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Heated Discussion About Eternal Marriage


consiglieri

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My son at college sent me an e-mail last night regarding a heated discussion he had gotten into with some true Christians about the subject of marriage in heaven; and how could he respond from the Bible regarding this subject.

I sent him the following e-mail, which I submit here for review and criticism.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

_____________________________________

Dear J.,

I would absolutely love to hear the details of your "discussion" regarding celestial marriage.

In the meantime, let me try to address your question.

There is nothing really hard and fast in the Bible that teaches the doctrine of marriage in heaven. Of course, if there were, we would expect other Christian groups today to teach the same thing! But to my knowledge, we are the only ones.

May I humbly suggest that the reason it is not in the scriptures as we have them is likely due to intentional suppression? The reason I say this is because recent Bible scholarship has shown suppression of the concept that God himself is married, resulting in such books as William Dever's, "Does God Have a Wife?" William Dever is not LDS, but is at the forefront of current Bible scholarship, and has said that everything the scholarly world thought they knew about the ancient history of the Bible just a generation ago has all changed due to new discoveries.

In sum, here are what the new discoveries show: Before the Babylonian Exile (i.e., right at the time the Book of Mormon opens), the Jews believed a number of things that were changed and suppressed over the course of several hundred years; among those beliefs are (1) God was a separate and distinct being from Jehovah, his Son; (2) God ruled and presided over a heavenly council, made up of his sons (one of whom was Jehovah); and, (3) That God was married to a woman named "Asherah" and who was symbolized by the tree of life, which is likely what the menorah in the temple represented.

Jews subsequent to the Babylonian exile changed these teachings, collapsing the son of God, Jehovah, into his father, Elohim; and at the same time doing the same thing with Asherah, God's wife. In other words, they were influenced by monotheism to the point where they did not feel comfortable believing in God's wife or in God's Son (who himself was something of a God). And so they pretty much did away with God's wife and God's son. They also did away with the heavenly council of the sons of God, turning them into angels instead.

Once this new form of belief became predominant, the Jews then suppressed this teaching from their holy books. This is what the current state of Bible scholarship tells us. There are still quite a number of clues remaining in the Bible to these beliefs, but it is not something that jumps out at you. A lot of other clues come from books that did not make it into the Bible. Examples of clues still in the Bible would include Psalm 82:10, which in your NRSV is pretty clear about the heavenly council over which God presides. God's wife was often referred to as "Wisdom," and is referred to mostly in Proverbs (check out chapter 3, if memory serves). When we read it today, most people think that the quality of wisdom is simply being personified as a female, as she clearly is in the text. What modern scholarship tells us is that Wisdom is personified as a female because she was a female person, and is God's wife, who was present with God at the creation. Even Jesus makes a reference to this in an otherwise cryptic saying in the New Testament, when he says that "Wisdom is justified of all of her children."

Another non-LDS scholar, Margaret Barker, has led the way in uncovering the suppressed beliefs of the pre-exilic Jews, and has published extensively on the subject. She was asked to speak at the Joseph Smith symposium at the Library of Congress in 2005, together with other LDS and non-LDS presenters. Her comments were quite remarkable, as she made reference to Nephi's vision in 1 Nephi 11; said that the interpetation of the Tree of Life is given as Mary, the mother of Jesus, which she likens to a Christianized version of Asherah; and even makes note of how perfectly the pre-exiliic Jews would have understood the tree of life to be a representation of the heavenly female. She concluded by saying that what Joseph Smith had produced in the Book of Mormon at this point undoubtedly reflected the beliefs of the Jews in 600 B.C. She even says she was "surprised" to find this in the Book of Mormon.

So what we have in the Book of Mormon is a restoration of actual Jewish beliefs from that precise time and place; but beliefs which had been suppressed effectively enough to where it is only in the last generation that Bible scholars have been able to piece it together. I mentioned this to my Sunday school class two days ago; and said that, whatever you think about Joseph Smith, whether your for him or against him; it cannot be doubted that when he said he was restoring ancient doctrines that had been lost, he was speaking the truth. It has just taken the scholars some time to catch up with him.

