Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

consiglieri

Matthew 22 Indicates Jesus Taught Marriage In Heaven

Recommended Posts

Once again, T-shirt made a substantive contribution to this subject, and nobody's engaged it.

Share this post


Link to post

Once again, T-shirt made a substantive contribution to this subject, and nobody's engaged it.

Yeah, actually I did:

"Part of the trouble with that suggestion is that it requires that Jesus totally dodged the question. The same goes for T-Shirt's post. Another problematic element is that while "marry" is an active verb, "be given in marriage" can include both a passvie and stative sense. A passive sense would mean that after the resurrection no one will give them in marriage. A stative sense would mean that they will not [continue to] be given in marriage."

T-shirt's comments basically boil down to the same conclusion the good Doktor offered. His pointing out the similarity to Tobit was interesting, but doesn't particularly help us answer the questions posed in this thread. (Scholars are somewhat skeptical about the Tobit connection, anyway.)

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, actually I did:

"Part of the trouble with that suggestion is that it requires that Jesus totally dodged the question. The same goes for T-Shirt's post. Another problematic element is that while "marry" is an active verb, "be given in marriage" can include both a passvie and stative sense. A passive sense would mean that after the resurrection no one will give them in marriage. A stative sense would mean that they will not [continue to] be given in marriage."

T-shirt's comments basically boil down to the same conclusion the good Doktor offered. His pointing out the similarity to Tobit was interesting, but doesn't particularly help us answer the questions posed in this thread. (Scholars are somewhat skeptical about the Tobit connection, anyway.)

Strange; I don't see that as engaging T-shirt at all - more of a dismissal with a nod at an anonymous authority - but whatever; carry on.

Share this post


Link to post

Strange; I don't see that as engaging T-shirt at all - more of a dismissal with a nod at an anonymous authority - but whatever; carry on.

A dismissal? I explained my rationale for rejecting his conclusion. The fact that my rationale was only a few sentences long whereas his post was substantially longer than it needed to be doesn't alter the comparative cogency of my point. T-Shirt also engaged in some speculation about how Jesus might have been teaching a doctrine of eternal marriage, but I provided plenty of reasons in post #5 for why that's not necessary. While we're at it, though, perhaps you could respond to the Enoch parallel I provided in post #5 (which neither you nor T-Shirt, by the way, has engaged).

-CK

Share this post


Link to post
which neither you nor T-Shirt, by the way, has engaged...

You'll note that I haven't been engaging anyone's position. <_< I think T-shirt has got quite a winning exposition, though, and your pithy response not so cogent as you think. :P

Share this post


Link to post

You'll note that I haven't been engaging anyone's position. <_< I think T-shirt has got quite a winning exposition, though, and your pithy response not so cogent as you think. :P

You're welcome to your opinion. And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Share this post


Link to post

Zeta Flux,

My point is that Jesus offers no such qualification. Or, in other words, he does not limit himself to the people in the story. To the contrary, he makes his comments apply to all "those who are counted worthy of partaking in that age and in the resurrection from the dead." This entire category of people is said to become "like the angels." Your reading seems to me to require that we add an additional qualifier, either by limiting ourselves to Sadducees who manage to attain salvation or by moving "be like the angels" from the predicate to the subject of the sentence.

Note: I am not making "be like the angles" the subject of the sentence. If you think I am, please clarify where you think I have done so and I'll try to clarify. Also note I am not limiting the answer to the Sadducees. Rather, I am supposing Jesus answered the question about who the people in the story are married to in the next life.

In Matthew 22, Jesus says "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." He doesn't say, "we" or "you", but instead says "they" in response to the Sadducee thought-experiment. I do not think it a hard concept to understand that Jesus is (possibly) limiting His answer to the type of people portrayed in their story. I can understand you want to make Jesus' answer more broad, but I don't think this has to be the case.

In Luke 20, the people Jesus is talking about are further clarified to be those "accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead." You take this to mean the first resurrection and heaven. I take this to mean "that world/age/glory/kingdom/sphere" which the people in the story were worthy (and which the angels inhabit). I further believe Jesus clarifies that the people He is speaking about are those made like the angels; not those made like Himself (above the angels).

