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

By Michael J. Kruger

When I was a kid, I always used to enjoy the “whack a mole” game at the local arcade (yes, we had to go to an “arcade” to play games).  You had to be quick to win that game.  Each time you hit a mole, another would pop up, taking its place.

Of course, that is what made the game both fun and frustrating at the same time.  No matter how hard you worked, it always seemed that the moles just wouldn’t go away.

Sometimes it’s like that in the world of biblical scholarship.  Theories pop up, are quickly refuted by the academy, and then, just when you think they have gone away, they pop again.  Some theories just keep coming back.

In 2003, Dan Brown’s best-selling fictional book The Da Vinci Code raised (again) the idea that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that this fact had been cleverly suppressed by the church for thousands of years. Apparently, it took a fictional author to uncover the “real” truth.

Brown was not the first to make such a claim, of course, but his book gave it new life.  At least for a while.  But, after a chorus of scholars showed the claim to be (again) without merit, the chatter about Mary Magdalene died down a bit.

But this particular mole will not go away.  Filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici wrote an article for the Huffington Post on this very topic entitled, “Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene is Fact, not Fiction.

Now, I am all for bold, catchy titles.  But, this one is pretty brash. If you go with a title like this, you had better have the facts to back it up.

But, not surprisingly, there are no new facts presented in Jacobovici’s article.  Instead, it is a reheated version of the same old material used by Mary Magdalene advocates in prior generations.  There are half-truths, arguments from silence, and appeals to conspiracy theories.  In the end, it simply doesn’t hold up.

Here is a quick look at some of his arguments…

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