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consiglieri

Matthew 22 Indicates Jesus Taught Marriage In Heaven

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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.

They tried to show that by asking a question about the continuity of marriage between the present life and the afterlife.

Second, and more importantly, why should we suppose that it is about "continuity" of marriage rather than "renewal" of marriage?

"Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?" This is prima facie a question about continuity. The Greek preposition "en" (in/at) is "a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state)". ( http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/...amp;version=kjv ; parentheses in original) So we might read the Sadducees' question thusly:

"Now then, [at the (fixed) time] of the resurrection, whose wife will she be?"

The question is about a state the woman is already in at the time of the resurrection. If the Sadducees meant to communicate a question about renewal of marriage, they didn't do so very clearly.

-CK

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CaliforniaKid,

I wrote a response, but then it occured to me where our communication is breaking down. It is regarding the definition of the word "continuity."

The woman in the story was married to person 1. He died. She was no longer his wife, so was given to person 2. He died. etc... The Sadducees then ask whose she will be at the resurrection. I see no reason to suppose that their question involved one of the marriages continuing throughout the other marriages and then into the resurrection. While you might be right that the question was whether one of the original marriages would "continue," I think a better word would be "resume" or "be renewed." Do you see what I am saying?

In other words, I see reason to suppose that these Sadducees believed (and also thought that believers in the resurrection also believed) that marriages end (at least for a time) at death.

--------

One thing which has been swept under the rug a little has been the interesting aspect of the story that none of the 7 brothers had children with her. I suppose one reason was that this allowed all the brothers to marry her under the law of Moses, and not give Jesus an easy out if one of the brethren had had children. On the other hand, wasn't the answer "the first marriage" also an easy out? What trap lay in store for this answer? (And note, if the part about having no children was part of the trap, then the answer to this question has to differ if she had children with one of the men--or that part of the story is just redundant information--unless they didn't want to complicate the situation.)

Best,

Zeta-Flux

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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

Thank you for your usually expert insights.

I am left wondering how early a Lukan manuscript is dated containing this particular wording, and whether this passage in Luke has variants between extant manuscripts.

Answers to both of these questions require resources beyond my ken.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Hi consig,

If there are any such variants, they are not mentioned in the textual apparatus of my Greek New Testament. I believe the earliest manuscript of Luke's gospel is P75, dated 200 AD. It's a lengthy fragment, and probably contains a substantial portion of the gospel, but I don't think it includes the whole thing. I don't know if chapter 22 is included. Perhaps someone with more text-critical resources at their disposal could find this information for you.

-CK

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Hi consig,

If there are any such variants, they are not mentioned in the textual apparatus of my Greek New Testament. I believe the earliest manuscript of Luke's gospel is P75, dated 200 AD. It's a lengthy fragment, and probably contains a substantial portion of the gospel, but I don't think it includes the whole thing. I don't know if chapter 22 is included. Perhaps someone with more text-critical resources at their disposal could find this information for you.

-CK

You are a treasure!

If the earliest manuscript of Luke's gospel is dated to 200 AD, and if the whole of the relevant text is contained therein as we have it today, would you entertain the suspicion that some changes to the wording we are discussing might have entered somewhere along the scribal way?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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CaliforniaKid,

I wrote a response, but then it occured to me where our communication is breaking down. It is regarding the definition of the word "continuity."

The woman in the story was married to person 1. He died. She was no longer his wife, so was given to person 2. He died. etc... The Sadducees then ask whose she will be at the resurrection. I see no reason to suppose that their question involved one of the marriages continuing throughout the other marriages and then into the resurrection. While you might be right that the question was whether one of the original marriages would "continue," I think a better word would be "resume" or "be renewed." Do you see what I am saying?

In other words, I see reason to suppose that these Sadducees believed (and also thought that believers in the resurrection also believed) that marriages end (at least for a time) at death.

