There is a lot of buzz about the latest book by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson called the Lost Gospel but I am not going to focus on it as I am sure most of you have already heard the news and have made up your minds about the issue. If you haven’t read the reviews already there will be a list of links to click on right beneath this sentence to get other people’s opinions on the subject
http://www.simchajtv.com/ (Jacobovici’s official website)
I am sure you can find other news articles talking about this latest entry in the Jesus marriage theory. We all know he wasn’t married but I am going to look at this topic today and use James Tabor’s Was Jesus Likely Married for this examination. You can read the context here: http://jamestabor.com/2014/11/11/was-jesus-likely-married/
#1. If you ask most New Testament scholars the mantra is a firm and dogmatic “No”–there is not a shred of historical evidence that he was ever married or had children–the very idea is baseless speculation at the best and cheap Holy Blood, Holy Grail/Davinci Code sensationalism at the worst.
This is correct. Jesus was not married nor did he have any children. His example does not mean that marriage is unchristian or wrong or that sex inside of marriage is sinful and should be avoided. If he had children outside of marriage he would not be the Savior or the Messiah, that sin would have disqualified him. You know the rest.
The idea of a Christ bloodline is a deception and there is no truth in it.
#2. This of course ignores the strongly dogmatic theological reasons the church clings to this day to an Ever-Virgin Jesus, parallel to a non-sexual Virgin Mary. The Holy Divine Son of God, and surely his Virginally Pure mother, never had sex.
Tabor alludes to one of the heretical doctrines the Roman catholic church holds to about Mary never having sexual relations. We know that that is not true but the RCC does teach that idea.
We would have a problem with the RCC as the Bible mentions his brothers and sisters.
#3. In fact there is strong textual evidence that at least hints if not affirms that Jesus was married–and most likely to Mary Magdalene.
Leave it to Tabor to go against the grain and make such a claim. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in all areas of life and I have come to the conclusion that Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ pre-marital temptation. The way the text reads leads me to that conclusion, we do not find any other women as close to Jesus as she was in the biblical text and since he did not marry that leaves that one option. I do not get where Tabor can say there is ‘strong textual evidence’ supporting the idea that Jesus married because there is nothing in the Bible even remotely alluding to that theory. it would take a lot of biblical gymnastics to twist the scriptures into supporting a married Jesus.
#4. If Jesus had been celibate Paul would surely have appealed to him as his main example
We must ask, if Jesus was married, why didn’t the Bible tell us so? Surely it would have been an important event since it would affect his Messiahship? And Tabor is wrong to appeal to Paul’s words concerning Jesus’ marital status. We should consider what marriage would do to Jesus’ purpose for coming to live on Earth. Paul was not using himself as an example for the Christian life, he was making a personal wish
7 [c]Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am (1 Cor. 7 NASB)
#5. Second, in our earliest record of Jesus’ burial in Mark, the mysterious Mary Magdalene shows up out of nowhere, not only listed with Jesus’ own mother and a group of Galilean women, but clearly given first place and prominence. It is Mary Magdalene–above even Jesus’ mother or sister–who takes the lead in the Jewish burial rites for the corpse of Jesus–both washing and anointing his naked dead body.
This is reading into the text what is not there. Here is the passage in question
When the Sabbath was over, MaryMagdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. (Mk. 16:1 NASB)
Being listed first really doesn’t have the significance scholars place upon it. We have no biblical teaching indicating that practice. We also have no indication who took the lead, all we have is a passage telling us of Mary M’s involvement in the anointing. The passage does nothing to signify any marital involvement and again that idea is read into the passage not taken out of it.
#6. This is an intimate honor and a duty reserved for ones closest relatives–particularly ones wife, mother, aunt, or sister.
First, exceptions can be made. Second, it is possible that the other family members invited MAry m to come along, there is a whole realm of possibilities why Mary m was part of the group. For all we know she had a romantic unrequited love for Jesus and the other family members knew about it and were helping her cope. What scholars intimate doesn’t mean they are correct because different families view traditions differently.
#7. She appears and then disappears–though in John she is clearly the lone “first witness” to Jesus’ resurrection as well. Her disappearance is as strange as her sudden appearance.
This is not strange because the Bible is not about her. We need to be content with knowing that Jesus overcame temptation and use him as our aid when we face the same situations. We should not be twisting scriptures to make the Bible say something it does not.
#8. But then Mary Magdalene surfaces again in some of our 2nd and 3rd century gospels, as a prominent female leader, intimate companion of Jesus, and bearer of “secret” revelations. How is this to be best explained?
But the supposed 2nd and 3rg century gospels are not inspired words of God. They are heretical works meant to distort what truly took place in the 1st century when Jesus was alive. They are not presenting new information about Jesus or his life but providing false teaching in hopes of deceiving those who refuse to accept the truth.
#9. What one must always bear in mind is that the documents of our New Testament are overwhelmingly written in the 2nd generation of the movement, a decade or even several decades after Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans in 70 CE–after the original followers of Jesus are either scattered or dead–including Peter, James, Mary Jesus’ mother, presumably Mary Magdalene, and even Paul
This is just not true. We do not know exactly when the books of the NT were written but critics favor a late date because they can aid their unbelief by doing so and make the accusations that the disciples or people who knew them did not write those books. They want to take away the spiritual connection in order to make the NT a human sourced book and not a divinely inspired one.
#10. What we get in the case of Mary Magdalene are hints of her prominence, but also a muting of her status and role.
Another fabrication as Tabor is another person who does not agree with the biblical role for women.
#11. Something is clearly going on here in terms of Jesus and his family and its prominence in the movement prior to 70 C.E.
Uhm…no. But even if there was such a prominence, it still isn’t evidence that Jesus was married. In fact, Tabor failed in presenting any textual evidence to support his initial claim that there was. Nothing he quoted points to a marriage between Jesus and Mary M. Eisegesis, inference, alluding to and so on are not real evidence but personal desire and rejection of the truth.