Married to Magdalene? Jesus & Celibacy

Married to Magdalene? Jesus & Celibacy February 14, 2020
Married Jesus?
Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara in ‘Mary Magdalene’/IFC Films

Married or not?—how does Jesus relate to priestly celibacy and to Mary Magdalene?

Married clergy ain’t going to happen anytime soon. Papa Francis, disregarding the Amazonian crisis in light of more menacing problems, just took a tip from his predecessor, Paul VI. That pontiff was called “the Hamlet pope” (“to be or not to be”). His advice? Try to please everyone. By the way, that is the guaranteed recipe for failure. Don’t believe me? Just ask Paul VI and the aftermath of Vatican II.

The bishop in white isn’t going for women deacons despite many the female servant-leaders active in the earliest Jesus groups. We can talk about the reasonableness of that decision some other time. O, what fun we will have.

Married with Problems

But coming back to the idea of married male priests, wowzer. What a powder-keg! Ultraconservatives just blow up about it. But we already have, right now, priests who are male and married in the Latin Rite! And please don’t forget about all those other rites every bit as Catholic as the Latin one where married priests are the norm. And we also have a rich history going back to apostolic times of married servant leaders. So why is this such a non-negotiable?

We claim to be in ecumenical dialogue with the “O” Orthodox side of Christianity hoping for reconciliation… we “C” Catholics better get consistent quick! Priestly celibacy cannot be a Christian essential, folks. And authentic dialogue in the Body of Christ can never be, “You must CONFORM to US!” That attitude is suicide. And the numbers keep dwindling. You’d have to be Catholic to miss this kind of obvious.

But still a loud minority clamors: “If the Church allows priests to marry, this is the END OF THE WORLD!” And Jesus gets invoked as the model of all Roman Catholic priests. O, if only that were true. If only they were in persona Christi truly. If only they smelled of sheep like the good shepherd. Jesus was a lay man. He disdained Levites, Sadducees, and the Urban Elites who ran the sacramental show of his day.

Jesus Married??

But the left has its nonscholarly fantasies too. There is so much speculation purporting to be scholarly in the media for decades now about Jesus of Nazareth and Mary of Magdala. Were they married? Did they have children? Did the Church cover all of this up?

Many times such popular Western  speculation that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene gets presented as historical fact that cannot be doubted. So given the disastrous pastoral response to our brothers and sisters in the Amazon, nothing-people like the Nazarene Jesus, I thought that it might be good to actually test this presumption and see if it holds up to reason and what we can know about the historical Jesus.

No American-style Marriages in Jesus’ Day

Taking a cue from the Context Group of Scholars, I should stress off the bat that Jesus is a first century Mediterranean Middle Eastern male. He’s not an American. This cannot be repeated enough. During his earthly life he wouldn’t think, behave, and speak like an American individualist. When imagining or talking about Jesus, many American Christians (Catholics included) tend to exaggerate Jesus in a Docetic way—that means to think of Jesus as God disguised as a human being. One could argue that this latest move by the hierarchy takes a cue from the Docetic playbook.

On the rare occasion that U.S. Christians (American Catholics included) do think of Jesus as being truly human, unfortunately, we tend to imagine him as a United States person, or someone congenial to our cultural values. If we are going to speculate whether or not Jesus the Middle Eastern male was, in fact, married, a sound starting point to do so would be in a manner that is culturally plausible.

The Middle Eastern part of the Mediterranean culture has not changed significantly in 4,000 years. In the Middle East (both ancient and modern), marriage is the fusion of the honor of two families. The partners are not self-selecting—the individuals merely represent the families. Moreover, marriages are arranged, commonly between first cousins (father’s brother’s daughter; or mother’s brother’s daughter, or some such relationship). Mothers privately arrange the marriage (usually not long after birth). Fathers announced it at puberty to the public.

Get the Culture Correct

So if we are talking about the MENA (Middle Eastern North African) personality Jesus of Nazareth getting married, we have to limit ourselves to what is plausible there, in his world, not in ours. Who would have arranged Jesus’ marriage? Jesus’ mother together with the other women in Nazareth, of course. But here we encounter a problem.

