Scholars Doubtful & Unhappy About Jesus Lost Tomb

Just got this in. So they only scraped a little DNA from two ossuaries, the ones labelled Joshua ben Yosef and Mariamene e Mara (supposedly belonging to Jesus and Magdalene). Why the heck didn’t they compare the supposedly Jesus one to the supposedly Mother Mary one — or the one who is supposed to be Jesus’s son??  Because, I think, they wanted to be able to say, “we’ve got DNA evidence!” and were afraid the answers would be no, no, no.  The only no answer that would be provocative and thus permitted, would be a no to whether Jesus and Magdalene were biologically related.  Some science this is.  At the end, I include a Laurence Gardner reaction to it all. 


By Christopher Mims, Scientific American
March 2, 2007

In researching our special report on the upcoming Jesus Tomb documentary, fronted by James Cameron (of Titanic fame), I encountered more than a few angry scholars and archaeologists.

Of special note was Tal Ilan, whose Lexicon of Jewish Names was essential to the statistical calculation made by Andrey Feuerverger, the U. of Toronto professor of statistics and mathematics who is quoted in the documentary as saying that the odds that any family other than that of the historical Jesus family would have the same names as that family, and be buried in the Tomb the documentary covers, are 600 to 1. In other words, that number argues, the odds are slim that this isn’t the tomb of Jesus.

You’d be forgiven for finding such claims far-fetched, and with the exception of the historian, James Tabor, who was consulted for the film, the professionals in the field appear to find these claims no less incredible.

In an interview I conducted this morning, the scholar Tal Ilan, without whose work these calculations would have been impossible, expressed outrage over the film and its use of her work — she’s the source of the quotation in the headline of this post.

Jodi Magness, a professor of archaeology and Jewish history of that period at UNC Chapel Hill, had this to say in an interview conducted yesterday:

“Let me tell you what I think. So first of all if you’re writing for Scientific American, so it’s important to point out that this debate is taking place in a most unscientific of manners.

“Archaeology is a scientific and academic discipline and there are proper fora for these discussions — if you’re a scholar and you have something you want to present to the larger world, there are proper ways of doing that, specifically publishing papers in peer reviewed journals or at meetings, so your colleagues can respond to it.

“If after that you can go ahead and announce that and people can say ‘Well I’ve responded to this,’ then that’s fine. But I’ve been slammed with [interviews for] this now — it was announced in the public media.

“I’m reacting to something that has not been published or peer reviewed and I haven’t even seen the film — the entire way this has been done has been an injustice to the entire discipline and also to the public.

“I think it’s a very important point to make — that this is almost a wikipedia form of scholarship. They’re presenting it or setting it up as though we have a discovery and you can react and it’s all legitimate and valid which it’s not.”

I also spoke to James Tabor, the biblical historian who consulted on the documentary who has, by his own account, excavated over five hundred tombs in Jerusalem. He was very sure of himself and was quite knowledgeable, even though some of what he said is obviously still up for debate, judging by how many of his peers have directly contradicted some of the things he has said publicly.

In Tabor’s defense, I will say that though he is in many respects the nexus of the debate on this documentary, at least scientifically, the credit (or blame) probably can’t be laid at his feet. This project was put together by Simcha Jacobovici, a filmmaker and investigative journalist. The reason all this data was ever synthesized at all is probably largely, or even entirely, due to his efforts.

When I asked Tabor why this was brought into the public eye in the form of a documentary and not in peer-reviewed journals, he said this:

“I could publish something on the names and someone else on the stats and the DNA and over four or five years you could finally have enough scholarly articles to see what’s going on. I couldn’t do that myself, I could do something on the names and the history, one article, then I would need someone else to do the statistics article and a DNA report and on and on.

“Now that it’s come out, Gibson (Shimon) and I are going to write a comprehensive academic article on the question. It’s like the dead sea scrolls and so much came out and over fifty years, and people sorted it out slowly.

“Another thing I’d say in Simcha’s defense, he felt for ten years this was important (it surfaced in 1996) everyone said it’s not important. He felt if anyone was going to do it, then they should do it, but they were all dismissing it.

“He’s a facilitator — no one had ever contacted a statistician or a DNA person. There’s a sense in which one reason he did this is that I wasn’t thinking of doing this, and the DNA guy wasn’t thinking about it — it almost needed a single person to say ‘This is what I want to do.’ Then it just began to skyrocket because Cameron came in and it became high profile and that gave us the budget. If we were just talking about one subject, the names, then I think it would be correct that we would not say let’s have a documentary on that — we’d publish first.

“The publicity of it all was then picked up by Discovery, but that’s their decision — they’ve taken a lot of heat for it. I don’t want to be critical of that — I’m not paid by them in any way. I and about four other people were brought in as consultants — Shimon Gibson for archaeology, me for history etc. Nobody was paid — they paid our expenses, but no stipends and we have no stake in the film.”

