Logo Copyright © 2007 NCCG - All Rights Reserved
Return to Main Page




Symphony of Truth

In a Nutshell

Topical Guide


5 Commissions

10 Commandments

333 NCCG Number

144,000, The


Action Stations

Agency, Free





Apostolic Interviews

Apostolic Epistles

Archive, Complete

Articles & Sermons





Baptism, Water

Baptism, Fire

Becoming a Christian

Bible Codes

Bible Courses

Bible & Creed


Calendar of Festivals


Charismata & Tongues

Chavurat Bekorot

Christian Paganism

Chrism, Confirmation


Church, Fellowship

Contact us



Covenants & Vows












Ephraimite Page, The

Essene Christianity




Family, The



Festivals of Yahweh

Festivals Calendar



Gay Christians


Godhead, The






Hebrew Roots





Holy Echad Marriage

Holy Order, The

Home Education


Human Nature




Intro to NCCG.ORG



Jewish Page, The

Judaism, Messianic

Judaism, Talmudic


KJV-Only Cult





Marriage & Romance



Messianic Judaism






NCCG Origins

NCCG Organisation

NCCG, Spirit of

NCCG Theology



New Age & Occult



New Covenant Torah

Norwegian Website


Occult Book, The

Occult Page, The

Olive Branch



Paganism, Christian















RDP Page




Satanic Ritual Abuse



Sermons & Articles

Sermons Misc







Swedish Website


Talmudic Judaism



Tongues & Charismata



True Church, The




United Order, The




Wicca & the Occult


World News


Yah'shua (Jesus)




11 March 2011 (Sheshi/Kippur)
Day #360, 5935 AM
Biblical Celibacy
Resolving an Age-Old Conflict

      "For we do not have a Cohen Gadol (High Priest) who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb.4:15-16, NKJV).

    From time to time Yahweh calls His servants to be celibate (unmarried, no sex) for life. Jeremiah the prophet was one such man. The general rule though it that Yahweh calls all to marry and be fruitful, raising up children to Him. This does not mean, however, that He expects young men and women to marry as soon as they become sexually conscious. Everyone is called to be celibate until Yahweh brings soulmates together in His own timing according to His perfect will. During this period great self-discipline and surrender of soul is required which leads to the development of important character traits that will be necessary for the remainder of a talmid's (disciple's) life. Therefore celibacy is an essential phase of the maturation of character. Only those who are unwilling to be so disciplined are counselled by Paul to get married before time and then only to preclude them falling into fornication and sin because of unbridled sexual forces. And those with sexual issues need to get them properly fixed before they marry.

    In a world whose focus is on sex instead of on Messiah this does present numerous challanges, just as it did in New Testament times amongst ex-pagan believers, which is why there is so much counsel on the subject. Many people write in to me frustrated because they want to settle down and start a family but find themselves continually blocked by the Hand of Elohim (God). I know it is hard, but thank Yahweh for that - it is to make sure you are first washed in the Word of Emet (Truth) and cleansed. Better to be married late and clean and have a stable and prosperous marriage, than early and impure and have a marriage burdened with stress and instability that may lead to separation and divorce, with all the heartbreak for both spouses and children. Let the statistics speak for themselves: over half of modern marriages fail. This being undebiably so means that the world's counsel isn't going to be much use and out of tavnith (pattern).

    Developping within the Messianic movement there is, for want of a better word, an ascetic movement that is advocating celibacy as spiritual alternative to marriage. It exists in different degrees from those who say that celibacy is superior to those who say it is equal to marriage. The apostle Paul is, as ever, taken out of context and is made out to be anti-marriage, leaving it to those who have no self-control. So let us be clear from the outset: no such neo-Catholic doctrine exists in the Bible. The only time that Paul recommends celibacy as a general rule is in times of great persecution when believers are on the run and are being martyred, and have no possibility of a settled family life. Such a time exists in certain parts of the world today and such a time will exist globally at the very end of the dispensation during the concluding half of the seven-year Great Tribulation except for those who are gathered into cities of refuge.

    Celibacy is, following scriptural tavnith or pattern, properly seen as 'marriage preparation time'. It does not exist for itself. So central is marriage to everything in this cosmos that Yah'shua (Jesus) and the apostles use human marriage as an illustration of the metaphorical relationship between Himself and His talmidim or disciples. Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Bridegroom and those who are surrendered to Him and purified are the Bride. Our relationship to Him is therefore spiritually-speaking a marriage. By contrast, celibacy as an end in itself signifies an absence of relationship - it denotes aloneness and barrenness. As a step to marriage, it constitutes preparing to meet with the Bridegroom and consummate the marriage.

