The gods or mighty ones

How often we are confronted by people wanting to convince us that John, the evangelist, is speaking about Jesus being God.

English: Ancient Greek: Definite Article

Ancient Greek: Definite Article (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few trinitarians will even deny the significance of the article (“the”) in Scripture phrases like John 1:1,and say that theos (θεὸς) is usually translated as “God” whether it has the article or not, and, therefore, even though there is no article with theos (θεὸς) at John 1:1, the probability (they say) is very high that “theos” in John 1:1 means “God” and not “god” (or “a god”).

Most trinitarian scholars, however, will admit the importance of the article when distinguishing between “the only true God” and “a god” (“a mighty one”). However, some of them will attempt to prove that the article is properly understood to be there by producing some “grammatical rule” for the “peculiar” Greek grammar (or syntax) used at John 1:1c. Therefore, they will tell you, since the article is “understood” to be with theos at John 1:1c, then the Word is the God (the “understood” article showing that the only true God was meant)!

Is it true that the use of the article with theos (in the nominative case, θεὸς, as used at John 1:1c) makes little or no difference in distinguishing between “god” and “God”? – (See THEON study on John 10:33-36 for significance of the article usage in the accusative case – theon [θεόν] – and lack of significance of the article usage in the genitive case – theou [θεοῦ].)

The truth is that theos (“God” or “god”) when used as it is in John 1:1c (in nominative case – θεὸς – and without modifying phrases such as “God of him,” “God to them,” etc.) always has the definite article with it in the Gospels (including John, of course) when it is applied to the only true God!

Here’s what Professor J.G. Machen says in his New Testament Greek for Beginners, p.35:

“The use of the article in Greek corresponds roughly to the use of the definite article in English. Thus [logos] means ‘a word’; [ho logos] means ‘the word’.”

So, basically, the word “the” (the definite article, “ho” in NT Greek when used with the masculine nominative case) shows that the noun it is used with is one certain special thing. “The boss” is one certain individual whereas “a boss” is indefinite and could be any one of millions of individuals.

To illustrate the importance of the article for the meaning of “theos” in the great majority of instances, let’s look at all the uses of “theos” (in its nominative form) in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke as found in the Westcott and Hort (W&H) text.—If the definite article (“the”) is used with “theos” in the original manuscripts, “art.” has been written after the verse number. If the definite article is not there, “an.” (for “anarthrous”) has been written before the verse number:

Matthew 1:23 — art.

Mt 3:9 — art.

Mt 6:8 — art. (W&H)

Mt 6:30 — art.

Mt 15:4 — art.

Mt 19:6 — art.

Mt 22:32 — art. (4 occurrences) “the God of….” (W&H)

Mark 2:7 — art.

Mk 10:9 — art.

Mk 10:18 — art.

Mk 12:26 — art. (2 occurrences)

an. Mk 12:26 —- (2 occurrences) “God of….”

an. Mk 12:27 —- “a God of…”

Mk 12:29 — art. “the God of…”

Mk 13:19 — art.

Mk 15:34 — art. “the God of me” (2 occurrences)

Luke 1:32 — art.

Lk 1:68 — art. “The God of…”

Lk 3:8 — art.

Lk 5:21 — art.

Lk 7:16 — art.

Lk 8:39 — art.

Lk 12:20 — art.

Lk 12:24 — art.

Lk 12:28 — art.

Lk 16:15 — art.

Lk 18:7 — art.

Lk 18:11 — art.

Lk 18:13 — art.

Lk 18:19 — art. (W&H, UBS – anarth. in Nestle) – Appositive

an. Lk 20:38 —- “a God of…”

We can see that of 37 usages of “theos” (in nominative form as found at John 1:1c) for the only true God by these 3 Bible writers 33 of them have the definite article! That’s 90% of the time! But let’s examine the 4 “exceptions”.

Nouns used as subjects or predicate nouns (i.e. the nominative case), if they are part of a prepositional (usually possessive) phrase (e.g. “the God of me,” “the God to him,” etc.—meaning “my God,” “his God,” etc.), may or may not take the article. The use of the article under those conditions appears to be purely arbitrary and is used at random with little or no significance. A good example of this is found at 2 Cor. 4:4 – “the god of this age [or system]…”.

