And here we go again, folks:
But now …That’s what they all say.
…the authors of a new book, The Lost Gospel, claim to have unearthed evidence of a manuscript which tells the story of Jesus’s (sic) two sons and his marriage to Mary, one of his closest followers, who was at his crucifixion, burial and the discovery of his empty tomb.
From a somewhat non-academic viewpoint (I've done some reading and study on this topic), I see a few … difficulties … in the Daily Mail tale.
[T]his new book focuses on a story to be found in a manuscript dating back to 570 AD and written in Syriac — a Middle Eastern literary language used between the 4th and 8th centuries and related to Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.Only 540 years after Christ’s death, and 340 years after the gospels we find in the Bible were written. Call me skeptical.
the British Museum had originally bought it in 1847 from a dealer who said he had obtained it from the ancient St Macarius Monastery in Egypt. (emphasis mine)So, it’s genuine, based on the promise of the guy who got money for selling it. Again, call me skeptical.
[Simcha] Jacobovici [an Israeli-Canadian film-maker] claims the manuscript, which is 29 chapters long, is a 6th century copy of another 1st-century gospel and casts parts of the Bible in a very different light. (insertion for clarity, ed.)Oh, so, now it’s allegedly a copy of an allegedly- 1st –Century-AD ‘gospel’ … which diverges so wildly from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (all 1st Century AD gospels) it’s been called ‘the greatest revelation into the life of Jesus in nearly 2,000 years’. If, of course, it’s true.
… the document is in code. According to Jacobovici and [Barrie] Wilson [professor of religious studies in Toronto], it tells of Jesus’s marriage through the story of the Old Testament character Joseph and his wife Aseneth. (insertion for clarity ed)AHA! Here’s the reason, perhaps, that it doesn’t match the four Bible gospels – it’s written in code. Isn’t that convenient?
Central to their claim is that Joseph was actually Jesus — and that Aseneth was actually Mary Magdalene.Well, of course it is, dear.
It [this ‘gospel’] apparently disappeared from public view around 325 AD.Except that the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – and only those four gospels, were considered authoritative as early as the time of Irenaeus (AD 120-202); this continued all the way up to the Council of Laodicea in AD 325. In fact, the entire New Testament canon - all 27 books – was considered authoritative by the time of Origen (around AD 250).
It was at the time that the then Roman emperor Constantine — the first Christian emperor — was said to have ordered all other gospels to be destroyed, leaving only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to tell Jesus’s story because their version fitted with Constantine’s view of Christianity.
[Jacobovici] and his colleague Wilson point to several clues that they say give away its true meaning. Principally, the story about Joseph has little connection with other Old Testament stories about a man who is best-known for the tale of his murderous brothers, which inspired the popular musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.Well, that’s appropriate, since it bears little resemblance to any of the gospels we find in the Bible.
At one point in the British Library manuscript, an angel-like figure marks a piece of honeycomb in blood with the sign of the cross. When Aseneth — purportedly the Mary Magdalene figure — eats a piece of honeycomb, the angel tells her: ‘So now you have eaten the bread of life and drunk the cup of life.’Well, except that the ‘bread of Life’ was Christ, and was symbolized in, you know, bread, not honeycomb, and that the ‘cup of life’ was Christ’s blood symbolized in, you know, wine, not honey. Other than those, well, yeah, it’s a dead ringer (cough, cough)
The parallels with Christian Holy Communion, according to Jacobovici, means that this is a ‘Christian text’.
It says the document has an ‘inner meaning’ about ‘our Lord, our God, the Word’.So, the document has ‘inner meaning’, which is lost because of the tear. But don’t fret – Jacobovici and Wilson know what the ‘inner meaning’ really is!!! So, the loss of the paper beyond the tear is immaterial.
But just at the point when it seems as if the text’s hidden inner meaning is about to be disclosed, there is a big tear in the manuscript — suggesting someone deliberately censored the revelation that was to follow.
It’s sad, you know? I’m no longer astonished by the lengths people will go to tear down the word of God. Even sadder is that I’ll bet they make a bundle on their book.