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Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?

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Written on 5:41 AM by Mrudula

Here's a quote from the Gospel of Philip -

And the companion of [the Savior is] Mary Magdalene. The [Savior] loved her more than all his disciples, and frequently kissed her on the [mouth]. The rest of [the disciples] [got close to her to ask]. They told him: "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior responded and said: "Why do I not love you as I love her?" (Gospel of Philip 63-64).

The Bible say Mary was at the last supper. She "wiped their feet", that was a task of honor that the host or hostess of a party would do for the guests. You do in fact see this in other literature. So if that was true, then Mary, being the "feet washer", was a person of great importance at this meal. In fact it is sort of like "her meal" that she is laying out for her best friends and her true love. Given that information, it's not unusual to then extrapolate that she might have sat at the table with them ...

I gathered few more evidence from various places. Here they go..

SUGGESTIVE EVIDENCE

* The marriage of Jesus Christ is a taboo subject because most Christians regard it as an impious suggestion. They think this way because marriage implies sexuality, and sexuality is defiled in Christian dogma. A married Christ is rejected for theological reasons, not because of historical facts which may disprove the thesis.

* While the New Testament "appears" to be silent on the subject, it was not until late in the 2nd Century, that any Christian leader denied that Jesus Christ was married. Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria believed that a married Jesus was inconsistent with His role as the Savior of the world, not that marriage would have Him sinful, but rather, that His mission was too demanding and heavenly to allow Him the opportunity for marriage.

* All later references in the Patristic writings show the Church Fathers following the same pattern: they deny that Jesus was married based upon the supposed silence of the Scriptures and doctrinal problems which were inconsistent with the Church's dogma (e.g. a celibate priesthood, the ritual defilement of seminal emissions, etc.).

* There was a 2nd Century tradition among various heretical sects which taught that Jesus was married. Clement and others may have been reacting to those movements.

* Although he didn't say one way or the other, Irenaeus' Doctrine of Recapitulation supports the notion of a married Savior. With a style similar to the Druids, Irenaeus, another 2nd Century leader, taught that Jesus Christ symbolically entered every critical stage of human existence and sanctified it. Since family life, including sexuality, is central to our lives, it seems logically consistent with the mission of a Savior to redeem and sanctify this aspect of our experience, as well.

* In their dispute with Augustine, the Celtic Pelagians argued that the Atonement of Christ cancelled Original Sin. If Original Sin was, as Augustine argued, a sexually transmitted disease of the soul, then Christ has reversed the process and made it a transmitter of healing, health, and virtue.

* In keeping with the Creeds of the Church, the offspring of Christ would not have represented a "divine race". The Creeds teach that Christ had two natures: one human and one divine, without mingling and without confusion. Since procreation is a human function, we can reasonably say that the children of Jesus would have been just as human as any other human being.
INDIRECT EVIDENCE

* Jewish customs of Jesus' day required married Rabbis. Unmarried men were considered a curse to Jewish society. Jesus would not have had much credibility as a leader had He not been married. Although Jesus was a non-conformist and had many conflicts with Jewish tradition, His parents, Joseph and Mary, were not. The Bible says that they were careful to perfectly obey the laws of their people. It also says that Jesus was "subject unto them". Since Jewish culture practiced arranged marriages and early marriage, as well (a Jewish boy was marriageable at age 16), it is reasonable to assume that Jesus' parents would have performed their parental duties faithfully and arranged a bride for the young Jesus. There are 18 silent years in His life (12 - 30). The Gospel of John tells us that there were many other things which Jesus did which have not been recorded.

This point is important because it shifts the weight of presumption. Given the cultural milieu in which Jesus lived and the supporting Biblical evidence, the burden of proof lies with those who do not believe Jesus was married. They must show why Jesus and His parents would have been derelict in their civic responsibilities and not contracted a marriage.

* According to Josephus, descendants of the House of David felt a moral obligation to perpetuate their line, never knowing which one among their descendants would be the chosen Messiah. Jesus may or may not have known who He was, but regardless, He lived as a normal person until called by the ministry of John the Baptist.

DIRECT EVIDENCE

* Hippolytus, a Christian leader from the late 2nd Century, was followed by Origen in the 3rd Century in saying that the Song of Solomon was a prophecy of a marital union between Christ and Mary Magdalene. Although they believed Mary was symbolic of the Church, nevertheless, the notion presupposed a real, albeit a spiritual (meaning non-sexual), marriage between Mary and Jesus.

* There are hints scattered in the Gospels of a special relationship between Jesus and Mary. If she is the same Mary of Bethany in John 11, then we can explain why Martha arose to greet Jesus and not Mary. Some scholars say she was sitting shiva according to Jewish custom. "Shiva" was when a woman was in mourning. Married women were not allowed to break-off from their mourning unless called by their husbands. In this story, Mary does not come to Jesus, until He calls her.

