Was Jesus Married to Mary Magdalene? Revisiting a Stubborn Conspiracy Theory

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Susan R's picture


I blame Dan Brown. When The Da Vinci Code came out, I couldn't believe the number of Christian friends who were concerned that it might be true. Even reminding them that the book was shelved in the Fiction section didn't seem to allay their concerns. 

Conspiracy theories are tempting--to feel like you know something to which everyone else is oblivious gives one a sense of control and power, which releases dopamine, and then you're in a vicious cycle of self-rewarding delusional behavior. Yowzers.

Bert Perry's picture

...the whole allegation is insane.  If He'd been married to her, with all that entails, it would have been noticed in the Gospels, and quite frankly we would have expected those taunting Jesus to tell Him to deny Himself and return to His wife's embrace, no?   The whole thing really doesn't make sense.  I'm pretty sure that it would have posed some nasty problems for the theology He preached, too, especially the things about the marriage supper of the Lamb.

It strikes me as amusing as well that someone with as Jewish a name as Simcha Jacobovici (Simchah means "gladness" in Hebrew) would not know of the Jewish custom of the "Tahara" team, which is generally not made up of close relatives.  She's batting zero, really. 

On the light side, when my dad gave me some copies of the fake Dan Brown's books, I teased the real Dan Brown (he was on staff at Central Seminary at the time) about autographing them.  He got a kick out of it before graciously refusing.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jeremy Horn's picture

I blame the writer(s) that influenced Dan Brown. That teaching didn't start with him, although he is the most famous promoter of that theory. IIRC, the teaching has been debunked several times over, by several different writers. I don't understand why it won't go away. But then again, Arianism is alive and well in religion so I shouldn't be surprised that the Jesus and Mary Magdalene theory won't disappear either.

Susan R's picture


I was being facetious, and I know the idea wasn't original to Dan Brown--but the book and movie certainly brought it into popular culture. It's telling that a work of fiction could bring such a theory into the realm of credibility for some people.