Scholarly Smackdown: Were Mary Magdalene and Jesus Married?

One Bible scholar says there's no evidence. Another argues that John's gospel and a Gnostic text offer clues to a marriage.

Long before the debut of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code," people have speculated on Mary Magdalene's relationship to Jesus. Beliefnet recently asked two biblical scholars with opposing views to weigh the evidence and defend their conclusions about the woman from Magdala.



Bart D. Ehrman is the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina. He has published numerous books including "Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code," "Misquoting Jesus," and the recent "Peter, Paul, and Mary Magadalene."

Dr. Barbara Thiering, a retired academic, is the author of "Jesus the Man" (1992), published in the U.S. as "Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls."


    Round 1    Round 2
Bart Ehrman  Bart Ehrman
Barbara Thiering Barbara Thiering


From: Bart Ehrman
To: Barbara Thiering
Date: May 11, 2006


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Dear Dr. Thiering,



As you know, most scholars who study the New Testament and early Christianity are persuaded that Jesus was single and celibate, like the Essenes before his day (and afterwards) and like the Apostle Paul. In particular, there are compelling reasons for thinking that Jesus was not married to Mary of Magdala.

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