Originally Posted by Magdlyn
Several gnostic gospels, as well as evidence in the canon. The Eden story in Genesis, and the Song of Solomon are both based on the heiros gamos, or sacred marriage concept. In the New Testament, if you take into consideration the plethora of Marys, and a couple of unnamed women, and bring them all together into one unit as a recurring goddess figure, you'll see the heiros gamos tradition subtly presented. Mary Virgin brings Jesus into physical being. Mary Magdalene anoint Jesus and then finds him risen at his tomb. She is called the Apostle to the Apostles, the only apostle that truly understands his message.
Yahweh splits the first human into male and female in Eden. Male and female are reunited in another garden in the synoptic gospels.
Jesus was a Jewish rabbi. Rabbis were/are required to be married. The idea that it is more spiritual to be celibate came from Paul, who seemed to have trouble dealing with his sexual urges.
Rabbinic Judaism did not exist before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE and was not fully developed until the third century. Also John the Baptist, who was a teacher to Jesus, was an unmarried, celibate figure. It appears that parts of the Jesus message had a rather strong anti-family ethos, which is common in end of times cults and echoed in Paul.
The Old Testament figure of Wisdom as the consort to Yahwe seems to be the remnants of a Mesopotamian Mother Goddess figure, which is called Asera in the Hebrew Bible and by various other names around the Ancient Middle East (Ishtar, Astarte, possibly Isis). Later Christian writers identified Jesus as the Wisdom or Logos of God, and the Mother Goddess was re-identified with Virgin Mary.
It seems that in early Christianity, women were much more involved as apostles and leaders of home churches, but this was at odds with the accepted morality of Imperial Roman society and early Jesus movement was eventually forced through persecution to wipe out women from leadership positions. This process began with Paul's frowning upon women praying with their hair exposed and was finished by the time of the Pastoral Letters, where the assertation that the leader of a congregation (a modern bishop) has to be an upstanding man of one wife.
I am familiar with Elaine Pagels and Dan Brown, although the latter is a fiction writer. Thank you for the other references, I will check out the article when I can. I am curious, however, how you combine the virulent anti-body ethos of the Gnostic Gospels with the idea of a sexual union between Jesus and MM?