This time we have The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.
You may remember Jacobovici from his involvement in previous biblical-archeological shenanigans like the discredited “Jesus family tomb” claims of a few years ago—in which Jacobovici similarly claimed that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
So what do he and sensationalist co-author Barrie Wilson have in store for us this time?
The key text used in their new book is preserved in a set of writings attributed to Zecharias Rhetor (i.e., Zecharias the Rhetoritician), also known as Zecharias Scholasticus (i.e., Zecharistias the Scholar), also known as Zecharias of Mytilene.
He was a native of Gaza who lived in the late A.D. 400s and early 500s and who became the bishop of Mytilene.
He wrote a number of works in Greek, including a work on Church history that was later translated into Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic), with various editorial changes.
It is this Syriac text, brought to the British Museum in 1847, that Jacobovici and Wilson are using in their new book.
What They’re Claiming
Among other things, Jacobovici and Wilson claim that they have discovered a lost gospel that is written in code and, when properly decoded, states that Jesus was married, likely to Mary Magdalene, and that they had two sons.
None of this is true.
First, the text in question is not “lost.” It is not some newly discovered work that scholars were previously unaware of.
The particular manuscript that Jacobovici and Wilson rely on was brought to the British Museum for more than a century and a half ago, and the same text has been known through other sources for centuries.
The scholarly community has been well aware of it, and translations of it in English and other languages are common.
To give you an idea of how not-lost this work is, it’s been in print for centuries,I have it in my own library, and here’s a version you can read online from a book printed in 1918.
Not a Gospel.
The work is also not a Gospel. Although some scholars use the term “Gospel” in surprising and misleading ways, a Gospel (in the literary sense) is a book about the life and/or teachings of Jesus.
That is not what this text is. This text is not about Jesus. The story it tells is not even set in the first century, when Jesus lived.
It’s set more than a thousand years before the time of Christ.