Dan Brown is not the first person to speculate that
Jesus was married and had children. The Mormon Church have
always taught that Jesus was married, to Mary Magdalene and
to two other women as well - the sisters Mary and Martha of
Luke 10 and John 11- (thus justifying polygamy). They go on
to say that the wedding at Cana was Jesus' own wedding day!
"Was Jesus married? No. There is no evidence
in any ancient writing to say He was."
have claimed to be descendants of Jesus from time to time,
and even some Christian theologians have speculated on the
possibility that Jesus was married. Stephen Twycross argued
for a married Jesus, for example. He postulated that Jesus
was married - to just one women - but not Mary Magdalene,
rather Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha.
suggested this on the basis of the two stories just alluded
to: Luke 10 and John 11. In Luke 10 the sister Martha requests
Jesus to tell Mary to assist her in the food preparations.
That was what a sister would need to do if the other sister
was married: get the husband’s permission to use his
wife’s help. And in John 11, Mary, staying in the house
until Jesus called for her, showed her to be a submissive
wife. This interesting speculation is not based on material
outside the four New Testament Gospels and the bride is not
Mary Magdalene! It is also a very flimsy argument. Martha
asked Jesus if Mary could come and help her because Mary was
listening to Jesus’ teachings and wanting to take her
away from him. Also, it is just as probable - even more likely
- that Mary did not run to meet the Lord at her brother’s
tomb, (like Martha did) because Mary was angry at Jesus for
not coming at their request to save her brother before he
died. She would have been experiencing mixed emotions. I imagine
she was annoyed, frustrated, deeply distressed, wanting to
be with Jesus and not wanting to be at the same time, and
generally very confused. Was Jesus married? No. There is no
evidence in any ancient writing to say He was.
Jesus recommended celibacy for those who could cope with it.
Paul seems to do the same in I Corinthians, chapter seven.
Some of the apostles were clearly married (Simon-Peter being
the classic example). Jesus and others (like Paul, I Corinthians.
7:8), however, were not. Celibacy is not required of anyone,
but it is an option. And Jesus, knowing that He would be killed
for the atonement of sin, probably chose not to marry and
leave behind a widow and fatherless children.
Reiher (BA (double major in history), BA in Theology, Dip
Ed. MA in Theology (Hons)) is a full time lecturer for Tabor
College Victoria, lecturing in church history and New Testament;
and also has speciality interest areas in women’s ministry,
creative ministry, and the New Age movement. His views are
not necessarily those of other Tabor faculty members or of