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Jesus and Mary Magdalene

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


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



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?


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.

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 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?

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.


aprilholloway's picture


April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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