In this week’s Readers’ Mailbag I’ll be addressing two questions having to do with marriage: first, is it possible that Jesus was not actually celibate but was married and second whether the Bible allows for multiple wives and/or husbands. Hot topics!
Why do so many NT scholars (most recently John Meier) state as fact that Jesus took a lifelong vow of celibacy? Wouldn’t it be more historically accurate simply to say that the NT is silent on the topic?
I have dealt with this issue on the blog before but here let me simply give the brief version, by making a couple factual points and then making a specific argument
- No ancient source of any kind indicates that Jesus was married. The recent “discovery” of the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ wife” has been shown to be a modern forgery. No Gospel (or any other writing from antiquity) indicates or even suggests that he had (or ever had) a wife (let alone that he had any kind of sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene)
- Throughout the NT Gospels, the important members of Jesus’ family are mentioned: his mother Mary, his father Joseph, his brothers James, Jude, Simon, and Joses, and his sisters (left unnamed). If he were married, and the authors of the NT mention his family members, why would his wife never be mentioned?
- It is not true, as is often said, that Jewish men in the days of Jesus were always married. For one thingTHE REST OF THIS POST IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY. If you don’t belong yet — you’re losing out BIG TIME!!! Join the blog. It doesn’t cost much, gives lots, and raises money for charity!