In my blog entry no. 85 “Mary Magdalene and the 7 Demons” I stated that I wanted to discuss the point about Mary Magdalene living in celibacy. First, it is important to know that the relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene (just like with Mary and Joseph) is a divine dynastic connection. Jesus is a descendant from the lineage of King David and Mary Magdalene’s father was the Jarius-priest Syrus. The married couple had to conform to strict dynastic rules, that went way past the usual Jewish marriage customs. The rules for a dynastic marriage were clearly defined and dictated celibacy and the times in which sexual relations, in order to have children, were allowed.
First the couple got engaged, which was more or less a legal contraction of marriage. Three months after the “engagement” the formal “first wedding” took place with an anointment ceremony (think back to the scene in which Mary Magdalene anoints Jesus with the nard oil) and in the following September the marriage began. After that, sexual relations were allowed, but only in the first half of December. If a pregnancy wouldn’t happen during that time frame, the couple had to live in celibacy again until next December.
However, if the woman got pregnant, a “second wedding” took place and the marriage was now official and legal. The legal status of the marriage was never publicized bevor the woman’s pregnancy, because this would guarantee the man to have a reason to get divorced, in case the woman was infertile. Due to fears of a miscarriage, the “second wedding” didn’t officially take place until the woman completed her first trimester.
These marriage customs explain why Mary – for whom these customs applied to as well – got pregnant while she was a “virgin”. Women became wives only after the “second wedding” and were considered virgins. The word almah actually translates into “young women”.
Now we also understand what the anointment scene with Mary Magdalene and Jesus truly means: namely, the bride anointing her husband! Due to legal reasons, nobody else would be allowed to do this. (For further information, please refer to the following books: Laurence Gardner’s The Bloodline of the Holy Grail, chapter 3; Barbara Thiering’s : Jesus the Man: New Interpretations from the Dead Sea Scrolls, appendix 1; or John Fleetwood’s The Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, p. 10-11).
I find it fascinating that there are so many possibilities through which one can re-interpret the bible. I only find myself now thinking of the bible as trustworthy and reasonable. From my photo archives I picked a scene that depicts the anointment with Mary Magdalene. The photo shows the church of St. Maximin-la-Sainte-Beaume, which I visited with my tour group this fall.