Celibacy and Polygamy in the Bible: Weekly Readers’ Mailbag July 30, 2016

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!   QUESTION 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?   RESPONSE 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 Factual points: 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 [...]