Bible Review 21:4, Fall 2005

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Bible Review

Were They Married?

The article “Did Jesus Marry?” by Birger A. Pearson (BR 21:02) does not deal with honest scriptural exegetical issues and truths.

In John 20:17, Mary Magdalene touches Jesus. The Greek word for touch here is apton—the same word Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 7:1, where he says it is good for a man not to touch a woman in a sexual passionate way (apton). According to both Moulton and Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament and Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, apton means “to kindle, set on fire.” This is a hot, sexual, passionate touch!

Also, William F. Albright pointed out in The Background of the New Testament and Its Eschatology that the rabbani of John 20:16 should be translated “my dear,” or “little master”; it is a term of endearment that a lover or wife could use for her husband.

In 1 Corinthians 7:7, Paul says it is better to be like him and not be married. If Jesus had not married, Paul, with his legalistic bent of mind, would certainly have held him up as an example, too. Finally, it is interesting to note that Martin Luther also thought that Jesus and Mary Magdalene may have been married.

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