Was Jesus Married?

Written by Drew on June 29th, 2006

Dan Brown’s wildly popular novel-turned-movie, The Da Vinci Code, has taken the world by storm. At the heart of its success is a controversy over the most influential man to have ever lived, Jesus Christ. Numerous accusations are made within The Da Vinci Code regarding this man and the movement He inspired, not the least of which is the claim that Christ was married to Mary Magdalene. Purportedly, Jesus took Mary as His wife, and the pair even had a child together. However, the church, using religion to create a world of male dominance, revised history so that the gospel we know today is very different from the original story. According to Christianity Today, 60% of British readers believe “there is some truth” to these claims. Adding more fuel to the fire, some historians point out that it was rare for a Jewish rabbi to be single. This supposedly bolsters Brown’s claims.

Was Jesus married? If we are talking about Mary Magdalene, the answer is no. Darrell L. Bock, professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, writes,

It has long been believed that Jesus was single. Every detail of Scripture indicates this. When he was in ministry, there is no mention of a wife. When he was tried and crucified, there is no mention of his having a wife. After his death, there is no mention of a wife. Whenever Jesus’ family is referred to, it is his brothers and sisters who are mentioned, but never a wife. Nor is there any indication that he was widowed. …So if we ask what the hard evidence is that Jesus was married, there really is a very short answer. There is none.

If Jesus had a wife, she is conspicuously absent from the four gospel accounts. When Matthew writes of how Jesus’ family interrupts His instruction in a synagogue, he only mentions “his mother and his brothers” (Mt. 12:46). Folks from His hometown in Nazareth scoffed, asking, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?” (Mt. 13:55). If their question was meant to humanize this person who claimed to be the Son of God, it seems like they would have mentioned His wife. Hanging from a Roman cross, Jesus performed one of His final acts in entrusting the care of His mother to His beloved disciple John (Jn. 19:26-27). What about His wife?

There is no evidence whatsoever that Jesus was married to a woman named Mary Magdalene. Mary was one of Jesus’ faithful followers, nothing more. However, this is not to say Jesus was not married to anyone.

Jesus gave everything for a bride whom He loves dearly. He suffered, bled and died so that she might be joined to Him. The bride of Christ is the church. Christians are “married…to him who is raised from the dead” (Rom. 7:4, KJV). They have been “betrothed…to one husband” and presented “as a pure virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2). The church is the bride of Christ, and there is no other. In fact, Christ’s devotion to His bride is so strong that Paul makes it an example to all husbands (Eph. 5:22-33).

Christians ought to take their relationship with Christ seriously. He has been faithful to us in every way. Do we love Him enough to stay true?


7 Comments so far ↓

  1. J-Train says:

    “The Da Vinci Code” has been blog gold for you Drew. I’m gonna write a book filled with inaccuracies as a courtesy to you. I’m gonna call it “The Michelangelo Code.” In it, I will claim Paul was a Nascar driver who enjoyed sleeping in squirrel pajamas and once crammed 100 marshmallows in his mouth playing “chubby bunny.”


  2. Drew Kizer says:

    Weird… I’ll wait and see if it sells 60 million copies before I start picking it apart.

  3. Scott says:

    Thanks for another great article Drew. I appreciate the Bock quote as well. Darrell Bock has written a great book refuting some of the primary errors found within The Da Vinci Code. Keep up the good work.

  4. Big Mac says:

    Great article Drew! I found one much like it in the bulletin of the congregation in which I attend. I do have a question though, much of Dan Brown’s readers and followers say that the reason why we don’t read anything about Jesus having a spouse, or any possible relationship with a woman (such as Mary), is because “The Church” changed the scriptures to support how they thought the way things were supposed to be. I am curious on how we should respond to that?

    – Mackenzie

  5. Drew Kizer says:

    I addressed some of these issues in my previous post, “Constantine’s Bible?” There I showed that there is no historical basis for the idea that Constantine altered the Bible to support his agenda or that of the Church.

    In short, you could respond to these critics by pointing out that the Bible is by far the most authentic book of antiquity. No other work even comes close to having its base of manuscript evidence. That being the case, the burden of proof rests on them (the critics). They are the ones making a charge that has absolutely no foundation in fact. Let’s hear facts instead of wild, baseless speculation.

  6. J-Train says:

    Hilarious Mac. You beat me to the punch. Good question too.


  7. Big Mac says:

    Ahhh…proof that I haven’t been reading all of my “Truth and Repose” like I should be. Thanks.
    – Mackenzie

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