Interestingly, Nephi goes on in 1 Nephi 13 to talk about the Book of the Lamb of God, and says that many "plain and precious parts" were taken away from this book, which caused the Gentiles to stumble exceedingly. Now, this tends to excite fundamentalist Christians, whose faith is based on the fundamental tenent that the Bible is perfect and complete. But Margaret Barkers' research concludes the exact same thing--that indeed many plain and precious parts were taken away from the Bible in an effort to suppress earlier teachings that were later changed and modified, as mentioned above.

The reason I go into such detail on this particular subject is because, if the belief still prevailed in Christianity (and Judaism) that God has a wife; it would be less difficult for modern Christians to see the reasonableness of believing in marriage in heaven. I would also note that this is probably a good answer to the old chestnut regarding the absence of mention in the Bible of a heavenly mother.

As to specific references in the Bible about marriage in heaven, this too has likely undergone a similar type of suppression; but like passages relating to the heavenly mother, some passages remain indicating marriage in heaven. These passages are not explicit, but are rather like looking at footprints in the sand. You are not seeing the actual person walk by, but you can see the footprints and know that somebody has been there.

Some LDS authors try to use the story of the wedding at Cana, where Jesus is present at a marriage celebration, and say that it was actually Jesus' own wedding. This is ultimately unsatisfactory, in my opinion, as there is really nothing in the text that would indicate it was Jesus' wedding, as opposed to the wedding of a family member or close friend.

Closer to the mark is Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 11:11 (one of the easiest scriptural references to memorize!); that "the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord." What does Paul mean by this? In context, he is referring to the fact that woman came from man originally (from Adam's rib); and that thereafter men are born of women. One cannot exist without the other . . . literally. But then Paul concludes this by saying that "the man is not without the woman, neither the woman without the man," and adds the interesting phrase, "in the Lord." Although Paul does not come right out and say it, this is likely an oblique reference to the doctrine of marriage in heaven. It is probably not enough to win an argument, but it should be enough to give people pause, especially if not presented in too dogmatic a fashion; (e.g., "this proves the doctrine of marriage in heaven!"). It does not prove it; but it is a gentle nudge in that direction.

Usually these types of discussions come down to the passage in Matthew 22 where Jesus allegedly says that there is no marriage in heaven, but they are as the angels, remaining separately.

I can only imagine that this came up in your discussion.

This passage is fascinating because I believe that close examination of this chapter indicates strongly that Jesus did, in fact, teach the doctrine of marriage in heaven! Now, that seems counterintuitive at first, so let's look at what is going on in that chapter.

Pretty much everybody agrees that the Pharisees and Sadducees are trying to trap Jesus in his words, especially because that is what the chapter itself says; that they were trying to "entangle him in his talk." 22:15.

Starting in verse 15 through the rest of the chapter, three traps are laid by Jesus' opponents. They are trying to get Jesus to say something that they can use against him. Most people would agree on this, as well.

FIRST TRAP--The first trap is to ask Jesus whether it is lawful to pay tribute to Caesar. What is the trap? The trap is that if Jesus says yes, then they can use that against Jesus with the Jews who hated their Roman overlords, and accuse him of blasphemy. If Jesus says no, then they can use it against Jesus with the Roman overlords, and accuse him of treason. Jesus' response is to not answer the question directly, but to give an indirect answer that covers the bases and gets him out of the trap. He says to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to give to God what is God's. Jesus one. Pharisees nothing.