Married to Shame

Remember that historically and culturally speaking, Jesus’ origins were dubious, scandalous, and shameful. The people in Nazareth refer to the Markan Jesus as “son of Mary” (Mark 6:2-3)—this is against the Middle Eastern custom of identifying a son with his father’s name, for example, Sirach 50:27. Why would they identify Jesus with his mother’s name? That’s strange!

One culturally plausible reason is because they were not sure exactly why Jesus’ real father was. Again, Mary’s pregnancy was dubious, shameful. Catholics need to put aside over a thousand years of sentimentality and devotional freight when considering this. “Mark,” even though he doesn’t give an infancy narrative, seems to have preserved this bit of information that the villagers all knew that nobody was really sure WHO Jesus’ father was.

“Matthew” in chapters one and two DOES give us an account of Jesus’ origins and infancy—at it’s a Mediterranean tale of terror. The author of “Matthew” has to go to great lengths to calm his Mediterranean audience down as he relates Mary’s discovered pregnancy and Jesus’ shameful origins. Mary, a Middle Eastern woman, was found to be pregnant—think about the horror of that, for a moment.

Suspected Bastards Stay Single

And even in the Fourth Gospel, the document we call “John,” recalls Jesus’ shameful origins. There we see an interesting exchange in chapter 8 (vv 31-59) between Jesus and Judaeans concerning the topic of fathers, sons, and bastards. Basically the Johannine Jesus insults the Judaeans, saying, “You all can’t really be Abraham’s sons, because you don’t do the things Abraham did.” So he calls them illegitimate, an insult that gets you murdered in that part of the world. And Jesus’ interlocutors retort, “We are not bastards! We have one father, God!”

Then Jesus’ fellow Israelites in John 8 say basically “Look, we know your origins. Why are you telling us that we are not Abraham’s progeny? C’mon, Nazarine! We know something about you!” So, short and sweet, it was common knowledge that Jesus’ origins were dubious, scandalous, and shameful. The Gossip Network spread it everywhere, and people asked, Is he illegitimate? Who was his father? Wasn’t his mother pregnant early?

Taking this dishonorable status into consideration, ask yourself: what woman in Nazareth would want to arrange with Mary a marriage with her son of dubious and dishonorable origin? How would that bring honor to their families? Think also—what cousins were available for Jesus so that the fusion of honor between two families, i.e., Middle Eastern marriage, might happen (see the above video)? What was the advantage to each family in such a union? Again how would it increase their honor rating? If Jesus’ origins were “dubious,” what would another family gain from joining Jesus’ family?

Jesus the Social Deviant

Beyond this we have multiple attestation that Jesus appears to have committed Middle Eastern social suicide. Apparently, Jesus seems to have moved away from his home and kinship network in Nazareth, really the only place in which he COULD gain a wife. Since it is impossible for a Mediterranean to exist without a group, when Jesus died to his Nazareth-self, he joined up with the coalition of John the Baptist. To do something like that in the ancient Mediterranean is to be deemed a social deviant. But par for the course, right, considering his dishonorable origins?

Later, Jesus went to live briefly in the house of Jonah, Peter’s father, in Capernaum. This happened when John died. Ask yourself—How did Jesus then relate to his birth home and family and kinship network in Nazareth and his new home in Capernaum? How would he marry someone outside of his kinship network?

Considering carefully all of these things, don’t you think that on cultural grounds it is probable that Jesus was not married? How would the Middle Eastern Jesus take care of his wife and family with no connection to his own family of origin?

Turn off the Movies, and Think

People living today exposed to American culture are inclined to romanticize things with Jesus and see him as an American. A Bible scholar friend of mine, the late John Pilch, used to ask his university students each semester – “How many of you have read ‘The Da Vinci Code’?” All the hands went up. Then he would ask, “And how many of you have read the Bible?” Most of the time, no hands went up. Except fundamentalists.