--------

One thing which has been swept under the rug a little has been the interesting aspect of the story that none of the 7 brothers had children with her. I suppose one reason was that this allowed all the brothers to marry her under the law of Moses, and not give Jesus an easy out if one of the brethren had had children. On the other hand, wasn't the answer "the first marriage" also an easy out? What trap lay in store for this answer? (And note, if the part about having no children was part of the trap, then the answer to this question has to differ if she had children with one of the men--or that part of the story is just redundant information--unless they didn't want to complicate the situation.)

Best,

Zeta-Flux

In other words, what did they want to hear? They believed he taught a different doctrine than their own and got an answer that didn't seem to fit either religion. Perhaps Christ was just giving them an dodge because it was a trap and we keep thinking it was actual doctrine.

Do you think Christ ever used 'dodges'?

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You are a treasure!

If the earliest manuscript of Luke's gospel is dated to 200 AD, and if the whole of the relevant text is contained therein as we have it today, would you entertain the suspicion that some changes to the wording we are discussing might have entered somewhere along the scribal way?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I suppose that's a possibility. But if we-- on zero evidence-- posit scribal changes wherever it's convenient to do so, then the Bible can be fitted to just about any belief system that's even remotely Christian. Such an argument begs the question, IMO.

-CK

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Hammer,

I too wonder what they expected to hear. Did they really think it would simply stump Jesus? Wouldn't they expect something like "The first husband"? And if so, how would that fall into the trap?

-----

consiglieri,

I agree with CaliforniaKid that that would be begging the question. But even more for Latter-day Saints, D&C 132 follows the wording in the Luke account.

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consiglieri,

I agree with CaliforniaKid that that would be begging the question. But even more for Latter-day Saints, D&C 132 follows the wording in the Luke account.

Hi Zeta,

I see something similar in D&C 132, but not the precise phrasing from Luke.

As for what the trap would have been if Jesus had answered "the first wife," perhaps that's where the Tobit parallel comes in. Maybe the Sadducees, feigning surprise, would have said, "Do you mean to say that Sarah will not be the wife of Tobias, for whom she was "destined... from eternity" (6:17)?

I'm sure they could have gotten quite a bit of righteous indignation out of that.

-CK

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CaliforniaKid,

I didn't say "precise phrasing." I just meant similar wordings.

How do you think that Jesus' answer circumvented this same (possible) response from the Sadducees? Couldn't they still have feigned surprise and answered with the same answer?

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Jesus's answer was not only unexpected (because it entirely circumvented the assumption behind the question) but also forceful. The bit about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was particularly poignant. I suspect that it left the Sadducees at something of a loss for words (sputtering is more like it). In any case, Jesus' answer considerably diluted the applicability of the Tobias objection. The Sadducees might as well have dropped the Tobias parallel at that point ans objected that Abraham and Sarah, then, would not be married in the resurrection. I can only speculate what Jesus might have said if they'd gone there, but unfortunately for posterity they don't seem to have done so.

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If Jesus had answered that Tobias would marry Sarah, would this have also fallen into some sort of trap?

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If Jesus had answered that Tobias would marry Sarah, would this have also fallen into some sort of trap?

First of all, the Sadducees' question was about "one among us", not about Tobias and Sarah. Secondly, such an answer would require Jesus to explain what happens to the 7 other men. And third, it would require him to give some rationale-- i.e. a "rule"-- as to why Sarah would have married Tobias.

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Do you think this was the trap they intended, or are you making an ad hoc trap?

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The obvious answer to the Sadducees' inquiry is that she would be married to all of them. That's obviously problematic, because then she'd have more than one husband. I doubt they thought much beyond that. They probably just expected Jesus to sort of sputter and be at a loss. But if they considered the possibility that he might say "the first husband," pointing to the Tobias and Sarah story is one way they could have responded. I can't say for certain that was what they were planning, because I'm not a mind-reader.

Ad hoc hypotheses, though, are hypotheses designed to salvage a theory that has been falsified. My theory has not been falsified, and the above Tobias/Sarah suggestion is not required to salvage it. On the other hand, ad hoc hypotheses have proliferated in the LDS responses to this thread. That is probably telling.

