Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

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

Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Martha at Bethany

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

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

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

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+

Jesus wife payrus transcript Jesus wife papyrus translation

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

Next articles:

Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

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

Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

++

Additional reading:

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

+++

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

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Father counterpart of the mother

Today we can see that our society has distorted the ideas about man, woman, relationships between people, matrimony and how humankind has to behave and take care of next generations.

Woman and Man (Alternately, Husband and Wife)

Woman and Man (Alternately, Husband and Wife) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the old times ‘Marriage‘ was about a sacred union of one man and one woman for life. In today’s society it is more considered as a union which can be taken on for some time, between two people, who do not necessary have to love each other for always, or have to have the opposite gender. For lots of people it may be an arrangement for economical and practical reasons and should not be necessary be taken before having sex with the other person, nor does it have to mean for them they have to stay committed to that one person.

In Genesis 2nd chapter is written:

18 Then Jehovah God said: “It is not good for the man to continue to be alone. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement of him.”+ (NWT)

18 And Jehovah* God went on to say: “It is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a complement* of him.”+ (RefB)

as a complement {Or, “counterpart,” something fitting for him } of him:

(Proverbs 31:11): 11 In her the heart of her owner* has put trust, and there is no gain lacking.+

(1 Corinthians 11:8,9): 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man.+ 9 And what is more, man was not created for the sake of the woman, but woman for the sake of the man.+

(1 Timothy 2:13): 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve.+

(Genesis 2:22): 22 And Jehovah God built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman, and he brought her to the man.+

***

The man’s being alone is not good; I will make him a helper to match him. — Gen. 2:18, “Byington.”

In Harmony before Matrimony (1805), James Gill...

In Harmony before Matrimony (1805), James Gillray caricatured a courtship in which the couple sings together from Duets de l’Amour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jehovah knows everything there is to know about mankind and marriage. He implanted a sexual need in humans so that they would “be fruitful and become many.” (Genesis 1:28) God understands feelings of loneliness, for prior to creating the first woman, he said the words of today’s text. Jehovah is also fully aware of the joy possible within the bonds of matrimony. (Proverbs 5:15-18) Because of sin and imperfection, no present-day marriage is perfect. Among Jehovah’s servants, however, wedlock can result in true happiness if God’s Word is followed. For instance, consider Paul’s clear counsel on intimate relations in marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:1-5)

 

7 Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is better for a man not to touch* a woman; but because of the prevalence of sexual immorality,* let each man have his own wife+ and each woman have her own husband.+ Let the husband give to his wife her due, and let the wife also do likewise to her husband.+ The wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does; likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent for an appointed time, so that you may devote time to prayer and may come together again, in order that Satan may not keep tempting you for your lack of self-control. However, I say this by way of concession, not as a command. But I wish all men were as I am. Nevertheless, each one has his own gift+ from God, one in this way, another in that way. (1 Corinthians 7:1-7)

It is not Scripturally required that marriage mates limit sexual relations to efforts to produce offspring. Such intimacy can rightly fill emotional and physical needs. But perverted practices certainly do not please God. w12 5/15 1:9, 10

+

Preceding articles:

Gender roles and Multitasking parents

 Father and motherhood

 Dignified role for the woman

 Having children interferes with work

Dutch version /Nederlandstalige versie: Vader tegenhanger van de moeder

++

Find more literature:

  1. Walking alone?
  2. What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
  3. Companionship
  4. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  5. Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.
  6. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
  7. Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive
  8. Bible Guidelines for a happy marriage
  9. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  10. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  11. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  12. I started off with the little things….
  13. Three keys to a happy marriage
  14. In marriage not wounding each other
  15. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  16. Love and win
  17. For God loves me
  18. The task given to us to love each other
  19. The Seven Daughters of Eve

+++

  • Is marriage just a social union? (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    In God’s eyes, marriage is much more than a mere social arrangement. It is a sacred union between a man and a woman. The Bible says: “From the beginning of creation ‘[God] made them male and female. On this account a man will leave his father and mother, and the two will be one flesh’ . . . Therefore what God yoked together let no man put apart.” *Mark 10:6-9; Genesis 2:24.

