Was Jesus Married?
By Douglas E. Sparkes
“It is curious how much more interest can be evoked by a mixture of gossip, romance,
and mystery than by facts.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
The mega-popular book, the “Da Vinci” code by Dan Brown, attempts to sell the
notion that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that she bore him a daughter
shortly after his crucifixion.
In a fantasy world where Jesus is not divine and did not rise from the dead then
this and anything else you care to imagine is a tolerable possibility. Please note the
intentional use of the word “fantasy”. If you’re open to fantasy then how about this
George W. Bush is really a woman, and that means the current president of the United
States is not only a woman but she’s also married to another woman!
Since we’re talking “fantasy” then why not get excited about the possibility that
George W. Bush is really our first female president? It’s about as realistic as Christ being
married. However, if I were to write a novel about President Georgette I really doubt
such a tale would sell or even be published. But that is not my point…
…My point is, don’t be duped by out right lies, illogic and half-truths. Think
about what you read and if what you read challenges you then do the research and
uncover the truth. You at least owe that much to yourself. In the case of the “Da Vinci
Code”, it’s not called fiction because it is factual!
Christ could no more be married to Mary Magdalene then you or I could (2,000
years later no less). There are a number of obvious “reasons” why this is true.
The “Da Vinci Code” purports Jesus is not God and therefore he did not rise from
the dead. In other words, Christ was simply a mortal man. Many, many people hold this
to be true. These people are called “non-Christians.” If you are not a Christian then of
course you are going to believe Jesus is not God and he did not rise from the dead. But,
on the other hand, if you claim to be or are Christian then you should immediately start to
see the illogical fallacy the “Da Vinci Code” is built upon and in the end it should not
really bother you!
Objection: How does Christ’s divinity refute his marriage to Mary Magdalene or to
anyone else for that matter?
1. Jesus recommends celibacy (eunuchs for the kingdom, Mt. 19:10-12).
Christ would be a hypocrite if he were to point toward a better way of living
without walking the walk himself. It would be similar to a chain-smoking parent trying
to tell his kids the hazards of smoking.
“Now son, don’t go by my example, because smoking is really, really bad for
you.” Little Johnny is all ears as his Dad inhales a big whiff of cigarette smoke, savors it
and slowly lets it out.
“Then why do you smoke, Daddy?” Johnny asks quizzically.
“Never mind that, son. Just don’t ever smoke – okay?”
Now, go back in time, say, roughly 2000 years ago. We find Jesus and his
disciples talking about marriage. His disciples are confused because Jesus has just told
them divorce and remarriage is a sin. One disciple spurts out, “This teaching is too hard.
Why, it’s not expedient to marry.”
Jesus looks his disciples over. “Not all men can receive this precept,” He begins,
“and as you all know I couldn’t, but you guys go ahead and give it a try. Give it your
best shot - okay. And if you don’t succeed I’ll forgive you, but if you can do it, well,
hey, you’re a better man than me.” And with that, Jesus takes Mary Magdalene’s hand
and starts to walk away. “Oh, try not to bother me for the next couple weeks.” he says
turning his head back over his shoulder, “We’re on our honeymoon, you know, and it
would be really nice if you took care of things in my absence. Consider it practice for
Forgive me for having fun with the teachings and life of our Lord and Savior. I
only hoped to underscore the ridiculousness within the proposition of Jesus being
married. If you impose marriage onto Jesus then the Bible no longer makes sense. The
teachings of the Bible dramatically run against the notion of Jesus being married.
3. Other Biblical Obstacles: Jesus is a horrible husband.
According to the Bible, John 19:25-27: “…But standing by the cross of Jesus
were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his
mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!”
And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”
If Jesus were married to Mary Magdalene then why didn’t he make provisions for
her? Jesus is only concerned about the welfare of his mother. He doesn’t even
acknowledge his so-called pregnant wife standing at his feet!
Objection: Maybe Jesus made provisions for Mary Magdalene before he was
crucified. Response: The point is he did remember to provide for his mother. Provisions
for a wife would have naturally included the mother as well and therefore he would not
have to have been concerned about mom. If Jesus were married then his wife would have
been expected to take care of his mother. The Bible is painfully silent about anything
regarding Jesus having the need, desire or interest in providing for Mary Magdalene or
any other woman other than his mother. Consequently, to impose a theory that Jesus was
married cannot be substantiated by logic or evidence.
3. Other Biblical obstacles to this premise:
Jesus doesn’t even have a home. How was Jesus going to provide for his wife
and child? Where were they supposed to live? We can infer from what we know about
the conflict Judas had with Christ, that Jesus wasn’t very concerned about money. How
were they supposed to get by?
4. If Jesus were married the Jews could have stopped his ministry without
Instead of crucifying Jesus and making him a martyr, the Jews could have
threatened to kill his wife and the child she was carrying. It’s one thing to personally
choose to die for a cause but its’ another thing to watch loved ones suffer in your place.
Some Eastern Orthodox churches allow their priests to marry. During the Cold
War the Communists occupied Eastern Europe. As we know, Eastern European
Communism is atheistic and does not allow freedom of religion. During the Cold War
many priests were persecuted and many were killed. Of the priests that gave up their
faith, that is, publicly denounced their faith in Jesus, the vast majority were married. The
unmarried priests typically did not lose their faith. They were personally unattached to
any “one” and therefore could face death and torture at the hands of the Communists.
When the Communists threatened to kill the families of the married priests, well, is it any
wonder many of them denounced their faith to save their wives and children?
5. Finally, it is refuted by the fact that Christ is already married!
The Bible and the Church both teach that Jesus is married to the Church.
“…Come, and I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” (Rev. 21:9) The
Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-32). Therefore, if that statement is true
then it follows that Christ cannot be married to anyone else unless he violates his own
rules of divorce and remarriage, polygamy or adultery (Mt.19: 12, Mk. 10:7-12, Mt.5: 32-
33, Mt. 19:4-6, 9, Mk. 10:11-12, Lk.16: 18).
Objection: But if Christ is God can’t he do anything? And if he can do anything
why can’t he be married spiritually to the Church and physically to Mary Magdalene?
When people state, “With God nothing is impossible,” they want to believe that
God can do anything and everything. On the surface this is very much true. However, if
we dig a little deeper a serious misunderstanding about God can appear.
Let me ease into this one gently…I have free will. I use my free will to make
decisions throughout my life…sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.
And although I could right now go to the shed, grab a hatchet and cut off my hand that
doesn’t mean I ever will. Just because I don’t act out of my established character doesn’t
mean I don’t have free will. In this case it only means I am not insane.
Which is a better example of free will? You saying to me, “Prove you have free
will and cut off your hand,” and I obey you or “cut off your hand” and I don’t obey you. I
would argue that my not obeying you is a greater proof of my having free will. If I obey
you then it could be argued that I am out of my mind and that my free will is somehow
So it is with God. Just because Jesus is God and can do anything doesn’t mean he
will. God will not do anything out of character. Christ said he was “…the way, the truth
and the life.” (Jn. 14:6) If Jesus were to preach one thing and then do another that would
be deception. Consequently, Jesus would be a liar and if Jesus were a liar he could not be
the Truth and therefore he would not be God.
Consequently, I think the real question here is would Jesus marry a mortal? The
answer is a resounding “no”.
Jesus is God. We are God’s creatures. God calls all of us into a covenant or
family relationship with Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. As the Son of God
Jesus personally calls us to be his brothers and sisters. He does not call us to be his lover.
Therefore, Jesus marrying any “one” is out of character and nature. He cannot do this or
everything we hold about Christianity is wrong.
Even the idea of Jesus married to any “one” goes against reason. How would an
infinite being find satisfaction with a finite creature? Imagine this, one day Mary
Magdalene bursts into the room where Jesus is praying. “Oh, guess what just happened,
Jesus?” she exclaims with great joy and enthusiasm. Jesus, pausing from his prayers
looks over at her and literally tells her everything she’s done and is going to do. Mary,
now looking down at the floor, kicks some dirt at him. “Oh, I hate it when you do that”
she pouts and storms out of the room.
