Now, we’ll continue looking at those viewpoints from the Wiki Answers discussion ( http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_Jesus_get_married ) that at least in my view open the door to Jesus being married.
Many times all kinds of allegations and innuendo are suggested to smear Jesus’ name but never any facts. On one occasion a woman anointed His feet and wiped them with her hair — in public.
Skipping the “smear Jesus’ name” reference, as the author’s intent is unclear, what we have here is a mixing together of two separate incidences into one event. Besides this anointing of Jesus’ feet with ointment, we have on another occasion, presumably another woman anointing his head with the same type of ointment. However, the circumstances surrounding each incident clearly shows they are two separate events.
Let’s take a look at these two occasions. The first was taken from Mark 14:3-8 and the second from John 12:1-8.
And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made?
For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone; against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
For the poor always ye have with you/; but me ye have not always.
Following are the important points of comparison between the two events:
- The first event was likely the public event the commenter was referring to, being in the home of Simon, the former leper. The second was likely more private, being in the home of Mary and Martha, with Martha serving. It is highly doubtful Martha would be serving in the home of Simon. It is clear Mary and Martha made the supper for Jesus.
- Interestingly, both events took place in Bethany.
- The woman of the first instance was not named, while Mary is specifically named as the one who anointed Jesus.
- The unnamed woman poured ointment on Jesus’ head; Mary poured it on hia feet.
- Both used spikenard, a very expensive ointment.
- Both women kept the ointment in an alabaster box, admittedly, a very small point.
- Even more interestingly, the conversation that followed the anointing in both instances was virtually the same.
While such an act doesn’t prove one way or another that Jesus was married to either or both women (some people believe Jesus was married to more than one woman, as it was often the case in Biblical times and is evident even today in the Middle East), it certainly points to a more than casual relationship between Jesus and the two woman.
I’m guessing the woman of the first instance wasn’t just wandering around Bethany with a box full of expensive ointment looking for someone to anoint. She had to know where Jesus was to begin with. And we also know that Mary, the sister of Martha, was more than just a casual acquaintance.
As a sort of side trip, I decided to look up spikenard on the Internet and the first place I came across was encyclopedia.com, which touts itself as the “Reference information you can trust” with “more than 100 trusted sources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauruses with facts, definitions, biographies, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations.”
So we can trust them, right? They said so, anyway. Here’s what it said:
spikenard (spīk´närd), name for several plants. The biblical spikenard, or nard, was a costly aromatic ointment, preserved in alabaster boxes, whose chief ingredient is believed to have been derived from Nardostachys grandiflora (or N. jatamansi), a plant of the family Valerianaceae (valerian family). Such was the precious box of ointment that Mary Magdalen broke over Jesus’ feet. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.) ( http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/spikenard.aspx )
Well, there you have it. Now, I’m not sure which of these “more than 100 trusted sources” came up with the idea that the woman in the second instance was Mary Magdalen, but the idea didn’t come from the Bible.
The Biblical reference in Mark didn’t identify the woman as being Mary Magdalen. Nevertheless, some people assumed this to be Mary Magdalen because, obviously, she held a very special place in Jesus’ heart, as did Mary and Martha.
While we didn’t quote it, the reference in Matthew 26:6-13 is essentially the same as that in Mark, except the “some” in Mark was identified as “his disciples” as being the ones who were doing the complaining.
Referring to the unknown woman of Mark and Matthew, Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible has this to say:
“Many suppose that this woman had been a notorious public prostitute; but this is taking the subject by the very worst handle. My own opinion is, that she had been a mere heathen who dwelt in this city, (probably Capernaum), who, through the ministry of Christ, had been before this converted to God, and came now to give this public testimony of her gratitude to her gracious deliverer from the darkness and guilt of sin. I am inclined to think that the original word, ἁμαρτωλος, is used for heathen or Gentile in several places of the sacred writings.”
While this may be sao, I think this public anointing, as well as the private one, were expressing something more than gratitude. But then, I’m admittedly prejudiced. One just didn’t go around anointing others just because they were grateful, I don’t think.
As to the unknown woman’s identity, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible doesn’t believe she was Mary Magdalen, nor Mary of Bethany. Wesley’s Notes concurs with the latter.
Who was this woman? We’ll never know without revelation from on high.
One cannot assume anything regarding this woman’s identity. The only thing we know for sure is that she felt a very close bond to Jesus.
Did that bond involve marriage? Probably not, but you never know. And who’s to really say, after all? We simply were not there.
As before mentioned, none of this proves Jesus was married to either of these two women. Yet, it does show there was a certain intimacy between those involved in the anointings.