What the world says:
"How can you be sure that Jesus did not have a relationship with Mary Magdalene?"
What is the truth?
This idea was popularized in The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. Much of the material for The DaVinci Code and comes out of Gnosticism. The Gnostics believed that matter was evil (The DaVinci Code: A Companion Guide to the Movie, p. 9). "The Gnostic gospels are dated about 110 to 300 years after Christ, and no credible scholar believes any of them could have been written by their namesakes" ("Mona Lisa's Smirk", Y-Jesus, Volume Two, p. 40). Regarding the Gnostic writings, the Gospel of Peter and the Acts of John, New Testament scholar Norman Geisler stated, "The Gnostic writings were not written by the apostles, but by men in the second century (and later) pretending to use apostolic authority to advance their own teachings. Today we call this fraud and forgery" ("Mona Lisa's Smirk", Y-Jesus, Volume Two, p. 40).
So, was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene? For details, refer to http://www.jesusanddavinci.com/theology/crashdavincicode.html#Question_12.
I summarize key points on that site below:
- There is no mention of Jesus being married prior to the beginning of or during His ministry.
- There is no mention of Jesus being married at the crucifixion, burial, or resurrection.
- Based on the 2 aforementioned points, one might say He did not have a wife.
- If Jesus had been married, surely the apostle Paul would have mentioned it, especially in view of his discussions about marriage in 1 Corinthians 9:5 (and I would add, Paul's writing in 1 Corinthians 7:8-10: "Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."
- A number of major prophets were never married—including the likes of Jeremiah and John the Baptist (so not every Jewish man had to fulfill the alleged expectation of marriage). There were whole communities of Jews which included unmarried men, and Jewish leaders often granted exceptions to the general rule of marriage.
- Jesus' marriage is yet future. He will one day marry the "bride of Christ" (see Revelation 19:7-9 and I would also add Ephesians 5:22-33).
- Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code claims evidence for Jesus' marriage is found in the Gnostic Gospel of Philip, which reportedly says Mary Magdalene was the "companion" of Jesus, which Brown claims means "spouse" in Aramaic. However, the Gospel of Philip never mentions Jesus being married, dates to the year A.D. 275, well after the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Gospel of Philip was written in Greek, not Aramaic. Brown assumed that the Gospel of Philip mentions Jesus kissing Mary Magdalene on the mouth, when the actual word is missing. And to quote directly from the site: "Finally, the Gospel of Philip portrays the disciples of Jesus criticizing Mary because Jesus is said to love her more than all the disciples. However, one must assume that if Jesus was really married, no disciple would criticize Mary."
- No other "gospels" discovered from the second century and after support the claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
- Despite Dan Brown doing so, DaVinci's painting of The Last Supper does nothing to support the alleged marriage of Jesus. The figure to the right of Jesus is John, not Mary Magdalene. The site mentions that the artist DaVinci painted John in an effeminate manner, characteristic of his style, but that neither of the Johns has "womanly bodies" (And I would add that another argument I heard about the "Feminine V" in the painting is ridiculous! Again, the V is part of DaVinci's style and proportion. Even if it is feminine, that does not make John into Mary Magdalene).
Also consider Jesus' words in Matthew 19:12: ":… and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." And consider Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 7:27: "Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife." Would either Jesus or Paul say such things if Jesus had been married?
In considering what's being said, truth and the Bible, how are we to respond to the world when the world says, "Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene."
Would you be interested in renting and watching The DaVinci Code with me and then us discussing it?
What are the sources for this claim?
The Apostle Paul esteemed remaining unmarried. Wouldn't he esteem being married if Jesus had married?
The Bible mentions that the church is the bride of Christ. Does that make sense if Jesus was already married?
I'm interested in hearing why Jesus's marital status is important for you.
What else have you heard about Jesus?
Which response is the most engaging so that it may bring discourse and productive discussion, perhaps even to presenting the Gospel? What are some other possible responses that promote discourse?