I think your explanation from Enochian literature is probable, but I think T-shirt's explanation from Tobit is more probable. This is because, at least to me, the Tobit story fits the scenario much more closely, and we don't have to make as many assumptions about Jesus' feelings towards some of the Enochian literature traditions. (Did Jesus really believe that angels defiled themselves with women and had children, etc...?)

Best,

Zeta-Flux

Share this post


Link to post

Part of the trouble with that suggestion is that it requires that Jesus totally dodged the question. -CK

I wouln't be the first time...remember the Pharises asked a question about his authority. He said if you anwser I will...they wouldn't so he wouldn't. Read your Bible. Just like prago sause, "It's in there"

Pa Pa :P

Share this post


Link to post

It is frequently remarked that marriage in heaven is not taught in the Bible. I think we have a strong indication in Matthew 22 that Jesus taught exactly that.

I am referring to the story where the Sadducees came to Jesus and gave him the hypothetical about the woman "with" them who had seven husbands and all of them died, then asked the question as to who she would be married to in the resurrection.

Jesus responds that she would be married to none of them because there is no marrying or giving in marriage in heaven. I will give the text below.

Critics frequently use this passage to argue that the LDS teaching of marriage in heaven is false.

LDS, on the other hand, are quick to note that Jesus is apparently restricting his teaching in this regard to the people mentioned in the hypothetical (which echoes Sarah's misadventures in Tobit chapter 3); and that as to the Sadducees, this is true; that it is not a blanket pronouncement, but restricted to the example before him.

What I would like to suggest is that this passage indicates that Jesus did teach marriage in heaven and that the Sadducees knew it.

This passage comes in a series of three "traps" that were laid for Jesus by his opponents in the Jewish leadership.

The first trap had to do with asking if it was proper to pay tax to Caesar; the third trap had to do with asking what is the greatest commandment in the law.

It is important to note that neither in the first nor the third trap does Jesus answer the question; at least not in the terms of the question that is proposed. (To the first, he says to pay to Caesar what is Caesar's and to pay unto God what is God's; an interesting extra-biblical agrapha adds, "and pay to me what is mine." To the third, he does not give one commandment that is most important, but adds a second to his answer.)

I think the critical question relating to the passage under consideration is, "What was the trap?"

If we read it at face value, there is no trap, and it is rather a pointless question. In other words, if Jesus did not teach any form of marriage in heaven, why would this question be considered to have the possibility of trapping Jesus in any way?

I believe the trap would be that, if Jesus were teaching marriage in heaven, that under the terms of the hypothetical, he would have to respond that the woman had seven husbands.

This would probably be considered anathema to his audience, and a ripe subject for ridicule.

But once again, the question asked by the Sadducees makes sense only if we presuppose that Jesus was teaching some form of marriage in heaven, and that the Sadducees knew he was teaching it.

Any thoughts?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

The only thought i have in response is.........Well put!

:P

Share this post


Link to post

It seemed that Jesus often dodged questions. Look at this interrogation by Piltate.

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

John 18:33-37

Share this post


Link to post

"Part of the trouble with that suggestion is that it requires that Jesus totally dodged the question. The same goes for T-Shirt's post. Another problematic element is that while "marry" is an active verb, "be given in marriage" can include both a passvie and stative sense. A passive sense would mean that after the resurrection no one will give them in marriage. A stative sense would mean that they will not [continue to] be given in marriage."

Thanks everybody for carrying on in my absence.

I think that the positioning of this story as the second in a series of three traps can help with the exegesis. It is precisely because this story is situated between two other traps that it seems reasonable to conclude that it, too, is a trap of sorts.

Similarly, we know that in trap Nos. 1 and 3, Jesus was able to avoid falling into the trap by refusing to answer the question on its own terms. I mentioned this in the OP, but will mention once again that, when asked if it were appropriate to pay tax to Caesar, Jesus did not answer the question with a "yes" or a "no." Instead he offers the famous two-fold answer of "render unto Caesar" and "render unto God."

Likewise with the third trap, where he is asked to name the (single) most important commandment in the Law, Jesus hedges and gives two answers as opposed to the one requested; also apparently to avoid falling into the trap.

It may be that the way that Jesus answered the first and third questions can inform our understanding of the way that Jesus answered the second question, which is the subject of this thread. Which is to say that we would be justified in thinking that Jesus used a similar approach in this answer; which would be to not answer the question directly, but employ a similar sidestepping technique in order to not fall into the trap.