    The words, “what God yoked [or, joined] together,” do not mean that marriages are made in heaven. Rather, by pointing to our Creator as the Originator of the marriage arrangement, the Bible emphasizes the seriousness of this union. Couples who see their marriage in that light treat it as a sacred, permanent bond, thus strengthening their determination to make their marriage a success. They further increase their prospects for success when they turn to the Bible for guidance in fulfilling their respective roles as husband and wife.

  • Real marriage (williamb97.wordpress.com)
    David says that we find favor with God when we find a godly wife. God wants people to be married. But married in the way and by the definition that He has set.This is going to sound really harsh and maybe even mean spirited, but all I am doing is clearing the air about what God says about Marriage and Homosexuality. Homosexuals will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Think that sounds wrong or that I am being judgmental? Nope, this comes straight from God’s Word
  • Ask John Calvin: What is a wife for? (annsechrist.wordpress.com)
    There was no place for man being the “spiritual” spouse, and women being the “practical” one, created to fulfill a man’s sexual needs, produce children, and manage the home. Though this was a common philosophy of the day andcontains a bit of truth, the Scriptures—and Calvin—so obviously disagreed. A wife is the “inseparable associate of his life,” which must mean she is intelligent, companionable, talented, and fully able to comealongside or “across from” her husband to help him with his mission in life.Part of this mission may be to cuddle in bed, carry his children, cook his meals, and teach his sons and daughters how to spell. But that should not at all detract from the understanding that her mission is to inseparably associate herself with every aspect of his life in which she can prove herself helpful, be it business accounting, back massages, writing letters and making phone calls, editing books, research and writing, understanding and being able to discuss the gospel, buying land, giving to charity, making decisions he would have made when he is absent, and in every way proving herself a help. She should truly be a crown that does not diminish the glory of God in her husband, but causes it to show the brighter. Those are my thoughts, but read Calvin. His opinion is what you really want to hear. It’s a long quote, but hopefully my (added) paragraph breaks will help you to process it! Here it is:
  • Cohabitating Seniors and the Meaning of Marriage (ezerwoman.wordpress.com)
    An increasing number of older men and women are moving in together.  But,it appears to me that their rationale is fear-based.  Perhaps their spouse has died.  They don’t wantto be alone.  Financially, it seems practical not to marry and, instead, live together.  Perhaps it seems less complicated to keep their business affairs separate for the sake of their children and grandchildren.  Perhaps insurance coverage ora life-savings will be better protected if theyjustcohabitate.  After all, it isn’t so much about sex as it is companionship and being a couple in a “couple’s world.”So, what isacohabitating senior, especiallyacohabitating Christian senior, saying about marriage?Is marriage all about the joys ofpro-creational sex?  Or is it more?Marriage, from a Biblical worldview, is the practice of generational faithfulness.  It is the union of one man and one woman with all that they uniquely bring into partnership for the benefit of family and community.  In God’s words, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18 ESV).
  • A Mother’s Take on Intimacy (mealsdeals31thrills.wordpress.com)
    We’ve all heard stories or statistics about how physical intimacy effects men and women differently – usually as a warning to non-married adolescents. But this was not an accident. God did it on purpose.
    +
    God created us women to be organizers, list-makers, Do-ers, Feel-ers, Listeners, Care-takers. He knew we would zero in on those roles that cause us to put others first, so He created man with a strong physical desire to help remind us to enjoy our husbands.
    +
    In case you weren’t aware, it just so happens that the only way to become a mother is through physical intimacy – the very thing our husbands most desire, not from an unhealthy or dirty intention our society has sometimes made it to be, but as a way of expressing the love between one another. (I suppose in this day and age you could argue we have science that can help us, but I’m referring to the first and most natural way, before the science existed.)
  • Our Home and Environs – Part 1 (sonlightdevotional.org)

    One of the greatest needs in the world today is proper home life, in particular, and good human relations, in general.

