For literally 2000+ years non-Christians and misguided believers alike have made an effort to make Jesus more man than God. Dan Brown’s best seller “The Da Vinci Code” is only a modern, fictional example….and nearly as plausible. Since the time of the Gnostics, everything from the apparent “gospel” of Mary Magdalene herself to documents excluded by the Council of Nicaea have been touted as “evidence” discounting the divinity of Christ. Specifically, Jesus’ marriage and procreation seem to be hot topics.
“The Lost Gospel” claims a manuscript has been found which tells the story of Jesus’ two sons and his marriage to, none other than, Mary Magdalene. Even the horrid “Last Temptation of Christ”, written in the 50’s, makes this not-so-new claim. The Scorsese film by the same name, released in 1988, grabbed a lot of headlines, but also big box office numbers.
Credibility is lent to this new artifact according to the authors for a few reasons:
- The manuscript dates to 570 AD
- It is written in Syriac, a Mid Easter language akin to Aramaic spoken by Christ himself
- It is written on vellum, an historically accurate animal skin from the 6th century
This document is, in fact, not new. For over 160 years it has been under review and determined to be of no consequence. It is a film maker, Simcha Jacobovici, and a professor, Barrie Wilson, who claim otherwise. After 6 long years of “code breaking” they assert this manuscript’s retelling of an Old Testament story is actually a “coded message” concerning the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. They claim this is a 5th gospel that should be held in the same light as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
No shortage of fascination with this story, artifacts like the Shroud of Turin, and anything related to debunking Christianity exist in our post-Christian, secular culture. Claims that this is a 6th century copy of a 1st century work, however, cannot be substantiated. All four of the “other” gospels have original texts dating back to roughly 60 A.D. That is a 500 year difference relating to the Greatest Story Ever Told and a lot of time for misinterpretation, misrepresentation, or just a misunderstanding of what the text actually is.
Could it not be the story of Joseph and Aseneth, since the characters are actually called by those names throughout the script? Even with some minor alteration of details, when characters are named specifically, how can it be assumed that some secret “code” means this story is about another couple? Even more absurd is the supposition that the Pharoah of Egypt officiated the wedding. Anyone with any familiarity with the interaction of Jews and Egyptians during a time of Roman occupation need look no further to find this interpretation of the document questionable.
Jacobovici claims that previously discovered/destroyed gospels are attacked as forgeries or are merely pieces of a text. He claims this article, held for more than a century in a British Library is a “full blown gospel.” He and Wilson further claim that the evidence for Jesus’ marriage is “overwhelming” and this latest evidence is a very important piece.
His account of this text, its encryption, and even centuries old censorship is fascinating. He claims a cut in the text at a crucial point is “censorship” which is somehow proof of his theory.
Stuart Chase said, “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t, no proof is possible.” The same is likely true of this new attempt at making Christ into something other than what the Bible claims He is. Perhaps the authors are adamant atheists, or maybe they are genuine researches who recently developed 2000 year old code breaking skills. Regardless, the Bible is the most scrutinized and studied collection of books and letters to have ever existed. It has been used to do good and, unfortunately, to do harm. The God/man whose story is told therein, however, managed to split time in half. Whether He was married or fathered children is really a non-story for people of faith. They already know all they feel they need to know about Him.
H/T: Daily Mail