THIRD TRAP--(we skip the second trap for now, but will come back to it shortly) The third trap is to ask Jesus what the most important commandment is in the law. What is the trap? No matter what commandment Jesus gives as the most important, the Pharisees can find another commandment they can claim is more important and say that Jesus is discounting this other commandment. A similar thing happens in court, when arguing a case to the jury. A number of "instructions" are given to the jury, which contain the law that pertains to the case. There are usually at least ten such instructions, and often more. It is considered a rookie move by an attorney to discount any other instructions at the expense of one or two. In fact, this happened at my last jury trial in October. The prosecutor focused on one instruction and said that other instructions (the ones that favored my client) didn't really matter. I, being fashioned in the role of a Pharisee from the beginning, took the prosecutor to task in front of the jury, saying that "all" of the instructions are important, and the prosecutor just wants you to focus on the ones that favor him while discounting all the other instructions that favor me. "Now, let me point your attention to the instructions the prosecutor doesn't want you to think about." See how easy it is? Well, Jesus got out of this trap, as well, and you will note he does it by breaking the rules of the question. The question asked for the single commandment that is the greatest. Jesus does not give a single commandment as an answer. Instead he gives two. His answer is that the most imporant commandment is to love God completely; and then hastens to add that the second commandment is like unto it; to love your neighbor as yourself. By this, Jesus wriggled free of the second trap and left his accusers with nothing to accuse him.

NOW WE COME TO THE SECOND TRAP--There can be no doubt that this second trap is indeed a trap. Contextually, it is sandwiched between two other traps, and it is the point at which the Sadducees take their turn at bat and see if they can trap Jesus into saying something they can use against him. It is critical that this be understood as a trap; otherwise it makes no sense. The Sadducees propose a hypothetical scenario; saying that there was a woman "among us" who married; her husband died; so she took his brother as her husband (according to the Law of Moses); and the brother died; and so on until she had been married to seven men over the course of her life. Now comes the trap: To whom shall this woman be married in the resurrection? Now, Jonathan, let me ask you: What is the trap?

I will give you a few seconds to think about it, because this is the trap that virtually nobody reads as if it were a trap; and yet it is obviously a trap for Jesus, just as surely as the first and third attempts were traps. If it is not read as a trap, it is a rather pointless exercise. In other words, if Jesus were not teaching the continuation of earthly marriage in heaven, it makes no sense. Think about that for a second. If Jesus is not teaching marriage in heaven, why would the Sadducees bother framing this elaborate hypothetical. Try it sometime on your friends who do not believe in marriage. The answer for them is obvious; that nobody is married in heaven. By now, perhaps you have deduced the trap: The trap is that if earthly marriage continues into heaven; the answer would have to be that she is married to all her seven husbands in heaven! This would be ridiculous to Jews. One man married to seven women they could accept. But one woman married to seven men? That the Jews could never accept. Now, please note: This question is a trap only if the Sadducees understood Jesus as teaching that earthly marriage continues in heaven. Otherwise this entire scene is pointless.

As with the first and third traps, though, Jesus wriggles his way out of it, thus unfortunately leaving many people with the impression that he did not teach that marriage exists in heaven. Jesus avoids the trap by answering the question strictly within the terms of the hypothetical; since the Sadducees asked it about a woman who was "among them," he answers it as it would apply to a Sadducee woman; and says that "in the resurrection," they (i.e., the Sadducee woman and her seven Sadducee husbands) are not married, but are as the angels.

Also, note what Jesus says here. He upbraids the Sadducees, saying they don't know the scriptures or the "power of God." Now, what "power of God" would be required to have these people NOT be married in heaven? Why, none at all. What, then, is this power of God to which Jesus refers that the Sadducees don't know? The indication is that it is the "power of God" that is required to continue in their married state in heaven; and because they do not know this power, the Sadducee marriages will not continue in heaven.

Jesus here quickly changes the subject, probably because he doesn't want to dwell on this issue. He immediately accuses the Sadducees of hypocrisy because they ask him a question based upon the resurrection (in which Jesus believes, along with the Pharisees), but in which the Sadducees do not believe; saying that God is the God of the living and not of the dead.

Well, I have gone on way too long here, but hope I have said something that is helpful to you. I am going to take the liberty of cc'ing this to your sister, in hopes that maybe she will find something of interest.

Keep up the great work!