Finally, Carney Matheson, whose titles include everything from mortuary archaeologist to forensic examiner, conducted the DNA examination the film cites. Basically, the filmmakers scraped a tiny amount of biological material out of the ossuary (or bone box) labeled Jesus, and a tiny amount out of the one that they think belonged to Mary Magdalene. Matheson then sequenced the mitochondrial DNA in both samples in order to establish that whoever those two boxes once contained was not related on their mother’s side–in other words, they’re not family. It’s a negative result that doesn’t say much (and it begs the question – if you were gathering material for testing, why not test the boxes that you believed belonged to related people, such as Jesus and his mother, as well?)

Matheson had this to say:

“The only conclusions we made was that these two sets were not maternally related. To me it sounds like absolutely nothing.”

So the experts have weighed in — but don’t expect that to end the spotlight on this controversy any time soon. Even if scholars conclude the whole thing is bunk, I have a feeling this will become a permanent part of the our culture’s conspiracy lore, like the JFK conspiracy, the staging of the moon landing, the Turin Shroud, and all the rest before it.

* * * * * * * *

Laurence Gardner (regarding the recent discovery of the Jesus Ossuaries) writes on 2-27-2007:
In December 2004, four Israelis and a Palestinian (led by antiques dealer Oded Golan of Tel-Aviv) were indicted by the Israel State authorities on charges of having run a lucrative forgery ring for several decades. The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israeli police claimed that the defendants had created a series of biblically-related fakes, some of which had been bought for very high prices and placed in the prestigious Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Since then, numerous well-known items have now been officially declared as fakes, and among those under current investigation (since it originated with Oded Golan and features in the ongoing court case) is the James ossuary. It is fully expected that the Jesus tomb ossuaries (which have absolutely no archaeological provenance) will also fall into the same Golan team category.

It is astonishing to see so many press entries which relate to ‘bones’ and/or ‘disintegrated bones’ in the ossuaries. There are no bones. There never were any bones. It is a felony under Israel State law to own or keep ossuaries containing bones or bone residue (even for museums). Any ossuary unearthed containing bone remnants must be thoroughly emptied and brushed out, with the items and residue re-buried in precisely the same location as the discovery. Only after that, and a sanctification of the site, can the ossuary be removed. We saw on TV back in 1996 that all of these ossuaries were completely empty and inwardly cleaned. So, if there are any bone remnants there now, then someone has put them there for the sake of the documentary and the supposed DNA testing by Simcha Jacobovici and James Cameron.

* * * * * * * *

What Gardner may not have realized when he posted the above is that they didn’t use bones for their DNA testing but rather scrapings of human organic deposits from the insides of the ossuary box. Such deposits they say, form during decomposition.

I did hear Simcha say on television, “We have the bones.”  Does he mean bone residue? He needs to be less sensationalist, but that’s asking a bit much, they are having such a good time with this.

Magdalene & Jesus Painting, meeting of souls, minds

Mary Magdalene wife of Jesus paintingLook at this! A painting of Jesus and Magdalene together in a posture of mystical unity. Also, note the Asherah headband Yeshua is wearing. And the strings, ropes, what are they all about do you think? And the blue bottle behind Magdalene — is that supposed to be her anointing jar? It isn’t made of alabaster. My daughters are looking at this painting with me now (ages three and eight) and my oldest says, “Jesus walked and pregnant Magdalene rode on the donkey.”

I had to tell them, no, that was Mother Mary in the Christmas story, this donkey apparently is carrying furniture and other gear. Three-year-old Rhea pronounces after looking at the way their hands are touching, “He loves her.” And then a long pause.

Rhea ponders. “She was married to him. She is our Queen and he is the King.”

Sketch print given to me by Margaret Starbird originally titled Forgiveness by unreadable woman artist's nameIn our Order of Mary Magdalene we have a lesson exercise in which members are asked to design in their mind a painting of Mary Magdalene and Jesus/Yeshua in unity, as equals, etc.

Several years ago Margaret Starbird gave me the print / sketch pictured at left showing Magdalene and Yeshua in a nice posture as though in love, married, etc.  It was drawn by a woman artist whose name we cannot make out.

But be sure to study the new Frank Thomas painting at the top of this post, it is gorgeous and full of symbols we could decipher together.

What catches your eye?

I just ordered a copy of it to hang in our house chapel (aka the old living room parlor). My husband decided he’d better look at it since I just paid $400 for a painting. He said the bottle behind Magdalene looks to him like a wine bottle, so together she’s got the bread and wine of the eucharist. That’s interesting the eucharist is on her side, and the beast of burden and what looks like household goods are on Yeshua’s side. Hawk added that with her back to us we don’t have to worry about whether she’s pregnant or not. This painting is not about that tired old subject.