Best,

-CK

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I suppose that's a possibility. But if we-- on zero evidence-- posit scribal changes wherever it's convenient to do so, then the Bible can be fitted to just about any belief system that's even remotely Christian. Such an argument begs the question, IMO.

-CK

I agree. But I think it may be at least a little more than zero evidence when Matthew recounts the same event but puts different words in Jesus' mouth at this critical juncture, nez pas?

What I am trying to trundle my way toward is a methodology of discerning what Jesus really said, though that will forever remain tentative.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Hammer,

I too wonder what they expected to hear. Did they really think it would simply stump Jesus? Wouldn't they expect something like "The first husband"? And if so, how would that fall into the trap?

My thought is that, to give the answer of "the first husband" puts the foot squarely in the trap.

If Jesus were to limit his answer to only one of the men, the next logical argument is, "If one, why not all?"

"And if not all, then the one is suspect."

So as I see it, Jesus had little choice here (and under the circumstances with a hostile question posed before a large audience) but to not answer the question directly; to give an answer that applied only to the Sadducees who asked the question, and then to turn around with a quick riposte regarding their belief in no resurrection to put them on the defensive.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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The obvious answer to the Sadducees' inquiry is that she would be married to all of them. That's obviously problematic, because then she'd have more than one husband. I doubt they thought much beyond that. They probably just expected Jesus to sort of sputter and be at a loss. But if they considered the possibility that he might say "the first husband," pointing to the Tobias and Sarah story is one way they could have responded. I can't say for certain that was what they were planning, because I'm not a mind-reader.

Ad hoc hypotheses, though, are hypotheses designed to salvage a theory that has been falsified. My theory has not been falsified, and the above Tobias/Sarah suggestion is not required to salvage it. On the other hand, ad hoc hypotheses have proliferated in the LDS responses to this thread. That is probably telling.

Best,

-CK

I think I was using ad hoc in a different manner than you seem to be. I was using it in the sense that I do in my work as a mathematician (with few negative connotations) to mean "improvised or impromptu." The phrase does not need to imply any falsified theory floating around, and I'm sorry if you thought I was saying so.

Also, I don't think LDS responses to this scripture (or to the scriptures in total) have an above average proliferation of falsified theories needing ad hoc hypotheses to fix.

---------------------

consiglieri,

That is my feeling too.

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I agree. But I think it may be at least a little more than zero evidence when Matthew recounts the same event but puts different words in Jesus' mouth at this critical juncture, nez pas?

What I am trying to trundle my way toward is a methodology of discerning what Jesus really said, though that will forever remain tentative.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Hi consig,

Supposing a scribal error is unnecessary. After all, Matthew and Luke already differ on many of the details. So why not just assume that Luke made the change?

-CK

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CK:

As always, appreciate the response.

Considering your explanation of the aorist vs. present, your explanation seems to fall short. To â??marryâ? and to be â??given in marriageâ? are of course aorist â??aspects.â? They do not show continuity, but are static events. I do not continue to marry my wife, but am married to her, having onceâ?¦been married.

Moreover, the process or ceremony of marriage certainly does not exist â??in the resurrection.â? Even within terms of the â??presentâ? aspect, I cannot see any such unfolding occurring. The even happened, period, and that is exactly what the text suggests.

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.

Now hold onâ?¦if youâ??re going to include parallelisms, be consistent. Indeed, in taking the context of the scripture, the people â??of THIS age,â? are those in consideration. Today, the process of being â??givenâ? in marriage is a formality that practically means nothing. In the Old Testament, there was certainly process in permissionsâ?¦but 1) the man still TOOK the wife (a second wife may be given to him under the law, whether he liked it or not), 2) Who the heck are you going to ask for permissions IN the resurrections? Again, the focus of â??this ageâ? cannot be overlooked. The dimensions of time are purposeful, and consider others under a different law.

I think you based your in/after distinction (which is silly anyway, IMO) on my lazy quotation.

Silly in what sense? Simply because it delineates an unequivocal doctrinal line? Marriage simply must be done before oneâ??s resurrection, and are thus none are given IN the resurrection. Let me clarify: There is no marriage effectuation IN or AFTER the resurrection. The â??ceremonyâ? or act needs be done previous. This has nothing to do with its lasting efficacy IN or AFTER the said resurrection.