Love, Dad

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NOW WE COME TO THE SECOND TRAP--There can be no doubt that this second trap is indeed a trap. Contextually, it is sandwiched between two other traps, and it is the point at which the Sadducees take their turn at bat and see if they can trap Jesus into saying something they can use against him. It is critical that this be understood as a trap; otherwise it makes no sense. The Sadducees propose a hypothetical scenario; saying that there was a woman "among us" who married; her husband died; so she took his brother as her husband (according to the Law of Moses); and the brother died; and so on until she had been married to seven men over the course of her life. Now comes the trap: To whom shall this woman be married in the resurrection? Now, Jonathan, let me ask you: What is the trap?

I will give you a few seconds to think about it, because this is the trap that virtually nobody reads as if it were a trap; and yet it is obviously a trap for Jesus, just as surely as the first and third attempts were traps. If it is not read as a trap, it is a rather pointless exercise. In other words, if Jesus were not teaching the continuation of earthly marriage in heaven, it makes no sense. Think about that for a second. If Jesus is not teaching marriage in heaven, why would the Sadducees bother framing this elaborate hypothetical. Try it sometime on your friends who do not believe in marriage. The answer for them is obvious; that nobody is married in heaven. By now, perhaps you have deduced the trap: The trap is that if earthly marriage continues into heaven; the answer would have to be that she is married to all her seven husbands in heaven! This would be ridiculous to Jews. One man married to seven women they could accept. But one woman married to seven men? That the Jews could never accept. Now, please note: This question is a trap only if the Sadducees understood Jesus as teaching that earthly marriage continues in heaven. Otherwise this entire scene is pointless.

As with the first and third traps, though, Jesus wriggles his way out of it, thus unfortunately leaving many people with the impression that he did not teach that marriage exists in heaven. Jesus avoids the trap by answering the question strictly within the terms of the hypothetical; since the Sadducees asked it about a woman who was "among them," he answers it as it would apply to a Sadducee woman; and says that "in the resurrection," they (i.e., the Sadducee woman and her seven Sadducee husbands) are not married, but are as the angels.

Also, note what Jesus says here. He upbraids the Sadducees, saying they don't know the scriptures or the "power of God." Now, what "power of God" would be required to have these people NOT be married in heaven? Why, none at all. What, then, is this power of God to which Jesus refers that the Sadducees don't know? The indication is that it is the "power of God" that is required to continue in their married state in heaven; and because they do not know this power, the Sadducee marriages will not continue in heaven.

Jesus here quickly changes the subject, probably because he doesn't want to dwell on this issue. He immediately accuses the Sadducees of hypocrisy because they ask him a question based upon the resurrection (in which Jesus believes, along with the Pharisees), but in which the Sadducees do not believe; saying that God is the God of the living and not of the dead.

Well, I have gone on way too long here, but hope I have said something that is helpful to you. I am going to take the liberty of cc'ing this to your sister, in hopes that maybe she will find something of interest.

Keep up the great work!

Love, Dad

I don't think you understand the Saduccees trap correctly. The Saduccees are not arguing against eternal marriage; they are arguing against resurrection as such. That is why Jesus ultimately answers them by citing Exodus in support of eternal life. If one recognizes, in accordance with Jesus' answer, that the Saduccees argument is directed against resurrection, it become impossible to avoid that Jesus is teaching against eternal marriage. For if he were only saying that some people, "the children of this world" do not marry in heaven, leaving open the possibility that others do, or that he is merely saying that no new marriage covenants will happen in heaven, then he has clearly failed to answer the Saducees objection, since the same argument could be made again about a worthy woman with several husbands.

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I don't think you understand the Saduccees trap correctly. The Saduccees are not arguing against eternal marriage; they are arguing against resurrection as such. That is why Jesus ultimately answers them by citing Exodus in support of eternal life. If one recognizes, in accordance with Jesus' answer, that the Saduccees argument is directed against resurrection, it become impossible to avoid that Jesus is teaching against eternal marriage. For if he were only saying that some people, "the children of this world" do not marry in heaven, leaving open the possibility that others do, or that he is merely saying that no new marriage covenants will happen in heaven, then he has clearly failed to answer the Saducees objection, since the same argument could be made again about a worthy woman with several husbands.

