I love how liberals hate the Bible when it speaks so clearly on issues like abortion, homosexuality, property rights, and private charity over against State-sanctioned welfare, but love whacko stories about Jesus being married and having children when there is absolutely no historical evidence behind the claims.
The UK newspaper, The Independent, claimed that “Jesus married the prostitute Mary Magdalene and had children, according to a manuscript almost 1,500 years old unearthed at the British Library.”
This is an old and discredited claim for the simple reason that there is no evidence. And even if an old manuscript made such a claim, it would have to be compared to the New Testament gospels that were all written while eyewitnesses were still alive. (For the dating of the New Testament gospels and letters, including the book of Revelation, see John A.T. Robinson’s Redating the New Testament (1976) who argues they were all written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, an event that took place in AD 70.)
The Gospel of Luke begins:
Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. (1:1-4)
I’m reading Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014). It’s an historical walkthrough of the social history of the United Sates with William Moulton Marston’s Wonder Woman creation the embodiment of the burgeoning feminist moment.
One of the most impressive things about Lepore’s book is the extensive referencing of every detail of her subject. The Secret History of Wonder Woman has 90 pages of source material and detailed original documentation. Compare this to the support material behind the claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had two children with her.
There is no comparison because there is no historical information to make the case.
Even the manuscript that the authors of The Lost Gospel — the story behind the Jesus-was-married claim — use to make their outrageous claims does not even use the names Jesus or Mary Magdalene:
“The text in question is called the Ecclesiastical History of Zacharias Rhetor, written on treated animal skin, which was brought to the United Kingdom in 1847 when the British Museum bought it from an Egyptian monastery. Scholars scrutinized the document and discarded it as insignificant.
“[The authors of The Lost Gospel] claim the meaning of the text had been shrouded in code and ‘embedded meaning.’ It speaks of a figure named Joseph, who apparently bore striking similarities to Jesus. He was depicted as ‘savior-figure,’ the book said. ‘Joseph, like Jesus, was assumed dead and turned up alive; he too had humble beginnings and ended up a king of sorts.’ So they contend Joseph was really Jesus in the text.
“And this Joseph, they said, had a wife named Aseneth, whom they purport represented Mary Magdalene. ‘Put simply, in order to convey the stature of Aseneth — perhaps Mary the Magdalene — to his audience, the unknown author of our manuscript selected a dominant image … he could be sure his readers would readily understand.’”
There you have it; incontrovertible proof that Jesus (Joseph) was married to Mary Magdalene (Aseneth).
Even the usually liberal Washington Post is skeptical. One of the authors of The Lost Gospel, Simcha Jacobovici, has been in the fake Bible history for years.
“In 2002, Jacobovici, a Canadian filmmaker who studies biblical archaeology, pushed out a documentary that hailed a seemingly pivotal relic called the James ossuary, which allegedly showed that Jesus had a family. Time reported it was later named one of the top 10 scientific hoaxes of all time by the Discovery Channel, and its owner was indicted on charges of forgery. Archaeologists from Israel to the United States denounced the ossuary as a hoax.’
Simcha Jacobovici’s research has not uncovered anything. At best, all he could do is maybe publish a book with the title The Fictional History of Jesus, because, unlike Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman, there is no history to back up the story.
“It sounds like the deepest bilge,” Diarmaid MacCulloch, an Oxford University professor told the Sunday Times. “I’m very surprised that the British Library gives these authors houseroom.”
In the end, it’s all about money, feeding off the gullibility of an ignorant public.
“It’s a publicity stunt, and it will make these guys very rich,” University of Arizona archaeologist William G. Dever told The Washington Post in 2007” when Jacobovici came out with “Jesus had a family” allegation.