To think of Jesus as someone asexual, or even antisexual (thank you Kitsch religious art) is an injustice to God’s creation of sexuality. It undermines the Incarnation and our salvation also. The Fathers teach us well: that which is not assumed, is not redeemed. Either Jesus is fully human, and was therefore a sexual human being, or we are not redeemed. Remove the sexual aspect of Christ’s humanity and you dump an essentially Christian basis for human redemption and salvation.

We Christians believe (or at least profess to believe) that Jesus is fully human. We often parrot this in verbal orthodoxy without soaking in its ramifications. What does it mean that Jesus is fully human? One of the things it means is that he had sexual desires and understood the sexual struggle in a human way. Sorry Augustine, but not all appetitiveness is evil or sinful.

It is not unreasonable to accept that Jesus subordinated (not “suppressed”) the genital expression of his human sexuality as he proclaimed the Theocracy (Kingdom of God). But let’s not kid ourselves—be human is to live our humanity in a culturally-specific way. The kind of marriage available to Jesus’ time was an ancient Israelite arranged kind, and since no elder did that for him in Nazareth, it was not a possibility for him.

Insights from a Catholic Priest

Taking a cue from the late Richard McBrien, I can think of three other arguments contra to the suggestion that Jesus was married:

  1. The canonical Gospels, the pre-Gnostic Sayings Gospel of Thomas, “Q,” “M,” and “L” are all early and are silent about Jesus being married.

  2. The earliest New Testament Jesus groups, even the widower Paul, seem to be against weddings due to their ardent expectation in the immanent arrival of the Theocracy. It’s not a second century anti-sexual recontextualization, but rather that Mediterranean weddings are taxing events, inappropriate in a time of Cosmic warfare and upheaval (which they expected in the forthcoming Parousia). But what if Jesus himself had been married? Perhaps this would have modified their views.

  3. Paul invokes his right to take a wife “as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Kephas” (1 Corinthians 9:5). Okay… So why doesn’t Paul drive his point to home-base by appealing to Jesus’ own marriage? That would really support his argument! But he doesn’t. Why? Probably because Jesus was not married.

Marriage and Emotional Bonds

It’s important that American individualists understand that Jesus was not an American individualist/post modern/romantic person. The weakest emotional bond in the Middle East is that between husband and wife. Undoubtedly, Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a much stronger bond than that of married couples from their cultural world. In the Middle East, the strongest emotional bond is that between mother and first born son. It is only rivaled by that between brother and sister. And that, my friends, is probably how Jesus and Mary Magdalene related to one another in the Jesus Movement.

Final Thoughts

So some takeaways. Jesus wasn’t married, not because he had a vocation to be a Second Millennium Latin Rite priest. Likely he wasn’t married because of his shameful origins which prevented anyone arranging his marriage. Scream all you want about that, Romantics.

Our Church history is messy. Our understandings of human sexuality and clerical celibacy have been and continue to be messy. That’s okay. God works in the mess—such is the way of love. We don’t have to dump disciplines, but let’s listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches. Let’s not mistake disciplines for dogmas, and neither for God—the worst idolatry is a mental idolatry.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ame

    I had posted this in response to another blog post, but it is applicable here:

    It is an important point to consider the implications of the necessary changes to Roman Catholic Rite culture that would be needed to support a married priesthood. It’s one thing to have a majority of celibate priests with a handful of former Anglican married priests being ordained, but to open up a flood gate overnight will surely cripple the Roman Rite resources to support parishes, and I am not just talking about money here, but the expectations and divisions of serving the laity. The Roman Rite needs to get with the program to give a salary to the permanent diaconate, instead of expecting such deacons to hold a full time job on top of everything they do. The Roman Rite will have to change the seminary process to include the discernment of wives, possibly the priest’s older children because priests that are ordained celibate will not be allowed to marry later on. The family has to be called to a vocation of making sacrifices of the priesthood. That’s no small task. And just as important, who will marry men feeling called to the priesthood? Other than the occasional exceptional woman, the Eastern Rites would tell you that the daughters of married priests are best accustomed to such a life. And we know that just because a married man feels the call doesn’t mean he necessarily has a vocation to the priesthood or is suited. The woman who is eager to serve the Church as the wife of a priest must also be okay with the possibility that her husband may end up discerning out of seminary. What then?

    If the discipline of a celibate priesthood is to go from ordinary to extraordinary status, be prepared for the Church to make the process deliberately slow and incremental. It’s too big and important of a change to go about it haphazardly.

    —-
    So nevermind the Latin/Roman Rite elitists, I can understand if Pope Francis sees the making of a married ppriesthood into the ordinary discipline as an undertaking he is not equipped to pursue. Despite his efforts, he barely has a handle on addressing the sex abuse scandal itself.

  • Pope Francis did not disregard the crisis.

    He only asked for more creative solutions.

    If my facebook account is any indication, my suggestion is:
    1. 4000 scholarships to deserving young men in Africa to go to seminary
    2. 4000 houseboats converted to contain a chapel, a rectory, and a food bank
    3. Anchor the 4000 houseboats, one per river mile, in the Amazon basin.
    4. Send the Seminarians there for their internship year to say daily Mass, with the idea that they’ll raise enough money to increase the numbers of priests in the region.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    Jesus was a Rabbi. He taught in Temple. Unmarried Rabbis are like chicken teeth, extremely rare and almost legendary. IMHO, this celibacy thing was an organizational move to keep Male decisions from being questioned…after all, Rome set little score by mere females and this is Roman Christianity (i.e. the Roman State Religion with new names for local deities who were now called “Saints”). Basically, it’s classic juvenile male hostility to females writ in Biblical terms (the Hebrews weren’t all that honorable either). Nowadays, if you’re Catholic and a priest, if you get married you can’t be part of the local religious Catholic Club which is “Boys only”. Pope Francis is running into this problem with the main Church because all the “Boys” in charge don’t want no nasty “Girls” in their little clubhouse.
    As you may guess, I’m not very tolerant of Misogyny in religion.
    Any God with a gender is too small a deity to bother with.

  • God is a way to believe anything you want, without reason!

  • Richard B

    We don’t know, and I personally don’t care, whether or not Jesus was married. Our faith in Him is not contingent upon such theological speculation. Who really cares about this? Let’s get on with being faithful to him, and stop all this nonsense.

  • Ken Herman

    Some of us believe that Jesus did not marry because he was gay. I saw no mention in this article about the male disciple “who Jesus loved.” Of course, to say this was his orientiation is not to say that he engaged in sexual activity–we simply do not know one way or the other. But a gay Jesus surrounded by an essentially
    male cadre is not an illogical position. If you are a homophobe, however, it is no doubt frightening. That does not make it illogical, of course.

  • Tom Hanson

    Fellowdyinginmate has an interesting and plausible argument, I think, but you also have a sound argument, with the nature of the word Rabbi, and marriage. But you also have a problem. Yours is the the history of rabbis, who only really became The persons in Judaism well after Jesus made his mark. and after Jerusalem fell to the Romans and the Temple was destroyed. The priesthood (Levites) also were certainly mostly married, But we have only guesswork about the priesthood and any possible bachelors, and the same thing can be said of Rabbis before Jamnia. and I think perhaps somewhat beyond that. It’s one of those questions in which you roll dice for probability of contradicting evidence: Speculation.

    Woops, this should have been for Kyllein MacKellerann “

  • Tom Hanson

    Fellowdyinginmate has an interesting and plausible argument, I think, but you also have a sound argument, with the nature of the word Rabbi, and marriage. But you also have a problem. Yours is the the history of rabbis, who only really became The persons in Judaism well after Jesus made his mark. and after Jerusalem fell to the Romans and the Temple was destroyed. The priesthood (Levites) also were certainly mostly married, But we have only guesswork about the priesthood and any possible bachelors, and the same thing can be said of Rabbis before Jamnia. and I think perhaps somewhat beyond that. It’s one of those questions in which you roll dice for probability of contradicting evidence: Speculation.

