Jesus & Mary Magdalene Married?

Posted by on Mar 9, 2007 in Blog | 11 Comments

Lore asked: "Do you object to the idea of Jesus and Mary Magdalene being married? If so, could you point me to the scriptures that say their marriage never happened, or that it would be a bad thing?"

People are really interested in the question of whether or not Jesus was married. The Da Vinci Code brought this issue into the forefront, it continued with the Lost Tomb of Jesus film (which I just posted on), and I’m glad it’s continuing because any discussion about who Jesus is is a worthwhile one.

To answer Lore, just as we can find no particular verse that says Jesus was married, there is no particular verse that says Jesus was not married. So we have to gather evidence from historical sources.

First, a quote from Dr. Katherine McReynolds, a respected scholar with degrees from Talbot and USC, on the historical evidence that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. In referring to the Bible, particularly the eyewitness Gospel accounts, McReynolds says: "There is not a shred of credible evidence at all," she says. "You don’t see Jesus being married in any of the second or third-century Gnostic gospels either. It is not mentioned anywhere" (from Exploring The Da Vinci Code by Lee Strobel & Gary Poole).

Here are some other pieces of evidence suggesting Jesus was not married, to MM or anyone else:

  • Jesus’ mother, brothers and other family members are recorded, but never a wife.
  • Jesus grew up in a small town rich with Jewish communal life. Everyone knew each other; a wife could not have been hidden.
  • On the cross, Jesus was concerned for his mother, not his wife.
  • Jesus didn’t act like a married man. He had no home, no money, no possessions, and he traveled around with his disciples.
  • In an argument about whether the disciples should marry or not, Paul didn’t use Jesus (the founder of the faith) as an example.
  • At the resurrection, MM called Jesus "Teacher," implying a teacher-disciple relationship, nothing more.
  • Jesus’ mission on earth was to die, not raise a family. His words make this very clear in the Bible’s book of John, an eyewitness account of Jesus’ life.

Then, Lore also asks if I personally would object to Jesus and MM being married, or if this would be a bad thing.

I don’t think it matters whether I would object or not. I think it’s more important to weigh the facts and the evidence, just as one would in considering the details of any other person’s life record. Whether I object or not is irrelevant to what the record shows.

But would it be a bad thing, if Jesus was married? I think this is an important question, because it gets at the focus of Jesus’ life. Since this post is getting long, I’ll answer this question in the next…

Until then, another quote:

"We have better historical documentation for Jesus than for the founder of any other ancient religion." —Edwin Yamauchi, a leading expert on ancient history from Miami University.

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