Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "The idea that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus was popularized by books like The Jesus Scroll (1972), Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982), The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991), The Woman with the Alabaster Jar (1993), Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed (1996), and The Da Vinci Code (2003)." --Sholem Stein
Some modern writers have come forward with claims that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus. These writers cite Gnostic (an apocrypha text) writings to support their argument. Sources like the Gospel of Philip depict Mary Magdalene as being closer to Jesus than any other disciple. However, there is no known ancient document that claims she was his wife; rather, the Gospel of Philip depicts Mary as Jesus' koinonos, a Greek term indicating a "close friend." "companion" or, potentially, a lover:
- "There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary."
And the companion of the [Savior is] Mary Magdalene. [But Christ] loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often. The rest of the disciples [were offended by it and expressed disapproval.] They said to him, "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior answered and said to them, "Why do I not love you like her?"}}
The closeness described in these writings depicts Mary Magdalene, representing the Gnostics, as understanding Jesus and his teaching while the other disciples, representing the Church, did not. Kripal writes that "the historical sources are simply too contradictory and simultaneously too silent" to make absolute declarations regarding Jesus' sexuality. On the other hand, the historian John Dickson argues that it was common in early Christianity to kiss a fellow believer by way of greeting (see 1 Peter 5:14 in the New Testament), and as such kissing would have no romantic connotations. Dickson also argues that if Jesus were indeed in love with Mary, then the disciples' question "Why do you love her more than all of us?" would imply romantic jealousy on their part, a theory which he describes as "utterly implausible for historians."
Mary Magdalene appears with more frequency than other women in the canonical Gospels and is shown as being a close follower of Jesus. Mary's presence at the Crucifixion and Jesus' tomb, while hardly conclusive, is at least consistent with the role of grieving wife and widow, although if that were the case Jesus might have been expected to make provision for her care, as well as for his mother Mary. It also seems to contradict Jesus refusing physical contact in John Template:Bibleverse-nb (see Noli me tangere).
Proponents of a married status of Jesus argue that bachelorhood was very rare for Jewish males of Jesus' time, being generally regarded as a transgression of the first divine commandment: "Be fruitful and multiply." According to this reasoning, it would have been unthinkable for an adult, unmarried Jew to travel about teaching as a rabbi.
A counter-argument to this is that in Jesus' time the Jewish religion was very diverse and the role of the rabbi was not yet well defined. It was really not until after the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70 that Rabbinic Judaism became dominant and the role of the rabbi made uniform in Jewish communities. Before Jesus, celibate teachers were known in the communities of the Essenes, although these communities were quite separate from mainstream Judaism. John the Baptist was celibate. Later, Paul of Tarsus was an example of an unmarried itinerant teacher among Christians. Jesus himself approved of voluntary celibacy for religious reasons and explicitly rejected a duty to marry: "There are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it." (Matthew Template:Bibleverse-nb).
The idea that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus was popularized by books like The Jesus Scroll (1972), Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982), The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (1991), The Woman with the Alabaster Jar (1993), Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed (1996), and The Da Vinci Code (2003).
The medieval book "Golden Legend" says "Some say that S. Mary Magdalene was wedded to S. John the Evangelist."
Writers employing metaphysical analogy and allegory have asserted that Christ was already married—to the Church, in the literary topos of The Bridegroom that was developed and enlarged upon in medieval theology. This image goes back to Old Testament depictions of the covenant between God and his people as a marriage, especially in the books Hosea, Ezekiel and the Song of Songs. Imagery of marriage also appears in the Gospels and is applied to Jesus in the letters of the Apostle Paul (e.g. Ephesians Template:Bibleverse-nb) and in the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament. This was later expanded by the Church fathers. Some writers, following an early tradition that Jesus is in a mystical sense the second Adam that began with Paul and continued with Irenaeus and others, embody this sense with literal parallels: like the first Adam, his bride was taken from his side when he had fallen asleep (died on the cross). In medieval Christian anagogic exegesis, the blood and water which came from his side when he was pierced, was held to represent the bringing forth of the Church with its analogy in the water of baptism and the wine of the new covenant. Thus Christ can be said in an allegorical sense to already have a wife in the Church.