Response to Steve Danderson
Rejoinder by Brent Hardaway
In order to make this review easier to read, all original quotes from the Mormonism 201 rebuttal are boldfaced and italicized to separate these from the rest of the rejoinder.
Not all Mormon apologists are created equal. There are those who actually attempt to establish a positive case for LDS beliefs and create defenses against challenges to LDS beliefs. And then there are those who actually find it morally offensive that challenges are made in the first place, especially when the differences aren’t really a big deal, after all. The latter is an attempt at moral reasoning. The assumptions behind such reasoning, however, have no root in either the Bible or LDS scriptures and, in fact, run contrary to those writings. It is simply the ethos of postmodern culture.
Steven Danderson’s reply to McKeever and Johnson is representative of such reasoning. What is to be found is not any defense of the LDS view on the topic of Jesus’ relation to the Father, but attempts to downplay the differences between traditional Christianity and Mormonism on the subject of Jesus and his relation to the Father, even though the early leaders of the Mormon Church (who did not operate on such post-modern premises) had no such bones about such differences.
In chapter two of Mormonism 101, Messrs McKeever and Johnson continue the fatuous and polarizing reasoning that they begin in chapter one. Once again, they repeat the anti-Mormon chestnut that, because Latter-day Saints differ in understanding the traits of the Lord Jesus Christ, they worship “a different Jesus.” Simply put, just because one group has differing opinions about the traits of a Person than another group, it does not follow that those groups are describing different people. As this reviewer stated in his review of chapter one, stating that the Cleveland, Ohio of today is different from what it was in 1971, does not mean that the 2001 Cleveland, Ohio is really Cleveland, Tennessee.
This is a false comparison. Traits exist on varying levels. The primary trait in question is Jesus’ relationship to the Father. Mainstream Christian belief insists that Jesus shares the divine nature with the Father, while LDS belief holds that Jesus is an ontologically separate being. The question is one of God’s very nature and is quite serious; it certainly warrants the descriptor of a “different Jesus.” Indeed, if the differences between the LDS and orthodox beliefs in Jesus are not substantial enough to warrant that description, what possibly can?
The authors quote Elder Bruce McConkie to lend an authoritative air to their interpretation of what the LDS position is on the matter. Assuming that the McKeever and Johnson quote is accurate, and leaving aside the fact that it is not the anti-Mormons who determine what official LDS theology is, several problems remain with this appeal to authority:
McConkie used the word “mythical” to describe the Christ of mainstream (in his words, “apostate”) Christianity. “Mythical” is a word connoting falsehood. Is this any different in substance than a LDS saying that the mainstream view of Christ is false? “Mythical” is perhaps more of a “loaded word,” but the substance of the description is the same as a Mormon who says that the mainstream view of Christ is in error. Even if the terms of discussion are more civil (as, for example, from the pen of someone like Richard Hopkins), the very essential difference described above means that either one group is right and the other is wrong, or both are. It also needs to be pointed out that Joseph Smith reported in his First Vision how he was told that he should join none of the other churches because “all their creeds were an abomination in his sight.” This presumably includes Nicea.
In addition, LDS Church President Gordon Hinckley agrees that the Jesus of Mormonism is different than that of orthodox Christianity: “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ.’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'”
In regards to “assuming that the quote is accurate,” why doesn’t Danderson actually look up the quote in question? Or might that leave one less opportunity to poison the well? Good scholarship would dictate that the burden of proof is on him to show how it is misquoted.
The President of the Church, not any one Apostle, determines official LDS theology. Newly formed official LDS doctrine is put forth by the President of the Church in an official statement countersigned either by his counselors or all members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, or both. No one man posits new doctrine alone. Although Elder McConkie is much respected as an Apostle of the Lord by the Latter-day Saints, he did not become an Apostle until 1972, fourteen years after the first edition of his book, Mormon Doctrine was published. Elder McConkie made it clear that he was not speaking ex officio.
