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Thread: Wedding at Cana

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    Default Wedding at Cana

    Wedding at Cana

    jesus-maria.jpg

    There is complete silence in the Gospels concerning the marital status of Jesus, even though such a state of affairs is sufficiently unusual in ancient Jewry to prompt further inquiry. The Gospels state, for example, that many of the disciples (e.g. Peter) were married. And at no point does Jesus himself advocate celibacy, while on the contrary Jesus declares that a man shall "leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh” (Matthew 19:5).

    If Jesus did not preach celibacy, there is no reason to suppose he practiced it. According to Judaic custom at the time it was not only customary, but almost mandatory, that a man be married. Except among certain Essenes in certain communities, celibacy was vigorously condemned! Were Jesus not married, this fact would have been glaringly conspicuous, drawing attention to him, and been used to characterize and identify him. It would have set him apart in some significant sense from his contemporaries.

    Further, if Jesus were indeed as celibate as later tradition claims, it is extraordinary that there is no reference to any such celibacy. Finally, Jesus' literacy and display of knowledge makes it clear that he underwent some species of formal rabbinical training and was officially recognized as a rabbi. And the Jewish Mishnaic Law is quite explicit on the subject: "An unmarried man may not be a teacher." *

    One might inquire that if Jesus was not celibate, then why did the Roman Catholic Church become so enamored with something which is so obviously a clear indication of mental deficiency? It is rather abundantly clear that priests, bishops, cardinals, and more than a few popes did dally with the female sex on more than one occasion. But to make such a deal of it, even to this day!? Perhaps, one might conjecture, there was the attempt to make the Roman pontiffs and would-be pontiffs independent of the females and the very real potential of those females having influence -- particularly with regard to worship of other females, such as mother goddesses and the like. Celibacy would then appear to be a defense against the worship of Astarte/Inanna/Ishtar -- and the possibility of such empowerment in women thus derived, from influencing the horny old celibates.

    There is also the nagging suspicion that the bloodline lineage of the female of the species is sufficiently important that under no circumstances would patriarchal fathers of the church want to have any acknowledgment made of Jesus taking a bride.
    In the Fourth Gospel of John, there is the wedding at Cana. To this wedding Jesus is specifically "called" -- which is slightly curious, since he had not yet embarked on his ministry. More curious still, however, is the fact that his mother "just happens" as it were, to be present as well. In fact, her presence would seem to be taken for granted. The plot thickens when it is Mary (Jesus’ mother) who not merely suggests to her son, but in effect orders him to replenish the wine. She behaves quite as if she were the hostess. It is also noteworthy that the servants comply with Mary and Jesus' orders.

    One might also wonder if Jesus' first major miracle, the transmutation of water into wine, could have been used for such a banal purpose as some obscure village wedding. And why should two "guests" at a wedding take on themselves the responsibility of catering -- a responsibility that, by custom, should be reserved for the host?

    Unless, of course, the wedding at Cana is Jesus' own wedding. (We'll assume that Mary is not at long last marrying Joseph.) And if the wedding at Cana is Jesus', then it would indeed be his responsibility to replenish the wine.

    Note also that immediately after the miracle: "The governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now." (John 2:9-10). These words would seem to be addressed to Jesus, such that Jesus and the bridegroom are one and the same.

    Okay, now that we've found a wife for Jesus, and named her, and begun to suspect that she was someone of considerable importance and with a significant connection with the mother goddess, what further revelation might we make. Well... Guess what happens when two people get married!? Besides, heirs, that is.