Dear Soren,

Thank you for contributing to the thread. I always appreciate your thoughtful insights.

I think your analysis is flawed, however, in that it fails to take into consideration the elaborate hypothetical construct formulated by the Sadducees. It would seem that they created this hypothetical for a reason, and that if the argument is only about the resurrection, no such elaborate hypothetical would be required.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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With the adoption of the Canaanite Yahweh & El as Gods of the early Israelites they also gained Yahweh's/El's consort Asherah/Athirat, the Queen of Heaven. So from a completely foundational basis the Hebrew bible recognizes not only a heavenly marriage but a marriage among gods.

Phaedrus

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With the adoption of the Canaanite Yahweh & El as Gods of the early Israelites they also gained Yahweh's/El's consort Asherah/Athirat, the Queen of Heaven. So from a completely foundational basis the Hebrew bible recognizes not only a heavenly marriage but a marriage among gods.

Phaedrus

How much more "heavenly" can you get?

Thanks for your insight, PUT!

--Consiglieri

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In other words, if Jesus were not teaching the continuation of earthly marriage in heaven, it makes no sense. Think about that for a second. If Jesus is not teaching marriage in heaven, why would the Sadducees bother framing this elaborate hypothetical.

I never thought about it that way before, but it makes sense. Your entire post was very interesting.

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I only very quickly read your letter... so forgive me if this is irrrelevant... I think you should have also mentioned these verses.

Matt 19

1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

3

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A few things...

1. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, therefore did not believe that marriage endured beyond the grave...thus making them full of deceit to even ask the question.

2. They did not ask if there was marriage in heaven, but to whom would the woman be married.

3. Jesus said "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures" Matthew 22: 29... What scriptures?... we have no teaching in the OT. Which means it is missing.

4. Jesus pointed out the "they" would not be married in heaven. If they did not believe, they would not take place in any such ordinance that would "seal" a marriage beyond the grave.

5. In D&C 132 JS uses the same language as Christ used to explain the "state" that those who did not enter into this covenant would remain.

You make a great argument.

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When God performed Adam and Eves Marriage seremony they where Imortal, and thus would have remained together as "one flesh" for eternity. Not everyone can receive the covenant of Eternal Marriage.

Thanks for your post, Zak.

My take on this argument is that it is not terribly persuasive from the Bible alone.

I know that often the point is argued in this regard that God married Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and that marriage was to remain forever, and the only reason it is sundered is through the Fall and the fallen nature of man.

The problem I have with making this argument stick is that nowhere in the Bible does it recount God marrying Adam and Eve in the Garden.

I do think, however, that the idea is implicit in the Matthean passage, though it finds no support in the Old Testament as we have it today.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I like what John Tvedtnes had to say about Matt 22:

"... in the Apocrypha... we read of a young woman, Sarah, who had been married to seven husbands (all brothers), each of whom was killed on the wedding night by a demon. But in the story (Tobit 6:10-8:9), Sara ultimately marries an eighth husband, Tobias, son of Tobit, who, following instructions from the archangel Raphael, manages to chase the demon away and is therefore not slain. Of special interest is the fact that the archangel (who, according to Tobit 3:17, had been sent to arrange the marriage) tells the young man that his wife had been appointed to him "from the beginning" (Tobit 6:17). This implies that she had not been sealed to any of her earlier husbands, which would explain why none of them would claim her in the resurrection, as Jesus explained. But if she were sealed to Tobias, the situation changes. Assuming that the Sadducees (whose real issue was one of resurrection, not of eternal marriage) were alluding to this story but left off part of it, this would explain why Jesus told them, 'Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God'" Tvedtnes, J., "A Much-Needed Book That Needs Much", FARMS Review of Books, vol. 9, no. 1, 1997, p. 41.
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In addition to 1 Corinthians 11:11 there is also...

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Peter 3:7

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consig,

I'd have to disagree with that... It's implicit in the verse...

