5 reasons why we want to believe Jesus was married

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"Laughing Jesus" by Fred Berger. This image appeared in Playboy magazine decades ago. Photo courtesy of Paul Smith

"Laughing Jesus" by Fred Berger. This image appeared in Playboy magazine decades ago. Photo courtesy of Paul Smith

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(RNS) A new claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married (and had kids!) has been widely dismissed by experts. But that won't be the last we'll hear of this theory. Here's why.

  • Fran

    Marriage is a common part of life of mankind, but definitely not the purpose of Jesus, the son of Jehovah God (Psalms 83:18).

    Jesus’ purpose was doing that of his Father, or God’s will, to give his life as a ransom sacrifice for all imperfect mankind to get rid of imperfection and sin we have inherited (John 3:-16). God’s purpose is for mankind to live forever on a paradise earth.

    Jesus’ purpose was also to break up the works of Satan (1 John 3:8). So Jesus’ purpose was not to get married and have children!

  • rob

    YES LUTHERAN SATIRE has a answer for such silly claims.

    Lutheran satire presents
    shock horror JESUS WIFE

  • thierwasnojesus.com

  • The Biblical text tells all that is necessary to know about Jesus – his life, death and resurrection. There is no basis whatsoever for Jesus being married. Believers should be guided by God’s Word, which should close all arguments within the church on matters such as these. The Authority of Scripture, however, is meaningless to non-believers – who will jump on whatever flavor of the month, theory or new ‘revelation” that comes along. They are free to speculate and theorize all they wish – unbridled by the Truth of Scripture. But, there is no place for any that within the Body of Christ.

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  • Mikehorn

    The human part of Jesus often gets downplayed, and many people like that part of the story best. If he was not completely human the crucifixion means nothing. The divine part already waters down the sacrifice: a couple years hard work (if wandering with friends is hard work), a miserable 3 days? Most humans suffer far more, and emphasizing the divine part that went back to divine after three days almost seems adorable rather than pitiful. I’ve deployed to combat zones a few times. I’ve seen worse than what Jesus lived.

    But a real man that farted and drank and felt lust and knew the love of a good woman? That is more interesting than an eternal God that had three bad days.

  • rob

    Your comment shows you have no idea what so ever what Jesus had to go through for you and me.

    You’ve been to a combat zone whoopee for you.

    Jesus has been to every combat zone there ever was that sinful humans CAUSED and deserved.And its nothing compared to what a sinless Jesus had to go through.

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  • Jack

    MikeHorn, you’ve said nothing. Nada.

    And you’ve failed to address the only question that really matters about anything:

    Is it factual? Yes or no….

    Was Jesus who He said He was?

    Yes…..or no….

    If He was, and thus is, then compared to Him, you have no idea what suffering really is.

    If the Gospel story is true, then He literally felt the suffering of every person who has ever lived, as well as the penalty for their misdeeds.

  • Jack

    A childish article, to be sure…..

    Some of the writers on this site really need to grow.

  • Jack

    Mike, you sound more like a wannabe than the real deal. You’re probably a gender-studies instructor at some community college.

    As for your theology, keep your day job. If Jesus were human alone, that would be human sacrifice, which is an abomination.

  • Barry the Baptist

    And if he was a manifestation or facet of an omnipotent and eternal being, an author of all creation, a writer and enforcer of the rules and penalties which are fundamental to reality, then there was no real risk of loss in what he did. Therefore, there was no sacrifice.

    So, which is it?

  • 1. Biblical archeology is undertaken to prove Biblical “facts”. And, lo, what is sought may be interpretted as having been found.

    The Nag Hammadi library and Dead Sea scrolls represent alternative kinds of Judaism and Christianity that existed before their destruction over time by the Catholic church. Any and all so-called works of heretics were to be destroyed, and almost all were. (Although, heretical beliefs and writings were diminished over many centuries, catholic and protestant alternative views continued to arise, and still do.)

    2. All religions and Gods are created in the image of the culture they arise in. All religions and Gods are modified over time as believers interact with other cultures and incorporate new ideas/interpretations. Otherwise, anyone following Jesus the Jew would probably be Jewish, as was James, the brother of Jesus, leader of the Jewish followers of Jesus in the Jerusalem church after Jesus’ death.

    3. Jewish males, for the most part, were expected to marry and produce children. However, sometimes parents of a first child (first fruit, so to speak) consecrated their first child to God and/or the Temple. They were called Nazars. They didn’t marry, cut their hair, drink wine or eat meat, etc. Some people believe that John the Baptist was a Nazar and that Jesus was as well.

