London: Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children, according to a manuscript almost 1,500 years old unearthed at the British Library.
The so-called Lost Gospel, which has been translated from Aramaic, allegedly reveals the startling new allegations, according to The Sunday Times.
Professor Barrie Wilson and writer Simcha Jacobovic spent months translating the text, which they claim states Jesus had two children and the original Virgin Mary was Jesus’s wife and not his mother.
Many experts have downplayed the biblical figure’s historical importance but, according to the translators of the new gospel, she is of much greater significance than previously thought.
Mary Magdalene already features in the existing gospels and is present at many of the important moments recorded in Jesus’s life.
The Lost Gospel is not the first to claim that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. Both Nikos Kazantzakis in his 1953 book The Last Temptation of Christ and, more recently, Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code made the same allegation.
Further revelations from the book, including the names of Jesus’s children, will be released on Wednesday.
Mark Goodacre, a professor of religious studies at Duke University, is skeptical of the book’s findings.
“I don’t think that there is any credibility in these claims at all,” Goodacre said.
“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.”
This is not the first assertion that Jesus was married. A fragment of an ancient Egyptian papyrus known as the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” was unveiled in 2012, containing the phrase “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife,” although the document was written centuries after Jesus died.