    Woops, this should have been for Kyllein MacKellerann “

  • Ame

    There is also the speculation that the disciple whom Jesus loved had just barely crossed over the age of the majority according to the Law (which is 13…imagine a thirteen year old boy taking up a call like this) of Moses and may have looked to Jesus as a father figure. And if that disciple really was John the Apostle, well he was the younger brother of James the Greater.

  • Ame

    It’s an idea but surely you understand that plucking Africans from their culture and landing them into the cultures of the indigenous Amazonians is going to be disastrous without additional support and training.

  • vmelkon

    Aren’t facts important here? Facts such as who was Jesus? What was he like as a child? Was he just an ordinary jew or the supreme ruler of the universe?

  • vmelkon

    You forgot something. If Jesus was a bastard, it is possible that Marry Magdalen was also a bastard and they decided to get married.
    Also, I thought that according to the bible, Joseph decided to marry Marry and to cover up for her.
    Matthew starts off with a long list of names. The father had that son, that guy begats another guy…..until it reaches Joseph.
    I think it is in John that you have a different list. Apparently, one list is the line of Joseph and the other is for Marry. A kind of double wammy.

    So, there is this kind of idea that the savior of the jews has to be from the line of David.
    From the point of view of a non-jew, who cares. Does any christian really care who his forefather was? After all, he is suppose to be a god. He could choose to be born in a chinese family, or koala, or giraffe or anything.

    The Bible is also strangely quiet about Joseph. What happened to this guy?
    What happened to all of the family members of Jesus? His half-sisters, full sisters, cousins. Shouldn’t there be people alive today that are related to him. I am thinking that either there was no Jesus or he was simply not significant or his entire family rejected him. We can only speculate until someone invents a time machine.

  • vmelkon

    I remember from the Atheist Experience (that’s a show that they post to youtube). Quite often I hear the hosts ask the callers “Why do you believe in that particular god” or a question like that. The answer from the caller : “I have faith.”.
    The host asks: “Can’t faith be used to believe in anything? It is a nothing-answer. You aren’t giving a real reason.”.

  • vmelkon

    Personally, I think the 12 apostle thing is none-sense. The numbers 3, 7, 12, 40 and numbers based on those appear often in the bible. The are magical numbers for the jews and also other cultures. I think that there were way more than 12 followers (apostles).
    And obviously, jewish culture is more male centric. Most of the prophets are males. The males often have names while their wifes and daughters are nameless. Adam is given a name quickly. For Eve, it just says woman until a few paragraphs later when we suddenly learn her name is Eve. Then, it mentions the name of their 2 boys. No mention of female names.

  • Richard B

    I’m not exactly sure as to what facts you want. To me, Jesus was an ordinary man of his time and place who did extraordinary things. What was he like as a child? Unfortunately that information is hidden from us. This is sad. Supreme ruler? I personally believe this, but Jesus never claimed to be a supreme ruler. Perhaps we’re confused about terminology. What I do believe is that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am convinced of this by my personal experience of his action in my life.

  • Joris Heise

    I like your way of thinking. I too fight the Docetism so common in American religious folk, especially Catholics. I find your arguments not only persuasive, but enlightening how, in reaction to the more amoral culture of Rome and to some extent Greece, the early christian writers would find abstinence a counterweight to the prevalent culture…leading gradually to a law rather than a culturally conditioned practice.

    Secondly, I just finished reading the first half of a curious book, “the Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy.” This academic and well-researched book advocates priestly celibacy because a 4th century synod of African bishops said it was apostolic,as did a contemporary pope (Siricius) writing to Spanish Bishops–the earliest evidence of the thesis of the book. (Which is pretty darn weak!).

