Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Transcription of ancient manuscript suggests Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had two children

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An ancient manuscript unearthed at the British Library and dating back nearly 1,500 years says that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had two children, with their names and descendants reportedly given in detail in the text.  The Church of England has dismissed the claims, saying it is closer to the fictional ‘Da Vinci Code’ than historical accounts.

The so-called “Lost Gospel”, which has been translated from Aramaic by Professor of Religious Studies Barrie Wilson and historical writer Simcha Jacobovici, allegedly reveals the startling new allegations, according to The Sunday Times .

Professor Wilson said on his website that he found the "ancient Syriac manuscript lurking in the British Museum, dating from the 6th century but translated from much earlier Greek writing.” He added that “scholars have known about it for almost 200 years, but have not known what to make of it.”

According to Wilson and Jacobovici, the manuscript includes details about Jesus’ political connections to the Roman emperor Tiberius and one of his generals, Sejanus, and says that there was an assassination attempt on Jesus thirteen years before his execution. However, the most controversial claim is that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and raised two children with her during his time in Nazareth.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Jesus and Mary Magdalene (1534) by Antonio da Correggio ( Wikimedia)

Wilson and Jacobovici are not the first to claim that Jesus had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene. Theologians and researchers have been speculating on the subject for centuries, but it became most popular following the release of ‘The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’, which put forward the hypothesis that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, had one or more children, and that those children or their descendants emigrated to what is now southern France. Once there, they intermarried with the noble families that would eventually become the Merovingian dynasty.

This theory was further pursued by Dan Brown in his best-selling historical thriller ‘The Da Vinci Code’, who wrote that the figure at the right hand of Jesus in Leonardo da Vinci's painting of "The Last Supper" is not the apostle John, but actually Mary Magdalene.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci ( Wikimedia). In the novel, ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Dan Brown writes that the figure at the right hand of Jesus is Mary Magdalene.

The claim that Jesus was married was once again thrown into the spotlight in 2012 when an Egyptian papyrus fragment was translated into English and was found to contain an explicit reference to Jesus being married. The so-called ‘ Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ dates from the 8 th century and includes the line: "Jesus said to them, my wife….", and "she will be able to be my disciple".

The so-called ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’

The so-called ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’. Photo credit: Karen L. King

It is a bit hard to know what to make of the ‘lost Gospel’ claims until further information and, hopefully, images of the original text are released for verification, but a look at the publisher’s website does draw into question the authenticity of the claim, as it describes Wilson and Jacobovici’s book as “part historical detective story, part modern adventure”. Nevertheless, the preview of the book does look intriguing and it will be interesting to see the response of the academic world.

The Church of England has dismissed the claims made in ‘The Lost Gospel’, saying it is closer to popular fiction than an accurate historical account. "This appears to share more with Dan Brown than Matthew, Mark, Luke or John," a church spokesman told the Sunday Times.

Featured image: ‘Jesus as a friend of children’ (1845), by Marie Ellenrieder ( Wikimedia)

By April Holloway


So, this is again a document from the period of 400 years after life of Jesus.

On the comparison, the New testament manuscripts can be dated to late 1st century AD and to early 2nd century AD. And we also have more copies of New testament manuscripts than for any other ancient manuscripts.

In that light, 5th century AD manuscripts don't hold too much weight. So, as the article states, this manuscript with the theory compares well with fictional Da Vinci Code book.

Also, I'd point out that the gnostic writings were there from 2nd century AD, especially in Egypt, where they made Nag Hammadi findings of the "lost gospels".

I see this claim made by christian fundamentalists all the time. All based on stuff they were told by some pastor or apologist.

The truth is we don't have ANY complete manuscripts from before the 4th century. Long after the "Church" started controlling things with plenty of time, motive and opportunity to tweak the text. Which there is loads of evidence of. At least 13 of the new testament books are outright forgeries and none of the "gospels" were written by the person claimed. All of which there is overwhelming evidence for. The only evidence against this is theological faith.

The church also burnt texts by the truckload. They burnt or used as toilet paper anything that they didn't want saved because it was heresy or of the devil. So much lost because of this mindless fundamentalist nonsense. So who really knows how far back the written record of the TRUE story of jesus would go if it wasn't for the church dominating the west for the last 1900 years. Fortunately they couldn't burn all the "witches" or all the texts and books they didn't like.

The majority of the manuscripts are from the 9th century through the middle ages. and they are mostly in Latin. The church controlled the western world and writing was done mostly by the priest and monk class so of course they there will be a lot of new testament copies. There are more errors in the new testament between just the Greek partial manuscripts and fragments than there are words in the actual text.