    Like the Catholics (who invented the doctrine) and bequeathed it to Protestantism, most Messianics insist that Yah'shua (Jesus) was celibate. This teaching is particularly reinforced to justify the equality of celibacy with marriage, or (as the Catholics view it), something altogether superior to it which only its priests (by virtue of their calling) are worthy to live and exemplify. This unnatural state of affairs, defying as it does both nature and Scripture, has let to horrible sexual abuses historically. The scandals in the Catholic Church today attest to its abnormality as an end.

    The best illustration I can come up with is like being permanently stuck in school year after year and never graduating into the bigger world of work and the responsibility of marriage and raising a family. So essential was marriage viewed in the days of Yah'shua (Jesus) and the apostles than an Israelite man who was not married by the time he was 18 was considered a social reprobate who had failed to do his duty to Yahweh and to the set-apart nation. Furthrmore, no man could serve as a Rabbi (Teacher) or be a Pharisee if he was single in those days. It is universally agreed that Paul was, therefore, at some point married, but that at the time he was serving as an emmissary he was either a widower or divorced. How strange it is, then, that the opposite conclusion is reached about Rabbi Yah'shua (Jesus) who, in order to justify a pre-conceived manmade doctrine, insist, then, that He must have been celibate. If He had been, the religious leaders of the day would have been quick to fault Him. They did in everything else they considered to be a violation of Torah and their traditions, so why was He recongised as a Rabbi and why wasn't He upbraided for being single?

    A celibate Yah'shua (Jesus) hardly fits the requirments of both a recognised, regularly-ordained Rabbi and as the Saviour of Mankind who "suffered, being tempted, [and is therefore] able to aid those who are tempted" (Heb.2:18, NKJV). If Yah'shua (Jesus) became fully human as we know He did, then He was tempted in every area of life as we are. That would include being tempted as a single as well as a married man.

    You see, in those says, sex did not have the dirty stigma attached to it that Roman Catholicism (and to a lesser extent, Protestantism) branded it, a notion which was orginally acquired from the Gnostics who believed matter was evil. It was one of those things that Yahweh pronounced "good" at Creation. That it can be perverted and therefore become impure is not denied, which is why the Torah (Law) spells out what sex is kosher (clean) and what is not. Sex is the act of marriage and marriage was commanded from the beginning in the mandate to repopulate the earth given to the first couple. It also exists to bind and make echad (one). Indeed sex is intended for such noble and pure ends that Yahweh ordains a time of celibacy in preparation for it, to ensure that the spiritual life both defines and subsequently guides it for the rest of life. The attitudes learned and applied in the days of celibacy provide the safe guiderail for the days of marriage ahead. And that attitude is complete surrender to, and contentment with, the will of Yahweh.

    I think the main objection that people have to a married Messiah is that He, being both Elohim (God) and man, could not have had children without them becoming demi-gods. I can relate to that fear were it to have any grounds in reality. This objection only has any force if you subscribe to the Catholic doctrine that the divine and human natures of Yah'shua (Jesus) were somehow put into a blender and were throughly mixed. This cannot be so because Yah'shua was perfectly human in His physical body and psyche whilst being completely Elohim (God) in His spirit. They are two separate entities otherwise He would have been physically immortal and His death on the Cross could not have taken place. No, Yah'shua's body was fully human, so any progeny would have been mortals like you and me.

    The Redeemer I know is the One who identified with me complely as a single and completely as a husband and father. He knows all my struggles because He went through them Himself as both a single man and as a husband. If He is our metaphorical, spiritual husband, why should it be so viewed with horror that He was a physical husband too? Are the two not connected? Are they not a part of the same tavnith (pattern)? The only difference between Him and us is that He did not yield to temptation and sin once - He lived Torah perfectly. So intimate is His knowledge of marriage, not merely as Elohim (God) but as man, with the same former pre-resurrection infirmities and weaknesses of the flesh, that I can fully trust in and rely on Him to see me through any and every problem:

      "For we do not have a Cohen Gadol (High Priest) who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb.4:15-16, NKJV).

    That word "all" is important for it means that in everything that is permitted in Torah and therefore kosher, Yah'shua was tempted violate Yahweh's mitzvot (commandments) concerning it and overcame the Tempter. It does not say "in all but marriage", as it could have done had He been completely celibate - it says, purposefully, "all".

    It is not my purpose to speculate about a wife or children today as I am not going to go down the so-called 'holy blood and holy grail' road with all its lies and distortions. I do not endorse Dan Brown even though he has one or two things right that orthodox Christianty hasn't. All I want to say is that celibacy a vital and spiritual stage before marriage but not an end in itself that Messiah exemplified both to the full. This is controversial territory to be sure but believers should not be afraid of controversy in the quest for all truth. Every part of the jigsaw of the spiritual life is important, every thread of the tapestry a part of the whole. We have this promise if we will boldly seize it and not fear the opinions of others:

      "But when the spirit of emet (truth) has come, She will lead you into all emet (truth), for She will not speak from the mind of the nephesh (flesh) but all that She hears, that will She speak, and She will make known to you future things" (Jn.16:13, HRV).