    But, throughout, the book assumes that sex is a bad, weak, sinful thing, emphasizing how it came to be that priests, bishops and deacons were no longer to have relationships with their spouses because they “touched the holy instruments” and because the Jewish priests during their year-long service in the temple were kept from their wives.The book assumes that celibacy is the opposite of something wrong,at least contaminating. I notice both the cultures of the time, and St. Augustine’s role in viewing sexuality from his perspective, seem to set a pattern of seeing sex as something intrinsically bad–necessary for procreation, but essentially tainted with sin.

  • Fellow Dying Inmate

    Thank you for your words, Joris!

    Secondly, I just finished reading the first half of a curious book, “the Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy.” This academic and well-researched book advocates priestly celibacy because a 4th century synod of African bishops said it was apostolic,as did a contemporary pope (Siricius) writing to Spanish Bishops–the earliest evidence of the thesis of the book. (Which is pretty darn weak!).

    Agreed. Weak! Many ancients assumed the human condition had a static quality. If something is local in their time, say like a discipline linked with an augmented memory of how one’s community founders operated or practiced, then that is surely THE way it must be done. It was FITTING that was how it was done from earliest times. Therefore it MUST have been done in earliest times. And it is also sort of like the family wondering why mom always cuts the beef roast into two parts, and roasts them in two different pans. Mom says, “Grandma always did it that way. So that’s how we do it!” And then consulting grandma, she affirms, “My grandma always did it that way. That’s why I did it!” And one day a cookbook gets discovered dating from almost two centuries back, kept by great-great-great-great grandma. There is the recipe for a beef roast, and in the margins the old cook has scribbled, “Don’t have a pan big enough… cut it.”

    But, throughout, the book assumes that sex is a bad, weak, sinful thing, emphasizing how it came to be that priests, bishops and deacons were no longer to have relationships with their spouses because they “touched the holy instruments” and because the Jewish priests during their year-long service in the temple were kept from their wives.The book assumes that celibacy is the opposite of something wrong,at least contaminating. I notice both the cultures of the time, and St. Augustine’s role in viewing sexuality from his perspective, seem to set a pattern of seeing sex as something intrinsically bad–necessary for procreation, but essentially tainted with sin

    .

    Our understanding of sexuality has been disastrous from the second century Jesus groups recontextualizing Paul to champion Gnostic and Monastic practices. And even Paul must be understood in cultural context.

    Thank you for this response brother!

  • Fellow Dying Inmate

    You forgot something. If Jesus was a bastard, it is possible that Marry Magdalen was also a bastard and they decided to get married.

    Except that it didn’t quite work like that, and what would motivate the both of them getting married? Romantic feelings? Again, the weakest emotional bond in that world is between husband and wife. The strongest is that between mother and first born son, rivaled only by that between sister and brother. It is pretty obvious that Mary Magdalene and Jesus had a strong emotional bond. So that would mean… not what we post-modern Westerners would understand.

    According to “Matthew” Joseph and Mary were married: they were betrothed, their marriage arranged by their parents. “Matthew” is a high context document. But before Joseph took Mary into his (father’s) house, she was found to be pregnant. Horror story! Joseph doesn’t like any of the options before him. But in an altered state of consciousness, a new possibility is presented to him as well as the revelation that his taking Mary and claiming the boy as his own (a LIE) is all part of the plan. So Joseph pretended like nothing happened. Took Mary. They celebrated at least a week, At some point Joseph and Mary disappeared. When they returned, they revealed to the whole village present a blood-stained sheet (FAKED). So they lied. None of the guests were fooled by this deception, but no one would dare speak out (because then the machetes come out).

    “Matthew” and “Luke” give two, irreconcilable genealogical “honor pedigrees” for Jesus. Both are patrilineal (not matrilineal = not through Mary). The names don’t match. Both were made up. In this world, nobody gets a childhood or genealogy unless and until after they die they become famous. I’d say the Resurrection did that for Jesus, handsomely. So decades after it’s time to give Jesus a proper genealogy.

    So, there is this kind of idea that the savior of the jews has to be from the line of David. From the point of view of a non-jew, who cares. Does any christian really care who his forefather was?

