Ben Witherington on Jesus' and Paul's views on Singleness and Marriage

Ben Witherington has profitably written on more areas of the New Testament than most other scholars could hope to accomplish. He has also garnered a deserved reputation as a leading scholar on Acts as well as Paul, which obviously is of much interest to me (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

But I have not had the time to explore another area were Prof. Witherington has established his expertise and that is the role of women in the early Christian movement. Which is why I was pleased to see his latest blog entry, which succinctly summarizes his conclusion on the views of Paul and Jesus on marriage. Prof. Witherington concludes that Paul and Jesus were influenced by their views on eschatology and generally favored more strict rules about marriage than was articulated in the Old Testament. Despite the increased strictness, Paul and Jesus did not maintain the emphasis of the Old Testament that marriage was a requirement. Rather, Prof. Witherington believes that Paul and Jesus viewed both singleness and marriage as callings of God, and he advises the modern church to acknowledge both as such.

Interesting stuff in and of itself but also in that we have here a leading New Testament scholar reaching interested readers directly rather than through the mediation of a publishing company.


Nomad said…
Thanks for the link Layman. As I read Dr. Witherington I found myself saying, "he sounds almost Catholic on the subject." ;^)

Of course, I may be biased...

Layman said…
If you want an antidote, read his writings about the relationship between James, Mary, and Jesus.

BK said…

He did say "almost" catholic. :)

Nomad said…
Yeah, well few of us are right 100% of the time. ;^)

All kidding aside, I am very encouraged by the recent interest of many Protestant theologians in topics that have previously be considered to be Catholic only, or Catholic and Orthodox questions. Witherington's contribution on this front is most welcome.


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