In other words, I am not convinced that Jesus did not dodge the question, because he pretty much dodged the other two questions.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post

I'm with T-shirt and Pa Pa (great post!) here.

-=-=-=

I'll respond to Enoch--from an LDS perspective.

For an angel to have children, would require a body. A body, would mean a resurrection. A resurrection, would mean a previous mortal life somewhere else, probably another God. I personally conclude no mixing of Gods' creations. I also cannot see or even imagine superhuman interacting with human in this way, and especially that God wouldn't know it and intervene. Ergo, the story is impossible.

Share this post


Link to post

Note: I am not making "be like the angles" the subject of the sentence. If you think I am, please clarify where you think I have done so and I'll try to clarify. Also note I am not limiting the answer to the Sadducees. Rather, I am supposing Jesus answered the question about who the people in the story are married to in the next life.

In Matthew 22, Jesus says "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." He doesn't say, "we" or "you", but instead says "they" in response to the Sadducee thought-experiment. I do not think it a hard concept to understand that Jesus is (possibly) limiting His answer to the type of people portrayed in their story. I can understand you want to make Jesus' answer more broad, but I don't think this has to be the case.

In Luke 20, the people Jesus is talking about are further clarified to be those "accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead." You take this to mean the first resurrection and heaven. I take this to mean "that world/age/glory/kingdom/sphere" which the people in the story were worthy (and which the angels inhabit). I further believe Jesus clarifies that the people He is speaking about are those made like the angels; not those made like Himself (above the angels).

Hi Zeta Flux,

So let me see if I understand you correctly. You would reconstruct Luke 20:35 this way:

Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those [people in the story] who are considered worthy of taking part in that age [i.e., the lowest level of the celestial kingdom] and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection."

I still have two problems with this reconstruction:

1) "Those who are considered worthy" are opposed to "the people of this age," which implies that we are dealing with a much broader category than you'd like to allow.

2) Your explanation still does not account for why Jesus distinguishes "those who are considered worthy of...the resurrection of the dead" if in fact everyone gets resurrected.

I think your explanation from Enochian literature is probable, but I think T-shirt's explanation from Tobit is more probable. This is because, at least to me, the Tobit story fits the scenario much more closely, and we don't have to make as many assumptions about Jesus' feelings towards some of the Enochian literature traditions. (Did Jesus really believe that angels defiled themselves with women and had children, etc...?)

The two allusions are not mutually exclusive. I grant that the Sadducees might have modeled their riddle on the book of Tobit. As I pointed out before, though, that does not help us understand Jesus' answer. I suggest that Jesus' answer should be viewed against an Enochian background. You objected that this requires us "to make...assumptions about Jesus' feelings towards some of the Enochian literature traditions." But we know that the early Christians were very fond of Enoch. Jude quotes it directly, many other passages allude to it, and Revelation even utilizes some of the same ideas that form the background of the present passage (Revelation 14:4; c.f. the article I cited in post #5). Enoch also played an important role in ascetic communities like the Essenes, who may have influenced John the Baptist or even Jesus himself. Is it so farfetched to have Jesus alluding to Enoch?

JosephAntley and Consiglieri,

I submit that the kinds of question-dodging that you point out are a far cry from what would be required in the present case. Let us consider them each in turn, starting with your strongest example:

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

John 18:33-37

Jesus is clearly avoiding giving Pilate a direct answer, but the answer doesn't disguise itself as a straightforward answer. In other words, there's no really straightforward way to read this passage.

when asked if it were appropriate to pay tax to Caesar, Jesus did not answer the question with a "yes" or a "no." Instead he offers the famous two-fold answer of "render unto Caesar" and "render unto God."

This answer seems pretty straightforward to me. He told them to pay their taxes.

Likewise with the third trap, where he is asked to name the (single) most important commandment in the Law, Jesus hedges and gives two answers as opposed to the one requested; also apparently to avoid falling into the trap.

This one is also straightforward: he identified the most important commandment, and even went so far as to give the second.

But consider what would be required to adopt your suggested reading of Luke:

"The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage..."