As trinitarian New Testament Greek scholars Dana and Mantey tell us,

“The use of prepositions, possessive … pronouns, and the genitive case also tend to make a word definite. At such times, even if the article is not used, the object is already distinctly indicated.” – p. 137, D&M Grammar.

And highly respected trinitarian NT Greek scholar A. T. Robertson tells us about such “prepositional” examples:

“in examples like this … only the context can decide [whether ‘the’ should be understood or not]. Sometimes the matter is wholly doubtful.” – p.781, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, 1934.

Of all the 37 uses of “theos” (nominative case) by Matthew, Mark, and Luke can you guess which ones are used with possessive (or prepositional) constructions? That’s right! The 4 “exceptions” are all used with possessive (or prepositional) constructions!

Mark 12:26 says literally:

the God said, ‘I [am] the God OF Abraham and God OF Isaac and God OF Jacob.’”

But the parallel account at Matthew 22:32 says literally:

“I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”

Even though Mark didn’t use the definite article with “theos” in the last half of this verse, it made no difference to the meaning because of the uncertainty of meaning inherent in such prepositional/possessive usages. Matthew did use the article in the parallel account, but its use under those circumstances was unnecessary. (It was Matthew’s writing style to always use the article with “theos” when referring to the true God regardless of grammatical options, but, obviously, Mark and Luke sometimes took advantage of the “prepositional/possessive” article uncertainty to ignore the normally-required article for “God”.)

This is further shown at the continuation of these parallel accounts. Matt. 22:32 says literally:

“not he is the God of dead.”

But the parallel account at Mark 12:27 says literally:

“not he is God of dead.”

And the parallel account at Luke 20:38 says literally:

“God not he is of dead.”

Notice that Both Mark and Luke do NOT use the definite article, but most trinitarian Bible translators consider them just as definite as the parallel verse in Matthew which does use the definite article – NIV, TEV, ASV, NAB, NASB, CBW, Beck, The Amplified Bible. (But due to the article inconsistency with prepositional/possessive constructions, we can also find INDEFINITE translations of these verses: “a God” – KJV, Mo, NWT; and “He is not God of the dead” – NEB, JB, RSV, Phillips.)

You can also see that “God” in Mark 12:27 is a predicate noun which comes after its verb, whereas “God” in Luke 20:38 is a predicate noun which comes before its verb. But since BOTH are frequently translated “the God,” we can easily see that it is not because of word position, but because of the “possessive” (prepositional) constructions, which these verses have in common, that they are so translated.

So we see that if we exclude all the nouns used with prepositional (usually “possessive”) constructions (in which there is little or no significance for the definite article – see the appendix of the “Definite John 1:1c” study paper for a detailed examination of this characteristic of “prepositional”-influenced nouns), we then find that Matthew, Mark, and Luke always (in all 25 instances) use the definite article with the nominative form for “theos” when they mean the only true God!

And if we include all the writings of Gospel writer Luke (Acts was also written by Luke), we find the definite article is still always used with the nominative case theos (in all 74 instances) when the only true God (the Father) is the subject! Yes, Acts always uses the article with its 59 uses of the nominative theos for God – even in the 9 “prepositional” instances!

But it doesn’t matter what language rules may be used by OTHERS. What really matters is: What rules are being used by THIS writer (JOHN)? For example, one of the many rules of standard English tells that one must use the SUBJECT form pronoun (similar to the Greek NOMINATIVE case) as a predicate noun. I.e., one should say, “It is I”; “It is he”; etc. And yet many Americans say (and write), “It’s me”; “It’s him”; etc. Therefore, we must always be careful to examine the rules that the writer in question uses in order to understand what meaning he really intended! So, to find the importance of the article for the precise meaning of “theos” in the writings of John, let’s look at all the places in his writings where John used the nominative case “theos” (the same form, or case, used at John 1:1c – θεὸς).

