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?


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.

  • 4
    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
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 11:18
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    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.
    – beatgammit
    Commented Sep 29, 2011 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
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 19:46
  • This will probably attract lots of interest... no idea how much credence to give this: nytimes.com/2012/09/19/us/… Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 7:06
  • In john 20:17 it says "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not" The word touch in greek implies a realationship. That's a bit more in debth stuff but interesting none the less.
    – atherises
    Commented Apr 25, 2015 at 1:28

6 Answers 6


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.


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.

  • +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.
    – beatgammit
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 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
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 4:45
  • I can't really see how this is relevant. Can you make it more explicit?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 1:52

But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. (1Co 7:32-35)

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. (Mat 19:10-12)

Even with all the reasons already mentioned:

  1. He is to be the Husband to the Church
  2. He was to be the Pascal Lamb

Imagine he had a wife... Who would be her physical and emotional partner after Jesus died and rose again? Would she have been allowed to get remarried?

I cannot imagine that Jesus, knowing that he would die at a very young age would take a wife and promise to care for her when He knew He would die and ascend when she still had her whole life ahead of her. He came for the purpose of the Cross (Joh 12:37) and not for the same purposes that were given to Adam and his posterity.

That, I think, is sufficient Biblical reasons why He may not have ever considered getting married, but furthermore, there is no Biblical evidence that He was.

  1. The Disciples would not have have said in Mat 19:10: "if that is is the case it is better not to get married" if their Lord was actually married.
  2. She is never mentioned in the Gospels, while His mother and brothers were, and even Peter's mother-in-law are mentioned.
  3. She is never mentioned in the book of Acts or the Epistles, while Cephas's is.
  4. Would he have not asked her to be with Him in his last hours (He asked His three closest friends).
  5. If it is not Mary Magdalene, would she have not have attended to His body and the grave?
  6. After his resurrection would she not have been one of the most important witnesses?

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.

  • 2
    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.
    – beatgammit
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 4:01
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    @Mason Wheeler Can you cite a source for your claim? I am unfamiliar with that.
    – blundin
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 4:04
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    I'm curious, how much relevance would you give this passage? Commented Sep 28, 2011 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
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 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).
    – beatgammit
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 4:32

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.


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.

  • 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
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 11:38

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