Since Danderson uses McConkie as his example and says that Mormon Doctrine was not an authoritative source since McConkie was not yet an apostle, consider footnote 4 in Mormonism 101: “Many Mormons have told us that they don’t accept many of the teaching of [Mormon Doctrine], jokingly referring to it as ‘Brother Bruce’s’ opinion. Were his teachings ‘Mormon doctrine’ as the title suggests? Since this work is often referenced in LDS publications, we see no reason why it should be disregarded.”
Five days before he died in April 1985, McConkie was told, “When he received a blessing from Elder Boyd K. Packer a week after conference, however, he was told he was one of “the faithful elders of this dispensation [who], when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel … in the great world of the spirits of the dead.”
In addition, President Ezra Taft Benson eulogized McConkie as “a preacher of righteousness.” At the funeral service, Benson said, “Thanks be to God that Elder McConkie’s written words of testimony remain to continue to bless a world that needs them so desperately. …Often when a doctrinal question came before the First Presidency and the Twelve, Elder McConkie was asked to quote the scripture or to comment on the matter. He could quote scripture verbatim and at great length.” He“provided the entire Church with an example of gospel scholarship. He could teach the gospel with ease because he first understood the gospel.”
The magazine reported that “Boyd K. Packer also praised Elder McConkie’s remarkable scriptural contribution to the Church.” Packer said, “To me there was one great crowning achievement in Brother McConkie’s ministry. … If ever there was a man who was raised up unto a very purpose, if ever a man was prepared against a certain day of need, it was Bruce R. McConkie.” He added, “Few will ever know the extent of the service he rendered. Few can appraise the lifetime of preparation for this quiet crowning contribution to the onrolling of the restored gospel in the dispensation of the fulness of times.”
The Ensign reported that “Elder McConkie is best known and loved among Church members for his sermons and writings on doctrinal subjects—his encyclopedic work, Mormon Doctrine, covering over 1,100 gospel subjects; his three-volume New Testament commentary; his six-volume series on the life and mission of Jesus Christ.”
President Hinckley said that McConkie “had his own unique style. With measured words, firm and unequivocal, and with order and logic, he wove the patterns of his discourses. His language was clear, its meaning unmistakable. … He spoke from a cultivated mind, but also from a sincere heart.”
All in all, it just seems strange that if we can’t accept an LDS general authority’s words as authoritative, then what is the use of having “latter-day” prophets and apostles?
McKeever’s and Johnson’s rationale for declaring that Latter-day Saints follow another Christ is bizarre: “We cannot imagine, for instance, a Baptist telling a Lutheran, ‘Our Jesus is basically the one Lutherans worship.’ A Presbyterian would not tell a Methodist that he does not believe in the traditional Christ. Nor can we imagine a member from the Assemblies of God telling a Wesleyan that the Christ of the Wesleyan Church is mythical.” But Evangelical anti-Mormons apparently have no problems telling Latter-day Saints that since they do not believe in Christ as defined in the Nicene and other creeds, they are not Christian.
I do not see this as a “rationale” as much as an analogy. McKeever and Johnson are saying that statements made by McConkie, Carmack, and Hinckley are not the sort we would expect from the mouth of those who are of a unified body of believers. That said, the issue alluded to is much broader in scope (i.e., Are Mormons “Christians”? As the Ostlings ask, “Are non-Mormons Christians?”), and in some sense not as relevant as the question, “Is what is being taught true?”Whether one fits any given definition of the word “Christian” is of far less relevance.
Perhaps Latter-day Saints tell their anti-Mormon acquaintances that they do follow Christ but have a different understanding of some of His traits because they often hear from anti-Mormons that they do not follow Christ at all. Quite often, Latter-day Saints exhibit more patience with their critics than those critics afford Latter-day Saints. For example, Latter-day Saints are frequently accused of worshipping Satan, but no LDS literature claims this of non-LDS Christians.