Here Jesus' answer passes itself off as being straightforward, but actually means something quite different than what it says, because of course Jesus is taking advantage of verb tense to avoid answering. That makes Jesus a weasel at best, and dishonest at worst. This reminds me of another passage that evangelicals sometimes try to avoid interpreting in a straightforward way:

The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

Now, some evangelicals might tell you that Psalm 82 actually refers to corrupt human judges who are called gods in only a rhetorical sense, and that Jesus knows that, but that he's playing a sort of word-game in order to rationalize calling himself God. Would you accept that explanation? Of course not! It would be an extremely weaselly way for Jesus to answer the charges against him. Why should Luke 20:35 be any different? Why should we accept a less-than-straightforward reading just because it happens not to line up very well with your chosen paradigm?

I do think consig has hit upon an interesting structural feature of this passage. Jesus is presented with three tests, and in each case he gives two answers: he answers the question that was asked him, and he takes the opportunity to tack on another, related teaching principle. He answers the question about taxes and adds an exhortation to tithe. He answers the question about marriage and also defends the resurrection. He answers the question about the greates commandment and also teaches about the second greatest commandment. These are great teaching moments in Jesus' career: in each case he has a fantastic answer for the question that is asked, and in each case he takes advantage of the opportunity to transmit even more light and knowledge than was solicited.

-CK

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, actually I did:

"Part of the trouble with that suggestion is that it requires that Jesus totally dodged the question. The same goes for T-Shirt's post.

Actually, as I see it, Jesus did answer the question, but he was smart in addressing the information given and not delving further into the matter. This is how He often dealt with detractors. He often gave ambiguous answers, leaving it to the individual to figure it out.

Another problematic element is that while "marry" is an active verb, "be given in marriage" can include both a passvie and stative sense. A passive sense would mean that after the resurrection no one will give them in marriage. A stative sense would mean that they will not [continue to] be given in marriage."

I don't see this as problematic. In context, He was simply saying, in mortality men are married and women are given in marriage, but in the resurrection, marriages will not be performed. He did not address the matter of marriage continuing into the resurrection, which would have opened a can of worms as the Pharisees believed that marriage continued into the resurrection, but their understanding would have been different. In addition, remember that the Pharisees and the Sadducees were present. Christ's answer addressed both of them. Pharisees would have believed that marriage continued into the resurrection, and they also believed that people would continue to get married in the resurrection. They also believed that it was possible to die again, so you can see how Christ addressed these issues as well. His comment about being as angels, in my opinion, was addressed to the pharisees, first, since the Sadducees did not even believe in angels, and second, he was inferring to the Pharisees that after the resurrection, there was no more death, people were as angels, in that they do not die.

T-shirt's comments basically boil down to the same conclusion the good Doktor offered. His pointing out the similarity to Tobit was interesting, but doesn't particularly help us answer the questions posed in this thread.

Actually, I thought it addressed the questions quite well.

Regards,

T-Shirt

Share this post


Link to post

Actually, as I see it, Jesus did answer the question

The question was, "in the resurrection, whose wife will she be?" In other words, the question was about the continuity of marriage between this life and the next. The question you seem to think Jesus answered was about the forging of new marriage alliances in the next life. And yet he phrased his answer in such a way as to make it seem like he was answering the original question that was asked of him. Not very astute of him, unless he was being intentionally evasive and even deceptive.

He did not address the matter of marriage continuing into the resurrection, which would have opened a can of worms as the Pharisees believed that marriage continued into the resurrection but their understanding would have been different.

If Jesus had said, "for a marriage to be eternal it has to be performed in the temple by proper priesthood authority," how would that have been a bigger can of worms than saying "in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage?" Both statements undermine the norm, especially if the Pharisees [mis?]interpreted the latter statement the way the entire orthodox Christian tradition has interpreted it for the last 2000 years. But the former statement would have been prima facie true, whereas in this context the latter statement is at best oblique.

Actually, I thought it addressed the questions quite well.

Perhaps you could clarify, then, how the Tobit parallel assists us here?

Share this post


Link to post

I think it's interesting that in both passages being considered Jesus makes reference to Abraham Isaac and Jacob in his answer. They're not only alive, but were promised that their seed would be as numerous as the sand or stars (Gen. 22:17). There have only been an estimated 69 to 110 billion people that have lived on the earth (which would include those prior to Abraham and even Adam), and yet there are an estimated 400 billion stars and 7.5 quintillion grains of sand. So, if this promise is not refering to both in this world and beyond this world (as D&C 132:30 has it) then it is doubtful it could be fulfilled, seeing that these are the last days and time is short. If the promise does apply to the eternal world though, then we ought to admit that there will either be marriage there, or a lot of children will be born out of wedlock. Yet those who are there won't be married again there any more than they will die again there, those events having already taken place in this world. Also, see the JST for Luke 20:35 for clarification of the "worthy to obtain ... the resurrection" question.

