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[XTalk] Jesus and Celibacy (was: Eunuchery for the sake of the kingdom of heaven)

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  • Jeffrey B. Gibson
    Nathan McGovern wrote: [snip] ... Er .. could you please tell me what Jewish religious movements contemporaneous with early Christianity besides the Essenes
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 6, 1999
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      Nathan McGovern wrote:

      [snip]

      > To touch back on the original subject of this thread, however, I think it
      > much more plausible that Jesus was celibate, or at least that he preached
      > celibacy. This would fit better with Jewish religious movements of the day
      > (especially the Essenes, which share many--though not all--characteristics
      > with early Christianity). That's why I wondered whether there is
      > linguistic backing for a claim that Matt. 19:11-12 goes back to Jesus.

      Er .. could you please tell me what Jewish religious movements contemporaneous
      with early Christianity besides the Essenes (if indeed even they advocated what
      you claim, at least as a lifetime posture) emphasised/practiced/demanded celibacy?

      As to the question of Jesus being celibate, I would urge you to have a look at the
      book _Was Jesus Married?_ who not only shows that your claim about Jesus celibacy
      being in tune with Jewish religious movements of his day is unfounded, but makes a
      pretty strong case that the picture of Jesus as celibate, let alone as advocating
      celibacy, is extremely unlikely, has no basis in history, and is in fact a
      distortion of the truth.

      Yours,

      Jeffrey


      --
      Jeffrey B. Gibson
      7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
      Chicago, Illinois 60626
      e-mail jgibson000@...
    • Nathan McGovern
      ... OK, you caught me. I made a bit of an overstatement. Actually, the Essenes are the only group that we can be sure of advocating celibacy (and, yes, I do
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 6, 1999
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        Jeff Gibson wrote:

        >Nathan McGovern wrote:
        >
        >[snip]
        >
        >> To touch back on the original subject of this thread, however, I think it
        >> much more plausible that Jesus was celibate, or at least that he preached
        >> celibacy. This would fit better with Jewish religious movements of the day
        >> (especially the Essenes, which share many--though not all--characteristics
        >> with early Christianity). That's why I wondered whether there is
        >> linguistic backing for a claim that Matt. 19:11-12 goes back to Jesus.
        >
        >Er .. could you please tell me what Jewish religious movements
        >contemporaneous
        >with early Christianity besides the Essenes (if indeed even they advocated
        >what
        >you claim, at least as a lifetime posture) emphasised/practiced/demanded
        >celibacy?

        OK, you caught me. I made a bit of an overstatement. Actually, the
        Essenes are the only group that we can be sure of advocating celibacy (and,
        yes, I do maintain this claim based on War 2.8.13--I hope I'm not
        misinterpreting it). There are other groups in the "seven Jewish
        sects"--the ones that the Church Fathers can't agree on the identities
        of--that may have advocated celibacy, but we can't know this for sure.

        >
        >As to the question of Jesus being celibate, I would urge you to have a
        >look at the
        >book _Was Jesus Married?_ who not only shows that your claim about Jesus
        >celibacy
        >being in tune with Jewish religious movements of his day is unfounded, but
        >makes a
        >pretty strong case that the picture of Jesus as celibate, let alone as
        >advocating
        >celibacy, is extremely unlikely, has no basis in history, and is in fact a
        >distortion of the truth.

        Thanks, I'll check it out. I would like to point out, though, that the
        issues of celibacy and marriage are technically different; just ask
        Gandhiji (not meant to imply that the issues of *lifelong* celibacy and
        marriage are different in Jesus' culture). Actually, I think that Jesus
        may have been married to Mary Magdalene or some other woman.

        Shalom,

        Nathan

        Nathan McGovern
        Franklin and Marshall College
        nm_mcgovern@...
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