Monday Mid-day Theological Poll? Divine Matrimonial Edition

Was Jesus married during his lifetime?
[poll id="123"]

Please post your reasons for your answers below (also, ideally, pictures from the reception).

Comments

  1. Token Average Member says:

    I said no but I may have meant yes. He was doing something during that time prior beginning his ministry. Also, if we need to be married to go to the celestial kingdom, wouldn’t he need to be married to do that as well? After all, he got baptized to show us that we needed to be baptized, or at least so I am told. But I can’t imagine he would have left his family behind when he began his ministry and surely they would have been there after he was crucified. Oh, I am so confused!

  2. Yes, he was married. He would not have been taken seriously by the Jews of his day if he were a single man.

  3. I have a lousy reason for voting “No.” This past weekend I re-viewed “The DaVinci Code” and noted how much I enjoyed the notion that Jesus was married and had a child and that this secret had been kept for two millennia. I had even stronger feelings when I read the book. As I analyzed those thoughts, though, I suspected they came from my general nature to try to be a non-conformist (without much success, I’m afraid). I also noted the position of our church that proposes an open canon of scripture – the premise that there is much we still don’t know about Jesus or his gospel. That idea falls in line with my preference to non-conformity.

    But then I concluded that this might all be wishful thinking on my part and there really doesn’t seem to be evidence of his marriage (except that interesting person depicted in the seat next to Jesus in DaVinci’s “Last Supper”). I once had an institute instructor propose his belief that Jesus was married “because there is no evidence in the scriptures that he was NOT married.” But I was taking a logic class simultaneous with my institute class where I learned that No Proof of the Contrary is a fallacious argument. Come to think of it, maybe this reason isn’t so lousy afterall.

  4. Damn those spices and condiments!!!

  5. Julie M. Smith says:

    I don’t have strong feelings on the subject, just strong objections to one commonly-used piece of evidence:

    “Well, he spent a lot of time around [name of woman]. She must have been his wife if she had that important of a role to play in his life.”

    Um, no.

  6. To be exalted you have to be married. Vicarious temple work required the gates of hell to be opened by Jesus and someone to do the work on earth. Jesus wasn’t vicariously married during the 3 days but was exalted. QED He was married before his birth.

  7. I voted no. You can throw the Hebrew language argument at me (i.e. Rabbi infers he must be married), but I still think that Christ led the way in much more who we should strive to be, and not necessarily what we are physically supposed to do.

  8. 6: Clark, I’ve seen a lot of genealogy submitted to FamilySearch with vital events given in precisely that order.

  9. um Clark (#6)…don’t you mean before his death? But yeah, I’d have to agree that you’re general logic is pretty sound.

  10. Ben, I was taking into consideration that he died and was vicariously married. I was pointing out that was impossible. But yeah I tend to think he was married and probably to Mary Magdalene although the reasons for that tend to be trickier and are related to certain ordinances I’ll not discuss here.

  11. Question: is the really a theological question or a historical one?

  12. Ardis, you have people submitting genealogy from prior to the death of Christ?

  13. I believe that Christ had a specific mortal role to fulfill; as we understand it, that did not need to include marriage, and I don’t think that God’s going to be so inefficient if it’s not necessary.

  14. Kevin Barney says:

    I voted no. I’m open to the idea, and as a Mormon I certainly find the notion appealing. I just don’t think there’s enough evidence.

  15. John Mansfield says:

    Of course he was married! Otherwise, all his children were illegitimate.

  16. I voted no based on the scriptural record but it would not surprise me in the least if he was married.

  17. I vote no, just because I hate QED theology. We have too much of it.

  18. S.P. Bailey says:

    It is interesting that insufficient evidence is the justification behind so many “no” votes. This poll clearly needs a “maybe” option.

  19. I vote that he was married. I like the anecdotal evidence and want it to be true. He sure did spend a lot of time with Mary Magdalene, and who was it he first appeared to? :-)

  20. I vote yes with an exclamation point. A Jewish man age thirty-three? Of course he was married! I actually think the Da Vinci Code thing is quite intriguing, though not persuasive. (I can suspend disbelief only so much.) Kevin, I will bet you five Celestial dollars (which are worth much more than earthly dollars) that I’m right and you’re wrong. We’ll settle it in the next life.