Share this post


Link to post

...

I think the critical question relating to the passage under consideration is, "What was the trap?"

...

Any thoughts? All the Best! --Consiglieri

You do make a good point. I tend to think you are correct.

Yet, one could argue that the trap was that Jesus was teaching the resurrection, the Saducees rejected it, but posed the question as if there was a resurrection to show the absurdities of it, and Jesus condemned them for not having faith in the power of God to bring about a resurrection.

While Christ was teaching that those under the law would be angels in heaven, and not married, to his own disciples he taught:

Matt 19:29

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

This and similar Bible quotes are hard to understand unless the hundredfold blessing is part of everlasting life.

Richard

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Zeta Flux,

So let me see if I understand you correctly. You would reconstruct Luke 20:35 this way:

Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those [people in the story] who are considered worthy of taking part in that age [i.e., the lowest level of the celestial kingdom] and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection."

Yes and no. I wouldn't limit "those" to "the people in the story" but rather to "those, who like the people in the story, are considered worthy to take part in that age."

I still have two problems with this reconstruction:

1) "Those who are considered worthy" are opposed to "the people of this age," which implies that we are dealing with a much broader category than you'd like to allow.

I think I've cleared up this misconception.

2) Your explanation still does not account for why Jesus distinguishes "those who are considered worthy of...the resurrection of the dead" if in fact everyone gets resurrected.

I think your explanation that the resurrection mentioned here could refer to the first resurrection is a good one (even if we understand that a little differently). And there are other possibilities I see.
The two allusions are not mutually exclusive. I grant that the Sadducees might have modeled their riddle on the book of Tobit. As I pointed out before, though, that does not help us understand Jesus' answer. I suggest that Jesus' answer should be viewed against an Enochian background. You objected that this requires us "to make...assumptions about Jesus' feelings towards some of the Enochian literature traditions." But we know that the early Christians were very fond of Enoch. Jude quotes it directly, many other passages allude to it, and Revelation even utilizes some of the same ideas that form the background of the present passage (Revelation 14:4; c.f. the article I cited in post #5). Enoch also played an important role in ascetic communities like the Essenes, who may have influenced John the Baptist or even Jesus himself. Is it so farfetched to have Jesus alluding to Enoch?
I agree that the two are not mutually exclusive. I also understand that some (many?) early Christians put a lot of weight into Enochian literature. I see no reason to doubt that it influenced John or Jesus. I don't think it farfetched that Jesus could be alluding to Enoch. I just feel it is less probable. And this gut feeling is coming from someone who isn't all that familiar with Enochian literature, but is very familiar with the New Testament, so take that for what it is worth.

Best,

Zeta-Flux

Share this post


Link to post

CK:

I apologize for committing the unpardonable (jumping in late and not reading everything), but I needed some clarification:

Another problematic element is that while "marry" is an active verb, "be given in marriage" can include both a passvie and stative sense. A passive sense would mean that after the resurrection no one will give them in marriage. A stative sense would mean that they will not [continue to] be given in marriage."

Iâ??m lost hereâ?¦I think youâ??re making a mountain out of a mole hill. The act of â??giving into marriageâ?? makes no association with the act of being already married. You are mixing the preterit from the pluperfect (I believe it is). I is one thing to say â??given in marriage,â? and â??having been given in marriage.â? To this point, I donâ??t think the Greek is helping you out.

Now, I think when you take into account the Mosaic Law there is much to be illuminated. For example, when the first husband dies, his wife was indeed GIVEN to the brother, as such was the third, the fourth, etc. But there is nothing to presume that this â??givingâ? was associated with the first. On the contrary, the scriptures show that that a man â??takeâ? a wife, not that a man be â??givenâ? a wifeâ?¦at least in the first instance. Abraham is a great example, whom having â??takenâ? Sarai as a wife, was later given Hagar by Sarah. I think the semantics are tremendously important in this occasion.