Danderson’s anecdotal point and personal account is interesting but of no relevance. It is also illicit to attempt to tar McKeever and Johnson with the brush of Decker and Hunt; indeed it is the very same offense that Danderson accuses McKeever and Johnson of, which is associating McConkie’s claimed excess with a broader LDS perspective. This is a standard polemical tactic, of course, but Danderson should at least be consistent if he is going to object.
While McKeever and Johnson correctly state that “[p]roper belief in the person of Jesus Christ has always been considered essential to Christian fellowship,” they leave unsaid who is the one to determine what is “proper,” and how much deviation is permissible. After all, Latter-day Saints fully believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and God in the flesh, just as much as Evangelical Christians do.
Quite obviously, the truth determines what is proper and how much deviation is permissible. Here Danderson does not address the key issue of ontological relationship; citing similarities does not reduce the key difference.
One must question, though, what the authors think about all the Christians who lived prior to the Council of Nicea. Are Messrs McKeever and Johnson willing to dismiss them as non-Christian? Or are they somehow “excused” under an ex post facto rule? They do not say.
They are not obliged to say, since these other persons are not the topic of the book; though it would have been fair to note that they do say that, “This is not to say that heretical views of Christ have not sprung up within various groups or by individuals professing to be Christian.”
This also falsely implies that Nicea is the dividing point. It is not. The doctrine made “official” by Nicea is clearly found in the NT and has roots in pre-Christian Jewish Wisdom literature.
If pre-Nicene Christians are somehow “excused,” these question remains unanswered: “By what authority do the members of the Council of Nicea impose their “private interpretation”as official Christian doctrine? And by what authority do they excuse pre-Nicene Christians?
McKeever and Johnson annoyingly endeavor to interpret what Latter-day Saints say to other Latter-day Saints, quoting Bruce McConkie, then telling us what he “really” means:
“He [Jesus] is the Firstborn of the Father. By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent, while yet in his pre-existent state…. Inasmuch, however, as Christ attained Godhood while yet in pre-existence, he too stood as a God to the Other Spirits.”
In essence, the Mormon Jesus, by becoming a god without having to live a human life on a previous planet, did something that his own “father” could not accomplish. McKeever and Johnson superimpose their assumptions onto LDS doctrine and commentary. There is no statement by any LDS authority stating that God the Father could not have been God without having lived in mortality.
This may or may not be so, but one would ask if Danderson could then produce any statement from an LDS authority that does contradict McConkie or say something else; given McConkie’s influence, if LDS authorities disagree with his position, they would be wise to repudiate it if they wish to do so. At best there is perhaps no “official” LDS statement on the subject, and we are constrained to ask why there would not be. At best it demonstrates the need (noted also by Stephen Robinson in How Wide the Divide?) for the LDS to get their doctrinal house in order.
Ignoring the fact that their “interpretation” of Elder McConkie’s “essence” has nothing to do with what Elder McConkie actually said, by so inferring that Latter-day Saints are too stupid to know what they believe (or what other Latter-day Saints are saying to them), McKeever and Johnson grossly insult the intelligence of Latter-day Saints. Further, they, like other anti-Mormons, arrogantly claim that only they can properly interpret what Latter-day Saints believe.
As it is not explained “what Elder McConkie actually said,” there is not much that can be said in reply.
McKeever and Johnson continue their arrogantly false “interpretation” of LDS beliefs by asking: “How could Jesus obtain godhood in the preexistence when the whole purpose of the mortal probation is supposedly to test the individual’s worthiness to become a god?” They get the purpose of mortality wrong (the purpose of mortality is to test whether we would obey God), so their question is moot. Jesus is God and Satan is His adversary precisely because Jesus passed the obedience test from before His mortality, while Satan rebelled.
It is not clear here what substantive difference there is between “testing whether we will obey God”and “testing worthiness to become a god.” Isn’t the obedience one of the requirements to pass muster to a higher level of existence? If not, or if there is more to the matter, Danderson needs to explain his position more clearly.