  21. StillConfused says:

    Jesus is supposed to be perfect. Marriage is part of the eternal order. Wouldn’t that mean he was married. Not much was spoken of women / wives back at that time.

  22. Isn’t the real question how many wives? At least that’s what it was to 19th century Mormons. Another group of people who, like most, had a need to make Jesus fit their particular vision of life. Not that we’d ever do that today.

  23. I voted no as well. I, like others here, don’t see enough evidence.

    Also, the problem with the “you can’t be exalted without being married” logic is that Jesus was already exalted before coming here.

  24. No he wasn’t Geoff. He was fully God and he was perfect but he wasn’t exalted as he didn’t have a resurrected body.

    I should note that if you accept MMP then my QED doesn’t follow since you can have more ordinances done after you’ve died.

  25. Eric Russell says:

    The question isn’t whether, it’s how many.

  26. I vote for option 3: He was in a civil union. (Which the church does not object to)

  27. Didn’t the Adam-God theory allow for the possibility that Jesus had already lived a life on another earth before He came to this earth as Savior?

  28. Yup, that’s part of why I brought up MMP Jim.

  29. Norbert (17) on the Bloggernacle we have a name for QED theology.

  30. On behalf of those of us that aren’t “in the know”:

    MMP= ? multiple mortal probations?
    QED= ??

  31. John Mansfield says:

    Could some of you explain why, when required to opine yes or no, that no is your position due to lack of evidence? It seems that applies to both positions equally. If a poll were worded “Was Jesus unmarried throughout his lifetime?” would you respond “No” to both that question and to the one that was posed?

  32. KSL reported on May 16, 2006, that the LDS Church released a statement regarding the question, “Was Jesus married?” The question had arisen in the context of The Divinci Code film release.

    According to the Church spokesman:

    “The belief that Christ was married has never been official Church doctrine. It is neither sanctioned nor taught by the Church. While it is true that a few Church leaders in the mid-1800s expressed their opinions on the matter, it was not then, and is not now, Church doctrine.”

  33. Stapley, well yes, but there’s lots of things that aren’t official Church doctrine that are in an other sense… Ask the Church Spokesman about Second Anointings for instance and ask if they are an official teaching. I think there’s far more evidence for the necessity of Jesus being married given our theology of ordinances than there are for many other theological beliefs that are quasi-official.

    Jim, MMP = Multiple Mortal Probations. In it’s loose form it includes BY’s Adam/God theory but in a broader form includes Heber Kimball’s theory of reincarnation for everyone who doesn’t receive exhaltation. Needless to say it is an out of the mainstream view.

    QED is a philosophical term. It’s short hand for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” or that you’ve demonstrated what needed to be proved.

  34. I don’t know what MMP is. But if He was an MMA fighter, his strategy would be “ground-and-pound.”

  35. John, I think those arguing for lack of evidence are pointing to historic evidence rather than theological evidence. That is there is a reasonable distrust of theological arguments in this regard since it may simply be that the premises of the theology are wrong. In this case the theology that ordinances need done prior to judgment. I’d say that this theological point is pretty key to Mormon theology and that most of our theology of vicarious ordinances makes little sense without it. But given our flexible theology it is a reasonable criticism to make.

    Even though there certainly are many traditions of Jesus being married and even though Magdalene’s place in tradition is odd to say the least and even though most Jewish teachers needed to be married to be taken seriously the fact is that there is no positive evidence for Joseph being married. The fact is that we really don’t have much positive evidence for nearly anything about Jesus. A skeptic could argue that much of the history was created long after the fact and may not reflect that actual events well.

  36. I voted no. Of course, there is little evidence either way, but I just don’t like the idea of our savior being married. I tend to see my spouse as someone who is more special to me than everyone else (and for whom I would do more than for other people) and that view of marriage conflicts with my idea of a Christ who has equal love for everyone. Actually, there is nothing that says Christ has to love everyone equally – I just like the idea of Christ being fair and equal in his love towards everyone. Family, on the other hand, tends to privilege some people above others.