I thought Magdalene is rather plain looking, not the beautiful “sex object” others have painted her as, a pleasant change. We don’t have to worry about beauty distracting us. Distractions about Magdalene’s body neutralized, we can focus on their two hands in union, the first thing that caught my three year old’s eye, and I imagine the first thing that most people see. I saw their hands first, too, and then his Asherah headband got my attention. Such headbands symbolized goddess-men in the ancient holy land and during King Josiah’s reign were used to identify Asherah worshippers (and priests and priestesses) who had groves and altars to Her “in the high places” on hilltops and mountains. Women may have worn the headbands, too.

Magdalene is wearing blue and white which are Madonna colors. But in New Age reckoning, blue is the color of mental strength, perhaps indicating Magdalene has a mind, she is not just a body, not a sex object. This painting illustrates a meeting of the minds, too, therefore.

Above their hands in union is the Mount of Transfiguration aka Mount Tabor, a “high place” where once God-ess was worshipped, no doubt. Below their hands in union is a well, bringing to mind Jesus being the living water but yet the living water is obtained thru imaging them together in union.

This is not the woman at the well, that takes place in Samaria and Frank Thomas the painter says this is Magdalene and Jesus. His exact phrasing is: “JESUS and the MAGDALENE” (…Evening in the City of Nazareth…) Original 35″ x 48″ (12 sq. ft.) Acrylic/Canvas Painting by Artist Frank Thomas of Holden, Utah Artist comment: “My New Testament painting of the Christ, for women.” … Frank Thomas

See a larger version of the painting here as part of our God Has a Wife! slide show

Sophie2Uagain writes:

What about Jesus’ right hand in gesture? A hand sign?

Yeah, I was wondering about that, thinking of “occult” sign language hand signs I know.  This one seems to be a combination of two.  The painter is a Mormon so he may be depicting more “modern” sign language, even masonic since the LDS Church uses some of the masonic hand signs and grips.

If modern is what the painter is after, see how Jesus’ hand is clearly making a capital L, perhaps saying I am the Life, or water of Life.

It also looks like he’s about to wrap the rope around their wrists to do a hand-fasting.  This is fun, fun — deciphering a painter’s code.

Anyone else? C’mon!


Magdalene: Dresser of Women’s Hair, Yeshu

I have been reading a Wikipedia article about a Jewish character named Yeshu who lived around 100 BC.  He is mentioned in ancient Hebrew writings and a medieval Pope made the Jews remove all such Yeshu references from their books.  Luckily the Jews hid away uncensored copies of the Babylonian Talmud and other writings so we know about this Yeshu dude who pre-dates Christ, has a mother named Miriam, is born out of wedlock and gets executed for apostasy or magic or both.

Here is an excerpt that has Jesus’ mother Mary called “magdalene”.  Confusing, but most fascinating.

The character of Miriam the dresser of woman’s hair is of interest. (Her name is also mentioned briefly in Chagigah 4b in the Babylonian Talmud where it is used together with Miriam the teacher of children simply as an arbitrary choice of names in illustrating a point.) Some suggest that the expression “dresser of women’s hair” is a euphemism for a woman of ill repute. The original Aramiac for her name is Miriam megadela neshaya in which many see Mary Magdalene. Some have thus identified her with Mary Magdalene while others are more cautious merely suggesting dresser of women’s hair as a possible meaning of Magdalene alternate to the traditional understanding of the name as a toponymic surname. -  from the Talmud,

* * * * * * * * * * *

The above is from the Talmud and is calling Mother Mary “magdala” meaning dresser of women’s hair.  Mary is also referred to in one place in the Babylonian Talmud as “Miriam, teacher of children”.  So maybe the Miriam e mara in the supposed Jesus family tomb was a “master” teacher.  We are told “e mara” means “known as a master”.  Then there is the other Mary buried there, too, the one who is supposed to be Jesus’ mother and spells her name Maria in the Greek fashion. 

Some scholars think one of those Marys is Mary Salome, Jesus’ aunt.

Why oh why are so many of them named Mary?– we can’t sort ’em all out!    The first Miriam in recorded history, sister of Moses was a teacher of the Children of Israel, right? She even taught their messiah, Moses.  A teacher of the Messiah.  And prophetess, seeress, songstress…  I have a cool tome called The Five Books of Miriam, meaning the Torah as if SHE had written it, not her brother. Here is the first sentence: “TORAH SPEAKS: In the beginning, Shekhinah, the Holy-One-Who-Dwells-in-This-World, spins the world into being: light, water, earth, heavenly bodies, seed-bearing plants, sea creatures, birds, animals-and Adam…”

Anyway, the dresser of women’s hair title is partially explained in the Wiki excerpt above.  The word was supposedly a euphemism for whoredom.  Of course, what else could it mean!  Women in the ancient world were virgins or prostitutes, nothing in between. Yeah, right.  Dubiousness aside, the fact that hairdressers were supposedly whores is probably why a woman with the epithet Magdalene got labelled a prostitute. 

