A new book claims that Jesus Christ was married to prostitute Mary Magdalene and had two children, but experts are taking issue with the controversial findings.
The claims come from a new book, The Lost Gospel, by authors Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson. The book argues that not only was Jesus married, but that here was an assassination attempt on his life 13 years before he was crucified. The book's authors claim that the information comes from a nearly 1,500-year-old manuscript found in a British library. But experts say the claims about the life of Jesus Christ are far-fetched.
"I don't think that there is any credibility in these claims at all," said Mark Goodacre, a professor of religious studies at Duke University. "There is simply no evidence in this text or anywhere else that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, much less that they had a couple of children."
Other go further, saying that Jacobovici and Wilson actually manufactured the claims simply for attention. Greg Carey, a professor of the New Testament at the Lancaster Theological Seminary, wrote for The Huffington Post:
"Unfortunately, Jacobovici and Wilson describe the text as 'Gathering dust in the British Library' and suggest they have 'uncovered' it. Unfortunately, the media has bought into that narrative. A Washington Post story claims that scholars previously reviewed the document and considered it insignificant. Hardly. Online databases reveal over three hundred scholarly books and articles devoted to this text, not counting book reviews. Over twenty manuscripts of Joseph and Aseneth have survived. If you're curious, you can consult a modern translation online. In fact, Duke University professor Mark Goodacre created his Joseph and Aseneth home page in 1999 -- quite a bit before its recent "uncovering."