    For first century Israelites, ask two about the Messiah and what the Messiah is, and you will get at least three answers. “Messiah” in the first century was like Heinz 57 varieties. The one similarity was that somehow “Messiah” was connected to Theocracy, and was therefor a political religious title.

    It is true to ask: why would a non-Israelite care about an Israelite messiah? But recontextualizations happened. As traditions spread throughout the Mediterranean, they took on new contexts. Meanings expanded. Christians like myself believed that God worked in all that messiness. Modern people, many Christians, get bored to tears reading through those honor pedigrees = genealogies! But not our HONOR-SHAME ancestors in the faith! To them, that was one of the most exciting features of the Gospels called “Matthew” and “Luke:”.

    Actually we have early sources from over a century past Jesus’ days referring to Jesus’ relatives in Nazareth who, of course, kept having children and had descended to that time. I think we can do more than speculate about some of these matters. There is abundant evidence that Jesus existed.

  • Fellow Dying Inmate

    Some of us believe that Jesus did not marry because he was gay. I saw no mention in this article about the male disciple “who Jesus loved.”

    The categories of straight, gay, bi, and aesexual, and others, as applied today are of recent vintage and of good reason. They reflect personalities living after post-Industrial, romantic times = introspective individualists. Heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual personalities are recent phenomena and this is easy to see WHEN you begin to think of these sexual persuasions in overly simplified ways (e.g., heterosexual = likes opposite sex). The Bible is silent on homosexuality as we know it and experience it today. Same with bisexuality and heterosexuality. Indeed, no one is heterosexual in the Scriptures because no one is a post-Industrial, post-modern introspective personality there. In order to have such persons, you need the rise of economies as the focal social institution and the challenges in lifestyle brought on by the Industrial Revolution and Romanticism. It wasn’t until social interest turned to persons as individuals and their individualism (RARE in the history of the world and most recent!), that sexual orientation was disjoined from gender.

    So it is quite accurate to say Oscar Wilde was homosexual, but not that King Leonides of Sparta was (even though he would have had fast companionship and sexual intercourse with older and younger male warriors). It is also true to say that the Bible says NOTHING about Oscar Wilde and his proclivities. Wrong context.

    Read up on Paul and Homosexuality here

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/829e/fdcdc83a572c61607c9c981ad4513db511ef.pdf

    and part two here

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/49d1/5fef3660663dbe4683113a65c822a5934c99.pdf?_ga=2.75496983.401671698.1582141118-690077296.1582141118

    Of course, to say this was his orientiation is not to say that he engaged in sexual activity–we simply do not know one way or the other.

    Love is sticky, ingroup glue to the collectivistic personalities authoring and populating the pages of our Mediterranean library called Bible. As said in the essay above, the strongest emotional bond in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds of antiquity is that between 1) mother and firstborn son and 2) between sister and brother. They weakest is between the married man and woman due to arranged marriages and biblical marriage being between families not a couple.

    If you would like to know what the unique Johannine expression probably referred to and who the Beloved (Attached) disciple was, see here:

    https://youtu.be/o9hCax-5Uew

    By the way, is the only kind of love romantic love? For anyone to think that, be they hetero, gay, bi, or whatever, would be grossly ethnocentric to Western 21st century culture. And even here that doesn’t work.

    A gay Jesus, or a straight Jesus, is an illogical position because Jesus being an introspective individualistic personality is impossible.

    If you are a homophobe, however, it is no doubt frightening. That does not make it illogical, of course.

    I do agree brother that homophobes, that abound in Western Christianity, are terrified of seeing Jesus in ways beyond their culturally congenial boxes. And they distort Jesus too, and make of him a spokesperson for their idealized autobiographies.

  • vmelkon

    It is pretty obvious that Mary Magdalene and Jesus had a strong emotional bond. So that would mean… not what we post-modern Westerners would understand.

    You don’t think it is possible that they were in love?

    I’m not saying that is what happened. It’s just a possibility.

    Again, the weakest emotional bond in that world is between husband and wife.