Jewish scholars who read the New Testament and encounter Mary Magdalene know that Magdalene is Greek for Magdala (Aramaic) and that it means dresser of women’s hair.  They have no problem therefore seeing why she was called a prostitute.

* * * * * * * * * * *

All of this is from a search I was doing about the Yeshu of 100 BC:

Now don’t let the stuff on the page above about Yeshu shake your faith.  Yeshua “bore” a lot of archetypes. He embodied them just as Magdalene embodied Sophia, Isis, Inana. 
Yeshua/Jesus was Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, Dionysius and the Son of God/ess.  Some
Moses-like tales were added to his life (slaughter of babies) and transfiguration on
a mountain.  These tales of Yeshu were also added to him or attributed to him.


James Ossuary box legit, fraud, then legit again

The James ossuary box (casket) is said to be legit again.  These “experts” don’t know what inscriptions are real and what are fake.  The other caskets said to be of Jesus, Maria (Mary?), Mariamne (Magdalene?), a person named Matia (Matthew) and a Judah, were “lost in the system” conveniently for 27 years, discovered in 1980.  Plenty of time to do some forgeries, bring caskets together that might have actually been buried separately, discard the other four caskets found with the six in question, etc.  Most suspect to me, but wouldn’t it be cool….  Well, it almost would be cool if they didn’t deny the resurrection.  For me, the shroud of Turin “proves” the resurrection since science still has not been able to duplicate that “fraud”, unable to imprint any glowing luminous image on a piece of cloth despite numerous tries.


Jesus’ Bones found in family tomb?

By Tim McGirk/Jerusalem, Time
February 23, 2007

Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you ‘The Titanic’ is back with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he’s sinking is Christianity.

In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn’t resurrected — the cornerstone of Christian faith — and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem.
And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene.

No, it’s not a re-make of “The Da Vinci Codes’. It’s supposed to be true.

Let’s go back 27 years, when Israeli construction workers were gouging out the foundations for a new building in the industrial park in the Talpiyot, a Jerusalem suburb of Jerusalem. The earth gave way, revealing a 2,000 year old cave with 10 stone caskets. Archologists were summoned, and the stone caskets carted away for examination. It took 20 years for experts to decipher the names on the ten tombs. They were: Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary,
Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua.
* * END OF EXCERPT (entire article below)* *

Katia writes:

I don’t buy it.  Just like the James ossurary inscriptions were said to be forgeries, I bet this one is forged too.  It’s just too convenient to find such a tomb 2000 years later during this climate of Christianity-is-a-fraud.  So does this at least prove Jesus was not a myth, but came in the flesh and so did Mary and the others listed in the crypt?  Probably they won’t even admit that.  He is somehow both a myth AND a fraud, to the Jesus debunkers.  As for me, I think he was an historical character, lived and died.  AND resurrected.  So there.  — Katia

By Tim McGirk/Jerusalem
February 23, 2007

Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you ‘The Titanic’ is back
with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he’s sinking is Christianity.

In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici,
make the starting claim that Jesus wasn’t resurrected — the cornerstone of
Christian faith — and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem.
And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene.

No, it’s not a re-make of “The Da Vinci Codes’. It’s supposed to be true.

Let’s go back 27 years, when Israeli construction workers were gouging out
the foundations for a new building in the industrial park in the Talpiyot, a
Jerusalem suburb of Jerusalem. The earth gave way, revealing a 2,000 year
old cave with 10 stone caskets. Archologists were summoned, and the stone
caskets carted away for examination. It took 20 years for experts to
decipher the names on the ten tombs. They were: Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary,
Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua.

Israel’s prominent archeologist Professor Amos Kloner didn’t associate the
crypt with the New Testament Jesus. His father, after all, was a humble
carpenter who couldn’t afford a luxury crypt for his family. And all were
common Jewish names.

There was also this little inconvenience that a few miles away, in the old
city of Jerusalem, Christians for centuries had been worshipping the empty
tomb of Christ at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Christ’s resurrection,
after all, is the main foundation of the faith, proof that a boy born to a
carpenter’s wife in a manger is the Son of God.

But film-makers Cameron and Jacobovici claim to have amassed evidence
through DNA tests, archeological evidence and Biblical studies, that the 10
coffins belong to Jesus and his family.

Ever the showman, (Why does this remind me of the impresario in another
movie,”King Kong”, whose hubris blinds him to the dangers of an angry and
very large ape?) Cameron is holding a New York press conference on Monday at
which he will reveal three coffins, supposedly those of Jesus of Nazareth,
his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. News about the film, which will be shown
soon on Discovery Channel, Britain’s Channel 4, Canada’s Vision, and
Israel’s Channel 8, has been a hot blog topic in the Middle East (check out
a personal favorite: Israelity Bites
Here in the Holy Land, Biblical Archeology is a dangerous profession. This
90-minute documentary is bound to outrage Christians and stir up a titanic
debate between believers and skeptics. Stay tuned.