I get tired of you guys spouting this stuff like its fact when even a little study on your own would open your eyes to the facts.

Engineer is merely presenting a simple digest that would be familiar to any first year undergrad taking a NT Studies course in any college/university with a faculty to offer it.

Most of the work for this began in the nineteenth century and was lead principally by German Protestant academics. It produced a variety of types of critical approaches to the gospels which coupled with the secular study of the "sitz im leben" or "life situation" that the first Christians found themselves in. Some academics took the literary investigation to fascinating levels of details. Joachim Jeremias was fluent in Hebrew, Aramaic and the Koine Greek that they synoptic gospels were written in. In "The Parables of Jesus" he showed at an exhaustive level how the original Aramaic rhythms of speech could be detected in the composition of the parables; that patterns emerge showing these devices follow the same flow of rabbinical teachings. Arguably evidence that Jesus presented his radical message in a style familiar to his audience.  I'm presenting this as just one example. 

One example from New Testament Studies. The field of research that draws together specialist from the fields of archaeology, linguistics and philology, textual criticism and Patristics. The field from which anyone with half a brain will check out what range of opinions emerge when the two guys breaking this story stop being suspiciously cagey, as Ms Holloway points out.

Unless reading all this made them tired and angry so they just made up some wierd, paranoid nonsense with no basis in any historical facts. 

Check out the alignment that the churches in that area make, one of the guys that wrote holy blood holy grail has been looking into it for years. It was one of the most interesting documentarys I've seen I just wish I could remember what it was called. It was just on TV a few days ago.

Nothing of this is religion it is all politics. - What many fail to see is that Jesus, a descendant of King David, was next royal flesh and blood in line for the throne of Jerusalem and for this reason Herod ordered ALL baby boys killed because he had no idea where to locate the King Heir. Jesus family went into hiding where Jesus was schooled to the highest levels as any king would be and was anointed. When Jesus finally returned to claim his throne in his house, the Temple his ancestors built, was a market. Jesus was finally eliminated whether he died on the cross or fled is not important for the political landscape he left behind - but they say he was crucified under the initials of INRI ( Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews ) - Jesus was the last known royal issue from the house of David. Now fleeing to France with his wife and children and maintaining a low profile for decades, even centuries, would ensure that King David's descendants could survive and not be prosecuted by the Romans and their Jewish allies - the whole Religious tilt to this story is nothing more than a Fairy Tale meant to control the populace...

Good analysis, Manuel.

Jesus is not a direct descendent of King David. First of all he would have had to have a human father, which you claim he did not. Adoption does not count. Also if you read all of the genealogies in the NT, none are the same

I wouldn't trust any stories about this subject. The bonfires at the Vatican has been burning for many years. The church has been developed to fit human history not the way Christianity really developed. If the truth was known, we most likely would' need much of a church to teach the message from Jesus.Many
Sins have been done in the name of the church.

Like Bart Ehrman says, copies of manuscripts, no matter how many, are no better than the original, which we don't have! All are compromised by the church. The gnostic texts are pristine, and tell the story of mystic mastership succssion becoming the inversion of 'Betrayal' in the canon. THAT is the real story of fictional Christ -- James becoming 'Judas' and being hidden by the betrayal fiction. There was no Jesus or Jesus kids.

Quraan tells us that Prophet Eisa AS Jjesus) was not crucified and instead had already been informed by Allah (The God) about the plot which had been hatched by the Jewish rabiis so gathered his followers in secret and took them along with his mother Mariam AS and departed for a new destination (a valley which had many streams) and spent the rest of his full life there. He may have got married and may have had children, but that is not confirmed as we do not know many of the personal details of many of other Prophets of Allah as well.

It is interesting that Allah seems to be based on on the old Canaanite word for god "EL". The root of Allah is "ilah" and the singular form in Hebrew is "eloah". Spelled differently but having a similar sound. These could both be traced back to older Babylonian words and probably trace to Enki or Enlil. Or they could be a confused combination of both that developed over time.

a Catholic priest said once, when confronted with this: Öf course Jesus was married. A Jew had to marry if he wanted to be accepted.

An unmarried man for sure would not have been taken seriously, let alone followed.

So, as there is no mention whatsoever of someone else, it more than plausible that he was married to Mary Magdalene

Sunny Young

I thought if he was married, it was to Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha the busy one. Robert Graves suggested this is his book "King Jesus".

I don't think scholars were quite as wholesale as to destroy real documents, and there was an awful lot of trash, fantasy rubbish being written. Ask any publisher what shows up in their slush pile.