    The Library of Halexandria

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    Default Re: Wedding at Cana

    Mary Magdalen


    There were two women, in addition to Jesus' mother, who are mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels as being of his entourage. The first of these is the Magdalen, or more precisely, Mary from the village of Migdal, or Magdala, in Galilee. In the accounts of Mark and Matthew, she is not mentioned by name until at the time of the Crucifixion, where she is numbered among Jesus' followers in Judaea.*

    In the Gospel of Luke, however, she appears relatively early in Jesus' ministry, while he is still preaching in Galilee. Obviously, she accompanied him from Galilee to Judaea, or at least, she moved freely between the two provinces. However, in the Palestine of Jesus' time, it would have been unthinkable for an unmarried woman to travel unaccompanied -- and even more so to travel unaccompanied with a religious teacher and his entourage. Because of this potentially embarrassing fact, numerous traditions have assumed that the Magdalen was married to one of the disciples. Unfortunately, if this was the case, then her special relationship with Jesus and her proximity to him would have rendered both of them subject to suspicions, if not outright charges, of adultery. Popular tradition notwithstanding, the Magdalen is not, at any point in any of the Gospels, said to be a prostitute. When she is first mentioned in the Gospel of Luke, she is described as a woman "out of whom went seven devils." It is generally assumed that this phrase refers to a species of exorcism on Jesus' part, implying the Magdalen was "possessed".

    But the phrase more accurately refers to a conversion and/or ritual initiation. The cult of Inanna (Ishtar or Astarte) -- the mother Goddess and "Queen of Heaven" -- involved, for example, a seven-stage initiation: The Dance of the Seven Veils!! Prior to her affiliation with Jesus the Magdalen was likely associated with such a cult. Migdal, or Magdala, was the "Village of Doves", and there is some evidence that sacrificial doves were in fact bred there, the dove being the sacred symbol of Astarte -- the Jewish version of Inanna/Ishtar.

    In the chapter before Luke speaks of the Magdalen, he alludes to a woman who anoints Jesus. The Gospel of Mark also mentions a similar anointment by an unnamed woman. Neither Luke nor Mark identified this woman with the Magdalen, but Luke does mention that she was a "fallen woman". On the basis of having seven devils cast out of her, the Magdalen is assumed by some authorities as the woman. It is also noteworthy that if the Magdalen was associated with a pagan cult (Astarte and the environmentalists!), that would certainly have rendered her as a "fallen woman" in the eyes not only of Luke, but of later writers as well.

    If the Magdalen was a "fallen woman", she was also, quite clearly, something more than the common prostitute of popular tradition. Quite clearly she was a woman of means. Luke reports, for example, that her friends included the wife of a high dignitary at Herod's court -- and that both women, together with various others, supported Jesus and his disciples with their financial resources. The woman who anointed Jesus was also a woman of means. In Mark's Gospel great stress is laid upon the costliness of the spikenard ointment with which the ritual was performed.

    In fact, the whole episode of Jesus' anointing would seem to be an affair of considerable importance. Why else would it be emphasized by the Gospels? And given its prominence, it appears to be something more than an impulsive spontaneous gesture. It appears to be a carefully premeditated rite. One must remember that anointing was the traditional prerogative of kings -- and of the "rightful Messiah", which means "the anointed one".

    From this it follows that Jesus became an authentic Messiah by virtue of his anointing. And the woman who consecrates him in that august role can hardly be unimportant. This seems to explain the fact that among all his devotees, it was to the Magdalen that Jesus first chose to reveal his Resurrection. And in the Synoptic Gospels, her name consistently heads the list of women who followed Jesus, just as Simon Peter heads the list of male disciples.

    Throughout the Gospels, Jesus treats the Magdalen in a unique and preferential manner. Such treatment may well have induced jealousy in the other disciples. It would seem fairly obvious that later tradition endeavored to blacken the Magdalen's background, if not her name. The portrayal of her as a harlot may well have been the overcompensation of a vindictive following intent upon impugning the reputation of a woman whose association with Jesus was closer than their own and thus inspired an all too human envy.

    Whatever the status of the Magdalen in the Gospels, there is another woman who figures most prominently in the Fourth Gospel and who may be identified as Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus. The entire family is clearly wealthy and on very familiar terms with Jesus. For example, the Lazarus episode reveals that his house contained a private tomb -- a somewhat flamboyant luxury in Jesus' time, not only a sign of wealth, but also a status symbol attesting to aristocratic connections. When in the Fourth Gospel Lazarus falls ill, Jesus has left Bethany for a few days and is staying with his disciples on the Jordan. Hearing of what has happened, he nevertheless delays for two days -- a rather curious reaction -- and then returns to Bethany, where Lazarus lies in the tomb. As he approaches, Martha rushes forth to meet him. But not Mary. Again curious.