Carrying on, you say:

If Jesus had said, "for a marriage to be eternal it has to be performed in the temple by proper priesthood authority," how would that have been a bigger can of worms than saying "in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage?"

Youâ??re straining a bit here. The question had nothing to do with marriage AFTER the resurrection, but everything to do with marriages IN the resurrection, under the OLD law, to men that were GIVEN her as a wife. We can pick any combination of these characteristics, any of which alone will debunk the â??proofâ?? against eternal marriage.

I think T-Shirt really hit it head on:

I don't see this as problematic. In context, He was simply saying, in mortality men are married and women are given in marriage, but in the resurrection, marriages will not be performed. He did not address the matter of marriage continuing into the resurrection, which would have opened a can of worms as the Pharisees believed that marriage continued into the resurrection, but their understanding would have been different.

Best,

PacMan

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps you could clarify, then, how the Tobit parallel assists us here?

There are two ways to look at Christ's statement, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." The first would be that it was His way of saying, "Why are you worried about marriage in the resurrection? It is in mortality that marriages are performed."

Second is in the context of the Book of Tobit. If you read Tobit, the woman, although having had a marriage ceremony performed seven times, was never officially considered married to any of the men as each of them were killed on their wedding night, in the bridal chamber, before they had a chance to consummate the marriage. In this context, Christ's response makes sense, since none of them were considered legally married to her, then they wouldn't be married to her in the resurrection, since marriages are not performed then. This also explains why Christ accused them of not understanding scripture.

Regards,

T-Shirt

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, PacMan. Nice to have you in the discussion.

Iâ??m lost hereâ?¦I think youâ??re making a mountain out of a mole hill. The act of â??giving into marriageâ?? makes no association with the act of being already married. You are mixing the preterit from the pluperfect (I believe it is). I is one thing to say â??given in marriage,â? and â??having been given in marriage.â? To this point, I donâ??t think the Greek is helping you out.

I don't want to unduly belabor this point, but I will make a few comments:

1) If we used the pluperfect here, it would read this way: "those who are considered worthy... have neither married nor been given in marriage." Obviously that would be incorrect. A more precise way of stating what I think the author means might be "...do not remain married." However, I don't think that Koine requires such a construction to communicate this point, as I will argue in the next point.

2) In Greek, and especially in Biblical Greek, tenses do not indicate the time that an action was performed; rather, they communicate something called "aspect." There are three major "aspects" in Greek, but Koine focuses on two of them: present aspect and aorist aspect. Present aspect might be described as ongoing action and shows you action as it unfolds. It emphasizes process. Aorist aspect is like a snapshot, and simply indicates an action. (The other aspect, perfect, emphasizes completed action.)

We might think of the three aspects in visual terms this way:

Present

------------------------->

Aorist

.

Perfect

------------------.

Since "marry" and "be given in marriage" are in the present rather than the aorist tense, they refer to something ongoing rather than to a single, limited event. I think it's quite natural, then, to read this passage the way I read it.

Now, I think when you take into account the Mosaic Law there is much to be illuminated. For example, when the first husband dies, his wife was indeed GIVEN to the brother, as such was the third, the fourth, etc. But there is nothing to presume that this â??givingâ? was associated with the first. On the contrary, the scriptures show that that a man â??takeâ? a wife, not that a man be â??givenâ? a wifeâ?¦at least in the first instance. Abraham is a great example, whom having â??takenâ? Sarai as a wife, was later given Hagar by Sarah. I think the semantics are tremendously important in this occasion.

For this passage to say "they neither marry nor are taken or given in marriage" seems a bit redundant, especially given the previous verse ("The people of this age marry and are given in marriage"; see also Lk. 17:27). In any case, even in the instance of a first marriage the parents or ruling authorities are said to "give" a woman to her husband. Consider, for example, the case of Jacob and Laban ("Give me my wife." - Gen. 29:21). There's also 1 Sam. 18:19, 1 Kings 2:21, Jdg 14:20, 1 Sam 25:44, Gen. 34:8, Ex. 21:4, Jdg. 21:18.

The question had nothing to do with marriage AFTER the resurrection, but everything to do with marriages IN the resurrection, under the OLD law, to men that were GIVEN her as a wife. We can pick any combination of these characteristics, any of which alone will debunk the â??proofâ?? against eternal marriage.