By Ariella Ringel-Hoffman
February 23, 2007,7340,L-3368731,00.html

The cave in which Jesus Christ was buried has been found in Jerusalem, claim
the makers of a new documentary film.

If it proves true, the discovery, which will be revealed at a press
conference in New York Monday, could shake up the Christian world as one of
the most significant archeological finds in history.

The coffins which, according to the filmmakers held the remains of Jesus of
Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene will be displayed for the first
time on Monday in New York.

Jointly produced by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Simcha
Jacobovici and Oscar winning director James Cameron, the film tells the
exciting and tortuous story of the archeological discovery.

The story starts in 1980 in Jerusalem¹s Talpiyot neighborhood, with the
discovery of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. Six of the ten
coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of
Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, identified as Jesus¹ brother),
Judah son of Jesua (Jesus¹ son – the filmmakers claim).

Decades of research

The findings in the cave, including the decipherment of the inscriptions,
were first revealed about ten years ago by internationally renowned Israeli
archeologist Professor Amos Kloner.

Since their discovery, the caskets were kept in the Israeli Antiquities
Authority archive in Beit Shemesh, but now two have been sent to New York
for their first public exhibition.

Although the cave was discovered nearly 30 years ago and the casket
inscriptions decoded ten years ago, the filmmakers are the first to
establish that the cave was in fact the burial site of Jesus and his family.

The film, which documents the stages of the discovery, is the result of
three years labor and research. It will be broadcast on the international
Discovery Channel, Britain’s Channel 4, Canada¹s Vision and Israel¹s Channel
8, which also took part in the film’s production.

According to the filmmakers, the film¹s claim is based on close work with
world-famous scientists, archeologists, statisticians, DNA specialists and
antiquities experts.

* * * * * * *

By Stuart Laidlaw
The Toronto Star
February 25, 2007

A Canadian documentary filmmaker will reveal at a news conference Monday
that he has strong evidence a group of burial boxes unearthed in Jerusalem
belonged to Jesus Christ and his

The discovery could have profound implications 2,000 years after the boxes
were placed in the ground, shaking the foundations of modern faith and
raising Da-Vinci-Code-like speculation that Jesus had a child with Mary

“It’s mind boggling. It’s an altered reality,” Toronto documentary director
Simcha Jacobovici told the
Star last week.

The location of the press conference is being kept secret until Monday to
prevent a stampede of people wanting to see the artefacts on display.

The documentary is called The Lost Tomb of Jesus and its claim that that the
burial box of Jesus has been found along with his DNA, are sure to be met
with scepticism, if not outright hostility, by church leaders.

In an interview, Jacobovici said that while nothing in archaeology can ever
be proven beyond doubt, there is “compelling evidence” that the tomb he
explores under a Jerusalem apartment building is that of the holy family.

“You have to kind of pinch yourself,” said Jacobovici, known as the Naked
Archaeologist after a Vision TV series. “Are we really saying what we are

James Tabor, chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina
and an expert featured extensively in The Lost Tomb, said that as an
academic he has seen enough to convince him of the evidence, but admits to
some trepidation about claiming that the tomb of Jesus has been found.

“There’s a part of you that says, it’s too amazing. How can this be true?”
Tabor told the Star. “It’s an archaeological dream.”

Critics are already dismissing the documentary’s claims.

“It’s a beautiful story but without any proof whatsoever,” Bar Ilan
University professor Amos Kloner, who researched the tomb for the Israeli
periodical Atiqot in 1996, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Friday.

Jacobovici says there is nothing in the documentary that should offend
devout Christians, since he does not argue that Jesus did not ascend to
heaven, at least spiritually, as told in the Bible.

“People who believe in a physical ascension — that he took his body to
heaven — those people obviously will say, wait a minute,” he said, adding
he hopes the film sparks more scientific study of the tomb and the ossuaries
found inside.

The tomb was unearthed in 1980 during construction of an apartment building
and was first connected to the Jesus family in a 1996 BBC documentary.
Jacobovici’s documentary uses scientific methods, including DNA testing,
statistical analysis and forensic examination, not available to the BBC 11
years ago.

It airs on Discovery in the U.S. and on Channel 4 in the U.K. on Sunday, and
March 6 in Canada on Vision TV. A book, The Jesus Family Tomb by Jacobovici
and Charles Pellegrino, comes out this week
Titanic director James Cameron <>,
executive producer of the documentary, wrote the introduction.