    Life, on a whole (which comes from God), is taken so lightly (from conception to termination) that regard and respect are no longer qualities associated with man dealing with man.

  • How a wife can defeat her husband. (wretchednetwork.wordpress.com)
    It is better to live in a desert land, than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. (Proverbs 21:19,
Enhanced by Zemanta

Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive

Many Evangelical Christians today claim that we ought to defer to the tradition of the Church when faced with difficult matters such as the status of homosexuals in the community of faith or the nature of the atonement. We can see a lot of changes in the position of the public against homo couples. In the polls worldwide we can see attitudes have shifted over time. In 1988, the two-thirds of white Americans for example, believed that “sexual relations between two adults of the same sex” was “always wrong,” including 85 percent of born-again Christians. By 2010, both groups began to accept same-sex relationships. Born-again Christians still opposed homosexuality, but they answered the questions the same way non-believers answered in the 1980s. In 2010, two-thirds of evangelicals believed that homosexuality is “always wrong,” compared to just 30 percent of others.

John Piper's church. Also see here

John Piper’s church. Also see here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Evangelicals may also differ on the role of the women in their community. Most of them affirm male headship in ordain­ing men only to pastoral ministry, but they also practice male headship in the way that they carry out the other dis­cipleship and teaching ministries of the church. So male headship characterizes both ordained and non-ordained minis­tries in the church.

In the catholic and Protestant religions we do find that many are convinced that only qualified men are ordained to the pastoral office (hierarchy in principle), and women do not teach Christian doctrine to men (hierarchy in practice). John Piper‘s position:

“Men should bear primary responsibility for Christlike headship and teaching in the church. So it is un­biblical . . . and therefore detrimental, for women to assume this role” (John Piper and Wayne Grudem, “An Overview of Central Concerns: Questions and Answers,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 60-61).

This hierarchy in both principle and practice reflects a certain interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:12, an interpretation that Douglas Moo ad­vocates in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood:

“We think 1 Timothy 2:8-15 imposes two restrictions on the ministry of women: they are not to teach Christian doctrine to men and they are not to exercise authority directly over men in the church.” {Moo, “What Does It Mean Not to Teach or Have Authority Over Men?,” 180.}

While most of the young reformed evangelicals are closing ranks around traditional, conservative views of biblical inspiration and author­ity, some in the emerging church are re­vising and moving away from the same. One can hardly envision reconciliation on the gender question as long as the two groups continue on these radically divergent trajectories.

John Piper describes practices of Pas­tor Mark Driscoll who allows women to teach and lead men within the minis­tries of Mars Hill Church, as “detrimental” to the life of the church. {John Piper and Wayne Grudem, “An Overview of Central Concerns: Questions and Answers,” 61.} Nevertheless, these two men in particu­lar share a basic commitment to comple­mentarian principles and have enough common ground in their shared vision of the gospel to cooperate in endeavors such as “The Gospel Coalition,” a gos­pel renewal movement that confesses a strong complementarian position.

Priscilla Shirer who’s marriage appears to be just the sort of enlightened partnership that would make feminists cheer, avoids using words like “feminist” or “career woman” to describe herself. She is an evangelical Bible teacher who makes her living by guiding thousands of women through the study of Scripture in her books, videos and weekend conferences — in which she stresses that in a biblical home and church, the man is the head and the woman must submit.
She steers women away from the “feminist activists” who tell women to do their own thing. does a woman has to go out of the house and find a ‘proper’ job to bring more money in the family till? Can the woman make up her own decisions or is tit that she let a man “slow her down,” as she puts it?

For her it is clear that it is an evil demon, called “Satan” who “will do everything in his power to get us to take the lead in our home.” She forgets to see that satan just means any adversary or evil within, and according to the Bible is not a sort of monster which shall bring people into his realm were people shall be tortured for ever.

