1,400-year-old manuscript shows Jesus’ wife and children, authors say

An old text describes Jesus Christ as having a wife and two children, according to a new book due out this week, but academics quickly shut down that claim.

Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson explain in “The Lost Gospel” that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene – “the original Virgin Mary”, who was sometimes called a prostitute – indicating a manuscript of 570 AD, according to the Daily Mail.

The manuscript, written in Syriac (the Middle Eastern language spoken by Jesus) on vellum, has been in the archives of the British Library for 20 years. Researchers who have studied the document for the past 160 years have considered it “fairly mundane.”

The authors, who translated the text from its Aramaic dialect into English, said the book had been in the works for six years.

But Mark Goodacre, professor of religious studies at Duke University, is among the theory skeptics.

“I don’t think there is any credibility in these claims at all,” Professor Goodacre told Good Morning America on Monday. “There is simply no evidence in this text or anywhere else that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, let alone that they had a couple of children.”

The theory is based on the belief that the document is encrypted and written by a group of persecuted Christians, the Daily Mail reported.

The authors said the document is coded and that Jesus’ marriage is hidden in the story of Old Testament character Joseph and his wife Aseneth. They theorize that Joseph was in fact Jesus and that Aseneth was Mary Magdalene.

The idea that Christ Jesus was married has already surfaced in studies and pop culture. An ancient Egyptian papyrus – known as the “Gospel of the wife of Jesus” – refers to Jesus “my wife”, although it was written centuries after his death.

In “The Da Vinci Code”, the author of the novel Dan Brown raises the possibility that Mary Magdalene was the bride of Jesus.

Other “revelations” – including the names of the children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene – are expected Wednesday, while a press conference is scheduled for the book release, according to the Times of India.

Editor’s Note: The photo with this article has been updated to more accurately reflect the content.

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