Monday, May 22, 2006

The DaVinci Code Cont.

Next, I want to consider claims 4-7. The Da Vinci Code draws conclusions about Jesus based on the Gnostic Gospels including that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. It also tries to show that the New Testament excludes women and that the early church tried to cover up the truth for fear that it would damage the church. Again, I find these claims, at best misleading, or entirely false and this is why.

I, nor do many other Christians, find the thought of Jesus being married threatening to my faith or the church. There would be no reason to cover up this truth about Jesus.

If Jesus were married, which he could have been (although I doubt it) there is no evidence that he was married to Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene is first mentioned in Luke 8 as a person whom Jesus has freed from a demon. She is mentioned with other women in this text. She is also mentioned as a witness as Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Again, there is no sign of her having a special relationship with Jesus. She is mentioned as being one of the women. The closest evidence to her and Jesus being married is found in The Gospel of Philip, which is a Gnostic text. It says “And the companion of the _______ Mary Magdalene __________ (loved) her more than (all) the disciples (and used to) kiss her (often) on her __________.” The lines signify the missing pieces and the brackets denote the pieces of the text that are inferred in translation. As you can see, this statement, even if we take the Gospel of Philip to be a credible source, which I don’t, there is still a lot of speculation in order to make the lead from this text to Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene. At best the text says that Jesus loved her more than the others and kissed her often. Ben Witherington suggests that this could have been kisses on the head, hand, cheek or mouth. We have no clue.

Although Mary Magdalene more than likely was not married to Jesus, she is significant in the Gospel stories. This is very important to note because in the first century, women were only good for bearing male children to their husbands. In the Gospels, we see women who followed Jesus and played an important role in his ministry and the early church.

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