  37. Natalie, but if we are to become Christlike yet remain married wouldn’t it be encouraging that it is possible to have the special relationship of a spouse yet that one can love others perfectly?

    This to me is ultimately the strongest argument for a married Christ: that he is the type for what we are to become. Of course this is also where the problem is. If marriage is so important and Christ typified a perfect marriage why isn’t it married? I guess one could get conspiracy theory minded ala Nephi and say it was one of the things removed by those folks with Platonic views of materialism.

  38. nasamomdele says:

    Nothing supports the theory that Jesus was married.

    It’s possible, but there is no support fo the idea.

  39. …except for the arguments raised by more than half of the commenters thus far, which I choose not to address.

  40. I think Christ is a type or example for us only in the most broad sense. None of us is expected to literally quit our day jobs, go around the countryside teaching and then get murdered when we are 33. There’s nothing literally in Christ’s life for me to follow as a middle-aged paper pusher with several kids and responsibilties. But that doesn’t mean he’s not an example of how I should conduct myself as a middle-aged paper-pusher with kids and responsibilities. In other words, he can be an example of Gospel-centered marriage without actually being married as well. (Additionally, I recall the scripture says “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church” — not even as Christ loved his wife).

    I think it diminishes Christ a bit when we expect him to have done everything that we are asked to do. In a sense, we end up playing the role of Pharisee again —- demanding that Christ follow the laws he transcends.

  41. I don’t think it theologically necessary that Jesus was married. But I tend to believe he was, probably from reading Anthony Burgess’ Jesus of Nazareth. Burgess makes him a widower. Very convenient–the social benefit of having been married, but no obligation to financially support a wife during his three-year period of teaching.

  42. Interesting question and even more fascinating answers. I have no idea personally, but find myself leaning toward the no answer. I have an opinion that if you live a perfect and sin free life, HF lets you slide a little bit on the details… -

  43. I voted yes.

    I just got done reading the Gospel of Mary Magdalene (which pretty much claims that she was) and the Gospel of Phillip (which suggests it).

    I can dig it.

  44. If Christ never experienced marriage in mortality, then his mortal ministry could not truly be called a learning experience in “how to succor his people”:

    “For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” –Heb. 2:18.

    But he never lived as a sexual being? I mean, come on!

    What kind of an outreach mission is that?

  45. To S.P. Bailey,
    Yes or not Yes. There is no maybe. Wuss.

    To everyone else,
    I think it is a theological question because there is precious little historical evidence one way or the other. The kicker (for Mormons and other Christians) is what a married Christ means for theology.

    Possible preview of next-week’s question (not really):
    Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute?

  46. Adam Greenwood says:

    I don’t konw.

  47. “But he never lived as a sexual being? I mean, come on!”

    The Gospel according to Gob.

  48. Latter-day Guy says:

    I dunno. But, if he had kids, would they be 1/4 gods in mortality? Would they have superpowers? Could they turn water into weak beer, but not manage a cabernet sauvignon?

  49. Bro. Jones says:

    Voted no, for reasons given in #49, #37, and my own personal conviction given my reading of Jewish Sabbath worship texts that He will marry at the Second Coming, as a symbolic reconciliation with fallen (and now redeemed) Israel.

  50. Do you have to be married to be a sexual being?

  51. Bro. Jones says:

    Think I left a comma or dash out. I meant to say:

    my own personal conviction–given my reading of Jewish Sabbath worship texts–that He will marry at the Second Coming, as a symbolic reconciliation with fallen (and now redeemed) Israel.

  52. I vote no, just because I hate QED theology.

    Here I am stuck with QEII and her 60-years-old Prince Charles, and you’ve already progressed to QED.

    How long before we get to 500?

  53. While touring the nearly-complete Porto Alegre temple, I was stunned to see this painting dominating the Bride’s Room:
    heavenly being visits a woman.

    It was a little later that I realized the painting didn’t depict Christ and Mary.

    So you can’t take that as evidence that Mary was Christ’s bride, only that all brides are mothers-to-be. KA-POW!

  54. How could He have suffered all things if He didn’t have a wife?

  55. Mark B., we passed 500 an hour and a half ago.

  56. …or in-laws?

  57. I see nothing in any of the LDS canon that indicates that Jesus was married. I conclude therefore that He was not married–given that marriage is such a core part of Mormonism, the scriptures would mention it if He was married.

    His never married in mortality state means He can understand the pain of being single (and often lonely) in a largely married Church. Perhaps He can also understand how hard it is to be celibate (for a gay or straight individual).

    Or perhaps He was indeed married, but divorced. That way He could understand the pain of being divorced in a Church that discourages divorce. And, having been divorced, He chose not to remarry.

  58. Adam Greenwood says:

    Or bloggers?

  59. we end up playing the role of Pharisee again —- demanding that Christ follow the laws he transcends.

    Umm. What?

    You’re saying Christ transcends the law in the sense he doesn’t follow it? Aren’t there pretty compelling reasons to think that not the case? And that wasn’t the Pharisee problem anyway. Their problem was (as portrayed by the NT writers anyway) hypocrisy.

  60. A married Jesus makes more sense to me than a single one. Why wouldn’t he marry?

    It wouldn’t shock me to find out that He even lived/lives the principle.

  61. The theological argument doesn’t hold water with me one way or another. I’ve always heard the argument about Jewish custom and expecation (cf. Dan in #2 and Margaret in #20) and sometimes from people that seemed credible. I’m interested that Kevin and Julie don’t seem convinced by that argument given that they know a lot more about the New Testament than I do. Would someone care to respond to that argument or point me to the comment I missed?

  62. Jesus was not married during his mortal lifetime. He wanted to, but the Galilee dating scene was a real drag. He attended a Jerusalem singles branch for a while, but was required to leave when he turned 30.

  63. Oops, that sentence came out like a sleight of Dan and Margaret, but I didn’t mean it that way at all, sorry.

  64. Jacob, the argument to custom is plausible but hardly convincing by itself. That’s simply because there were people who didn’t fit expectation and we shouldn’t assume Jesus did. It is at best one element of a circumstantial case.

  65. I think it would be absolutely terrifying to be married to the Lord. Talk about being unevenly yoked.

    It also presents all kinds of challenges. If Jesus was the physical son of God, and if he had children….then is there a family who can trace their lineage back to “God” on their Family Group Sheets?

  66. Steve Evans says:

    Just Audrey Tautou.

  67. JJ, I needed a good laugh today… that was funny…and in a sense, it also isn’t funny…
    I have to wonder, though, if he was married and had children, where were they throughout his ministry and are they kept secret because they are sacred and would have been crucified along with Jesus if they were openly known? Almost like Heavenly Mother[s] is/are not talked about due to her/their sacred nature… etc.
    I don’t know. I voted yes because we need to be married to be exalted and Jesus told us we should be like Him and follow him. It makes sense that He would set the example. But then I guess if he were to set the example for us in that regard, shouldn’t we also know about it in order for us to follow it? Hmm… so yeah I’m not sure… LOL

  68. JJ I can. It goes

    Heavenly Father Heavenly Mother
    | |
    ===========
    |
    Clark Goble

    (grin)

  69. (Dang, the spacing didn’t work – but you get the idea)

  70. Kevin Barney says:

    Oooh, Steve, I’m changing my vote. Audrey Tautou is indeed divine.

  71. There is indeed evidence of divine ancestry among us, if you know where to look.

  72. It can even be seen that music dancing have a divine origin.

  73. Wow, how did you guys know that I was reading Margaret Starbird’s, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar?
    I highly recommend it (except for the cheesy fictional bit at the beginning). I was told that the Da Vinci Code was based on this book.

    Starbird’s evidence is very compelling, not so much that Jesus was married (she’s said a little more than is here on this thread), but that the early Christians believed it, and passed it on for generations through art, literature, song, and celebrations.

    I’m interested in reading an opposing view, however. Any ideas?