Molly Worthen writes

Shirer and many conservative Christians believe that the Bible defines gender as a divinely ordained set of desires and duties inherent in each man and woman since the Garden of Eden. Gender is not an act or a choice, but a nonnegotiable gift. To these Christians, the story of Adam and Eve’s creation granted man authority over woman, and they understand the New Testament teachings of Paul and his comrades — in particular, that wives should submit to their husbands — not as cultural relics of the first century but as universal teachings that Christians apply today.

Cover of "Women in Ministry: Four Views"

Cover of Women in Ministry: Four Views

In the industrialised countries we see sexual liberation has saturated the general culture and brought most citizens away from the church-institutions, but also away from the Holy Scriptures. Many people took the attitudes and sayings of churches as actions of men of God. They took their conclusions when they saw so many wrong goings by the clergy. In the meantime mainline churches are ordaining women and homosexuals, conservative evangelicals are escalating their counter-offensive.

To critics, “complementarian” is code for sexist patriarchy, a license to keep women muzzled and homebound. Yet spending even five minutes with Priscilla Shirer and her husband suggests that reality is far more complicated — not only at home but also in the new “separate sphere” that this theology has spawned: a subculture of Bible studies, conferences, ministries, religious retreats and literature ranging from Christian fitness books to Christian romance novels, all produced by and for evangelical women.

Molly Worthen writes in the New York times Magazine article Housewives of God.

Those who think the woman may not teach about the Word of God should look at those persons who opened their houses and got people in to listen to them. There we found in the first home-churches active women who not only taught their children but also their servants. The woman of the household was the  person teaching becoming the authority. Since the parent is already the authority, as God intended it to be from creation, there should be no problem in women teaching doctrine to their own children. but they had to remember that the husband would always be the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, but he is also subject to his Father, the Only One God. Like Jesus follows his Father, man and woman who say they are followers of Christ Jesus the Messiah, should follow Jesus.

The wives when they are in subjection to their own husbands should not have to bow to every other man and have to follow what they say. those wives also had to follow first the Word of God, like for every body it should be the Law of God which has to be followed in the first instance and than the laws of men as long as they contradict not the Law of God. It is by the right attitude the subjective woman can gain the man. Namely that, if any obey not God’s Word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.

MInistry in Contemporary Culture - Does Evange...

MInistry in Contemporary Culture – Does Evangelicalism have a Future? (Photo credit: George Fox Evangelical Seminary)

Those discussing the role of the woman in culture and in the church often also claim tradition as a source of authority. But why then do those Christians not take literal translations from the original Scriptures? Should English speaking people not be translating their English Bibles from the LXX since that is what the early church (not to mention the writers of the NT!) considered inspired?

Some of these same Evangelicals boldly proclaim that every book that we have in our canon as Protestants (and onlythe set that we have in our canon) is without error. Again, where does that leave our sisters and brothers from the early Church (or the Eastern Orthodox tradition which uses the LXX)?

writes Garret Menges in Rethinking Scripture.

A brief survey of the history of the LXX raises some questions about the way we view Scripture today. For example, is the LXX inspired Scripture even though it’s a translation of a more original textual tradition? If not, then are the fragments that have made it into our NT inspired? Were the scribes who translated Isaiah, for example, quickly taken up in the Spirit while contemplating how to translate the Hebrew word for “young woman” only to have the Spirit leave them shortly after the translation of that single verse?

To make matters even more complicated, the earliest copies of the Hebrew text we have are those of the Masoretes from the 7th to 11th centuries CE. The Masoretes, being faithful preservers of the oral tradition of the Scriptures that were passed on from generation to generation, decided that it was time their tradition be put on paper and so they transcribed the documents that we use today for the translation of our own English Bibles. The fact that we consider the Masoretic Hebrew text to be the authoritative version of the OT is based on the (not small) assumption that the Hebrew oral tradition was indeed successfully passed down from generation to generation completely untarnished. In fact, modern Christian translators are so committed to this assumption that we overlook the fact that the LXX predates the Masoretic Text (MT) by over 1,000 years! Could it not be argued that even though the LXX is a translation of a more original textual tradition it nevertheless ought to be considered more reliable than the MT simply because of its much earlier date of composition?

