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Yahoo Canada has a video excerpt from an ABC News special that claims it has new evidence that Jesus was married, had heirs, and was married to Mary Magdalene.  This is not a religious blog, I rarely, if ever, post on religious or theological topics.  But, I like reading about biblical history.  And seeing this clip, it says that there is new evidence for the idea that Jesus had heirs.  My first thought was "No, buddy, you don’t.  You have no evidence.  Get your facts straight."

The fact is that there really is no evidence that Jesus was married, let alone married to Mary Magdalene.  All "evidence" is merely speculation.  I like history and if you’re going to say stuff like this, at least try to back it up with some facts.  Here’s a brief summary of what we know:

  1. We know very little about Mary Magdalene from our earliest sources that mention her, the four gospels.
  2. Mary appears only once in Jesus’s pre-crucifixion ministry, in Luke chapter 8.  There, she is mentioned in conjunction with some other women who supported Jesus’s ministry, and that Jesus had driven seven demons out of her.
  3. It is commonly thought that she was a prostitute.  Dan Brown was wrong about a lot of things, but he was right in saying that there is no evidence she was.  Here’s how it works: there is a sinful women mentioned in chapter 7 and then Mary is introduced in Luke chapter 8.  Sinful woman does not imply prostitute, and the woman from chapter 7 is not the same as Mary in chapter 8 because she is only mentioned the first time in chapter 8.  Then, in the book of Mark, another Mary (of Bethany, who is of questionable reputation) anoints Jesus before his crucifixion.  This is not the same Mary.

    The point is you have to mash all these stories about different women together to get a portrait of Mary that she had a questionable background.  But she didn’t; they all all different women and the gospels never portray Jesus and Mary as being intimate.

That’s all we know about Mary’s life prior to the crucifixion.  Here are some more problems with the theory that Jesus was married:

  1. Dan Brown asserts that it would have been unusual for Jesus to be Jewish and unmarried; ergo, he must have been married.  This is false; there was a group of Jews in Jesus’s time with a world view similar to his own that were unmarried: they were called the Essenes (though Jesus himself was not one).  It would not have been unusual for Jesus to have been unmarried.
  2. There is a pseudonymous gospel called the Gospel of Mary that Dan Brown erroneously says that claims that "Jesus used to kiss Mary on the mouth (or lips)" and that this gospel was covered up by the church.  In fact, we have this gospel today but it doesn’t say what it says just now — it says that "Jesus used to kiss Mary on the <blank>."  There is a gap in the manuscript.  What does it say?  Mouth?  Lips?  Cheek?  Forehead?  Could be a whole bunch of things.
  3. It would not be unusual for Jesus’s message to appeal to women.  Much of his message centered around changing roles – blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  In other words, the oppressed of this world and the privileged of this world would have their roles reversed in the near future.  Because women in the ancient world were oppressed, the message would be particularly appealing.  They would no longer be oppressed in the coming kingdom of God and would stand as equals.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that women would be attracted to Jesus’s message and he would have many female followers.  This easily explains why Mary Magdalene would be a follower of him.

The simple fact of the matter is that you can pull stuff out of the Shroud of Turin (dismissed as a medieval forgery) and imply innuendo and legend all you want, but there is simply no evidence that Jesus was married and had kids.  It’s all speculation.

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At work, my title in our internal HR tracking mechanism has changed.  I have gone from "Spam Analyst" to "Software Test Engineer."  Nice.

It still hasn’t updated in the global contact list, however.  Doing a search for a contact in Outlook and clicking on the Properties of the person still has the same information.  I guess eventually it will update… by the time I get my next title change.

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