There are 50 such uses of “theos” by John (17 in the Gospel of John). Here is the list of every “theos” (nominative case) used by John. If it has the definite article, “art.” has been written after the verse number. If it does not have the definite article, “an.” (for “anarthrous”) has been written before the verse number. If it appears to be applied to Jesus, “Jesus” has been written after the verse number.

  1. an. John 1:1c – – – Jesus
  2. an. Jn 1:18 – – – Jesus

Jn 3:2 art.

Jn 3:16 art.

Jn 3:17 art.

Jn 3:33 art.

Jn 3:34 art.

Jn 4:24 art.

Jn 6:27 art.

Jn 8:42 art.

  1. an. Jn 8:54 – – -“God of you”

Jn 9:29 art.

Jn 9:31 art.

Jn 11:22 art.

Jn 13:31 art.

Jn 13:32 art.

Jn 20:28 art. Jesus (?) “God of me” (See MYGOD study paper)

1 John 1:5 art.

1 Jn 3:20 art.

1 Jn 4:8 art.

1 Jn 4:9 art.

1 Jn 4:11 art.

1 Jn 4:12 art.

1 Jn 4:15 art.

1 Jn 4:16 art. (3 occurrences)

1 Jn 5:10 art.

1 Jn 5:11 art.

1 Jn 5:20 art.

Revelation

Rev. 1:1 art.

Rev. 1:8 art.

Rev. 4:8 art.

Rev. 4:11 art. “the God of us”

Rev. 7:17 art.

Rev. 11:17 art.

Rev. 15:3 art.

Rev. 16:7 art.

Rev. 17:17 art.

Rev. 18:5 art.

Rev. 18:8 art.

Rev. 18:20 art.

Rev. 19:6 art. “the God of us”

Rev. 21:3 art.

  1. an. Rev. 21:7 —- “God to him”

Rev. 21:22 art.

Rev. 22:5 art.

Rev. 22:6 art. “the God of the spirits”

Rev. 22:18 art.

Rev. 22:19 art.

We can see that out of at least 47 uses of “theos” for the only true God (all those apparently not applied to Jesus), 45 of them have the definite article.

We can also see that of the 3 uses of “theos” that appear to be applied to Jesus (obviously Jn 1:1c and Jn 1:18 are applied to him; Jn 20:28 is not so certain – see study of John 20:28 – MY GOD), two of them (Jn 1:1c and 1:18) do not have the article. But if the article before “theos” indicates that the only true God is being spoken of, and if the absence of the article before “theos” indicates “god” or “a god” is being spoken of, how do we explain John 8:54 (absence of article even though applied to God), John 20:28 (article present even though, possibly, applied to Jesus), and Rev. 21:7 (article absent even though applied to God)?

Again we need to examine these “exceptions” as we did those of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Remember that nouns in the nominative case, if they are used in a possessive (or any prepositional) construction (such as “God of me,” “God to him,” etc.—meaning “my God,” “his God,” etc.), may or may not use the article with little or no effect on the actual meaning.

Of all the 50 uses of “theos” (in the nominative case) by John can you guess which ones are with prepositional constructions? That’s right! John 8:54 says literally: “you are saying that God of you is.” John 20:28 says literally: “the Lord of me and the God [or ‘god’] of me.” Revelation 21:7 says literally: “I shall be to him God and he will be to me son.”

That the last scripture (Rev. 21:7) should be considered in the same way as “of him” (i.e., the use of the article is basically without meaning in this case) is shown not only by its “possessive” meaning (“his God” and “my son” – see most Bibles) but by the actual usage in this very scripture. (Remember, too, that in reality it is nouns with prepositional constructions that have the article ambiguity, and we have a prepositional construction here: “God to him.”)

There are only 3 other places in John’s writings where “theos” is part of a prepositional construction: Rev. 4:11, Rev. 19:6, and Rev. 22:6. These, however, do take the definite article. So sometimes John uses the article with a prepositional construction and sometimes he doesn’t. Which is exactly what we would expect when the use of the article is purely arbitrary in such circumstances!

So we find that if we exclude all the prepositional constructions (only 6 for “theos” in all of John’s writings) as we should, then all of the remaining 44 instances of “theos” follow the rule (“theos” with article = “God,” and “theos” without article = “god” or “a god”).

