How Jesus' Views on Marriage Proves Yahweh's Laws are NOT Absolute OR Jesus is Mistaken


Marriage is still viewed as a sacred institution in our society, although it has different meanings for many people.  Christians view it as a "gift from god," or a"spiritual representation" of their relationship with God.   Truth be told however, the institution of marriage came about for economic reasons, and not out of love for a god, or the love for a potential mate.

Marriage has been defined differently by different cultures four thousands of years, and not solely in the realm of Christian societies. In many cases, arrangements were made, dowries were paid, children were born, and people worked together to provide the necessities of life.  Marriage was a contract.  Marriages have also not always been monogamous.  In fact, approximately one in six of the 1,195 societies surveyed in the largest anthropological dataset have been defined as being monogamous,* making monogamy something of an enigma.

Biblically, marriage was also a form of contract that had little or nothing to do with love, and in many cases, if not most, these marriages were polygamous.  Historically, the wealthier one was, the more wives one tended to have. (Consider King Solomon and his 700 wives and his 300 concubines.)  Polygamy was most certainly a permitted practice. Although the Romans and Greeks are said to have practiced monogamy--which some say influenced Western Societies to adopt this practice--their version of monogamy was something of a sham.  Roman men who were married could and did have relations with their wives and their slaves, and this was not considered adultery, as slaves were possessions--not people.   Furthermore, the practice of pederasty (in which a man "passed his knowledge" to a young male protege via homosexual sex) was also considered normal in Roman society, and was not a form of adultery.  The normalcy of this practice is made mention of in the Bible, although not directly.  In Matthew 8:5-13, Jesus was asked by a Roman centurion to heal his "pais" (male slave), and made no mention of any sins being committed.  Logically speaking, if pederasty itself was considered sinful, then it would make sense that he would have denigrated a practice that was widely practiced in the Hellenized world that he lived in--but he did not.  But I digress.  Not only did Jesus not speak out against pederasty, niether he nor Paul spoke much on the subject of marriage.  What Jesus did say however, was in reference to a question of divorce.  When Jesus told his disciples man could only divorce when adultery was committed, they decided maybe it was better not to marry.  Jesus concurred by saying some men became eunuchs to avoid marriage, and the "sins" of the flesh.  Note also that Jesus contradicted himself when he said "Therefore, what God has joined together, let NO ONE separate," but then goes on say that well, it is ok to separate if one has committed adultery:

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason? Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”  Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom  of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”  Matt. 19:3-12

Neither Jesus nor Paul put much stock in the institution of marriage. Paul  made it known that marriage is for those that "can't help themselves" and it would be better if they did not marry (1 Cor. 7:8-9) as they would be better able to "serve the Lord" without the distraction of "lust."  (Although, this tactic hasn't worked out too well for the priesthood.)  Furthermore, as late as 393 CE, the Roman state forbade Jews to ‘enter into several matrimonies at the same time’ (Justinian Code1.9.7)** which illustrates that polygamy was routinely practiced by the Jews who worship the same god the so-called monogamous Christians do.  Therefore, we can say that marriage is not well defined by the Abrahamic god and his "writings."  More importantly, this illustrates that the "absolute" laws of Yahweh, are not so absolute at all, when Moses said it IS possible to divorce, and Jesus said it was not (i.e., let NO ONE separate {a universal term})--and then when he was challenged on this mistake by the Pharisees, Jesus added the ad hoc exception to the rule--making him less than perfect.  Jesus seems to imply that Yahweh created his laws based on  how people feel at that given time.  (They were "hard hearted" at the time of Moses.) The implication of Jesus' statement is that the laws are NOT absolute, and they change based on social conditions.

That being said, even in Christian societies the rules and regulations concerning marriage has changed significantly. Governance of marriage proceedings only became an institution of the church in approximately the 13th century.  Before that time, those speaking for their God pretty much kept their noses out of the business of marriage.  Since then however, the church has felt the need to tell people what defines marriage and who they can and cannot marry--when they themselves have no consistent Biblical doctrines which uphold their views. (The more the church infiltrated the lives of their flocks after all, the more power they had over them.) Church fathers did, and continue to this day to instill their OWN bigoted views on homosexuality and gay marriage, interracial marriages, and interfaith marriages on their flocks, to the detriment of the happiness of those involved.  Again--due strictly to their own bigoted views.  How shameful.  If Jesus did exist in the person most Christians describe--I know he would not be pleased.

** Ibid.

Please see the following post for more information on "Absolute Laws."

Views: 874

Comment by Magnus Mayus on May 18, 2013 at 3:53am
Surely God doesn't mind when two people love each other. That's what he set out in his directives to the world. Hasn't Jesus surrounded himself with just men? But yeah, seeing that the bible also talks that you should hold slaves, rape your daughters, and generally be ashamed of everything it doesn't surprise me that most Christians are confused...
Comment by brookelynn rainwater on May 18, 2013 at 5:22am

who's to say that a marriage that ends in divorce over adultry was ever joined together by God? and Jesus in His wisdom didnt correct every sin He came across, like when Mary the prostitute washed His feet. it doesnt mean He wasnt approving of any sin, but choosing His battles wisely and lovingly. King Solomon became known to christians as the king who got his three wishes, and then made the foolish choice to use his wisdom wealth and long life to juggle 1000 women successfully -.- not ok. We love his book in the bible because it was a manogomous story (the ideal, most romantic -a virgin and her fiance's shameless love story) and he was very experienced at marriage and good at romance and it mirrors Gods covenant with us beautifully! But taking multiple wives always led to strife and contention (jacob and abraham) and is not pleasing to God. when Jesus was having conversations where questions are being asked, He uses the questions to reveal more truth like "im glad you asked...heres the follow up.." Jesus had very keen insight into marriage, like the way He proposed to the desciples by serving them the traditional supper and drink that a young man would offer his lady of interest and her family- and if she partook of the food and drank from the cup, she was accepting the marriage proposal. then the fiance would declare that he would now go back to his fathers house and prepare a place for her and return for her when its time. Just like Jesus did and said as a romantic gesture to His bride- the church :)

Comment by Cathy Cooper on May 18, 2013 at 12:37pm

Simply put Brookelynn, every marriage that goes through the Judaic/Christian process, according to the Bible, was joined together by God.  If Yahweh did not approve of multiple wives, why did he permit it?   If divorce was not to be permitted, why did Yahweh permit it?  However, as you would have it, the fact that the Bible says it, does not make it true anyway!  As you will read further, you provide us with the answer!--which is, it is not the word of God, it is the word of men who are just being expedient, and choosing their battles wisely.

We expect a god to say what is right, and not what is in his best interest.  By choosing his battles "wisely" and being expedient, he sweeps what is right under the rug when it suits him.  If this is the case, then you have an epistemological problem.  How do you know what Jesus is saying is true, as opposed to just being expedient to his well being. i.e, "choosing his battles wisely"  This puts EVERYTHING he said and did into question, as we cannot trust whether he said or did it because it was right, or he was just being expedient. i.e., choosing his battles wisely

Let me give you an example.  Malcolm X during the 60's was speaking out against the Vietnam War instigated by the United States.  He was becoming quite popular as a result, compared to ML King.  He was pointing out that ML King was an "Uncle Tom" and a traitor to the people for not speaking out.  King eventually came out and said he could no longer keep quiet on the Vietnam War, and he spoke out against it.  As Malcolm X pointed out after this, why was he keeping quiet in the first place?  The obvious answer is that he was being expedient and choosing his battles wisely--he was not necessarily doing and saying what was RIGHT.

Your example is an equivocation.  For it to be an analogy, it would have to go something like this:

Since the Jewish laws say NOT to commit adultery, then Jesus would be saying you CAN commit adultery--therefore prostitution is ok.  Then the Pharisees would come up and say, "But Jesus, the laws say that adultery is forbidden!"  Then Jesus would reply, " The minds of men were closed in those days.  But now I say to you, open sex is good, unless you are younger than 12."

See how that goes, and how ad hoc that would be. 

As you have shown, when Jesus is confronted with a question that would expose his ignorance, he just does and says what is expedient--i.e., he chooses his battles wisely.  In this case, to hide his mistake and the contradiction that the Pharisees pointed out. 

If Jesus had, as you say, "a very keep insight into marriage,"  that is to say that Yahweh was a dumbass who couldn't get things right.  Isn't that odd, as according to Christians, Jesus IS god!!  See how far the rabbit hole goes?  How ironic.....


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

© 2021   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service