Saturday, 22 September 2012

Jesus' Trouble & Strife

Honey, I'm home!
Jesus was, according to some with vivid imaginations, joined at the hip to Mary Magdalene.  I believe something like has long been taught (unofficially?) in the Mormon church (though presumably Mary-Maggie was only one of the fortunate floozies in his polygamist harem), and then more recently there's been Dan Brown's thoroughly fictional and hugely over-hyped pot boiler The Da Vinci Code.

Traditionally Jesus has been considered too drenched in the Holy Spirit, what with being interpenetrated by the other members of the Holy Trinity, to have had any bother whatsoever with rising testosterone.  Not exactly the bachelor-messiah, according to the church of my early adulthood...  No he was already spoken for: he married the Church.  Holy mangled metaphor!

Now along comes Karen King with an unprovenanced swatch of Coptic text to stir it all up again.  The biblioblogs have been full of it, but two stand out for me.  Leading the charge among those who find all this deeply unconvincing is the inimitable Jim West.  And it certainly seems the vein of sceptisism (as we spell skepticism in Her Majesty's dominions) dominates among those in-the-know.

But just to keep us all on our toes, James McGrath throws a pitcher of slightly chilled water over all those jerking knees with a thoughtful post of his own.

What fun.


  1. Not news. We all know that Jesus had and has a wife. He is married to the Church.

    1. As I said in the post Larry - the bit you don't seem to have read - "holy mangled metaphor!"

  2. In my Dominion of Her Majesty, Canada, it is "skeptic". (And Wikipedia reports that there are groups called New Zealand Skeptics and Australian Skeptics.)

    John Halford once wrote in the PT that Mexicans have a saying, "Poor Mexico, so far from God, so close to the United States". Canadians can understand exactly what that means.

  3. The text contains the fragment "My wife...." Taking the queue from John Stewart who poked fun the the conclusion of scholars on The Daily Show, why couldn't we complete this sentence like this: "My wife is the church." The fact is, the fragment proves nothing. I am not even sure that its provenance would be convincing.

    I recall the days in the WCG when marriage was virtually a sacrament. Guys who were married strutted around like made men and bachelors looked so forlorn. One of the men who now runs his own cult ran a ministerial assitant out on a rail and used to refer to him as "hormones" because he wasn't married.

    Christ's celibacy in the WCG was quickly explained away by the wholly unsatisfying statement "He was married to the church." Nobody seemed to ask any questions beyond that.

    Karen King is doing much more than asserting that Christ may have been married. She is saying that the new testament is suspect and unreliable.

    -- Neo

  4. It can't even be shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus even existed much less being married.

  5. Well, somehow I always liked that memorable Tom Hanks line: "You are the last known relative of Jesus Christ!" (or something close to that).

    There are probably people whose faith would be destroyed if it were proven that Jesus had married and that somehow the Bible had failed to mention such an important detail. But, I kind of like the idea that someone I know in the present might be one of Jesus' relatives. That is, unless that someone ended up being Herbert W. Armstrong! Can you even imagine how he would have milked that???


    1. Think about Jesus' relatives, Bob. In the NT Jesus has brothers and sisters - one brother, James, being the head of the Jerusalem church. So, why isn't anything known about Jesus from birth until he is 12 years old and from 12 years old until he is "about 30"? No one would have asked Jesus' mother, brothers and sisters anything about the details of his life? And, where are those blood relatives today? The church couldn't keep up with them? The descendants wouldn't remember who they were after that first generation?

      People are so gullible...The early church would have known every last single detail of Jesus' life and wrote volumes about it. What with his whole family being members of the church and all and his brother being a big wheel in the church - we'd probably know every detail about them too. After all, they were the blood relatives of the Son of God!

  6. Another embarassment is in Mark where the author has Mary and Jesus brother's come to retrieve him and take him home because he was "beside himself." i.e. nuts. The Mary of Mark seems to remember nothing of Angels and visits declaring him Messiah and all the tales in Matthew and Luke

  7. If I had to speculate, I'd guess the fragment is a fraud. Always so convenient how a small fragment of a larger text has the key words we'd like to find. "Jesus wife" would rank right up there with "Jesus Gay" or "Jesus drunk" We'll see. If he was a Rabbi or Pharisee as some think, he'd have to be married I believe. But as noted, there is little real proof outside of the Bible, the Jesus of the Bible ever really lived. The Apostle Paul certainly didn't speak about any real Jesus of Nazereth or quote him (Gospels written after Paul dead) And early in game we find "John" lamenting that some were arguing that Jesus "did not come in the flesh." That would be about the same timing as saying today, "Elvis never lived on this earth." They must have had some reason to say that Jesus was not really a real human and so soon.