·         At the Resurrection, when Mary meets Jesus in the Garden, there is a degree of intimacy which one would expect between lovers, not friends.

·         The Greek word for "woman" and "wife" is the same. Translators must rely upon the context in deciding how to translate it. Sometimes, the translation is arbitrary. When Mary is referred to as a "woman" who followed Jesus, it can just as easily be translated as "wife".

* The story of Mary with the alabaster jar anointing the feet of Jesus is cited by some scholars as the most direct witness to their marriage. It is in all four Gospels and was a story in which Jesus gave express command that it be preserved. This ceremony was an ancient one among many royal houses in the ancient world, which sealed the marital union between the king and his priestess spouse. We find it mentioned briefly in the Song of Solomon. Although we may not understand its significance, Jesus and Mary knew exactly what they were doing. To be the valid Messiah, He had to be anointed first by the Bride. They were by-passing the corrupt Jewish establishment.

There is more support for the marital status of Jesus. However, it involves a discussion of the Old Testament prophets which would be too tedious to undertake, here. It is important to realize, however, that belief in a married Jesus does not require any more faith than a resurrected Jesus. And if you know where to look, you can find just as much biblical evidence for both.

Please read this with an open mind it is rather interesting.

1) St. John, 2 chap., verses 2-8. "And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, they have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, draweth out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast." Now at a Jewish wedding the guests cannot give orders. By Hebrew law and courtesy only the groom, the grooms mother, and the governer can give orders. The servants should have ignored Jesus's mother and Jesus. The groom should have been asked to allow them to do this and He would order the servants. For Jesus to do this before he became a well known miracle worker would have been unheard of. As well it is unlikely that Mary would have heard of the lack of wine before anyone else, again it would go against custom. But if Jesus was the groom and it was his wedding than this would have been perfectly alright. And throughout the entire chapter the groom is only asked by the governer why he hid the best wine until the end and to give it to the guests. So Jesus could be the groom at this wedding. It doesn't prove it but it definitely opens up the possibility. Jesus might not have been mentioned specifically as the groom because later when people wrote about Jesus they wanted him to appear pure and unmarried. But since they needed to show Jesus miracle they had to leave this part in. But they left it ambigous enough that no one would really question it.

2) Throughout the bible Jesus is called a teacher. By Hebrew law only married men may be teachers. So depending on how closely Jesus followed Hebrew law this could be a sign that Jesus was married. As for teaching people about religion again he would have to be married by Hebrew law. The moment any Jews heard Jesus wasn't married but was trying to teach them they'd all leave. UPDATE: I have found out through a response on this post and my own sources found out that to be a Rabbi a man has to be married. So while Jesus would not HAVE to be married, it would be considered bad form for Jesus to teach children. Now people have stated that Jesus didn't follow all the laws, and quite rightly stated that people were uncomfortable at FIRST with this. Now we can take this as meaning Jesus was never married and people just stopped caring. Or we can think that at first people were uncomfortable but something Jesus did shortly afterwards made them allow Jesus to continue teaching to the children. This could have been marriage. So we have a question mark here. Did the Jewish people just decide to ignore law and tradition for Jesus, a possibility. Or did Jesus get married and people didn't have a problem anymore. Like so much with the bible and religion in general it comes down to faith.

3) The most critical part comes about after Jesus is crucified and it shows us who Jesus may have been married to. St. Mark, Chap. 16, verse 1. "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." Now by Hebrew law the ONLY women who can anoint a man are family members. For Mary Magdalene to even attempt to anoint Jesus would be unthinkable under Hebrew law, unless she was married to Jesus. So it seems much more likely through this one verse that Jesus and Mary were married.

Now I know the bible doesn't come right out and say Jesus was married. But if Jesus was known to be married would he be seen as pure as he is made out to be? It is very likely that Jesus was not acknowledged as being married because the writers of Jesus did not want it known. As many christians say the people who wrote about Jesus saw it from different perspectives and some were nowhere near Jesus when Jesus lived. So after the fact it would be easy to leave out certain parts that did not match up with what they wanted. And until some writing from Jesus or his disciples is allowed to come out of the vatican vaults there is always the possibility that some parts of Jesus life was left out by the known writers who were not close to Jesus.

The above is taken from Hierogamy & the Married Messiah which is now available. It is the most complete analysis of the "married Jesus" doctrine to date.
- Munnu

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous |

    Hi, All very interesting and certainly lots to think about. But I think it is very possible Jesus and Mary were married and even possibly had children.
    There is a book out soon about Mary Magdalene and a tomb in France the author discovered where her body may rest.
    Here is the link if anyone wishes to know more:
    www.losttomb.net

     

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