    She? That, as they say, is another story entirely.

    Continued in Part 2

    Comments from Readers

    "While reading this,a thought came up in connection being married and having children, and some peoples concerns about 'natures mixing' or what Him having children would mean...

    "The thought that came to mind is where it says in Scripture that they have received of the nature of Elohim in Yah'shua, or partaken of divine nature (2 Peter 1:4)... where a new divine nature has been received (so much so, it is as a branch from the vine – taken and the same nature, the same 'DNA' as the vine, but also completely dependent on the vine – that the same is true of the new nature in us). And the thought is how when true believers have children, those children do not automatically 'receive' the heavenly resurrection nature or divine nature from of their saved earthly parents, but are born with the carnal nature inherited with fallen flesh ... where they must be saved and begotten spiritually of Elohim to receive that resurrection nature.

    "The thought is where the same was true with Yah'shua – that His earthly children would not have automatically received His divine nature with physical conception or birth, but have received the fleshly nature that comes with the physical flesh or body that still needed to be redeemed, and that those they would still have needed to be saved and spiritually begotten of Him and the Ruach.

    "Something I heard from Derek Prince that is helpful with explaining or helping to understand and confirm that for most, Elohim's will is marriage, and only some He calls to singleness, is where Derek Prince looked at where the Scriptures in Greek speaks about that kind of singleness as a 'gift', literally the word “charismata”, the same word that is used for the gifts of the Ruach (Spirit)... that those He calls to be single, He has literally given them a spiritual gift through the Ruach to be able to live and walk fullfilled in Him in earthly singleness :) As Derek Prince pointed out, its not what many people think of when they hear "charismata" or spiritual gifts, but it certainly is one :)

    "A last thought was with what you mentioned Paul only advocating singleness & celibacy with the persecution, and thought of where Yah'shua expressed that it would be woe for the women who get pregnant or have small children during the Tribulation, because of the persecution then, and that Paul's advice was given with that same wisdom?" (DP, SA, 11 March 2011)

    "It would seem that the most logical interpretation of Matthew 19:10-12 is that celibacy is the gift of some according to the Mattathaean community, especially if Jesus is referring to the disciples remark when he says "this saying" in v. 11. Surprisingly, Mark lacks the disciple's remarks and Luke only includes Jesus' teachings regarding divorce without the framing story" (DR, USA, 11 March 2011)

    @DR - There are two things that bother me about this interpretation:

    (1) It presupposes different "communities" of apostles with divergent views, traditions and interpretations of the Gospel based on different collections of sayings of the Master, as though they were isolated or divergent sects, when all the evidence point to them a being united band. The only differences I see between them were either personal issues or, in the case of Paul and Peter, conflicts between Talmudic traditions and the plain truth of Torah. The idea that there were "Johannine", "Petrine", "Matthean" and other imagined "communities" seems to me to be a device employed by liberal scholars to bolster their particular agenda;

    (2) It is disjunctive with historical Hebraic practice. I do agree, though, as Mat.19:10-12 stands in our Greek texts that it does suggest as you say, a disjunction - this is certainly one of the favourite passages the Catholic Church. The apparent disjunction is, however, satisfactorily resolved in my mind in the Aramaic which offers an alternative explanation that fits in with the rest of the biblical corpus:

      "For there are faithful ones, which were so born from their mother's womb, and there are faithful ones which were made of man, and there are faithful ones which are self-made faithful ones from the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. Whoever can accept, let him accept" (Mt.19:12, HRV).

    In other words. the Hebraic word anmyhm can mean either 'eunuch' OR 'believer/faithful one'. Since "believer" or "faithful one" is a better fit, I opt for the latter, thus negating any need to search for imaginary communities or sects.

    I do however understand the problem the Greek translator must have faced and how it is the alternative 'eunuch' version has been transmitted down to us today. As ever we must look at context, and the context is the laxity of the divorce laws. The gist was as follows: Yah'shua (Jesus) was completing Torah on marriage and saying that the easy dvorce laws were on account of the hardness of men's hearts - now they are not to divorce a wife save for adultery (v.1-9). The disciples response is, in essence: "If the divorce laws are so strict it's better not to get married at all!" (v.10, my paraphrase).

    Then the confusion comes. For Yah'shua says: "all cannot accept this saying, but they to whom it is given" (v.11). Now this is the big question: is this a continuation of vv.1-9 or is it the start of a new teaching? The "But" at the beginning of v.11 explains what he means. Yah'shua (Jesus) is teaching that we are born with different dispositions, strengths and giftings depending on who we were before we were born. The topic is still divorce. Thus, in respect of divorce, there are:

    • 1. Those who were born faithful from the womb - to be faithful is natural to them;
    • 2. Those who were made to be faithful by man, i.e. by being forced by peers and elders to be faithful to their wives; and
    • 3. There are those who disciplined themselves who, in spite of the trials of marriage and the temptation to divorce, did not do so, being forcing themselves to keep the marriage together in spite of the escape route given to them by Moses.