Considering your post #5, it seems to heavily leverage hypotheticals. For instance, one major one includes the line:

The Pharisees-- even those who held the second view I described above-- probably just assumed that marriage would continue after the resurrection.

If indeed Jewish Orthodoxy stemmed from the less rigid Pharisaic belief, I daresay current belief would express some light on the subject. I am not Jewish expert, but having discussed the issue with an orthodox Jew, she indicated that marriage does not continue. She could be wrong, but thatâ??s what I was told. In other words, I find NO reason to ASSUME that they assumed that marriage would continue. Considering the many in the world that believe in resurrection, I daresay the vast majority do NOT believe in marriage after it.

Nowâ?¦perhaps having read it I just missed your point. You certainly gave some interesting text, but I donâ??t see the A nor B, and even less how the two together equal C. If you would structure your argument via post #5 a bit more formulaic, Iâ??m sure Iâ??d find your point more understandable.

Cheers,

PacMan

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The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. They were staunch opponents of the Pharisees, who agreed with Jesus that "at the time of the end" the dead would be raised. The Pharisees disagreed as to precisely what the resurrection would entail. For example, some later rabbis taught that the dead would be raised with clothes on (Babylonian Talmud, San. 90B) and with the same physical defects they had in this life (ibid., San. 91B, though these would afterward be healed). They apparently felt that life in the resurrection would be much like the present life, with the exception of Israel's total hegemony over the nations. They may, in fact, have even expected they would eventually die again. This view may be presumed in the Sadduccees' question. Another school, which was strongly dependent on Enochic literature, held that resurrected people would be glorified like the angels, and that even heaven and earth would pass away in a great apocalypse and be recreated. This very other-worldly sort of perspective is the one we most often find in Essenism and the New Testament.

The Pharisees-- even those who held the second view I described above-- probably just assumed that marriage would continue after the resurrection. It was, after all, a very sacred institution for Jews in the first century. It was something of a moral mandate, in fact (except for certain ascetics, like the Essenes, Banus, John, and probably also Jesus). The Sadducees who approached Jesus had probably already used this question on the Pharisees with satisfying results. No doubt they thought themselves very clever. They certainly did not expect Jesus' answer:

Congratulations on your excellent input on this thread CK. You say that both schools of the Pharisees believed marriage would continue in heaven. That is most interesting. I'll research this. With that statement then only those who had not been married on earth would be single in Heaven per both Pharisaical schools.

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Hi consig,

Supposing a scribal error is unnecessary. After all, Matthew and Luke already differ on many of the details. So why not just assume that Luke made the change?

-CK

Assuming that Luke made the change, why did he make the change at this critical juncture?

Could it have been a concession to burgeoning monasticism?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Hey Pacman,

Considering your explanation of the aorist vs. present, your explanation seems to fall short. To â??marryâ? and to be â??given in marriageâ? are of course aorist â??aspects.â?

Actually, they are gramatically "present" aspects, as indicated by the "ousin" ending.

Moreover, the process or ceremony of marriage certainly does not exist â??in the resurrection.â? Even within terms of the â??presentâ? aspect, I cannot see any such unfolding occurring. The even happened, period, and that is exactly what the text suggests.

Gramatically, it is an ongoing or unfolding action. So the text does not suggest that "the event happened, period".

Now hold onâ?¦if youâ??re going to include parallelisms, be consistent. Indeed, in taking the context of the scripture, the people â??of THIS age,â? are those in consideration. Today, the process of being â??givenâ? in marriage is a formality that practically means nothing. In the Old Testament, there was certainly process in permissionsâ?¦but 1) the man still TOOK the wife (a second wife may be given to him under the law, whether he liked it or not), 2) Who the heck are you going to ask for permissions IN the resurrections? Again, the focus of â??this ageâ? cannot be overlooked. The dimensions of time are purposeful, and consider others under a different law.

I don't understand what you're getting at.

