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


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

Good analysis, Manuel.

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...

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.

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. 


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