    This passage has nothing to do with emasculation, castration or anything so perverse. It's about faithfulness in marriage and resisting the temptation to divorce when the going gets tough. It is the very opposite of celibacy! (Lev, 11 March 2011).

    "The problem with that assumption, Lev, is Matthew and Luke both borrow heavily from Mark (a theory known as the Two Source Hypothesis). So Matthew did have his own theological agendas and probably added the teaching in order to combat Jewish criticisms against Christian celibacy.

    "I would have to look more into the "faithful one" interpretation. Given, I believe the scholarship on the Aramaic origins is fringe, but I don't have enough training at this point. Tatian's Aramaic harmony of the four gospels is the earliest I know about. However, given Gr. Matt. and Lk. borrow from Gr. Mk. almost verbatim, I doubt it.

    "One example of a theological agenda can be found in this story. Read the Mark account first and Jesus' absolute statement that no divorce is permitted. Then read Matt.'s softening of this absolute statement in his gospel. He seems to bring it more into line with Jewish understandings (Instone-Brewer writes about this, although he seeks to harmonize the accounts). Then he defends celibacy for his community. Contrariwise, Luke avoids the controversy altogether and just includes the absolute statement" (DR, USA, 11 March 2011)

    I remember my first exposure to all these hypotheses (and that's all they are) at Oxford and coming away realising that we could never possibly know how the evangelists constructed their gospels or the way in which they used their sources. There are almost as many theories as there are theorists which ought to tell you something about how impossible it will ever be to nail this all down in any definitive way.

    As you probably know Austin Farrer, who was an Oxford man (and died just a few years before I went up there), posited his own theory that did not require any unknown (and probably unknowable) 'Q' source. One thing I did agree with him strongly about was his insistence that the Gospel writers be treated not so much as editors but as bona fide authors. I attended a number of theology lectures and courses at Oxford and there was one thing that struck me about nearly all of these academics - none of them had ever met the living Christ and none of them were witnessing for Him. Their delight and purpose was, if I may be so crude, simply intellectual masturbation. I took one of them (Geza Vermes) out to lunch and though he, admittedly was a very nice secular Jew, the Scriptures were not alive to him.

    And this is the problem - scripture is not by "any private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20, NKJV) and simply does not lend itself to raw intellectual analysis - it is far greater than the sum of its parts or its construction. Meeting Yah'shua (Jesus) face-to-face on 30 March 1977 changed the way I see everything, including the Scriptures.

    Let's be blunt - there is no evidence that there was any 'Matthean community" - these are just the imaginations of academics (most of them liberals and atheists) removed from the scene by two millennia. What does 'Matthean community' even mean? These were no academic circles. These were no theological 'clubs'. They didn't even live spread out - Israel was a tiny country, an intimate community, where everyone knew everyone else. These were intimately acquainted talmidim (disciples) who were on fire with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) sharing a common passion - they were'nt in separate 'communities' such as one could possible argue for Paul in the early days. These people walked side-by-side as witnesses, having shared the same table as the Master and heard the same words. We are pretty sure that they had different audiences in mind when they penned their Gospels so a difference in approach is to be expected. And though I know you don't agree with my belief that they were all originally penned in Hebrew or Aramaic and then rendered into Greek as I do, I do believe that we will find our best clues in resolving apparent discrepancies there.

    Aramaic studies may be on the 'fringe' to Western theologians who have been imbibing Greek texts for so long that they can barely see anything else but it still remains the language and thought-patterns of those through whom the Gospel was revealed and shared. And its foundation was Torah, which is about as Hebraic as you can get. And lifelong celibacy to the Hebrew was like sex to a Catholic priest. So, yes, I do absolutely believe that the Aramaic Matthew clears up the 'celibacy myth' as well as showing how the Greek translators most likely struggled with the double meaning of a single word - anmyhm.

    I believe that all emet (truth) harmonises and that we now have not only a plausible answer to the 'eunuch problem' but a convincing solution. With all the emasculation going on in the world in men's souls the last thing we need is a totally out-of-place translation applauding castration. And I don't believe for a minute that Matthew would have sat idly by with the translations we have today - he, as a good Hebrew, would have been horrified" (Lev, 11 March 2011).

    back to list of contents


    Purchase the WHOLE Website by clicking here

    Return to Main NCCG.ORG Index Page

    This page was created on 11 March 2011
    Last updated on 11 February 2012

    Copyright © 1987-2012 NCCG - All Rights Reserved