Yes, there is a total of 117 places in ALL of the writings of the 4 Gospel writers where the nominative “theos” in non-prepositional form is applied to the only true God. Every one of them has the definite article! The only 2 places in all of these inspired scriptures where “theos” in non-prepositional phrases is clearly not applied to the only true God (John 1:1c and John 1:18) also just “happens” to be the only 2 places that do not have the definite article! So, in all 119 of the non-prepositional uses of “theos” by the Gospel writers the presence of the definite article always determines the only true God!

As for the 21 “exceptions” to the rule (p. MARTIN 2) that “theos” (nominative case only) must have the article (“the”) with it when it is referring to God, Martin has listed 17 genitive case nouns (“theou,” θεοῦ) which are already, by definition, prepositional (“of God”) and 2 Dative case nouns (“theo,θε) which are also already, by definition, prepositional (“to God”). All such examples use the definite article inconsistently because of the influence of the understood prepositional modifiers. These are worthless as examples which are supposed to test the significance of definite article usage, and Martin surely knows that. He has listed only 2 nominatives (“theos,” θεὸς, the proper form in question) and one accusative (“theon,” θεόν).

One of the 2 nominatives Martin lists may actually be a proper exception to the rule. It is found at Philippians 2:13 as written by Paul. So we may say that Paul (but not Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) may have apparently made an exception to the “theos” with article rule for “God.” (See section at end of this study paper for Paul’s use of the nominative theos.)

But what about the 2 remaining “exceptions” listed by Martin? They are both found at John 1:18. One of them is an accusative (“theon” – θεόν). Accusatives normally use the definite article with “God” in the same way as nominatives. There is one other known exception (in addition to “prepositional” constructions) which applies to accusatives, however, and this is discussed in my John 10:33 study (THEON). John 1:18 is one of these infrequent exceptions for the accusative “theon,” but since it is not the nominative “theos” form as used in John 1:1c, it is still not a proper example.

This leaves only one proper example for Martin’s “exceptions”: “Theoswithout the article at John 1:18 in some NT texts. This is one of the two uses of the non-prepositional “theos” which are applied to Jesus! This “exception” actually proves (like John 1:1c itself) that Jesus is not God, but “a god”!

Yes, John calls Jesus “a god” in a similar sense to what Jehovah (and Jesus himself – in the writing of John only) calls certain men: John 10:34, 35 (quotes Psalm 82:6 which was addressed to Israelite judges). Most trinitarian scholars will admit that the Bible, on occasion, calls angels and certain men who represented God (Israelite leaders, judges, etc.) “gods”! Obviously, these persons were not to be considered equal to God. They were either “mighty ones” in their own right or were to be considered as carrying out God’s will … His rightful representatives. – See pp.4-9 of “The Definite John 1:1c” (DEF).

So we can safely say that in the Gospel writers’ accounts, at least, the definite article truly was used with the nominative “theos” whenever the only true God was intended. If this were not so, it would be senseless for so many trinitarians (including Martin himself) to expend so much time and effort in attempting to prove that the article really should be understood to be at John 1:1c because of some relatively recently produced “grammatical rule.” If the nominative “theos” didn’t really require the article to be applied to “God,” Colwell’s Rule (and others designed for Jn 1:1c) would not even have been invented by modern trinitarian scholars!

*

For those who accept only the KJV (or NKJV and KJIIV) and the Received Text (Textus Receptus) it’s based upon (or the “Majority Text”), please note that the definite article definitely is present with theos at Phil. 2:13 in the Received Text: ‘the god for is the working in you’ – see The Interlinear Bible, Baker Book House, 1982.

tigger 2

Read more:

  1. Walter Martin and John 1:1c
  2. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  3. Corruption in our translations !
  4. A voice cries out: context
  5. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High

