How many of Jesus' original followers (the 12) were family men?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by GuruZero, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. GuruZero

    GuruZero Tim the Enchanter

    Apr 15, 2016
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    I know that the Buddha had a family (wife and a son), now I am wondering how many of the original "fisher" of men were family men themselves? When embarking on a spiritual path, one either leaves the family or one stays and tries to satisfy both responsibilities.
    Many of the hippy era (60's) men and women, had looked upon the Buddha's life to leave their families, responsibilities (including jobs) behind to "find themselves".
  2. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

    Jun 24, 2014
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  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

    Sep 25, 2003
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    Short answer is, we don't know.

    We know Peter was married, but although his mother-in-law was healed by Jesus, Peter's wife makes no appearance in the text, which would suggest she was not with her mother-in-law, and so suggest Peter was a widow.

    Of the others, nothing is mentioned. One source say they were all married, but that might well be speculation ... some cite Paul's 1 Corinthians 9:5: "Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife, as the other apostles and the brethren of the Lord and Cephas?" (RSV-CE). Scholars question the translation. The Greek text is 'adelphaen gunaika', the first word means "sister," but the second can be translated as either "woman" or "wife." The phrase translates as "sister woman" or "sister wife," supposing a not-usual relationship — that is, not a sister, nor a wife. It would make sense for the apostles to be accompanied by "sister women" who could assist them in the ministry to women — baptism for example, or any situation where a question of modesty or propriety could arise.

    "Sister woman" is in Jerome’s Vulgate, and Jerome wrote that "It is clear that [they] must not be seen as wives but, as we have said, as women who assisted [the apostles] with their goods" (Ad. Jovinian I, 26). Clement of Alexandria agreed, saying the women were not the wives of the apostles but were female assistants who could enter the homes of women and could teach them there (Stromata III, 6).

    It's accepted that Christ's ministry was funded, in part at least, by well-to-do women who travelled with Him and the disciples during the three years of his ministry.

    Tough call. I did the latter. It's not without problems, even in a supportive environment — but then the family path is as spiritual a path as any other. I think too much is made of 'the spiritual path'.

    To which I might utter the pejorative 'wankers', but that's me and my view of the 60s. In short I think, far too often it's a cop out. Generally it's frowned upon in the religions.

    ("Hey, God, I want to dedicate myself to you."
    "OK. What about your wife and kids?"
    "Well, some things are more important."
    "Yeah, but not much of a recommendation is it? I mean, you've dumped them ...")

    St Augustine dumped his mistress and his child, and I cannot countenance that, but then we mustn't judge the past (the far past, not the 60s) by today's morality. Nor am I much enamoured of today's morality which generally suggests one bails out of a relationship as soon as the going gets tough, she gets old, etc., etc.

    (I know the abuse argument, but the marital breakdown rate is not all down to abuse, etc. That's a minority.)

    A hundred years ago, a sailor went to sea and didn't see his wife and kids for months, years ... my uncle emigrated to Australia in the 50s with his wife and kids. It's only now that I appreciate the pain of his parents, knowing they would never see them again — a 'visit' was out of the question in those days.

    I was in a 70s cult when the boss announced he was forming a circle of women, and I knew a number of couples where the woman dumped her partner in the rush to join up, only to be told that such was not acceptable! But that was just one case ... meanwhile, as I later discovered, what was going on behind doors was the same old, same old.
    GuruZero likes this.
  4. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Ah the 60s. That time when the kids of well to do parents who were there to pay for all the physical world requirements these kids supposedly rejected in their oh so spiritual quests. I'm sure there a minority who truly believed. The majority were just piling on the band wagon. Throwing worldly responsibility to the wind because they had hard working parents to fall back on.

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