Let’s look it another way. The ancient Jews did not have superlatives. They did
not have words like big, bigger, and biggest. Instead, they would repeat the smaller word
up to three times. So something big would be called big. Something bigger would be
called big, big. And the biggest of all would be called, big, big, big. When the ancient
Jews prayed to God they called him, Holy, Holy, Holy so as to really emphasize his great
Holiness. Nothing in the universe is equal to God’s Holiness.
One reason why Catholics must believe Mary, the mother of Jesus, was
immaculately conceived is because Jesus is God and therefore Holy, Holy, Holy. A sinful
woman could not bear the living presence of God in her womb, (If Mary is not
immaculately conceived then Jesus is not God!). Therefore, Mary must have been born
without original sin and must not have ever sinned throughout her life (This is why
Gabriel calls Mary, “Full of Grace.” Her soul was filled to the very brim with God’s
grace.). This being said, Mary Magdalene and all other humans have been stained with
original sin, have fallen natures, are not “pure” and therefore cannot even begin to
approach infinite Holiness. Thus, Christ cannot marry any “one” as it would be a
contradiction against his Holy nature.
The book of Revelation tells us nothing impure will enter into heaven (Rev.
21:27). Jesus is in heaven and therefore the Bride of Christ must be as holy as Jesus in
order to be with him. The Bible says when a man and a woman marry the two become
one flesh (Mt. 19:5-6). Therefore, if Jesus were to marry his wife would become like him
and he like her. If Jesus is divine then his bride must also be divine or become divine as
the two become one flesh. On the other hand, the opposite must also apply. If the Bride of
Christ is not divine then Jesus loses his divinity. Therefore, the only logical way to skirt
this dilemma is for the Bride of Christ to already be divine!
Only the Catholic Church meets this requirement and as the Catholic Church is
the one true bride of Christ (Mt. 16:18-19, Mt. 18:17-18, Mt. 28:20, Jn. 16:13, 1 Tm.
3:15) she must therefore be divine! We can trust her divinity because she was established
by Jesus himself and he promised to protect her until the end of time.
What can we conclude from all of this?
First, the Emperor is not wearing any clothes! If you really stop and study what
the “Da Vinci Code” is selling, then it should be pretty clear the author is pulling a fast
one…all the way to the bank. So, don’t take Dan Brown too seriously. Even this paper
you’re now reading gives him far more attention then he deserves.
Two, consider the source. They say, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and that
may be true, but sometimes the summary on the jacket or even the title can tell you
plenty! Remember, the “Da Vinci Code” is fiction, not fact (so don’t take it too
seriously) and because it is fiction it does not have to be careful about loose ends and
loopholes found throughout its pages. This is not a masterful theory or proposition. The
argument for Christ’s marriage to Mary Magdalene is quite weak.
Three, Christians would be wise to take a hint from all the controversy the “Da
Vinci Code” seems to be eliciting. That is, KNOW YOUR FAITH! A tree with shallow
roots is easily knocked over. If something as goofy like the “Da Vinci Code” is able to
shake your beliefs then I’m afraid that says more about your lack of faith and
understanding than it does about anything else. So get educated. Study your faith. Get to
know what the Church really teaches and why.
Four, fallacies can sometimes be quickly uncovered with minimal effort. In other
words, when you read or hear this kind of nonsense take the time to consider the logical
ramifications. Consider all the angles and ask yourself questions like, where is the
evidence? Who came up with the theory? Are the theorists interested in the truth or do
they have a different agenda?
Five: Be careful about what you choose to believe, as some beliefs can be
dangerous. Believing in Jesus is very dangerous. It got most of his early followers killed.
To this day people are persecuted and sometimes killed for believing Jesus is God. But
the evidence is there for those with eyes to see and unlike the fictitious ramblings found
in a popular Dan Brown novel this evidence stands up to any and all tests and scrutiny.