Another book has been recently published that claims to have discovered new evidence that Jesus was married and had children. Claims such as this one have popped up over and over again in recent years. They are certainly not new claims, dating back to within a few centuries of Jesus life. Those who propose this theory today declare it will have a huge impact on the church. According to them, once people realize Jesus was married and lived a normal family life everything we think about church will be changed. Some people look at this issue and wonder what the big deal is. Who cares if Jesus was married or not. Why is it such a big deal if Jesus was married?
The ones claiming to have discovered evidence of Jesus’ marriage actually have no sound historical evidence on which to base their conjectures. At best they are dealing with ancient documents written several hundred years after Jesus with an agenda to teach a new doctrine about Jesus. The claims of Jesus’ marriage always begin with a number of presuppositions about the Bible. Most importantly the originators of such claims have already concluded the Bible is not the Word of God and Jesus is not who the Bible says He is. Despite their errors about the Bible they are correct in recognizing that if it were proven to be true that Jesus was married then it would change everything we think about Christianity. This matter matters because if Jesus had a wife and kids, then He is not the person described in the Bible. If Jesus is not the person described in the Bible, He is a fraud and all Christianity is a tragic hoax.
I am not saying this important because it would have been sinful for Jesus to be married. Nor am I saying this is important because it helps support certain ideas about the role of women in the church. This issue is important because it affects the credibility of the gospel writers and the truthfulness of the New Testament. The gospels give no hint, no indication, not the slightest inkling of a notion, that Jesus was married. Despite some modern day fanciful imaginings about Mary Magdalene, the Bible gives no suggestion that He had a relationship with her that was different than his relationship with any of His other female followers. The Bible tells us of Jesus’ parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. Why would it say nothing of a wife or children? We know that Peter, the other apostles and Jesus’ brothers were married and that Paul was not. Why do we have declarations of the marital status of all these other individuals but not Jesus? The Bible is silent on the matter and in this case the silence of the Bible speaks volumes about Jesus’ marital status. He was not married.
Jesus could not have been married. Besides the problems inherent with the sinless Son of God fathering children who would have been born free from sin and not under Adam’s curse, for Jesus to have been married would have distracted from His purpose. Even as a twelve year old boy, Jesus knew He was to be about His Father’s business. Jesus was never distracted from His purpose. Throughout His life He was on a direct collision course with the cross and never let anything turn Him from that. The time He spent preaching, doing miracles and teaching His disciples was all in preparation for the cross. A wife and children would have not furthered His work of redemption.
The Biblical impossibility of Jesus being married puts the claims of Jesus’ marriage in a serious category. These are not just idle claims that have little impact on the gospel or the truth of the Bible. If Jesus was married, then the history of Jesus presented in the New Testament can not be accurate. If Jesus was married, the entire New Testament is worthless. If Jesus was married, the gospel is a fraud and the gospel writers charlatans. This issue matters because the silence of the Bible on Jesus’ marriage seriously undermines it’s believability in all other matters. This is not just a difference of opinion between Godly men about a secondary figure in Christianity. We are talking about the spreading of false teaching concerning the One who is central to all Scriptures and on Whom our faith rests.
Those who insist Jesus was married have already decided that the Bible was not written by the men the Bible says wrote it. They have already determined that the Bible is not the Word of God. They have rejected any possibility of the Bible being historically accurate or, more importantly, spiritually accurate. Their conclusions about the Bible lead them to seek means to discredit the Bible, no matter how ridiculous those means become. Despite their unbelief, a normal reading of the New Testament reveals that Jesus is the Son of God who became human to die for the sin of men. He was not just a good man. He was the God-man who bore the wrath of God for the sin of mankind. Jesus never married. He never fathered children. To teach otherwise is to deny the reliability and accuracy of the Bible.