This reviewer finds it noteworthy that McKeever and Johnson prove the LDS point:
Paul certainly admonished the Corinthians for accepting a false version of Christ when he said in 2 Corinthians 11:4, “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” He added:
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
They ignore the fact that most of Christianity accepts the extra-biblical Nicene and other creeds to describe Jesus Christ. This substitution of “tradition” for Biblical revelation has been the criticism made by LDS leaders since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Yet, Joseph Smith and other Prophets accept the Christianity of other denominations:
“Have the Presbyterians any truth? Yes. Have the Baptists, Methodists, etc., any truth? Yes. They all have a little truth mixed with error. We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true ‘Mormons.'”
From Brigham Young:
“It is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their Elder Brother, being at their head) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, to mechanism of every kind, to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and bring it to Zion.”
These statements do not seem to indicate an “acceptance” of other denominations. It does indicate that these denominations have “a little truth” (how much? on what subjects?), but it makes no clear statement on a correlation of fellowship. Indeed, I wouldn’t hesitate to say the same things about Mormonism, as I largely agree with its moral teachings. However, one is hard-pressed to find any ideology, no matter how vile, that doesn’t contain some truth. For example, Marxism is correct in that the poor are sometimes exploited. Its solution to the problem, however, is a hideous lie that claims that there is no God and that humans can create a utopia where there is no material want.
In his Reasoning From the Scriptures with the Mormons, Christian author Ron Rhodes lists several quotes that clearly show that earlier Mormon leaders were in agreement that the differences between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity were very, very wide, not just “a little different.” He lists the following on pages 42-43:
Brigham Young: “The Christian world, so called, are heathens as to their knowledge of God.”
Orson Pratt: “All other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God: and any person who receives Baptism, or the Lord’s Supper from their hands will highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people.”
Bruce McConkie: “All other systems of religion are false.”
George Cannon: “The various organizations which are called churches throughout Chrisendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong toBabylon. God is not the founder of them.”
While I do not agree with these statements, I do find their clarity refreshing, as there is no Post-Modern fog.
Like other anti-Mormons, McKeever and Johnson falsely claim that it is official LDS doctrine that Jesus was born because God had sexual intercourse with Mary. Is this a requirement among anti-Mormons?
Where do McKeever and Johnson actually describe it as “official LDS doctrine” to describe this position? They ascribe the belief to “Mormon leaders” and “several LDS leaders,” providing quotes from Ezra Taft Benson, Bruce McConkie, Brigham Young, Heber Kimball, Joseph Fielding Smith, and James Talmage..” (They also note that “Many Latter-day Saints find the above statements [by these leaders] to be repulsive.”) All of these men were among the “top dogs” in Mormonism for some part of their lives.
McKeever and Johnson never call the matter an “official doctrine.” The closest they come is to say that “Mormonism teaches” this. But even if it is not official, the voices of these men are certainly influential. And many Mormons and publications (albeit unofficial) by Mormons have promoted this doctrine. It may not be official, but you sure coulda fooled me!
It would be remiss if McKeever and Johnson did not say anything at all about this; as it is, Danderson’s reaction to the mere 2 1/4 pages devoted to this topic in M101 (over 2/3 of that quotes from LDS leaders) is fairly out of line.
It is significant that while McKeever and Johnson quote several LDS Apostles and Prophets to the extent that Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God (and Latter-day Saints do believe this), not once do they cite an official source that proclaims that Jesus was not virgin-born. Elder McConkie’s assertion that disbelief in Christ’s virgin birth is apostate is strangely missing, even though McConkie’s statement that Jesus is literally God’s Son is quoted. Also missing are statements to that effect in the Book of Mormon itself.
As noted above, McKeever and Johnson never say that this is “official” Mormon doctrine. As for“missing” statements, we may ask whether McConkie (or the others) actually reconcile their statements with what is said in the BoM, and how they do so.