    If in the old world, the man and woman had no choice but to marry each other (we can be certain that the woman has no choice) then yes, they have no emotional bond together, no love for each other, and the woman was a property of the man.

    So Joseph pretended like nothing happened. Took Mary. They celebrated at least a week, At some point Joseph and Mary disappeared. When they returned, they revealed to the whole village present a blood-stained sheet (FAKED). So they lied. None of the guests were fooled by this deception, but no one would dare speak out (because then the machetes come out)

    Well, the last time Joseph is mentionned is in paragraph 2 and also jesus is a Baby.

    Matthew 2:23

    And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be

    fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be

    called a Nazarene.

    There is really not much in the Bible. Starting from Chapter 3, suddenly, Jesus is an adult.

    He can create lots of fish and bread but can’t create paper and ink.

    So, there is no mention of blod stained sheet. Where did you read that from?

    For the geneology line thing, apologists suggest that one line is from Joseph and another for Marry however and that is why there is a difference between them (they match up for a few names and then they are different and the one of the list is shorter than the other), the geneology is just males. Why would the geneology contain Marry?

    Modern people, many Christians, get bored to tears reading through those honor pedigrees = genealogies! But not our HONOR-SHAME ancestors in the faith! To them, that was one of the most exciting features of the Gospels called “Matthew” and “Luke:”.

    I still don’t see the point. If the goal for the jewish god is to come in the form of a human…. and finally get killed and save all humans, then, why would I care who his forefathers are because those guys aren’t his forefathers at all. They are just bags of sperm.

    Also, from David to Jesus (Matthew 1.1), there are 27 people (Including David and Jesus).

    from David to Jesus (Luke 1.1), there are 39 people (Including David and Jesus).

    Therefore, probably there are thousands of jews from the line of David.

    Which one of those guys will be the messiah and when is he coming? How could the jews know who it is?

    I didn’t know that there was text about Jesus’s relatives. There is the infancy Bible and the book of Jubilee. I have not heard of other books.

    I have heard that the originals of all of these text have degraded away a long time ago. All that we have now are copies of copies.

  • Kieran Mahon

    Your insistence that Jesus MUST have a sexual orientation in order to be human is inherently flawed in that it flat-out erases the existence of asexual people, and worse, implies that asexual people AREN’T HUMAN, simply because they don’t experience sexual desire. Which, in my opinion, is incredibly cruel and not at all a Christian thing to do.

  • Fellow Dying Inmate

    Your insistence that Jesus MUST have a sexual orientation in order to be human is inherently flawed in that it flat-out erases the existence of asexual people, and worse, implies that asexual people AREN’T HUMAN, simply because they don’t experience sexual desire. Which, in my opinion, is incredibly cruel and not at all a Christian thing to do.

    Aesexuals are not celibates. It would indeed be ignorant or worse to insist that all personalities were as post-Industrial, post-Modern introspective individualists are. As I posted elsewhere, the sexual orientation categories of heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, aesexual, and others, as applied today are of recent vintage and of good reason. They reflect personalities living after post-Industrial, romantic times = introspective individualists. Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and aesexual personalities are recent phenomena and this is easy to see WHEN you begin to think of these sexual persuasions beyond overly simplified ways (e.g., heterosexual = likes opposite sex). No one is heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or aesexual in the Scriptures because no one is a post-Industrial, post-modern introspective personality there. In order to have such persons, you need the rise of economies as the focal social institution and the challenges in lifestyle brought on by the Industrial Revolution and Romanticism. It wasn’t until social interest turned to persons as individuals and their individualism (RARE in the history of the world and most recent!), that sexual orientation was disjoined from gender.

    What precisely do “love” and “hate” mean in the Mediterranean world of the Gospels? What do they mean in the Bible? Since Jesus and his contemporaries were not at all introspective, Western psychology cannot help us. The attention was focused primarily and exclusively on external actions. These people were anti-introspective. All this applies to sexual persuasion.

    So far be it from me to say that either US introspective Western personalities (e.g., aesexuals) or anti-introspective ancients are not human!