalgamated into one. Sections include “Enlil” (breakdown of Enlil’s attributes), “Enki” (breakdown of Enki’s attributes), “Yahweh” (breakdown of Yahweh’s attributes), “Yahweh as Enlil”, and “Yahweh as Enki”.I only quote from one source, though many are used. There are countless verses in the Bible that may be utilized. However, I will only be stating the more well-known to prove the point. After reviewing the below information, the pattern will become evident as you read your Bible (regardless of translation).
  • Asherah, Wife of God (fractalfortress.wordpress.com)
    Do you remember the furor over Dan Brown’s depiction of Jesus in his book “The Da Vinci Code?” Fundamentalists were up in arms over the idea that perhaps God had a wife…but in ancient times, the Judeo-Christian god Yahweh did indeed have a female counterpart — and among some circles she was worshipped exclusively! Her name is Asherah, Lady of the Sea.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.
  • 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.

    I discussed this a few years ago in my book The Evolution of God. I argued (as had a number of scholars) that Israelite religion was for a long time polytheistic, and that full-fledged monotheism didn’t arrive until the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE. And, of course, in many polytheistic religions, gods have mates. So might Yahweh have had one for a time?

  • Know Your Bible Lesson 13: Warring Kingdoms (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    In our last lesson, we learned about how God instigated a massive civil war in Israel after the death of the idolatrous King Solomon. The nation was split into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.
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    All the nations in this area are serving manmade gods. Every god has a bunch of folklore attached to it. Certain gods are friends with other gods. Certain gods don’t like other gods. Certain gods are stronger and other gods are weaker. It’s all a bunch of make believe rubbish, but this is how stupid people get when they reject the real God.Now you have your male gods and your female gods. Baal is a male god, and he comes up more in the Bible because he’s considered to be one of the higher ranking gods. Baal was associated with weather control, which is of supreme importance to agricultural nations. Baal is outranked by big daddy god El. We don’t hear much about El in the Bible, but El was believed to have a queen named Asherah. So Asherah was the top female goddess, also called “the Queen of Heaven” (the same title we use for Mary in some branches of the Church today—yikes!).Every god has its worshiping paraphernalia. Asherah’s equipment included some physical object which is referred to as Asherah poles (or plural Asherim) in the Bible. People are always setting these dumb things up and then later someone else comes along and takes them down. And of course Yahweh finds all of this quite exasperating.

    We learn that our good king Asa is boldly defying his mother in his war against idolatry, because mom is a very big fan of Asherah.

  • Know Your Bible Lesson 19: More Kings & the Prophet Amos (Period 5) (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    The high priest makes all the people enter into a covenant (a serious promise) that they would honor Yahweh and obey all of His Laws. Then everyone troops over and tears down the temple to Baal that is in Jerusalem. Jehoiada gets the sacrificial system back on track and little Joash is placed on the royal throne.
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    What does God do when He’s mad and no one is listening to Him? He sends prophets to convict people of their sins and show them how to return to obedience. What happens if no one listens to the prophets? Well, then He has to come up with some other form of motivation, doesn’t He? Life in Judah starts feeling very unblessed. After Joash has had enough time to notice how rotten things are going, God raises up yet another prophet to explain the obvious.
  • Who is Yahweh? (gnosticwarrior.com)
    The name of the Hebrew national god of the Iron Age kingdoms of Israel and Judah is Yahweh  (Jahveh, Jehovah or Iehoua pronounced “yohweh” or /ˈjɑːw/ or /ˈjɑːhw/; Hebrew: יהוה‎) and In the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh is written as יהוה (YHWH). In the book of Jonah, the name Yahweh (Lord) is mentioned 22 times, , Elohim or El (God) 13 times, and the combination Lord God four times for a total of 39 references. The meaning of El in the Hebrew Scriptures is the singular form of the word God and Elohim is the noun plural version. Rabbinic Judaism teaches that the Tetragrammaton (י-ה-ו-ה), YHWH, is the ineffable and actual name of God, and as such is not read aloud in the Shema but is traditionally replaced with אדני, Adonai (“Lord”).
  • Jesus is the Messiah (darnellbarkman.wordpress.com)
    The terms Messiah and Christ have a very rich history and carry a lot of expectations to Jesus when he took that identity upon himself:
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    In practice ‘Messiah’ is mostly restricted to the notion, which took various forms in ancient Judaism, of the coming King who would be David’s true heir, through whom YAHWEH [The Creator God’s proper name] would rescue Israel from pagan enemies.
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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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