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    An amazing treasure is unearthed dating back to the Coptic Egyptian times bound by leather and written in Greek is translated for the first time in modern history.Anne Marie Luijendijk, a professor of religion at Princeton University, discovered that this newly found gospel is like no other. She has discovered that the book may have been used as an oracle, to the owner of this book, and to the faithful followers.
  • Soul Food Sunday – Jesus Christ, the Creator (darcynord.wordpress.com)
    That we always do remember that a word is a substantive and not a person in spé. Let us also remember that there are gods and that there is the Only One God Divine Creator of heaven and earth.
  • Why definiteness is decreasing, part 3 (languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu)
    I documented a striking 20th-century decrease in the frequency of the definite article the (“Decreasing definiteness“, 1/8/2015) — from about 6.6% to about 5.4% in the Corpus of Historical American English; from about 6.4% to 5.2% in the Google Books ngram indices; and from about 9.3% to about 4.7% in U.S. presidents’ State of the Union messages.
    +
    We know that over the course of the 20th century, ‘s-genitives definitely increased relative to of-genitives — for documentation, see “The genitive of lifeless things“, 10/11/2009, and “Mechanisms for gradual language change“, 2/9/2014.This can’t be the whole story.  Thus in COHA, ‘s increased in frequency from about 0.51% in 1900 to about 0.98% in 2000, for an extra 47 instances per 10,000. But the decreased in frequency from 6.53% in 1900 to 5.37% in 2000, for a loss of 116 instances per 10,000.And the numerical disproportion is greater than than that. Only about 60% of ‘s instances in the 2000 text sample are genitives — the other 40% are contractions of is or has. This reduces the potential contribution from 47 to about 28 per 10,000, and so I conclude that at most about a quarter of the‘s decline — 28 out of 116 instances per 10,000 words — might be due to ‘s‘s rise.
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    The theory of properties of terms (proprietates terminorum) was the basis of the medievals’ semantic theory. It embraced those properties of linguistic expressions necessary to explain truth, fallacy and inference, the three central concepts of logical analysis.
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    Analytic philosophers often find English language continental philosophy most risible precisely when English language continental philosophers mistranslate the French definite article. For example, while French syntax allows the word “événement” to be preceded by an indefinite article (“un événement”) or the definite article (“l’événement”), “the event” grossly mistranslates the latter. In English (at least outside of continental philosophy circles) “the event” always refers to some unique event. If someone talks about the event in English, it is always felicitous to ask them which event they mean to pick out. This is not the case in French, where the definite article can pick out the concept/meaning/property corresponding to the compound nominal to which it attaches.

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

NMMI IMG 8966.JPG

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

File:Suprasl Muzeum Ikon 01.jpg

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

File:Figures The Golden Calf.jpg

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.
    +
    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 5 Papyrus fragment in Egyptian Coptic

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

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

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

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

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

Such remarks, and the one of Peter who asked:

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

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

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

“always been hot-tempered.”

and says:

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

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

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

Do not be Afraid

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

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

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

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

The "Gospel of Jesus's Wife," a papyrus written in Coptic and containing text that refers to Jesus being married, is looking more and more like it is not authentic, research is revealing.

The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” a papyrus written in Coptic and containing text that refers to Jesus being married, is looking more and more like it is not authentic, research is revealing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to Karen L. King and AnneMarie Luijendijk

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

But she also warned that

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

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

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

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

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

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Preceding articles:

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

Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

To be followed by:

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

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

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Find also:

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

In Dutch:

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

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  • Papyrus fragment put to test (news.harvard.edu)
    A wide range of scientific testing indicates that a papyrus fragment containing the words “Jesus said to them, my wife” is an ancient document, dating between the sixth to ninth centuries C.E. Its contents may originally have been composed as early as the second to fourth centuries.
  • ‘Gospel Of Jesus’ Wife’ Papyrus Is Ancient, Not Fake, Experts Say (huffingtonpost.com) incl. Video
    An ancient, business-card-sized papyrus fragment that appears to quote Jesus Christ discussing his wife is real, Harvard University announced Thursday. The fragment caused international uproar when it was revealed by a Harvard historian in September 2012, with prominent academics and the Vatican swiftly deeming it a forgery.
  • How the ‘Jesus’ Wife’ Hoax Fell Apart (online.wsj.com)
    Then last week the story began to crumble faster than an ancient papyrus exposed in the windy Sudan. Mr. Askeland found, among the online links that Harvard used as part of its publicity push, images of another fragment, of the Gospel of John, that turned out to share many similarities—including the handwriting, ink and writing instrument used—with the “wife” fragment. The Gospel of John text, he discovered, had been directly copied from a 1924 publication.”Two factors immediately indicated that this was a forgery,” Mr. Askeland tells me. “First, the fragment shared the same line breaks as the 1924 publication. Second, the fragment contained a peculiar dialect of Coptic called Lycopolitan, which fell out of use during or before the sixth century.” Ms. King had done two radiometric tests, he noted, and “concluded that the papyrus plants used for this fragment had been harvested in the seventh to ninth centuries.” In other words, the fragment that came from the same material as the “Jesus’ wife” fragment was written in a dialect that didn’t exist when the papyrus it appears on was made.
  • ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ Looks More and More Like a Fake (nbcnews.com)
    since the investigation was published, Live Science has been in contact with an agency in Berlin that issues permits for the exportation of antiquities. Representatives of that agency said they could find no record that a papyrus like this had been exported from their office. It’s possible that the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife papyrus was exported from elsewhere in Germany or from the European Union.
  • Radical feminists say it’s misogynist to reveal “Jesus’ wife” hoax (revisionistreview.blogspot.com)
    I’ve counted 10 different university-level scholars chiming in on two different online sites to heap coals upon the head of anyone who dares to think that King made a mistake, or that she should have consulted a wider range of experts before she helped the Smithsonian turn the papyrus scrap into a television documentary (which finally aired May 5) rather than afterward, as she did.
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    On May 5, the online magazine Religion Dispatches, published by USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, featured an article by Eva Mroczek, a religious studies professor at Indiana University, complaining about the title of one of Askeland’s blog posts: Jesus Had an Ugly Sister-in-Law.” Illustrated by a Walt Disney still of Cinderella’s homely siblings (stepsisters, not sisters, but close), Mroczek’s article took Askeland to task for “the sexist language — the use of an ugly woman as a metaphor for a sloppy, forged, worthless text.”Poor Askeland! Bet he never thought that calling a scrap of papyrus “ugly” was a misogynist attack on women! Even Bagnall had deemed the Jesus’ Wife fragment “ugly” in a 2012 interview in the Boston Globe. Mroczek had earlier taken Askeland to task about the word “ugly” in a comment on his blog post. And after Mroczek’s article appeared, he edited the word out of the post’s title.
  • New evidence casts doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
    Anonymity, in the world of antiquities, is often a bad sign, compounding the inherent uncertainty when dealing with texts that are bought and sold rather than discovered in a firm archaeological setting.Then there were aspects of the text itself that seemed suspicious.For a fragmented scrap of papyrus, it seemed to have an awful lot of important content on it. Not only did Jesus refer to “my wife,” he also potentially described a certain Mary – perhaps Mary Magdalene? – as “worthy” and capable of being a disciple.It is (almost) too good to be true.At the same time, the handwriting seemed surprisingly sloppy.
  • Historian Says Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife (nytimes.com)
    Dr. King first learned about what she calls “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” when she received an e-mail in 2010 from a private collector who asked her to translate it. Dr. King, 58, specializes in Coptic literature, and has written books on the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Mary of Magdala, Gnosticism and women in antiquity.The owner, who has a collection of Greek, Coptic and Arabic papyri, is not willing to be identified by name, nationality or location, because, Dr. King said, “He doesn’t want to be hounded by people who want to buy this.”When, where or how the fragment was discovered is unknown. The collector acquired it in a batch of papyri in 1997 from the previous owner, a German. It came with a handwritten note in German that names a professor of Egyptology in Berlin, now deceased, and cited him calling the fragment “the sole example” of a text in which Jesus claims a wife.
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Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

Several people would like to see the non-canonical gospels as reliable historical sources, which should have to be part of the Bible. In case they would have to be part of the Scriptures, first of all we could question why they were not recognised by God as part of His Word and protected as such. The time laps between the last writings by the apostles and the later writers is also too big. For the authorship most credible scholars date the writing of the non-canonical gospels in the second or third century C.E. (with the possible exception of the Gospel of Thomas, which may have been written in late 1st or early 2nd century).