McKeever and Johnson further insult the intelligence of Latter-day Saints by claiming that Elder Milton Hunter’s biblical assertion that Jesus Christ is God because of His “continued obedience to gospel laws” is in fact, a “diminishing of Jesus.” The Book of Mormon quite clearly asserts that Jesus Christ is the Eternal God.
This is strange on a few counts. First, the “diminishing of Jesus” phrase is actually a subheading within M101 Chapter 2, for a section just over a page long of which Hunter’s quote is only a small part. It is never said that the diminishing is because of Jesus’ obedience to the laws. The “diminishing” is in reference to the general idea that in the mainstream view, as noted above, Jesus is included in God’s divine identity versus the LDS view of Jesus as indeed exalted and God’s firstborn (in whatever sense).
The latter is surely a “step down” from the former. As for what the BoM says, Danderson’s footnote says that this is from the BoM title page! It is also not clear what is being asserted — is Jesus “Eternal God” in a one-to-one correspondence? (Probably not.) Is Jesus “Eternal God” ontologically? (Then it professes Trinitarianism, and LDS claims on varying levels that this is an apostate creed are meaningless.) Without further description, little can be said.
Of course, no attack on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or its members would be complete without claiming that LDS believe that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are brothers in the sense that both are in evil cahoots with each other, ignoring the LDS belief that allbeings of spirit (not just Jesus and Lucifer) are children of God, Who is the “Father of Spirits.”This reviewer also finds it difficult to understand just how the LDS view can be “unchristian” when early Christian saints such as Lactantius hold similar views?
I see nothing in M101 that speaks of “evil cahoots” or any other type of cahoots, and no indication that the LDS belief about all beings of spirit is “ignored.”
In regards to Lactanius, the book is not addressing what his salvific status was. The issue should be decided on the basis of truth. Finding one (or even several) instance(s) of such a doctrine among a member of the early church does not mean that it is therefore OK to believe it.
While the authors are certainly free to not be convinced by reasons that Latter-day Saints posit for their beliefs, why is it that they ignore the citation of Hebrews 12:9, which is given by Elder James Talmage and others?
Hebrews 12:9 states, “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” It is not clear what Danderson means here. Is he saying that Hebrews 12:9 supports the LDS view and McKeever and Johnson should have considered it? (If so, then Heb. 12:9 does not detail any specifics of the “Fatherhood” of God to other spirits; it therefore cannot specifically support LDS doctrinal particulars. It may be noted that pre-NT and first-century Judaism referred to God as “Father” without any similarity to particulars of LDS doctrine or theology.)
Finally, Messrs McKeever and Johnson take issue with the belief that some Latter-day Saints have that Jesus Christ was married. Why is that? What is it about Jesus being married that would make Him less of our Lord and Saviour? And why does the fact that some Latter-day Saints believe that He was married condemn all? The authors simply do not state.
McKeever and Johnson do not state that this “condemns all.” As for why it would make him less of a Lord or Savior, this is not so much the point as that it is simply an untruth being paraded as fact and used by some LDS spokesmen to justify particular LDS doctrine (in this case, early LDS leaders Brigham Young and Orson Pratt to justify polygamy). It is very difficult to understand why the Gospel writers don’t mention this rather significant fact. Indeed, when Jesus is dying on the cross, it seems strange that He only makes provisions for his mother’s care (John 19:26-27) but not for any of his wives, if he truly had any.
William Phipps, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia, wrote an article and a book declaring his belief that the Lord Jesus Christ was married. Are all Presbyterians not Christians on account of Reverend Phipps’ beliefs, or do different standards exist for Evangelicals than for those “Satanic cultists,” the “Mormons”? Perhaps the authors would counter that it is just Phipps who is not a Christian, on account of his belief that Jesus Christ was married. But again, why would they damn all Latter-day Saints because some Latter-day Saints believe something that is not official LDS doctrine?”