    Interestingly, by the tenets of Judaic law at that time, a woman "sitting shivah" would have been strictly forbidden to emerge from the house except at the express bidding of her husband. Thus Mary of Bethany conforms precisely to the traditional comportment of a Jewish husband and wife. And in a "secret" Gospel of Mark, discovered by Morton Smith, it appears Mary does emerge from the house before Jesus instructs her to do so, whereupon she is promptly and angrily rebuked by the disciples, whom Jesus is then obliged to silence.

    All the evidence points rather strongly to one conclusion: That the Magdalen, the woman who anoints Jesus, and Mary of Bethany are all the same woman. The medieval Church certainly regarded them as such, and so did popular tradition. Many biblical scholars today concur. There is abundant evidence to support such a conclusion. Note for example, that Mary of Bethany is not cited by any of the Gospels as being present at the Crucifixion (although Mary Magdalen is).

    Of substantial importance, however, is that Mary Magdalen was the last person at the cross and the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection from the tomb. She ministered to him using her own resources; she anointed him for his ministry and his burial, and was in all likelihood on his right hand at the Last Supper. While she is barely mentioned in the books of Mark and Matthew, it is nevertheless obvious that she was a constant companion of Jesus.


    Of substantially more significance, however, is the fact that according to the Gospel of Holy Twelve , Jesus gave to Mary Magdalen and to her alone the commission to preach the gospel. She was even instructed to “go tell Peter” that wheresoever the gospel was to be preached, Mary's love and devotion to her Master were to be declared. In the Gospel of Mary Magdalen itself, Mary tells the disciples of certain secret mysteries which Jesus had told her alone. This doesn't fly well, but as also recounted in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus loved her more than the other disciples. Furthermore, she was his beloved, had been entrusted with more knowledge and teachings, and had a superior vision. The latter is ironical in that the Papacy based its authority on a lineage from Peter as the first person to witness the risen Christ.

    The difficulty is why Mary was given such precedence. Inasmuch as she was unlikely to have been a woman traveling alone with thirteen men, one must ask the question:

    Who was Mary of Bethany/Magdalen married to?

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    Default Re: Wedding at Cana

    'Proof' Jesus was married found on ancient papyrus that mentions how son of God spoke of his wife and Mary Magdalene

    By Damien Gayle


    A recently uncovered fragment of ancient papyrus makes the explosive suggestion that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were man and wife, researchers say. The 8cm by 4cm fragment supports an undercurrent in Christian thought that undermines centuries of Church dogma by suggesting the Christian Messiah was not celibate.

    The centre of the fragment contains the bombshell phrase where Jesus, speaking to his disciples, says 'my wife', which researchers believe refers to Magdalene.

    Jesus-married.jpg
    Written in Coptic (an Egyptian language), the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, if authentic, suggests
    that some people in ancient times believed Jesus was married, apparently to Mary Magdalene.

    'Fake': A British New Testament scholar has called an ancient papyrus, pictured, suggesting
    Jesus married Mary Magdalene, is a forgery


    In the text, Jesus appears to be defending her against some criticism, saying 'she will be my disciple'. Two lines later he then tells the disciples: 'I dwell with her.'
    If genuine, the document casts doubt on a centuries old official representation of Magdalene as a repentant whore and overturns the Christian ideal of sexual abstinence.

    It elaborates an ancient and persistent undercurrent in Christian thought that Jesus and Magdalene were in fact a couple, as picked up by Dan Brown in the plot of his best-selling thriller The Da Vinci Code.