These texts are so called to be written by original disciples of Jesus, including Mary, but these disciples had nothing to do with the actual writing of the extra-biblical gospels.

Gheorghe Tattarescu - Magdalena,

Gheorghe Tattarescu – Magdalena, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The repeated reference in the Gnostic texts of Mary as being loved by Jesus more than the others has been seen as supporting the theory that the Beloved Disciple in the canonical Gospel of John was originally Mary Magdalene, before being later redacted in the Gospel. In case she would have been the wife of Jesus it is strange that we can find in the Gospel of Thomas, Simon Peter asking to Jesus that Mary would leave them.

“for women are not worthy of Life.” {Gospel of Thomas}

Would a disciple say something like that to their teacher, when that person is his wife? In reply Jesus said:

“I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” {Gospel of Thomas; section 114; trans. Thomas O. Lambdin}

In here there is also no speak of transgender issues, having females to become male. In that time saying to be a male, had to do with being strong or making decisions.  I also agree there was still at that time the higher position of the male figure. As such talking about being or behaving as a male should be taken as a symbol of the person his or her spiritual or divine nature.

In The Dialogue of the Saviour there is also no hint to be found that the man of the dialogue, who is Jesus the Christos or Christ, would have been the husband of Mary.

In The Pistis Sophia Jesus calls the woman Mary the blessed one, beyond all women upon the earth,

“because [she shall be] the pleroma of all Pleromas and the completion of all completions” (section 19).

Male figures may have been considered the ones who could best present their knowledge. But in the writings of the New Testament we also can find women who read the Bible in front of children and slaves, so that they also could hear and grow up with the knowledge of the Good News. Such women, like Mary where considered worthy followers by Jesus, because they fulfilled the task given by him to spread the Good News. Their witnessing brings proof of their “fullness of knowledge” and therefore of the “spiritual life within them”.  In the Gnostic Gospels Jesus is shown to be impressed with Mary’s spiritual excellence that he promises not to conceal anything from her, but to reveal everything to her

“with certainty and openly” (section 25).

She is the blessed one, who will

“inherit the whole Kingdom of the Light” (section 61).

In none of the books is written that she would come to sit next to Christ and his Father. In case those writers really thought Mary Magdalene was the wife of Christ, would God not have placed her sitting next to her husband?

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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

To be followed by:

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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  • 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.
  • The Importance of Mary Magdalene in the Gnostic Gospels (writedge.com)
    Most of us have grown up knowing Mary Magdalene, but with not enough information about her part in the Christian story. In the New Testament, she has a relatively minor role beyond her witnessing the resurrected Jesus in the Gospel of John, but in the Gnostic Gospels, her role is much more important. In them, she not only is the witness to the Resurrection, but an important disciple of Jesus, and possibly his lover or wife.
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    This example shows her not only to have received new teachings from Jesus, it also shows the opposition and prejudice she faced from most of Jesus’ male disciples due to her being a woman. In the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day, women were considered to be and treated as inferior to men; therefore, it comes as no surprise that Mary Magdalene would be put down by most of the male disciples, and her presence would be opposed by them. This prejudice against women would later carry on in to Petrine/Pauline Christianity, which still today, in spite of progress made in such churches as the Anglican and Episcopal churches allowing women to take more leadership roles such as joining the priesthood, for instance, besets much of the Christian religion, ranging from the Roman Catholic Church’s continuing opposition to women joining the priesthood to fundamentalist Protestantism’s insistence on women’s only role being that of the stay-at-home wife and mother, and its continuing attempt to turn the clock back on women’s rights to an idealized 1950s in the United States.
  • The Resurrection Myth (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Jesus was a lower-class bisexual preacher from Galilee, who, in hysterical apocalyptic fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian kingdom on earth. It didn’t happen. Instead of being involved with the destruction of God’s enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them: arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.Soon afterwards his followers began to say that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Jesus really was the messiah sent from God.
  • A Kiss Before Crucifying (vovatia.wordpress.com)
    Gnosticism predates Christianity, and Ehrman proposes that it was a response to Jewish apocalypticism. The apocalyptic view is that, while evil forces are now in charge of the world, God is ultimately in control and will soon set things right. Jesus himself is generally regarded as an apocalyptic preacher, but since there were elements of his teachings that presented a less worldly and more ideal view than traditional Judaism, Gnostics gladly adopted him as a mouthpiece for their own views. In their belief, Jesus was not the son and representative of the Demiurge worshipped by mainstream Jews, but rather of a higher, non-material god.
  • The Forbidden Gospel of Mary Magdalene (humansarefree.com)
    For Jean Yves-Leloup, the founder of the Institute of Other Civilisation Studies and the International College of Therapists, Mary Magdalene is the intimate friend of Jesus and the initiate who transmits his most subtle teachings.His translation of the Gospel of Mary is presented in his book The Gospel of Mary Magdalene along with a commentary on the text which was discovered in 1896, nearly 50 years before the Gnostic Gospels at Nag Hammadi were found.