I think you based your in/after distinction (which is silly anyway, IMO) on my lazy quotation. The Sadducees' question is pretty transparent: "at (KJV 'in') the resurrection, whose wife will she be?" They're clearly assuming a continuity of marriage between this life and the next. Luke 20:35 is also fairly precise: "those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead". It should be quite clear from that statement that we're talking about after the resurrection.

As for your other two "characteristics," I've already debunked the "given" part and I'm not sure what bringing the old law into this has to do with anything. Certainly to impose such a distinction on the text is artificial at best.

I think T-Shirt really hit it head on:

"I don't see this as problematic. In context, He was simply saying, in mortality men are married and women are given in marriage, but in the resurrection, marriages will not be performed. He did not address the matter of marriage continuing into the resurrection"

In taking advantage of a technicality of verb tense to make it sound like he answered the question without actually doing so, was he being intentionally deceptive? He certainly fooled two thousand years' worth of interpreters.

Best,

-CK

Share this post


Link to post

By the way, PacMan, you might want to make sure you at least read my post #5, even if you opt not to review the rest of the discussion.

T-Shirt,

There are two ways to look at Christ's statement, "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven." The first would be that it was His way of saying, "Why are you worried about marriage in the resurrection? It is in mortality that marriages are performed."

The Sadducees' question was quite plainly about the continuity of marriage between this life and the next. Why would Jesus respond by saying that "it's in mortality that marriages are performed"? That makes no sense.

Second is in the context of the Book of Tobit. If you read Tobit, the woman, although having had a marriage ceremony performed seven times, was never officially considered married to any of the men as each of them were killed on their wedding night, in the bridal chamber, before they had a chance to consummate the marriage. In this context, Christ's response makes sense, since none of them were considered legally married to her, then they wouldn't be married to her in the resurrection, since marriages are not performed then. This also explains why Christ accused them of not understanding scripture.

The Sadducees made no reference to Tobit. They referred to "one among us." It's possible that they modeled their question on Tobit, but an exegesis of that passage was not at issue. For Jesus to go into the passage's context and find some loophole that could be used to avoid answering would, frankly, be highly oblique. What's more, Jesus clearly does not limit himself to answering a question about the particular woman in the story. He speaks of all "those who are worthy of partaking in that age."

-CK

Share this post


Link to post

The Sadducees' question was quite plainly about the continuity of marriage between this life and the next.

I would disagree with this. First, the Sadducees didn't even believe in the resurrection. The question wasn't really about what happens in the next life, but rather trying to show that the idea of the resurrection is incompatible with the Law of Moses. Second, and more importantly, why should we suppose that it is about "continuity" of marriage rather than "renewal" of marriage?

Share this post


Link to post

Short question.

Granting that CK's case can be made more readily with the Lukan version than the Matthean, why is the reading in Luke to be preferred over that of Matthew?

Is there a substantive reason behind the change in language in the two accounts?

One might suggest that these both derive from the Q source, but if so, why does Matthew have the language a little different than that of Luke, and significantly in precisely the area that lends support for CK's argument?

Did they have different versions of Q in front of them at the time of transcription; or was the change introduced later for possibly theological reasons, such as those we are currently discussing?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Share this post


Link to post

Hi consig,

An excellent question, and I think this is the direction that Latter-day Saint apologists will need to go if they really want to maintain an LDS-friendly interpretation of this passage. Here is a brief introduction to the synoptic problem:

http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/faq.htm

The most common solution to the synoptic problem is the two-source hypothesis, in which both Matthew and Luke utilized both Mark and another source called Q. This particular passage would have to have come from Q. Probably the Q original of this passage would have most closely reflected the Matthean version, since an editor would probably move from a less precise version to a more precise one, rather than the other way around. In other words, it seems more likely that Luke added these phrases than that Matthew dropped them out.

At the very least, though, this tells us that Luke interpreted this passage the traditional way rather than the LDS way. If Luke was aware of an eternal-marriage tradition, it seems unlikely that he would have added the phrases he did. Perhaps the doctrine of eternal marriage was lost sometime in the mid first-century, prior to the composition of Luke's gospel around 70 A.D. Paul may also have been ignorant of such a doctrine (see 1 Cor. 7), and Matthew certainly make no effort to clarify this passage in an LDS direction. Was the doctrine known only to the Twelve?

This is all possible, though substantially more speculative than I am comfortable with.

-CK

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×