A new book is making the controversial claim that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had two sons. The authors say the evidence comes from a 1,500-year-old manuscript uncovered at the British Library.
The book, titled The Lost Gospel, is authored by Israeli-Canadian writer Simcha Jacobovici and York University Professor Barrie Wilson. Their claims are based on an Aramaic document that dates back to 570 AD. The writers say they spent six years working on the book, and that they found the document in the British Library.
According to the authors, the characters described in this "fifth gospel", Joseph and Aseneth, are code for Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The two were supposedly married by the Pharaoh of Egypt and had two sons.
"There is now written evidence that Jesus was married to Mary the Magdalene and that they had children together. … Gathering dust in the British Library is a document that takes us into the missing years of Jesus's life," the book states.
But experts say it's all nonsense. From ABC News:
Mark Goodacre, a professor of religious studies at Duke University, is skeptical of the book's findings.
"I don't think that there is any credibility in these claims at all," Goodacre said. "There is simply no evidence in this text or anywhere else that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, much less that they had a couple of children."
And as noted in Haartez:
Co-author Simcha Jacobovici has been known to shake up the archaeological world with provocative theories about early Christianity. In his films, he claimed to have uncovered the location of the original tomb of Jesus and his family (in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem) and the nails used for the crucifixion.
This is not the first time historians have made such a claim. Back in 2012, a Harvard university professor unveiled a 4th century fragment of papyrus claiming that Jesus had a wife.