Marriage and Children in Heaven?


#1

I was perusing a Baha’i website, and found this interesting section that describes how Jesus probably believed in marriage (and giving birth) in heaven. And notice the quote from St. Irenaeus towards the bottom. What is the offiicial Catholic interpretation of the cited verses?:

At the time of Jesus, the Pharisees believed in marriage in Heaven for the “Perfectly Righteous”. The Sadducees (“Tzadokee’eem” in Hebrew), founded by Tzadok (a High Priest) did not believe in the Resurrection. They denied there was an Afterlife. They kept the Law of Moses because they believed it brought them “blessings” in this life; the only life we have. They did not believe in the Resurrection as did the Pharisees. Most priests (workers in the Jewish Temple) were Sadducees.

Evangelicals don’t believe in Marriage in Heaven; because Jesus was asked by Sadducees if there was marriage in heaven, and Jesus seemed to have denied it; saying that those who went to Heaven became like the angels who married not nor were given in marriage (Matt 22:30, Mark 12:25).

However, a *closer* examination of the Verses reveal:

*The Sadducees were not asking if *Jesus' own disciples* were married in heaven, but if a Sadducee woman and her 7 husbands were married in heaven.

*Jesus replied that “the Children of This World” were not married in heaven, but became like the angels.(Like 20:34ff) Jesus never referred to His own disciples as the “Children of This World”, but as “the Children of Light” (John 12:36). He said to them, “Ye are not of the World” (John 15:19).

*The Sadducees were not sincere. They denied the Resurrection and the Afterlife. They were trying to catch Jesus is a snare! The Sadducees believed that Jesus was a Pharisee of the School of Hillel. This is why they called Him “Rabbi”. They knew that the rabbis taught that the “Perfectly Righteous” would inherit Gardens of Eden and eat and drink and be married to their wives and have children there (just as the Qur’an says). But the Sadducees did not believe in the Day of Resurrection. They did not believe in the Afterlife. They knew a Sadducee woman whose husband had died without “seed” (having begotten any children). According to the Law of Moses (which Sadducees kept), if a man die without “seed” then his brother would marry her, beget children, and the children of that union would be considered the heirs of the first brother who died without children. But, as the story went, the first brother died, then the second married her, then the second brother died without seed, then the third brother married her, then on and on till the seventh brother; none of whom had “seed” by her. They were saying, "Rabbi, if there is marriage in the resurrection, whose wife is the woman going to be, because she was married to all seven brothers! All had a legal claim on her!" To the Sadducees this presented an impossible problem that rabbis (i.e. Pharisees) could not answer! In other worlds, if there is marriage in heaven as the Pharisees claimed (and the Sadducees did not believe), and a woman has seven husbands during mortal life, at the Day of Resurrection whose wife is she going to be if all had legal claim to her under the Law, and the Law did not allow for polyandry (a woman having more than one husband at a time)?

[continued]


#2

Jesus answered by replying that the “Children of This World” (i.e. Sadducees and others who deny the Resurrection but who are not Perfectly Wicked) shall not be married in the resurrection, but be as the angels of God.

*The Scribes (scholars) among the Pharisees who heard the Sadducees’ questions (and believed in marriage in the Resurrection) and heard Jesus’ reply told Him: “Master, thou hast well said!” (i.e. “you have answered well!”) (Luke 20:38). The Pharisees did not believe that Sadducees would be married in heaven! They denied the Resurrection!

Jesus pleased the Pharisees with His answer; that the “Children of This World” would not be married in heaven, but be single like the angels in Heaven.

All this reveals that Jesus probably did believe in "Heaven" as defined by the School of Hillel! For the "Children of This World" there would be no eating, drinking, or marrying in Heaven. That would be reserved for the "Children of Light".

St. Irenaeus (c. 125-212 A.D.), the ancient Christian bishop of Lyons, France, was a disciple of Polycarp, who himself was a disciple of the Apostle John; author of the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelations (Apocalypse). John, of course, was a disciple of Jesus; the “Beloved Disciple” as he is called. Irenaeus wrote that true Christians would inherit Gardens of Eden, and beget many children in those Gardens. Historians Colleen McDaniel and Bernard Lang write:

“Irenaeus brought millennial views from Asia Minor to the West were they gained new relevance during the persecution in southern France. Using numerous references from the Old and New Testaments, as well as apocryphal writings, he strove to paint an image of the new world he expected: restored to life, the human body will be placed in an ideal environment. There the body will be immensely furtile, and women will give birth to numerous children…The tortured body of the [Christian] saint would be restored to its wholeness and integrity. In the fertile environment of the life to come, Christians would bear and raise children.” (Heaven: A History, 1988, pp.52-53). St. Irenaeus was not a heretic! Indeed, he wrote “the book” against heresies in the ancient Church called Adversum Haerises (“Against All Heresies”). St. Irenaeus was the Bishop of the second largest city in Europe in his day. He learned his Christianity from the feet of Polycarpt, who learned his at the feet of John the Revelator. Irenaeus was a disciple of a disciple of a disciple of Jesus. He is a “saint” in the Roman, Anglican, and Greek Orthodox churches. He is recognized as a true Early Church Father by Protestant and Evangelical scholars. He was a Christian martyr; dying in the Roman circus from wounds inflicted by wild animals. He was a martyr and a true Christian! Other early Christian writers said that on the Day of Resurrection true Believers (Christians) would be given “Gardens of Eden” of their own, and be there with their wives and loved ones. After many centuries this was interpreted more and more as a mere parable. Eventually, most Christian sects forgot this doctrine altogether. Some, like the Mormons (followers of Joseph Smith), and Swedenborgians (followers of the Christian mystic and Seer Emmanuel Swedenborg) still teach it, but Evangelical Christians consider them to be “heretics” and not “Christians” at all.

From here.


#3

There’s a couple of things wrong with this:

This is not what Jesus said. He said the children of this world (people that are here on earth) marry and are given in marrige, but those in heaven are not. He wasn’t just referring to the case of the woman and his seven wives since he uses the general term “those who accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection” to indicate he is talking about all who go to heaven.

Irenaeus wrote that true Christians would inherit Gardens of Eden, and beget many children in those Gardens.

You are right in saying Irenaeus was no heretic. His views on the afterlife (particularly the millenium) however, were condemned. The authors that are cited don’t quote Irenaus directly so it is impossible to know from this what he actually said (or didn’t say) and in what context.


#4

[quote=Ahimsa]Irenaeus wrote that true Christians would inherit Gardens of Eden, and beget many children in those Gardens. Historians Colleen McDaniel and Bernard Lang write:

“Irenaeus brought millennial views from Asia Minor to the West were they gained new relevance during the persecution in southern France. Using numerous references from the Old and New Testaments, as well as apocryphal writings, he strove to paint an image of the new world he expected: restored to life, the human body will be placed in an ideal environment. There the body will be immensely furtile, and women will give birth to numerous children…The tortured body of the [Christian] saint would be restored to its wholeness and integrity. In the fertile environment of the life to come, Christians would bear and raise children.” (Heaven: A History, 1988, pp.52-53). St. Irenaeus was not a heretic! Indeed, he wrote “the book” against heresies in the ancient Church called Adversum Haerises (“Against All Heresies”). St. Irenaeus was the Bishop of the second largest city in Europe in his day. He learned his Christianity from the feet of Polycarpt, who learned his at the feet of John the Revelator. Irenaeus was a disciple of a disciple of a disciple of Jesus. He is a “saint” in the Roman, Anglican, and Greek Orthodox churches. He is recognized as a true Early Church Father by Protestant and Evangelical scholars. He was a Christian martyr; dying in the Roman circus from wounds inflicted by wild animals. He was a martyr and a true Christian! Other early Christian writers said that on the Day of Resurrection true Believers (Christians) would be given “Gardens of Eden” of their own, and be there with their wives and loved ones. After many centuries this was interpreted more and more as a mere parable. Eventually, most Christian sects forgot this doctrine altogether. Some, like the Mormons (followers of Joseph Smith), and Swedenborgians (followers of the Christian mystic and Seer Emmanuel Swedenborg) still teach it, but Evangelical Christians consider them to be “heretics” and not “Christians” at all.

From here.

[/quote]

This post simply betrays the Bahai method of lying. Notice that the “historians” never really quote Irenaeus. They simply say what they want you to believe Irenaeus said.

They also confuse Irenaeus’ view of the millenium with his view of heaven. It is quite possible that, during a literal millenial reign of Christ on the earth, people would produce many children. That has nothing to do with having sex and producing children* in heaven*.

Irenaeus, and many other Catholic apologists, did indeed write that the faithful will inherit “Gardens of Eden” (a characterization of what heaven might be like) and that we will be in heaven with our loved ones. Catholics have always believed that in heaven we will retain all of the loving relationships we nurtured on earth (I will recognize my wife as my wife and my children as my children and my parents as my parents), but those relationships will far surpass what we have on earth because we will be perfected in Christ.

What Irenaeus *did not say * is that we will have sex and produce children in heaven. That is why the Bahai “historians” did not quote Irenaeus directly but only paraphrased what they wish he had said.

Grace to you,
Paul


#5

dont forget marriage is a sacrament and sacraments are used to help get us to heaven. Once we are in heaven a marriage between a man and a women are no longer of need. just like taking the eucharist in mass will no longer be of need in heaven because we will be in perfect union with Christ. That doesnt mean you wont be with your wife and kids, you will be, but you will be only because of the perfect union with Christ.


#6

I always go to Bahai for my Christian theology. :whacky:


#7

I should have added that the author of the article is an “unenrolled” Bahai, not officially a member of the Bahai Faith (but still sees himself as a follower of Baha’ullah), and not connected to the Bahai authorities.


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