Baker Academic

Monday, October 7, 2013

Now Available: The Wife of Jesus - Le Donne

My book The Wife of Jesus: Ancient Texts and Modern Scandals is now available in the UK and USA. This book is a critical treatment of Jesus’ marital status in historical memory and popular imagination. I incorporate research related to sociology, media, and gender studies. I discuss Mary Magdalene's evolution from "disciple" to "wife" in the Christianized West and argue against her as the literal "wife of Jesus". I examine various attempts to sexualize and desexualize Jesus in works of popular imagination. I situate my take on the recently published fragment called the "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" within this examination.

The Wife of Jesus provides what I consider the best arguments for and against a married Jesus. This book takes seriously the important role that Jesus' parents would have played in such a decision. Perhaps my most original contribution in this book relates to the connection between marriage, family honor, and economic security. I define and illustrate the concept of “civic masculinity” and demonstrate how Jesus’ economic collectivism relates to his aberrant stance on family honor.

Finally, this book is the most theologically oriented of any of my published works. I discuss Christianity's lingering asceticism and its awkward (often hostile) relationship with sexuality. I then discuss the Christian concept of the "Bride of Christ" and relate this to the symbols of food, community, and sexual intimacy.

Here are the blurbs from the back cover:

My thanks to Drs Green, Crossley, DeConick, Lerner, and Goodacre for their close reading and kind words.



  1. Congrats Anthony! With any luck you'll be panned by Fox News, and fame and riches will follow.

  2. I very much enjoyed this book, and reviewed it on my blog, contrasting it with Zealot, the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan: