A new book claims Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had two sons with her, based on 1,500-year-old manuscript found in the British Library.
"The Lost Gospel," by Israeli-Canadian writer Simcha Jacobovici and York University Professor Barrie Wilson, bases its claim on the document dating back to 570 AD and written in Aramaic.
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After six years of scrutiny, the authors concluded that the characters described this "fifth gospel," Joseph and Aseneth, are in fact code for Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The two were married by the Pharaoh of Egypt and had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
“There is now written evidence that Jesus was married to Mary the Magdalene and that they had children together. Gathering dust in the British Library is a document that takes us into the missing years of Jesus’s life,” the book states.
Disputed by many experts, the theory about Jesus' union with Mary Magdalene is perhaps best represented in works of fiction such as Nikos Kazantzakis' "The Last Temptation of Christ" and Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code."
In 2012, a Harvard University professor unveiled a fourth-century fragment of papyrus she said is the only existing ancient text quoting Jesus explicitly referring to having a wife.
The authors will answer questions at a press conference at the British Library on Wednesday, but "The Lost Gospel" is already being met with skepticism. “I don’t think that there is any credibility in these claims at all," Mark Goodacre, a professor of religious studies at Duke University told ABC News. "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.”
Co-author Simcha Jacobovici has been known to shake up the archaeological world with provocative theories about early Christianity. In his films, he claimed to have uncovered the location of the original tomb of Jesus and his family (in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem) and the nails used for the crucifixion.