    4. Instead of “love of conspiracies”, I would point to “love of puzzles”. The story of Jesus has been told and retold and modified numerous times. There is no “original” version of this story told by anyone living at the time of Jesus or by a follower of Jesus. There are so many discrepancies in the Bible, I don’t understand how some people can believe these writings to be “the inerrant word of God”.

    5. Feminists may choose to believe variants of the Mary Magdalene story in which she was a female disciple of Christ (one whom he loved more than the other disciples), one of the only disciples who remained with him as he was crucified, the first to see him after he “arose” and the one Jesus asked to inform the other disciples.

  • Jack

    The short answer, “Barry the Baptist” (better not tell your mother that you “converted”), is that yes, it was quite a sacrifice, because Jesus could feel pain, and because, if he literally took on the sins and pains of the human race, the whole ordeal must have been behind comprehension.

  • Jack

    @Rowena Kitchen

    1. Regarding the Nag Hammadi discovery and Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi did nothing to disprove the four Gospels of the New Testament while the Dead Sea Scrolls did plenty to prove the scribal accuracy of today’s Old Testament.

    The Nag Hammadi writings were written at least a century after the New Testament gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, and at least seventy years after John’s gospel. Unlike the gospels, the Nag Hammadi writings were based on gnostic beliefs that were radically at odds not just with the New Testament but with anything recognizably Jewish or recognizably Old Testament. Gnostics believe matter was either illusory or an evil thing created by an evil god. Contrast that with the Old Testament which proclaims matter the good creation of a good God.

    2. Your statement that all religions were created in the image of the cultures they arose in is quite a sweeping statement, and can be a fancy way of saying that humanity created God rather than vice versa. That’s simply an assumption. You have no way of knowing that.

    3. While most Jews were married, not all were. Jesus was obviously among those who weren’t. There is no indication, though, that He was a Nazir.

    4. You are mistaken in saying that there are no stories about Jesus told by original followers of Jesus. The gospel of John is clearly the work of one such follower. The earliest traditions say it is, and the writer evidences an extensive knowledge of the people, places, customs, and nuances of both the Galilee and Judea of first-century Israel before the Roman destruction of 70 AD. It is also written from a Galilean perspective, and with an insider knowledge of the goings-on of Jesus and his original 12 apostles. Moreover, there is a special attention paid at various points to the rivalry between John and Peter, with the writer coyly siding with John on a couple of points.

    Tradition also claims Peter is the source for Mark’s gospel, and there are good textual reasons to believe it, according to at least some biblical scholars.

    It also attributes Matthew’s gospel to Matthew, one of the 12.

    Most important, all four gospels were first-century writings, including even John’s Gospel.

    And no, there are not “so many discrepancies” in the Bible. In percentage terms, they are quite small, in fact much smaller than one would expect of 66 books written by a few dozen people in various times and places over a period of about 15 centuries.

    5. What can we say about Mary Magdalene that hasn’t already been said? The 4 original gospels in the New Testament give us no indication that Mary Magdalene was married to anyone, including Jesus, and the Nag Hammadi documents were written a century later, long after the generation of Jesus had passed from the scene, and lack credibility because their gnostic belief system was diametrically opposed to that of first-century Jewry, from the Pharisees and Saduccees to Jesus and the apostles, as well as to the Creator as portrayed in the Old Testament.

  • Fellow Christian

    I honestly am a fellow believer, but i admittedly get a bit picky when i see people say things like, “all we need to know about Jesus, we know from the Bible.”

    As Christians, we need to be able to back up our claims, so my question to a statement like yours is “which Bible?”

    Most of the modern translations are off of a KJV or Geneva variant, which are pretty consistent, but there are earlier Bibles that were very different. They included different books, and had different messages.

    The only reason we have the books in the bible we do today, and not any of the apocrypha, or other books we’ve discovered is due to one early Christian father that thought the books we have now should be included, and the rest forgotten about. Do you know who he was? Do we trust him with something this important? Should we concern ourselves with those that disagreed with him and why they did?

    I could go on, but i’ll stop and just ask again, which Bible do you believe is infallible, and why?

  • John P. S.

    Since I agree with Jack’s reply to ROWENA KITCHEN, I shall not go into those details. What I want to highlight is about how people’s assumptions as well as subjective predilections mar and demolish objectivity in thinking. We are expected to be open and let the texts speak to us!
    Another point often forgotten in interpreting the biblical texts is the fundamental difference of the role the Church had when the Gospels, for example, were written. The living primitive Church was normative for the process of writing them, whereas now the Gospels and the Bible as a whole is normative for the life of the Church. This crucial, and so to say, the contradictory roles should be taken into account in interpreting the biblical texts!
    John P. S.

  • deigloria

    Correct. And well said.