Men and women should look into that matter and get to know what the Holy Scriptures can tell them about their positions they do have to take.
They should get to remember where the words came from in what sort of language and how that language was used. Getting to know the proverbs of that language they should get a fluid and organic understanding of what Scripture is to begin with. Many may think lots of fallible and errant human beings were involved in “making up what some consider to be an infallible and/or inerrant group of texts.”

Though we should trust the Higher Being who let His Words to be written down for future generations so that they could learn from it. We should look at Jesus who kept to the Words of his Father and considered Them to be set apart (holy) and inspired, bearing witness to the God many believe was fully revealed in the person of Jesus. but those who take Jesus to be God look over the Words of the Father who calls that Jewish man His son and not Himself. It are doctrines like the Holy Trinity, twisting of the Words of God, church teachings of flat earth a.o. things people did have to believe which undermined the credibility of the Holy Scriptures.

To say it is authoritative means that as a body of believers we are committed to reading the text and rereading it, both devotionally and liturgically, wrestling with it, discussing it over a meal, and maybe even at times disagreeing with it but never, despite all the frustrations it may cause us, doing away with it. In other words, the authority of the Bible is not something it inherently holds but is something we grant it as the Church. The Bible is authoritative because we say it’s authoritative and we need no reason beyond that. And none of this has anything to do with whether or not there are any mistakes in the Bible or if it’s scientifically or historically accurate or if the virgin birth was based on a mistranslation.

Mistranslation or not, people should always go and look what is behind the words, written in black and white,or some also in colour ink. then they would find out that the Bible is not as difficult to read and understand as they first thought. When willingness is there to take the words for what they say, everything shall become clear, and than people will see that the Bible always told the truth and brings a message to believe in, giving us enough indication what to do with our life, how us to behave and which roles we do have to take.

Man can find solutions and guidance for their position and should be aware of the role the Creator had for each of us, men and women.

+

Please do find:

  1. Younger Evangelicals and Women in Ministry: A Sketch of the Spectrum of Opinion
  2. Housewives of God
  3. How Evangelicals Have Shifted in Public Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage
  4. What The Bible Says About The Role of Women
  5. Rethinking Scripture

+++

 

  • Wayne’s World Without Women Pastors (bltnotjustasandwich.com)
    Wayne Grudem’s and Barry Asmus’s book may fall into the hands of women who are church leaders, even pastors, in poor nations.
    +
    As we move out from the church and the home we move further from what is fairly clear and explicit to what is more ambiguous and inferential…. When it comes to all the thousands of occupations and professions, with their endlessly varied structures of management, God has chosen not to be specific about which roles men and women should fill…. For this reason we focus (within some limits) on how these roles are carried out rather than which ones are appropriate.
    +
    The godly women portrayed in the Old Testament are always seen as submissive to the leadership of their husbands. In fact Peter sees a pattern in their behavior that Christian wives should imitate, for he says, “For … Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord….”
  • Dear White Christian Leaders, Don’t Do It. (davidswanson.wordpress.com)
    Last week brought disheartening news from white-evangelical-church-world. A well-publicized men’s conference was reported to have used both women and gay people as punchlines to jokes told from the stage. And, in An Open Letter from the Asian American Community to the Evangelical Church, a group of influential Asian American Christians pointed out a bunch of instances of racial stereotyping by different evangelical conferences, publishing houses, and pastors. For those paying attention – and/or on the receiving end of these offensive and marginalizing stereotypes – it seems impossible that these things keep happening. How is it that many Christian leaders of the evangelical-ish variety are continuing with language, images, and assumptions that are so unloving? It’s crazy, right?
  • Staying Married Is Not About Staying in Love, Part 1 by John Piper (davidandleahweathers.wordpress.com)
    what it means for a Married couple to Truly be “One Flesh”, as God commands Marrieds to be in Several places in the Bible, starting in Genesis 2:24. Becoming One Flesh is what we Strive for in our own Marriage. But while we hear lip service paid to it, the high divorce rates, as well as the way we see Marrieds treat each other– even among professing Christian couples – suggest that it is indeed lip service only. Finding an example of a True “One Flesh” union is nearly impossible!
  • Responding to the Gay Agenda (rethinkingtheology.com)
    The first thing you may want to do is to familiarize yourself with the details of the “gay agenda” (click HERE). Then think carefully about the components of it and ask yourself if the society envisioned by the homosexual apologists is the kind of society you want for yourself, for your children and for your grandchildren. Do you want your children and grandchildren to be indoctrinated and recruited into an abnormal, unnatural, immoral lifestyle that is inherently harmful to their health and will not produce grandchildren and great grandchildren for you to enjoy and love? Do you want our churches to be infiltrated by their heretical and damning theology and filthy morals? Do you want to be punished legally for merely disagreeing with them?
  • New controversies in Evangelical theology (patheos.com)
    Evangelicals today are being torn by some major theological controversies.  The debate between Calvinists and Wesleyans is getting more and more heated.  Then there is a related debate between “Traditionists,” who believe Christians should hold onto the traditions of the historic church (particularly the decisions of the early church councils0 and the “Meliorists,” who reject holding onto traditions and believe the church can get better and better.  The Calvinists tend to be Traditionists (who themselves can be divided between “Biblicists” and “Paleo-Conservatives”) and the Wesleyans tend to be Meliorists.
  • Church History (daltonmoore116.wordpress.com)
    The body of Christ suffers when believers are not accountable to each other and when they are not saturated in the Word of God, both inside the church and outside the church. I feel this way because in my opinion so many of the problems that the church faced throughout history, specifically in theology, could have been avoided or handled better if believers were accountable in their walks. Now whether or not this was truly the case I am not sure, but one thing I do know is that time spent in the Word and accountability are crucial in the walk of a Christian and without them problems are inevitable.
  • “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Redesign): A Response to Evangelical Feminism” (graceandphysics.wordpress.com)
    “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Redesign): A Response to Evangelical Feminism”

    This studies the role of the man and woman in a biblical manner: more complementarian, and therefore hierarchical, or egalitarian? I really want to read this book… I have no idea what it will say or what God will show me through it, but yeah. I really want to read this book.

  • Qumran Pt 2: Why do the Dead Sea Scrolls Matter? (glanier.wordpress.com)
    Though scholarship is still unfolding even today regarding the Scrolls’ origins, interpretation, history, etc., we at least have the benefit of over sixty years of perspective to evaluate the findings. That said, the Scrolls can be a bit of a hot-button issue (both in the scholarly world and the church), so I will try to be as balanced and critically sensitive as possible. I will cover three main topics and my standard concluding set of implications:
  • How the Early Church Sought to Resolve Textual Variants (str.typepad.com)
    Dan Wallace of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts has an interesting article offering evidence that the transmission of the New Testament text wasn’t merely linear—that is, it wasn’t like a child’s game of “Telephone” (or “Chinese Whispers,” for our European friends), where one person tells the next person, and he tells the next, and so on.
    +

    By the middle of the second century, when canon conscientiousness was on the rise, the Christian community regarded the autographs, or at least the earliest copies of the New Testament documents, as important witnesses. They were concerned about the purity of the text with regard to select textual variants. Most likely, this implies that the copying of the manuscripts in the early decades of the Christian faith was not that of strictly linear descent (one copy of another copy of another copy). Rather, there would be times when at least a few scribes would want to check behind their exemplar and look at its exemplar. This would especially occur whenever a disputed reading cropped up. So, there seems to have been a bit of a check on the quality of the transmission of the text from very early on.
  • Men and Women: Equal yet Different (hillsbiblechurch.org)
    Gender is important because God created male and female (Gen. 1:27).
    +
    Some men have either become domineering or passive, whereas some women have become usurping and bought into the lie of a false sense of liberation. The truth is, only the Word of God provides a right understanding of gender. Such an understanding will provide true liberation as men and women function as God designed.