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There are some that teach that Christ was married (usually to Mary Magdalene), yet there are others that teach that Christ was not married.

Does the Bible teach anything about Christ or His mission that would make it very unlikely that he was married?

Is there anything in the culture of Jesus' time that would shed light on the subject?

Note:

I am not looking for traditions passed down (statements by Popes, Apocryphal writings, etc), but those would certainly be acceptable (and interesting) to quote as secondary sources.

I am more interested in direct Bible verses or customs of Jesus' time that would give an indication one way or another.

As far as I know, none of the Apostles or other writers taught either case directly.

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As far as I am aware no orthodox (note the little 'o') Christian faiths teach this. That belief has been declared heresy since the days of the early church. –  blundin Sep 28 '11 at 4:03
    
@dancek - Good point, I'll fix that. –  tjameson Sep 28 '11 at 4:03
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The only people I have heard that think Jesus was married is Dan Brown. He is not really speaking for orthodox Christianity though. –  Neil Meyer Sep 28 '11 at 11:18
    
I'm not entirely sure of the reason for the down-votes. This question has been brought up (at least by Dan Brown), and has great ramifications on the meaning and importance of marriage, especially if it is plausible. –  tjameson Sep 29 '11 at 9:53
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I feel that the question is a bit vague. Is it asking whether it would have been possible for Jesus to marry if He wanted to, or just whether it is possible for Jesus to have been actually married? –  vsz Mar 14 '12 at 19:46

5 Answers 5

up vote 17 down vote accepted

The Church is continually referred to as the 'Bride of Christ' in the NT, Revelation goes so far as to cast the final redemption of the church as the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb". While as an analogy it could have still been valid if Christ was married, I think that a married Christ would lessen the impact of the image and cause confusion amongst His followers. Additionally, many theologians agree that earthly marriage is actually the analogy, and that it represents Christ's relationship with His church as the 'real' marriage.

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+1 Very well put. –  Nathan Osman Sep 28 '11 at 4:21

Jesus never wanted to develop an earthly bond. His intention was to prepare everyone for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and even other relationships with His mother, father and brothers didn't cross his way. His concern to his Mother and Brother was revealed by Him even at Golgotha. He only taked to His mother and brother.

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. - John 19:26,27

I do not think He would have ignored His wife, if He was married.

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The Bible doesn't teach anything about Jesus or his mission that makes it very unlikely he was married (without stretching scripture). The fact that it is never explicitly stated whether he was married or not leads me to believe it is insignificant to Christianity. I believe he was not married because from my experience having a wife tends to get mentioned. When I was single, my marital status was rarely brought up, but now that I am married it seems my wife is mentioned for every other thing I do.

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Yes the question remains to the skeptic. Where is your evidence? If he had one why is the 20 odd books in the NT not mentioning it or the 19 1st and 2nd century pagan writers that mention Jesus? –  Neil Meyer Nov 18 '11 at 11:38

The setting aside, slaughtering, and eating of the paschal lamb was introductory to the celebration of the festival. According to Exodus 12:5 this rite was instituted by Moses in Egypt, in anticipation of the judgment about to be visited on Pharaoh and his people. On the tenth of the month—ever thereafter to be the first month of the year—the Hebrews were to take a lamb for each household, without blemish, a male of the first year, from the sheep or from the goats.

The above information was found under the heading of Paschal Lamb. at www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=98&letter=P

A male of the first year would not be considered breeding stock yet. It was insignificant whether it was taken from a flock or sheep or goats. It was, however, significant that it be without blemish...and hadn't mated. This was the only scriptural clue I could find.

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+1 This is a pretty good point. My question is, was it really significant that it hadn't mated? Surely it hadn't yet had the chance to, and Christ certainly had the chance. –  tjameson Sep 28 '11 at 4:35
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He also had the chance to sin, but didn't. (Not that mating is a sin.) It just seems relevant that a prerequisite for a sacrificial lamb would be an unmated one. If it weren't significant why not use a five year old so long as it is unblemished? –  new wings Sep 28 '11 at 4:45
    
I can't really see how this is relevant. Can you make it more explicit? –  curiousdannii Jun 16 at 1:52

One rather telling bit of culture: When Jesus got up to preach in the synagogues, we never hear of him causing any outrage before he actually delivered his message. But by the customs of the time, only a married man was allowed to preach in the synagogues.

As to who this hypothetical wife might have been, we can only guess, and IMO speculation is kind of pointless. But it seems to me that if Jesus did have a wife, there would be good reason for not mentioning her, especially if the people who wrote the scriptures truly had the gift of prophecy: they would know the way anything and everything sacred ends up getting dragged through the dirt by the world. Simple respect for what must have been a truly remarkable woman would be enough to allow her the peace of obscurity and anonymity.

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Good point. I didn't know about that custom. Do you have any sources for that? I'm not too familiar with Jewish customs, especially around that time. –  tjameson Sep 28 '11 at 4:01
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@Mason Wheeler Can you cite a source for your claim? I am unfamiliar with that. –  blundin Sep 28 '11 at 4:04
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I'm curious, how much relevance would you give this passage‌​? –  El'endia Starman Sep 28 '11 at 4:20
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@El'endia: I don't find that relevant at all, as it doesn't say that he was preaching, and he was not in a synagogue at the time. –  Mason Wheeler Sep 28 '11 at 4:22
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@El'endiaStarman - I agree with Mason Wheeler. He wasn't teaching, He was asking questions and clearly a student, as the passage clearly indicates. The setting appears to be informal, and as such He was probably asked questions (to ascertain His understanding or learn His opinion). –  tjameson Sep 28 '11 at 4:32

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