A crusifixion was commonplace in Palestine at the time. Why so much contemporary evidence from people who were there at the tiin the moment?

This is a late document and is a bit dodgy. What is its provenance? How is it connected to contemporary accounts? What is its authority? These are considerations that affect the value of the document in historical terms.

So the fact that a living human being with blood through his veins could marry, have sex and father children seems like "popular fiction"!!!
What say you, then, to a dead person levitating after three days in his tomb and appearing here and there as if she was still alive? Popular fiction????????????????

Remember, both Muslims and Christians are members of Jewish " Cults". This is so because their roots are congruent to one another right back through the line of Moses to Abraham. The " Book"' so to speak. There is the Jesus Cult and the Mohamed Cult. I am not a theological scholar by any stretch, but this is how I come to terms with this subject in my mind. All are Jews, in essence anyway.
If you judge the teachings on their own merits then the marital status of Jesus should not subtract from it. Of all the scores of men, women and children put under a knife to blood thirsty gods that number would pale when compared to the bloodshed in the name of those three religions. It is what it is.


Did some digging and found that the focus text of the book is a pre sixth century Syriac text usually called "Joseph and Aseneth". Read: This is a translation of the alleged lost gospel from 1984. Two things will immediately spring to mind: firstly, it simply ain't a gospel. It's pseudo biographical "bonus content" regarding the marriage of the Joseph of Genesis to the Egyptian priest's daughter Aseneth, at Pharaoh's behest. The account in Gen. is rather brief. Secondly, searching using the title Joseph and Aseneth, reveals that it ain't lost. In fact it's rather well known and there are a range of argued theories and interpretations, all well argued, for interested parties to take their pick.  Looking at the charming little tale, the first thing that the narrative suggests is the way Aseneth is presented almost as a Disney character- fabulously wealthy and beautiful, and a man hater to boot. And this, along with the fantastic events that follow is very good at distracting away from what would have been uncomfortable for either late 2nd Temple or early rabbinical Judaism: that Joseph the patriarch married a gentile.  Now, none of the above will hold water for those fizzing with theories of conspiracy fuelled by the Holy Blood and the Grail/ daVinci Code. BUT I respectfully submit that this will turn out to be another book flogging wheeze that will have a nice tie-in documentary on H2.  It's also worth remembering that the majority of scholars currently leading this field aren't secret members of Opus Dei, they are often agnostic and their interest in the field supersedes whether Jesus was married or not.  When the media gets hold of stuff like this, they always go to a C of E, Free Churches, or RC in-house specialist because most readers won't check to see if they are simply echoing a generally held academic opinion (in this case dismissing the book) and they can cheerfully invent a scandal or controversy that doesn't really exist because a partisan opinion MUST be somehow trying to subvert the truth.  People who are drawn to this then do the rest themselves in exercising confirmation bias: they only ever submerge themselves in evidence that supports their theories and everything else is a ruse. I'm just waiting to be accused of being an undercover Masonic plant- or worse: a Daily Mail reader!

I agree with Goeb (above). Furthermore, I find it interesting how often people dismiss the abstract conception of deity or even allegorical interpretation of sacred texts. It is natural to scrutinise and question the validity of historical primary sources, but to think open mindedly about abstract concepts (laterally), takes considerably more insight. Each argument has two sides (Aquinas), so it is worth evaluating these sources from a variety of perspectives, objectively.

Furthermore, I find it amusing how Mandorian feels able to comment on lingua Romanorum when that post is littered with so many grammatical errors.

nisa burkay's picture

Who care what the Church of England's opinion is.... Or for that matter any other "organized" (control the population through lies) group.. My apologies to any from the Church of England.


Nisa Carroll Burkay

With all respect to the readers, we can learn from the past events, but it's not wise to apply those historical/political & religious phenomena in our modern civilization. It's already antiquated and suited only for the people of the particular place during their time which no longer applicable in present society. Let's be honest to ourselves and have an open-mind that we can't hide the burning truth.

With all respect to the readers, we can learn from the past events, but it's not wise to apply those historical/political & religious phenomena in our modern civilization. It's already antiquated and suited only for the people of the particular place during their time which no longer applicable in present society. Let's be honest to ourselves and have an open-mind that we can't hide the burning truth.

Well, Jun, If I am understanding you correctly then you are saying we should no longer be employing religious superstitious dogmas because they are outdated and not relevent in todays' world. Did I get that right? Do you plan on living on the same planet as the 1.3 billion Muslims and the 2 billion Christians do? If so, how you gonna break the news to them? I am sure as hell glad its you and not me!

