Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Was Jesus Married? by Dr. Avraham Gileadi

As mentioned earlier, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27); “In the day God created man, in the likeness of God made he him: male and female created he them” (Genesis 5:1–2). From this we can conclude that God himself is male and female or man would not have been created in his image and likeness. Also mentioned, the word “God” in the Old Testament (’elohim, pronounced Elloheem) is itself a plural term that literally means “Gods.” So when Adam and Eve partake of the forbidden fruit and God says, “The man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:22), the word “us” is literal. Moreover, the fact that “Adam lived an hundred and thirty years and begat a son in his own likeness, after his own image, and called his name Seth” (Genesis 5:3), implies that Adam was himself a literal son of God, otherwise the prophet would not have used the same terms-- “image” and “likeness”--to describ This puts in perspective a serious mistranslation in the King James Version of the Bible: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels” (Psalms 8:4–5). The Hebrew text, which the KJV translates “a little lower than the angels” (me‘at me’elohim), literally says “a little less than the Gods.” (The Hebrew term for “angels” [mal’achim] doesn’t appear.) A chief reason the Jews sought to kill Jesus was that he claimed “God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18), though Jesus assured them he could do nothing of himself (John 5:30). It is an irony, then, that the unclean spirits whom Jesus cast out recognized him as the “Son of the Most High God” (Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28), whereas the Jews considered him a blasphemer. In response, Jesus quoted Psalms 82:6: “Ye are Gods” (’elohim ‘atem), not considering it extraordinary that he was the Son of God (John 10:34–3 These exalted titles, however, contain important qualifiers. The Father had already “sanctified” his Son before he sent him to this earth (see John 10:26), whereas we must yet “be sanctified” through him in order to inherit eternal life (Moses 6:59). Even so, by fulfilling his mission on earth, Jesus was himself in process of becoming like the Father. He says that “what things soever he [the Father] doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19), but he also tells us that “the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do” (3 Nephi 27:21). This model of the Father acting as the Son’s exemplar and the Son acting as ours gains significance in the light of Jesus’ command to his disciples in Palestine to “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). His Nephite disciples, on the other hand, he admonished to “be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfec So that his intent might not be misunderstood, Jesus asked his Nephite disciples, “What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27). Through their exceeding righteousness, three of the twelve received this promise: “Ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one” (3 Nephi 28:10). It isn’t apparent, however, that this promise to the three would be fulfilled immediately after their earthly ministry--without their, too, in other words, performing the works they had seen him do (3 Nephi 27:21). While Jesus could now say to the Nephites that he was “even as the Father,” he did not say this in Palestine as at that point he had not yet done all he had seen the Father do. (Evidently, as Jesus did nothing but what he had seen the Father do [John 5:19], one By their own choosing, nine of the twelve Nephite disciples--after living to a good old age--found “rest” in Jesus’ kingdom (3 Nephi 28:3), perhaps to await some future opportunity to find a “fulness of joy” in the kingdom of the Father. Because spiritual progression is by personal choice as well as by God’s grace, Jesus’ commandment to be perfect “as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” was not given lightly. We know that “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). The perfection of which Jesus is speaking is thus certainly attainable. But to become perfect as the Most High God is perfect can mean nothing other than that our highest and ultimate goal--far beyond this life--is to become Most High Gods. And whether the Bible speaks of “the Lord God” (Jehovah), of “God” (or “Gods”), or of “the Most High God,” by their very nature God or Gods at any leve This brings us back to Adam and Eve. As also mentioned earlier, Adam and Eve could not have inherited Paradise without considerable prior spiritual progress. Otherwise, God would not be the same yesterday, today, and forever and be no respecter of persons. Those who inherit Paradise in the Millennium are those who ascend to Isaiah’s Son/Servant level, attaining a degree of perfection that involves making sure one’s calling and election. Such souls become new Adams and Eves, which level of perfection is expressly male and female as are levels above it. The marriage covenant, then, is an integral part of one’s individual covenant with God on that level, as without it no one can attain exaltation (see Avraham Gileadi, Isaiah Decoded: Ascending the Ladder to Heaven). It is unthinkable, therefore, that Jesus, who was baptized in order “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15; 2 Nephi 31:5–6)--a physical ordinance--would not have kept God’s first commandment, to “multiply and r In short, as the Lord God, as the Son of the Most High God, and as humanity’s exemplar, Jesus could in nowise have lived a single life during his earthly ministry as with such there is no exaltation, let alone an exaltation higher than the one he had enjoyed before. The Gentile church, by severing Christianity from its Hebrew roots, did away with the idea of exaltation (or, in Paul’s terms, with “glory,” Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 15:40–41) when it denigrated marriage as a necessary ingredient toward perfection and idealized celibacy in its place. By doing so, it eroded humanity’s potential to grow into the image and likeness of God, which is male and female. In the light of this, anything less than making sure one’s calling and election (Isaiah’s equivalent of the level of Adam and Eve) must be considered less than being in the image and likeness of God. This is also suggested by the Genesis account itself, as nowhere does the scripture say that we are created in God’s image and li Many clues have been cited that Jesus was married, including his appearing first to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection (Mark 16:9; John 20:1). Her saying to the angels guarding his tomb, “They have taken away my Lord” (John 20:13), may be taken to mean “my husband.” But by depicting Mary Magdalene as a harlot and replacing her relationship with Jesus with an extraordinary emphasis on Mary the mother of Jesus, the Gentile church again eliminated the male–female paradigm that is the basis of growing into the image and likeness of God. In support of Jesus being married, some cite the gospel of Philip, which describes Jesus kissing Mary Magdalene often on the mouth and the apostles’ complaining that he loved her more than them all. A tradition that she migrated to France with other Jewish Christians and that the royal families of Europe descend from Jesus’ lineage has also circulated widely. Finally, claims that the descendants of Jesus and the early apostles are or were in the leade However, the surest evidence of Jesus’ having earthly posterity comes from Isaiah 53:10, which says that “if he made his life an offering for guilt, he might see his offspring and prolong his days” (GT). While most Christians accept that the subject of chapter 53 is Jesus Christ, a literary structure that contrasts twenty-one verses in chapter 14 (about the king of Babylon) with twenty-one verses in chapters 52–53 (about the King of Zion), indicates that whereas the king of Babylon ends up with no offspring and lies unburied after he dies--which are covenant curses--the subject of chapter 53 has both offspring and a proper burial, which are covenant blessings. As having literal (not only spiritual) offspring is the first and foremost covenant blessing, this means that the person described in chapter 53 is innocent of the crimes for which he is put to death. The above literary device, moreover, makes clear that the subject of Isaiah 53:1–10 is none other than the Lord God (Jehovah)