The film and book follow years of growing interest in the private life of
Jesus, fuelled by the 2003 Dan Brown novel The Da Vinci Code, made into a
movie last year, in which Jesus is said to have married Mary Magdalene and
had a daughter, sparking a centuries-long cover-up.

The novel, denounced by church groups around the world, spawned a
mini-industry speculating about the historical Jesus, his relationship to
Mary and his family life. Church leaders, including the Pope, dismissed the
book and movie as pure fiction.

Tabor, whose book The Jesus Dynasty last year raised many of the same
questions as the documentary, says the film cannot be as easily dismissed as
Brown’s novel, even though it too suggests that Jesus had a child with Mary

“This is archaeology. We got the casket. We’ve got the bones,” he told the
Star. “I think we can say, in all probability, Jesus had this son, Jude,
presumably through Mary Magdalene.”

DNA tests conducted for the documentary at Lakehead University on two
ossuaries — one inscribed Jesus son of Joseph and the other Mariamne, or
Mary — confirm that the two were not related by blood, so were probably

“Perhaps Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married as the DNA results from the
Talpiot ossuaries suggest and perhaps their union was kept secret to protect
a potential dynasty — a secret hidden through the ages,” narrator Ron White
says over re-enacted scenes of a happy Jesus and Mary home life.

“A secret we just may be able to uncover in the holy family tomb.”

The tomb was found in the Talpiot neighbourhood of Jerusalem during the
construction of an apartment building in 1980. Archaeologists were given
three days to document the tomb and excavate it for treasures.

Inside, they found 10 ossuaries and three skulls. Six ossuaries had names
etched into them — Jesus son of Joseph, Judah son of Jesus, Maria,
Mariamne, Joseph and Matthew — all Jesus family names.

At the time, however, the inscriptions raised few alarms. These were, after
all, very common names at the time of Jesus. Besides, with all the
construction around Jerusalem at the time, it was a boom time for uncovering
tombs, and the Israeli Antiquities Authority could barely keep up.

Any connection to the holy family was not made until 15 years later, when a
BBC crew researching and Easter special stumbled across the collection in an
IAA storage room. They immediately began work on a new program, based on the
tomb, which aired a year later.

That show, aired as part of the BBC’s acclaimed Heart of the Matter
newsmagazine, was dismissed by Biblical scholars as “laughable” for
suggesting, as Jacobovici does, that the tomb was that of Jesus Christ’s

Today, Kloner and others still argue that the names were so common that
there is no significance to them being found in a tomb.

“The names that are found on the tombs are names that are similar to the
names of the family of Jesus,” he conceded. “But those were the most common
names found among Jews in the first centuries.”

In The Lost Tomb, however, University of Toronto statistician Andre
Feuerverger calculates that while the names are common, the chances of them
being found together are 600 to one.

His conclusion is based on a few assumptions: that the Maria on one of the
ossuaries is the mother of the Jesus found on another box, that Mariamne is
his wife and that Joseph (inscribed as the nickname Jose) is his brother.

As the documentary tells us, there is reason to make these assumptions.

Maria is the Latin form of Mary, and is how Jesus’s mother was known after
his death as more Romans became followers. Mariamne is the Greek form of
Mary. Mary Magdelene is believed to have spoken and preached in Greek. Jose
was the nickname used for Jesus’ little brother.

As well, the Talpiot Tomb is the only place where ossuaries have ever been
found with the names Mariamne and Jose, even though the root forms of the
name were very popular and thousands of ossuaries have been unearthed.

This is not, however, the first time a Jesus ossuary has been found. The
first was in 1926.

Another famous ossuary, inscribed James son of Joseph brother of Jesus, is
also featured in the documentary.

Forensic testing of the patina on the Jesus ossuary and that of James
conclude that they came from the same tomb — seemingly proving the
authenticity of the often-questioned James ossuary and further increasing
the likelihood that it is the tomb of the holy family.

Feuerverger calculates for Jacobovici that if James is added to the
equation, there is a 30,000 to one chance that the Talpiot Tomb belonged to
the holiest families in Christendom.

The documentary speculates that the James ossuary was stolen shortly after
the tomb was found. The archaeologists examining the tomb 26 years ago found
10 ossuaries, but only nine are in storage at the IAA. In The Lost Tomb, it
is alleged that the James ossuary is that missing box.

But there is one wrinkle that is not examined in the documentary, one that
emerged in a Jerusalem courtroom just weeks ago at the fraud trial of James
ossuary owner Oded Golan, charged with forging part of the inscription on
the box.

Former FBI agent Gerald Richard testified that a photo of the James ossuary,
showing it in Golan’s home, was taken in the 1970s, based on tests done by
the FBI photo lab.

Jacobovici concedes in an interview that if the ossuary was photographed in
the 1970s, it could not then have been found in a tomb in 1980. But while he
does not address the conundrum in the documentary, he said in an interview
that it’s possible Golan’s photo was printed on old paper in the 1980s.