    The Gospel of Mary can easily be divided into two parts. The first section (7,1-9,24) describes the dialogue between the risen Christ and the disciples. He answers their questions concerning matter and sin.
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    The second section of the text (10,1-23; 15,1-19,2) contains a description by Mary of special revelation given to her by Christ. At Peter’s request, she tells the disciples about things that were hidden from them.

  • Was Jesus Married? (part One) Nothing in the Bible Says He Was and Nothing in the Bible Says He Was Not***so After You Read the Below You Be the Judge and Get Ready for the Religious Shock of Your Life***from Tlgrwcorporate (tlgrwcorporate.wordpress.com)
    There is no hint in The Dialogue of the Savior of a marriage between Jesus and Mary (or the Savior and Mary). She is seen, once again, as central among the disciples of the Savior, and as a person with special insight.
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    The silence of the New Testament gospels has given rise to a cacophony of conflicting voices. Some see in these writings a plot to cover up the truth about Jesus. Others see the silence of the gospels as proof that Jesus could not have been married. It does seem rather fantastic to imagine that if Jesus had been married to Miriam of Magdala, whom we know as Mary Magdalene, or to any other woman for that matter, this fact would have been completely omitted from all of the earliest records of Jesus’ life. Those who claim that the earliest Christians conspired to hide this information because it confirmed the fact that Jesus wasn’t divine forget that the supposed conspirators often gave their lives because they believed Jesus to have been divine. Would they have died for something they knew to be a lie? I rather doubt it.
  • Jesus Chooses the Twelve Disciples // Jesus Teaches and Heals (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    apostles: Those who will preach the gospel and lead the early Church. They are emissaries invested with Christ’s royal and priestly authority. Like the 12 patriarchs of Israel (Gen 35:22-26), Jesus chooses 12 men to be the father figures of the renewed kingdom of Israel, the Church.
  • Scientific Tests Show ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ Wasn’t Faked (nbcnews.com)
    The studies, published Thursday in the Harvard Theological Review, represent the latest chapter in the years-long saga surrounding what Harvard theologian Karen King has dubbed the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. King brought the text into the global spotlight in September 2012, at a symposium in Rome, but the publication of her analysis was held up for more than a year when questions were raised about the text’s authenticity.
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    “These kinds of texts are notoriously repetitious,” he told NBC News. “The problem is, this gets sensationalized. What it proves is something we already knew, that certain Gnostic groups in the second, third and fourth centuries did think of Mary as Jesus’ companion. We just didn’t have that word ‘wife.'”
  • Religulous Hoi Polloi (venitism.blogspot.com)
    Religious practices change all the time—just ask Catholics who celebrated mass in Latin until the 1960s or Protestant groups that started ordaining women as ministers in the 1970s. But are there certain core beliefs that can never change?Conservative theologians within the church argue that Schaefer’s defrocking was justified because church law, by definition, must be upheld—otherwise, it is not a church law. They maintain that homosexuals are welcome in the church, but that one should abstain from the practice of homosexuality.
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