Considering your post #5, it seems to heavily leverage hypotheticals.

True, there are some hypotheticals in my argument. But I think I provided a very plausible background of belief in support of my hypotheticals. If you disgree that's your business, but it is then your job to provide a plausible interpretation of this passage that doesn't presume Jesus was being weaselly.

William,

Congratulations on your excellent input on this thread CK. You say that both schools of the Pharisees believed marriage would continue in heaven. That is most interesting. I'll research this. With that statement then only those who had not been married on earth would be single in Heaven per both Pharisaical schools.

In Judaism, of course, there weren't very many single people. Most Jews considered it a moral mandate to be married by 18 (though there were also ascetic sects like the Essenes and ascetic prophets like John, Banus, and Jesus). But I imagine that in the view of the conservative Pharisees, for whom births and deaths would continue after the resurrection, probably marriages would continue to be performed also. So any single people would have an opportunity to marry there.

I doubt any Pharisees were teaching explicitly about marriage in the resurrection. There's certainly no evidence of an explicit teaching. But the assumption that it would continue, I think, underlies the Sadducees' question. I don't see any reason why such an assumption wouldn't have been only natural for anyone in that era.

Consig,

Assuming that Luke made the change, why did he make the change at this critical juncture?

Could it have been a concession to burgeoning monasticism?

I suspect that Luke Just intended to clarify what he took to be the meaning of the passage. "Monasticism" isn't the right word here; true monasticism started several centuries later. I think you're probably looking for "asceticism," which was an important feature of Greek Stoic thought, certainly describes the practice of John the Baptist and the Essenes, and very early came to characterize the Christian movement as well. (Christian missionaries "without purse" could be classed as ascetic. So could Paul's view of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7. Paul, in fact, may have been influenced by Stoic philosophy. The Didache seems to describe wandering ascetic prophets and apostles. In the late second century celibacy-- sexual asceticism-- began to be held up as the ideal, citing Jesus' example as precedent.)

There are many examples of Matthew and Luke modifying material to clarify it or to serve their particular purposes. Luke, for whom the temple is very important, places the climax of the temptation narrative atop the temple. Matthew arranges his temptations in order of increasing elevation, so the mountain is the climax. This difference is more stylistic than theological, and I think demonstrates quite nicely the freedom with which the Gospel compilers shaped their materials.

-CK

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CK:

Considering the one liners, I suppose that the topic has run it's course.

Aorist aspects are those without an indication of completion or continuation. As such, please explain how the verb "marry" is not static. For one to "be married" in a ceremony as opposed to "be married" throughout one's life are mutually exclusive. Are you referring to the latter?

If you disgree that's your business, but it is then your job to provide a plausible interpretation of this passage that doesn't presume Jesus was being weaselly.

On the contrary: you've introduced absurdum. There is no necessity in providing such an interpretation without such a presumption. When asked of his authority, I daresay his response was quintessentially, "weaselly." Considering the attitudes of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the last thing Christ was interested in doing was throw pearls at the swine. Instead, he confounded them by illustrating the confusion in their own questions without giving them any type satisfaction. Can you think of any instances were Christ was happy to see the S&Ps and expel the mysteries of heaven? On the contrary, they were never ready to learn.

PacMan

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"Monasticism" isn't the right word here; true monasticism started several centuries later. I think you're probably looking for "asceticism," which was an important feature of Greek Stoic thought, certainly describes the practice of John the Baptist and the Essenes, and very early came to characterize the Christian movement as well. (Christian missionaries "without purse" could be classed as ascetic. So could Paul's view of marriage in 1 Corinthians 7. Paul, in fact, may have been influenced by Stoic philosophy. The Didache seems to describe wandering ascetic prophets and apostles. In the late second century celibacy-- sexual asceticism-- began to be held up as the ideal, citing Jesus' example as precedent.)

There are many examples of Matthew and Luke modifying material to clarify it or to serve their particular purposes.

-CK

Drat!

Correction noted.

So I will rephrase the question:

Do you think this change in Luke could have been a concession to burgeoning asceticism?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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