By Michael Posner
The Globe and Mail
February 24, 2007

Has the DNA of Jesus Christ been found?

That tantalizing question underpins The Lost Tomb of Jesus — a new book and
feature documentary film with potentially profound implications for

The two provocative works suggest that ossuaries once containing the bones
of Jesus of Nazareth and his family are now stored in a warehouse belonging
to the Israel Antiquity Authority in Bet Shemesh, outside Jerusalem.

Although the evidence contained in the film and book is hardly definitive,
it is compelling. Inscribed in Hebrew, Latin or Greek, six boxes — taken
from a 2,000-year-old cave discovered in March, 1980, during excavation for
a housing project in Talpiyot, south of Jerusalem — bear the names: Yeshua
(Jesus) bar Yosef (son of Joseph); Maria (the Latin version of Miriam, which
is the English Mary); Matia (the Hebrew equivalent of Matthew, a name common
in the lineage of both Mary and Joseph); Yose; (the Gospel of Mark refers to
Yose as a brother of Jesus); Yehuda bar Yeshua, or Judah, son of Jesus; and
in Greek, Mariamne e mara — meaning ‘Mariamne, known as the master.’
According to Harvard professor Francois Bovon, interviewed in the film,
Mariamne was Mary Magdalene’s real name.

The bones once contained in the boxes have long since been reburied,
according to Jewish custom — in unmarked graves in Israel.

If the evidence adduced is correct, the bone boxes — and microscopic
remains of DNA still contained inside — would constitute the first
archaeological evidence of the existence of the Christian saviour and his

Tests on mitochondrial DNA obtained from the Jesus and Mariamne boxes and
conducted at Lakehead University’s Paleo-DNA laboratory, in Thunder Bay,
Ont., show conclusively that the two individuals were not maternally
related. According to Dr. Carney Matheson, the lab’s head, this likely means
they were related by marriage.

Thus, the book and film raise seminal questions, not only about the early
movement of Judeo-Christians that Jesus led, but about whether, as some
scholars believe, he might have been married to Mary Magdalene and fathered
a family.

Nothing in the film or book challenges traditional Christian dogma regarding
the resurrection. But it could pose a problem for those that believe Jesus’
ascension, 40 days after the resurrection, was both physical and spiritual.
And, if further DNA testing were to link Jesus and Yose with Mary, it would
call into question the entire doctrine of the Virgin Birth.

The $4-million documentary is the work two Canadians — Emmy-award winner
director Simcha Jacobovici and his executive producer, Oscar-award winning
filmmaker James Cameron. It will air on Canada’s Vision TV on March 6th and
later next month on Discovery US and Britain’s Channel 4. A companion book,
The Jesus Family Tomb, by Mr. Jacobovici and Dr. Charles Pellegrino, has
just been released (Harper Collins).

Mr. Jacobovici and Mr. Cameron are scheduled to hold a press conference
Monday morning at the New York Public Library, with the Jesus and Mary
Magdelene ossuaries, flown in from Israel, on display.

Meanwhile, security agents have been hired to stand guard outside the
Talpiyot apartments beneath which the tomb lies, covered by a large cement

“I don’t think this changes the fundamentals of faith,” Mr. Cameron said in
an interview this week. “But the evidence is pretty darn compelling and it
definitely bears further study.”

Not everyone agrees. “It’s a beautiful story, but without any proof
whatsoever,” archaeologist Dr. Amos Kloner, who wrote the original report on
the Talpiyot cave findings, told an Israeli reporter last week. “The
names…found on the tombs are names that are similar to the names of the
family of Jesus. But those were the most common names found among Jews in
the first centuries BCE and CE.”

Yet if the individual names were common, the film and book ask: what is the
likelihood that this particular group of names, so resonant of the Jesus
story, would appear together, contained in the same family tomb?

“There are really only two possibilities,” says director Jacobovici. “Either
this cluster of names represents the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and his
family. Or some other family, with this very same constellation of names,
existed at precisely the same time in history in Jerusalem.”

To calculate the odds, Mr. Jacobovici took the data to University of Toronto
mathematician Dr. Andrey Feuerverger. Factoring in the commonality of these
names in first-Century Israel, Dr. Feuerverger puts the odds of this tomb
not belonging to Jesus and his family at one in 600.

Another estimate, commissioned by Dr. James Tabor, chair of the department
of religion studies at the University of North Carolina, puts the odds at
one in 42 million. “If you took the entire population of Jerusalem at the
time,” says Dr. Taber, “and put it in a stadium, and asked everyone named
Jesus to stand up, you’d have about 2,700 men. Then you’d ask only those
with a father named Joseph and a mother named Mary to remain standing. And
then those with a brother named Yose and a brother named James.
Statistically, you end up with one person.”