    The incomplete manuscript, written in the ancient Egyptian Coptic language, has been studied by Karen King, Hollis professor of divinity at Harvard University, the oldest endowed academic seat in the US.
    Professor King was to present a paper on the discovery today at an international conference on Coptic studies in Rome after conducting extensive tests and research to establish the document's authenticity.
    She toldSmithsonian Magazinethat the fragment casts doubt 'on the whole Catholic claim of a celibate priesthood based on Jesus’ celibacy.'
    She added: 'What this shows is that there were early Christians for whom ... sexual union in marriage could be an imitation of God’s creativity and generativity and it could be spiritually proper and appropriate.'

    mary-magdalene-discovery.jpg mary-magdalene-discovery-2.jpg
    Ancient: The back side, or verso, of the papyrus is so badly damaged
    that only a few key words - 'my mother' and 'three' - are decipherable



    In a forthcoming paper in the Harvard Theological Review, Professor King speculates that this so-called 'Gospel of Jesus’s Wife' may have been tossed on the garbage 'because the ideas it contained flowed so strongly against the ascetic currents of the tides in which Christian practices and understandings of marriage and sexual intercourse were surging.'

    Professor King downplays the fragment's validity as a biographical document, saying that it was probably composed in Greek a century or so after the Crucifixion, then subsequently transcribed into Coptic.
    Its significance instead lies in the possibility that an early Christian sect drew spiritual succour from portraying their prophet as having a wife.
    This representation of Jesus as a man with earthly passions and needs has not survived in the doctrines of the established churches, which emphasise celibacy and asceticism as a spiritual ideal.
    Professor King's interpretation of the text are based on the assumption that the fragment is genuine, a question that is by no means definitively settled.

    'What this shows is that there were early Christians for whom... sexual union in marriage could be
    an imitation of God’s creativity and generativity and it could be spiritually proper and appropriate'


    Karen King, Hollis professor of divinity at Harvard University

    Because chemical tests of its ink have not yet been done, the papyrus could still be challenged on the basis of its authenticity, though independent experts have given their support based on other benchmarks.
    To authenticate the papyrus, Professor King sent photos of it to AnneMarie Luijendijk, a professor at Princeton and an authority on Coptic papyri and sacred scriptures.

    Professor Luijendijk forwarded the pictures to Roger Bagnall, a renowned papyrologist who directs the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University.

    Known for his conservative assessments of the authenticity and date of ancient papyri, Professor Bagnall nevertheless confirmed that he believed the document was genuine.
    The scribe's dialect and style of handwriting, and the colour and texture of the papyrus, helped them to date it to the second half of the fourth century AD and place its probable origin in upper Egypt.
    The details of the fragment support another view of the life of Jesus that has begun to gain traction since the discovery of a cache of ancient manuscripts in Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt, in 1945.

    These manuscripts, including the gospel of Thomas, the gospel of Philip and the Secret Revelation of John, outline the so-called Gnostic version of Christianity which differs sharply from the official Church line.

    Christ-Appearing-to-Magdalen.jpg
    Christ Appearing to the Magdalen by Titian: The ancient papyrus
    arguably suggests the Messiah and Mary Magdalene, pictured,
    were man and wife but Professor King is keen to stress that this
    is not proven


    Persecuted and often cut off from each other, ancient Christian communities had very different opinions on fundamental doctrines regarding Jesus' birth, life and death.
    It was only with the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire that the Emperor Constantine summoned 300 bishops to issue a definitive statement of Christian doctrine.

    This so-called Nicene creed - named for Nicaea, the town where they met - affirmed a model of Christian belief that is to this day taken as orthodoxy.
    The origins of this latest fragment are as yet unknown. Professor King received it from an anonymous collector who had found it among a job lot of ancient Greek and Coptic papyri.
    Accompanying the fragment was an unsigned and undated handwritten note from a translator claiming it is the sole example of a text in which Jesus refers in direct speech to having a wife.
    Professor King, who is able to read ancient Coptic, believes some of the phrases within the text echo passages in Luke, Matthew and the Gnostic gospels about the role of the family.

    These parallels convinced her that this account of the life of Jesus was originally composed in the second century AD when such questions were a subject of intense theological debate.
    Those who disagreed with the official line as established by the Council of Nicaea were in time branded by the Roman Church as heretics and their teachings suppressed.

    VIDEO: Harvard Professor Karen King explains what is on the papyrus fragment

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