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History Mystery

Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had two kids, new book claims

Christian orthodoxy doesn't really consider Jesus to have been much of a family man — he told his disciples to leave their families and follow him, after all. But a new book based on a 1,500-year-old manuscript would dispute that characterization. According to The Lost Gospel, Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene — who was also the Virgin Mary — and they had two children. Jesus, Mary, and their children also escaped an assassination attempt years before Jesus was crucified.

The authors of this story are Barrie Wilson, a professor of religious studies at Canada's York University, and Canadian-Israeli screenwriter and documentarian Simcha Jacobovici, and they are basing their tale off the Ecclesiastical History of Zacharias Rhetor (of Mytilene), an Aramaic-language text that has been in the British Museum then the British Library for almost 170 years.

"Before anyone gets his/her theological back up, keep in mind that we are not attacking anyone's theology," the authors say. "We are reporting on text." Reporting is a little modest. Wilson and Jacobovici, who has made discredited claims about the historical Jesus before, more accurately "decoded" the text, which is about a man name Joseph and his wife, Aseneth — characters that the authors say are stand-ins for Jesus and Mary Magdalene.