Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | May 11, 2006

Da Vinci Code: Questions | 03

Was Jesus married?

“Unfortunately for the early editors, one particularly troubling earthly theme kept recurring in the gospel. Mary Magdalene.” He paused. “More specifically, her marriage to Jesus Christ.”

“I beg your pardon?” Sophie’s eyes moved to Langdon and then back to Teabing.

“It’s a matter of historical record,” Teabing said, “and Da Vinci was certainly aware of that fact.”

Da Vinci Code

Until recently this was an unusual question but one of the story elements in The Da Vinci Code is the claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child together. However, it is now a more important issue to be able to respond to, particularly since a recent online survey carried out by the religious website beliefnet reported that more than a quarter of respondents believed this was true.

Here are some of the key points worth knowing in order to simply answer this question:

  • The Bible has no evidence to indicate Jesus married

Scripture does not explicitly tell us whether Jesus was married or not. It doesn’t directly confirm his singleness and neither does it give any indication he had a wife. However, there are several major observations from which we can conclude that he was unmarried:

  1. The NT does refer to Jesus’ relatives, but only to his father, mother and siblings – a wife is never mentioned.
  2. Women associated with Jesus as his disciples and supporters were named specifically (see Lk.8:2-3) and his friendships with them with Mary and others reported openly. It is therefore almost certain then that the gospels would have also mentioned his wife had Jesus been married.
  3. Jesus’ appeal to renounce marriage for the kingdom in Matthew 19:10-12 seems to be rooted in his own decision to be single. This would be consistent with Christ’s special calling, especially since Paul too remained unmarried in order to fulfil his ministry.
  4. If Jesus had a wife it is likely that Scripture would have recorded it, as it did with the apostles (1 Cor.9:5)
  • Non-biblical literature has no evidence Jesus was married

Contrary to the implications in the Da Vinci Code, there are no ‘other gospels’ or non-biblical manuscripts that provide any evidence that Jesus was married. Even the Gospel of Mary that purports to provide special insight into her life gives no indication of a marital relationship with Jesus. The Gospel of Philip does refer to Jesus kissing Mary but even if you were to accept that this highly spurious document was true, there is nothing to even suggest he was married to her.

Quite simply there is no evidence either in or outside of the Bible that Jesus was married. In addition, the strong indications Scripture point toward his singleness. Dan Brown’s suggestion that Mary was his wife is simply a plot device intended to make a provocative and exciting read.

See previous posts in this series:

01 | Can we trust the four gospels?

02 | What about ‘other gospels’?



  1. Hi Hugh

    Thanks for this series of excellent posts on “Da Vinci Code”, it seems a lot of the plot in Dan Brown’s book is based on old heresies and dodgy teaching through Church History

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