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

As well as the OT...

Gen 3

22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

God is cast as the father walking her down the Isle and giving her away.

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In addition to 1 Corinthians 11:11 there is also...

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Peter 3:7

I like that verse, as well, and I think it, like 1 Cornithians 11:11 is a gentle nudge in the right direction; though it would seem to be equally susceptible to the interpretation that the "life" there referred to is simply mortality.

Thanks for the cite!

--Consiglieri

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consig,

I'd have to disagree with that... It's implicit in the verse...

5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

As well as the OT...

Gen 3

22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

God is cast as the father walking her down the Isle and giving her away.

You will note that I did actually say it was "implicit" in my previous verse, right? ;)

The problem with that particular "implication" as being in the mouth of God when he "married" Adam and Eve is that the other thing "implicit" from such an interpretation is that Adam and Eve had a father and mother they left in order to be married. :P

Now, if only Genesis said after God brought Eve to Adam that God "gave her away." Then we would have something!

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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With the adoption of the Canaanite Yahweh & El as Gods of the early Israelites they also gained Yahweh's/El's consort Asherah/Athirat, the Queen of Heaven. So from a completely foundational basis the Hebrew bible recognizes not only a heavenly marriage but a marriage among gods.

Phaedrus

Indeed. I'm just now getting into that sort of information, a la Barker, Dever, Christensen, Peterson, and phaedrus ut.

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I only very quickly read your letter... so forgive me if this is irrrelevant... I think you should have also mentioned these verses.

Matt 19

1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

3

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I think your analysis is flawed, however, in that it fails to take into consideration the elaborate hypothetical construct formulated by the Sadducees. It would seem that they created this hypothetical for a reason, and that if the argument is only about the resurrection, no such elaborate hypothetical would be required.

As you can tell from my posts, I believe in the simple answer. I think you are getting off on a tangent.

The women, and men mentioned in the example were NOT married in the temple, as evidenced from the story. So Christ gave the direct answer that none of them will have an eternal marriage, because marriages cannot be performed in the spirit world (heaven).

He did not go into a discussion of temple marriage, based on pearls before swine principle. He was answering their question, not teaching believing disciples.

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In addition to 1 Corinthians 11:11 there is also...

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Peter 3:7

I like that verse, as well, and I think it, like 1 Cornithians 11:11 is a gentle nudge in the right direction; though it would seem to be equally susceptible to the interpretation that the "life" there referred to is simply mortality.

That might be. However, I'd just refer those of such interpretation back to the Lexicon on this verse wherein "life" (zoe) is......

life real and genuine, "vita quae sola vita nominanda", a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever

So essentially this verse implies, if not directly shows, the continuance of the marriage relationship after the resurrection.

Thanks for the cite!

You're welcome!

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As you can tell from my posts, I believe in the simple answer. I think you are getting off on a tangent.

The women, and men mentioned in the example were NOT married in the temple, as evidenced from the story. So Christ gave a simple and correct answer that none of them will have an eternal marriage, because marriages cannot be performed in the spirit world (heaven).

He did not go into details of temple marriage for obvious reasons.

Do you believe that temple marriages were performed in Herod's temple?

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Why would there have to be an actual marriage ceremony? They were originally created as ONE flesh, and separated into two beings later. If that isn't marriage in the purest sense, I don't know what is.

We agree, but we also recognize that critical readers will not be convinced by such implications. It's a strong case for a believer, a weak one for a disbeliever.

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We agree, but we also recognize that critical readers will not be convinced by such implications. It's a strong case for a believer, a weak one for a disbeliever.

Even a disbeliever in eternal marriage has to concede that Eve was called "his wife" while they were still in the garden. Personally, I see the creation story as the Bible's most beautiful allegory, but even with a stark, literal reading, I don't see how anyone can deny that Adam and Eve were married.

The Jews were in a state of apostacy. That doctrine was lost to the Jews at this time, and restored by Christ.

Yes they were. Do you believe that Jesus was sealing people in Herod's temple at that time?

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