Thank you for the insight Mr. Dale, it's all about Human experiences mixed with customs & traditions which is the birth right of every human being to express & be practiced. But it does not mean because majority follows those certain dogmas it is the right thing to do to the benefit of all mankind. Evidence-based cause & effect of those practices are the root cause of conflicts, sufferings & segregation of the Global population, & I Know you, Mr Dale is very much aware of this Social Cancer.

I know what you mean, about the negative effects, but keep in mind that the same chaos is evident in political dogma as in religion yet politics has nothing to do with superstition per se.  Still, they share a common denominator. That is , humans, individually, on the whole can't uphold their own sense of  reality alone and feel a need for others to validate it. So really it's not about the content of the idea or dogma at all. It's about the wicked little stumbling child-king that is Humanity and its constant need for validation. It's not enough that it is one with the universe, the universe must continously tell it how special it is. No matter how you roll the dice, we are doomed to operate within the parameters of our own stupidity. Interesting little game we got here, right?

Hi Mr. Dale, Humans will believe/follow anything if they want to(Free Will), whether it's real or not. It's all about Human conditioning, exposure & the way we perceive certain events or information ancient and/or current events. Humans see things not the way they are, we perceive events & information the way who we are. Educated, respected & even the most nicest human being on Earth, if too much attached to anything, like politics, esp. any kind of dogmas, some have/had the tendency to become irrational & stereotyped scenarios to support their affinity to whatever situation they are involved in. And not to forget the professional sports we follow/support, Ex.: Baseball, Football, Basketball, Boxing & Soccer just to name a few & this is Universal, regardless of any culture & who we are. Guilty? Hope not. It's a pleasure to share informative intersting ideas with you Sir. May you & your love ones have a Healthful Safe Prosperous New Year & Beyond....

I agree with you Jun, about who we are dictates how we percieve. Infact there is that old cliche "perception is reality". Kinda fits right in here. When I make an honest attempt at "objective self examination" which is about as easy as pulling a chickens' teeth, I realize I do taint everything with a coat of "Me-ness". Best we can do is to make sure "Me" is a nice guy!

   Funny that you mention sports. I understand they are all practical lessons in teamwork and overcomming adversity and whatnot, but I personally only see a bunch of sweaty grown men chasing after one ball. Needless to say, you will not find me parked in front of the TV durring the Superbowl or the World Cup.

  But back to the actual topic. Jesus , as a married father. When you think about it, the dogma there implies that having a mate and fathering children is intrinsically Unholy and beneath the expected behaviour of the Son of God. Wow! Mary, the mother of Jesus is seen as Holy for her bearing of a child but the Man's role in pro-creation is down and dirty! Those who say Jesus could not have been a married father and keep his status of being "without sin" are in effect saying that sex is unholy and only because Mary's pregnancy was induced non-sexually makes her role in His procreation acceptable. All this is twisting my little brain out of shape. I am in deep trouble, as the zipper on my blue jeans is no longer just a way to get in and out of them, it has become the Gateway to Hell itself...A man just can't win !

     Anyway, What I take away from all this that you have to be able to recognize the content of what Jesus was trying to communicate and ignore the aberrated chatter of those who either think they know what he was talking about or are using his image as a battering ram for their own agenda. This is why it is soooo hard for me personally to call any organized religion my own.

   Happy New Year to you too.

Peter Harrap's picture

In the 80s when this was a hot topic, I took it upon myself to research two subjects. The first was an exhaustive trawl through the Blue Books and other official guff on UFOs, and the second-hot on the trail of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (such rubbish that I dumped it in a rubbish bin somewhere in Old Delhi on the way home!), was weirdly odd: I read ALL available gospels and Apocrypha- all of them, from end to end.

Well, sorry folks, but there is not a single word mentioning any sexual union between Christ and anybody else anywhere in those books at all. There is NOTHING there. All of the New Testament as we know it, and the entire Apocrypha that are banned by the Catholic Church under pain of Excommunication (or they certainly were when I were a lad!) have not a single word on the subject. Nor is there any way of reading even the idea into the text. NADA.

All such texts and ideas date from centuries after Christ, like HG Wells and Harry Potter and King Arthur bla bla do, and all are fictitious. They are merely the inspired guesses of then, just as our writings and ramblings are the inspired guesses of now. Such writings are interesting for what they have to say about man’s faith and inventiveness, but they are as much fiction as the Alien Invasion conspiracies woven around visions of God’s current takes on the Ramayana, etcetera.

Surely in any case our own personal evolution must take precedent over all and any such beliefs?


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