Spiritual Resource Services @ Prayergear.com
~ What If Jesus was Married? ~
The question "So what if Jesus was married?" brings us into three important arenas: historical, scientific and theological. First, the historical: It is true that rabbis were typically married, as well as most of the apostles. There was a dispute about early church leaders getting married and St. Paul supported marriage among the ecclesiastical leaders, but, of important note, he did not use the argument (which would have been a clincher) that "after all, our Lord was married." He couldn't use that definitive argument because Jesus was not married. The Scriptures are so honest about human foibles and character defects even among the most esteemed (like King David and Apostle Peter) and would not have hidden in secrecy the marriage of the Christ. What would be the purpose of such secrecy?
Secondly, the scientific: Males have the genetic DNA code of YX while females have XX. Thus Jesus had YX, of course. The Y destined Him as a human male. The X chromosome would typically be contributed by the female egg. If it was provided by the Virgin Mary, His blood would have been tainted with the sin of humanity. (Roman Catholic theology addresses this "problem" with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, that Mary was born without original sin. Recall the statement in Psalm 51, "I was conceived in sin." Given that, it isn't necessary to explain the purity of Christ's blood.) The angel Gabriel made it clear to Mary that she would conceive a son without any sexual relations with a human. As we know, Mary was told that the Holy Spirit would infuse her womb, providing that X chromosome. Since Mary had no intercourse with a human, the YX chromosome of Jesus was provided by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was divine and born as a human, untainted by human genetic disorders. Hence the metaphor of the marriage of the Bride (Church) and the Bridegroom (Christ).
Thus it is erroneous to state that Christ was "part human" and "part divine." The New Testament writers are clear that He was fully human (angels have no YX or XX chromosomes and are thus genderless) and fully divine (not a product of human sexuality), a mysterious synthesis, one that was needed to fulfill His mission as the unblemished sacrificial Lamb. How I wish those who were given permission to study the Shroud of Turin could have been able to do a DNA analysis on the blood stains! (They did get a blood type, the fairly rare AB.) They would have found a human genome that was divinely perfect, a genetic map that would have matched that of the "first Adam" upon his creation. Jesus is referred to as the "Second Adam." The metaphors are rich in truth and teaching.
Thirdly, the theological: The Levitical laws governing the animal sacrifices were adamant that only the purest, unblemished animals were to be offered, a pre-figure of the sacrifice of Christ. He had only one purpose for incarnating into humanity, to be that ultimate unblemished sacrificial Lamb whose blood was without human taint. Sure, He was human and was "tempted in all ways as we, yet He remained without sin." That was essential for our redemption.
Having intercourse with a human would be a nonsensical diversion from Christ's explicit purpose for being on earth. There is no redemptive value in Christ continuing His bloodline through human progeny. The union of Christ's sperm (Y) with that of Mary Magdalene's egg (X) would produce children tainted with the sin of humanity, which is explicitly contrary to Christ's redemptive work. Furthermore, the children of Mary would have to indulge in incestuous sexual relationships to keep the bloodline relatively intact, which would result in birth defects and genetic disorders. Their children would have mated with others with disordered DNA and, after 2000 years, this bloodline of Christ would have been diluted into corruption. There is no divine purpose in having this happen and, frankly, it is a preposterous notion, antithetical to the redemptive mission of Christ.
Christ's purity is crucial to His redemptive work on our behalf. That's why He was so resistant against all human temptations. His sacrifice and redemptive work was offered in purity. Any supposed theories that His progeny lives among us is heretical, nonsensical (historically, scientifically and theologically) and actually stupid -- God's incarnation as Jesus the Christ altered human history. If there are any of His progeny living among us, they certainly have not made any impact on the course of human or salvific history. That's because they don't exist.
As an after thought, the "gospels" that "The Teacher" in the film quoted (i.e. by Philip and others naming Mary Magdalene as a "companion" [spouse] of Jesus) were written a couple of hundred years after the ones we rely upon today. The film claims that these accounts focused on the human nature of Christ. Quite the opposite according to history. In reality, later gospel accounts emphasized Christ's divinity, "clothed" as a human, a product of the Gnostic heresy, a central focus of the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. The Council established standards for incorporating the many "gospels" in circulation into the accepted cannon of the New Testament, one of which that they had to be written by apostles or their assistants who walked and talked with Jesus personally. When the 11 apostles had to decide on a replacement for Judas, their one condition was to elect someone who witnessed the resurrected Christ. Only two were up to vote based on that standard, and Matthias was selected.
Of the four canonical Gospels, only two of the writers were Christ's apostles, Matthew and John. Mark was a contemporary of the apostles and wrote a fast-moving gospel, based on what he was told by the apostles, to appeal to the Gentiles and Luke, the doctor, obsessed with detail, was the chronicle keeper by St. Paul's side, who also wrote the "Acts of the Apostles." Unlike the gospel accounts two hundred years later, these devoted men emphasized Christ's humanity as well as His divinity. But no one was able to do that better than John, to whom Christ entrusted His "Revelation," which completed the accepted collection of the books of the Bible.
As I wrote before, Christians must learn their history. And also the origins of the dogmatic expressions of our faith, so eloquently and succinctly written as the Nicene Creed, completed in A.D. 327.
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
~ Education, Research and Advocacy
in the Christian Faith ~
Spiritual Resource Services © May 22, 2006