  74. 48- Excellent! My wife and I just watched the 7000 dollar suit episode about 15 minutes ago.
    I’m surprised no one has noted the JST of John 20:17, where Mary Magdelene sees Jesus outside the empty tomb. Christ tells her, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father”. The JST changes it to “Hold me not”. Possibly indicative of JS’s thoughts on the subject. I don’t imagine that ‘holding’ was a common component of Christ’s relationships with the women around him.

  75. In “Beloved Bridegroom” by Donna Nielsen, I like her argument that ancient Hebrew has no word for bachelor, and that marriage was the expected adult state for a Jew of Jesus’ time. Culturally and historically, Jesus would have been married in that time and place. Whether or not he had children could be up for debate, and the resulting posterity’s superpowers etc. But as a saving, exalting ordinance like baptism, I think that he set the example in all things including marriage.

  76. I said Yes because he went firstly to see Mary Magdalen after his resurrection, as every married man would after all the trials and tests of life are over; and ask about the children.

    After the wife, we would then, maybe, see our quorum companions in due time.

  77. Oh, and they did call him a Rabbi, which can only happen when a man is married.

  78. Carlos, I’ll be lazy and not check. (Which often gets me into trouble) But I believe that later sense of Rabbi postdates Christ. Secondly while Jesus is seen as a teacher he doesn’t present himself as a Rabbi. Second there is the question of the Essenes. The connection between Jesus and the Essenes (or to a lesser degree the connection between the Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls) is complex and controversial. My only point is that there was a tradition of celibacy among teachers in Judaism. So just because mainstream Rabbis may have had to be married it doesn’t logically follow that Jesus was.

    The second issue is that odd version in Matthew 19:12. There is a fair argument that this applied to Jesus.

    Now note that I don’t believe these counter arguments are compelling. But they are enough to weaken what was already a circumstantial evidence if you don’t accept the theological argument.

  79. (Sorry, two seconds there I needed a third)

  80. Also, the problem with the “you can’t be exalted without being married” logic is that Jesus was already exalted before coming here.

    So was Adam, for that matter. At least, according to BY, he was.

  81. Nope. Millions of celibate priests cannot be wrong.

  82. In the pursuit of historical or theological evidence I would have to say that there exists more evidence that he was married than he wasn’t. Combine that with the comments of earlier church leaders. Whilst early leaders comments are often brushed aside to ease the doctrinal burden on PR we, I feel, should still take them into account unless they have been directly countered by modern day revelation.

    Personally I feel that we have a Heavenly Mother and this is more accepted in the church than Christ being married. If he inherited all that the Father had wouldn’t he needed to be married?

  83. I would shoot (stab, injure, maim) someone who tried to take my food storage

    When did the poll question get changed?

  84. Sorry, Sara. Apparently, I do not follow BCC poll protocol. Hopefully, it can be fixed soon.

  85. No, Kris did it Wright. John C. is a moron.

  86. A loveable moron.

  87. Not to bring any kind of seriousness back to this thread or anything, but . . .
    I think the correlary to this question deserves some discussion (and maybe it’s already happened).
    If Jesus was married (69% here think so), then how does that affect our understanding of Christianity and Mormonism particularly?
    In Starbird’s book (forgive me for bringing it up again, but I’m still reading it), it means there is much more of an emphasis on the balance between male and female, and the worship of a female deity.
    It also makes me think that a restoration from the apostasy would include a return to the divine feminine (balance, etc), something that I don’t see in Mormonisms version of the restoration.

  88. I voted yes and believe that Jesus had to be married to fulfill all righteousness. However, I stop at him having children. If his Father passed on the power of immortality, thus giving Christ the ability to give up his life and not have it taken, then wouldn’t he have passed on the immortality seed to any of his children? If not, why not?

  89. I love the fact that that I’m the original “Tony” around the boggernacle and every other Tony modifies with an initial. Sweet!

    Just sayin’…

  90. Re: #90- Around the bLoggernacle as well…

  91. I think, Yes. Jesus did married Mary. There are lot of matrimonial proofs in the history books.

  92. “He would not have been taken seriously by the Jews of his day if he were a single man.”

    I’m going to point out here that He wasn’t taken seriously by the Jews of His day.

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