Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by adjensen
Hello there, my old friend and opponent. I would like to ask you why it is so important to you that Jesus should have been a bachelor. I know you
haven't said that's important to you, but your earnest activity on this thread indicates (to me, at least) that it is.
No, it isn't all that important, theologically. I think that it would be for some people, and I think that it's fine to think it important, though
it isn't for me. To your quote, while there was definitely a movement towards total abstinence for all Christians in the Third Century (witness the
tale of poor Thecla in The Acts of Paul
,) I don't think it was considered an orthodox belief. Clement, rule maker that he was (one has to
admire someone who writes a whole chapter on the subject of wearing shoes, eh?) still has a reasonable mind on marriage.
We ask if we ought to marry; which is one of the points, which are said to be relative. For some must marry, and a man must be in some condition,
and he must marry some one in some condition. For every one is not to marry, nor always. But there is a time in which it is suitable, and a person for
whom it is suitable, and an age up to which it is suitable. (Source)
I think here, Clement is clearly making the statement that marriage is neither a duty, nor is it something to be avoided. For some, marriage is fine,
for others, being single is fine, but his underlying message is that sex, outside of marriage, is not fine, and that the purpose of sex, within a
marriage, is for pro-creation, not recreation. Does that make him a prude? Well, yeah, a bit of a killjoy, but it doesn't make him a hater of
No, my issue with this "discovery" is not whether I think it matters if Christ was married, or not, but because I'm going to spend the next five
years replying to people who say "Christ was married, it's been proven!" and then use that as the basis for no end of Dan Brownisms, misstatements
of history and misrepresentations of Christianity.
My perspective is that we have a fairly wealthy amount of documentation that is silent on the matter of whether Jesus was married or not, which tends
towards the assertion that he was not (it is not, for example, silent on whether the founder of the church, Peter, was married.) This is contrasted
with a scrap of papyrus the size of a business card, with an incomplete saying that could be anything, found in a region, in a language and from a
time that plants it right in the middle of Gnostic Christianity.
And yet, any number of people will use said scrap as evidence in an argument that doesn't really need to happen.