Since McKeever and Johnson say nothing about “all Mormons” in this context, this is a straw man. Phipps, it should be pointed out, is a liberal Presbyterian who does not believe that Jesus was the Son of God or that he rose from the dead, so I conclude that he is not a Christian.
Why are there no ministries dedicated to winning lost souls of various liberal Christian denominations, where leaders deny the deity of the Saviour? Could it be that it is easier to attack small minority groups that are just a little different than it is to critique politically powerful liberal denominations?
Ministries dedicated to general ministry and to countering skepticism tend to cover this ground, since much of the liberal way of thinking is the same as atheism/agnostism. For instance, William Lane Craig’s Leadership University tackles issues brought up by liberal denominations; Craig has debated and written about Gerd Ludemann, a skeptic who is a biblical scholar. The creationist ministry Answers in Genesis has offered material countering John Shelby Spong, even though it is outside its normal purview to do so. Indeed, this very writer has written two such critiques of his work.
The claims of the Jesus Seminar have been heavily addressed, albeit often in journals not perused by the public. Two example of books written for popular consumption is Jesus Under Fire (ed. Wilkins and Moreland) and The Jesus Quest (Ben Witherington actually addresses several “liberal” views of Jesus). Tekton Apologetics Ministries (http://www.tektonics.org) has taken on a wide variety of views, including LDS views and liberal Christian views. Danderson is simply not familiar with the broader range of evangelical (and non-evangelical Christian) literature.
As Thomas Reeves points out in his book The Empty Church, liberal denominations are almost completely impotent and are dying a slow, painful death. They have very few missionaries left. On the other hand, Mormon missionaries can be seen everywhere, and the average evangelical Christian is far more likely to have Mormon friends and associates than liberal Christian ones.
It is difficult to understand what Danderson means when he refers to “politically powerful liberal denominations.” Does he really believe that they wield more political power than the LDS church, which has considerably more resources and active members in positions of power, government, business, and academia?
Further, Messrs McKeever and Johnson seem to rely on the Christian nature of the Latter-day Saints, in an attempt to “have their cake, and eat it, too.” If the LDS “turn the other cheek,” McKeever and Johnson declare that their silence is an admission of the “truth” of their malicious charges. If the Latter-day Saints cry, “foul,” then to them, the LDS are not “meek” enough to be truly Christian.
I do not see where this is said in M101, and Danderson does not provide page citations.
Why must McKeever and Johnson omit quotes that either qualify or contradict the claims that they make against them? By doing this, they seem more intent on polarizing the LDS from other Christians than to providing an easy to understand primer on the basics of LDS doctrine.
In this response Danderson has provided little evidence of such malfeasance on McKeever and Johnson’s part, and he has offered little detail even where this is charged. What’s more, he ignores quotes from LDS leaders that contradict his own protests. Indeed, Danderson also bypasses the essential question, which is the point of the whole chapter. Furthermore, he makes no effort to defend the LDS view of Jesus on this important subject.
Brent Hardaway is an accountant and occasional contributor to Tekton Apologetics Ministries. He lives in the Fresno, CA area.
Joseph Smith, History of the Church 1:19
LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p.7
Quotes taken from “Elder Bruce R. McConkie: ‘Preacher of Righteousness,’ ” Ensign, June 1985.
For more information on Bruce McConkie, see Mormonism Researched, Winter 2003
On this matter see: Richard Bauckham, God Crucified; Ben Witherington, Jesus the Sage and The Christology of Jesus; Richard Longenecker, Christology of Early Christianity; and J. P. Holding, The Mormon Defenders.
In footnote 23, Danderson makes reference to Alma 7:10 and the “land of Jerusalem. For this, consider the articles at http://www.mrm.org/multimedia/text/at-jerusalem.html and http://www.mrm.org/multimedia/text/land-of-jerusalem.html
It is not mentioned, but the subject of the chapter is Jesus, not men — at best such a reference would have been useful in a footnote.
For a rebuttal to the thesis of Jesus being married, see http://www.christian-thinktank.com/singlejesus.html