The James reference is significant because of the 10 ossuaries found at
Talpiyot, one later disappeared. Many experts believe that coffin is the now
infamous ‘James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus’ ossuary that turned up a
few years ago and was put on public display at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Although many scholars have called the inscription ‘brother of Jesus’ a
modern-day forgery, at least as many academics continue to believe in its

Moreover, tests conducted for The Lost Tomb of Jesus show that the patina
encrusted on the James ossuary bears precisely the same chemical thumbprint
as the other ossuaries found at Talpiyot.

Neither the provenance nor the age of the ossuaries is not in dispute. The
boxes, never out of the control of professional archaeologists, are
effectively self-dating, since the practice of re-interring the bones of the
dead in limestone boxes a year after death was conducted by Jews in the Holy
Land for a period of only 100 years. Prominent families stored the boxes in
family tombs.

Moreover, all the inscriptions have been corroborated by some of the world’s
leading epigraphers, including Harvard’s Frank Moore Cross.

The ‘Jesus, son of Joseph’ marking is considered rare; of thousands of
inscriptions so far catalogued, only one other bone coffin contained the
same construction.

No Christian tradition suggests that Jesus had a son, but the Gospel of John
does refer to “the beloved disciple” who rests on Jesus’ lap at the last

And perhaps, says Mr. Jacobovici, “although this is pure speculation, when
Jesus on the cross says ‘mother, behold thy son,’ he’s not referring to
himself or to his mother, but to his son, who is there with Mary Magdalene”.

The book of Mark, he adds, also contains a passage that might allude to a
son — a reference to a young man, wearing nothing but linen who follows
Jesus after his arrest and, when guards try to apprehend him, slips out of
his clothes and escapes naked.

“That’s a very odd story,” says Mr. Jacobovici. “There’s no name is given
for the young lad, but the gospel writer obviously thought it was important
to tell it.”

“None of us,” maintains Dr. Tabor, “are gleefully presenting this as though
we’ve trumped Christianity. If anything, it might help clarify and refine it
a bit. Some people will immediately say this is sensationalism. I don’t
agree with that. I know enough about it to say this is a subject that
deserves serious and continued investigation.”

Indeed, it’s likely that there will be sequel to The Lost Tomb of Jesus.
While searching for the original Talpiyot cave, the filmmakers stumbled upon
a second crypt, only 20 meters away that has never been explored by
archaeologists. A miniature camera inserted into the tomb revealed three


By Simcha Jacobovici (Author), Charles Pellegrino (Author)
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco (February 27, 2007)
Language: English Sales Rank: #349 in Books



* * * * * * * *

By Jennifer Viegas
Discovery News
February 25, 2007

New scientific evidence, including DNA analysis conducted at one of the
world’s foremost molecular genetics laboratories, as well as studies by
leading scholars, suggests a 2,000-year-old Jerusalem tomb could have once
held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family.

The findings also suggest that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might have produced
a son named Judah.

The DNA findings, alongside statistical conclusions made about the artifacts
— originally excavated in 1980 — open a potentially significant chapter in
Biblical archaeological history.

A documentary presenting the evidence, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” will
premiere on the Discovery Channel on March 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The
documentary comes from executive producer James Cameron
and director Simcha Jacobovici

The Talpiot Tomb

On March 28, 1980, a construction crew developing an apartment complex in
Talpiot, Jerusalem, uncovered a tomb, which archaeologists from the Israeli
Antiquities Authority excavated shortly thereafter. Archaeologist Shimon
Gibson surveyed the site and drew a layout plan. Scholar L.Y. Rahmani later
published “A Catalogue of Jewish Ossuaries” that described 10 ossuaries, or
limestone bone boxes, found in the tomb.

Scholars know that from 30 B.C. to 70 A.D., many people in Jerusalem would
first wrap bodies in shrouds after death. The bodies were then placed in
carved rock tombs, where they decomposed for a year before the bones were
placed in an ossuary.

Five of the 10 discovered boxes in the Talpiot tomb were inscribed with
names believed to be associated with key figures in the New Testament:
Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph and Mary Magdalene. A sixth inscription,
written in Aramaic, translates to “Judah Son of Jesus.”

“Such tombs are very typical for that region,” Aaron Brody, associate
professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pacific School of Religion and
director of California’s Bade Museum told Discovery News.

Ossuary Inscriptions

At least four leading epigraphers have corroborated the ossuary inscriptions
for the documentary, according to the Discovery Channel.

Frank Moore Cross, a professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern
Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, told Discovery News, “The
inscriptions are from the Herodian Period (which occurred from around 1 B.C.
to 1 A.D.). The use of limestone ossuaries and the varied script styles are
characteristic of that time.”

Jodi Magness, associate department chair of religious studies at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Discovery News that, based
on the New Testament writings, “Jesus likely lived during the first century

In addition to the “Judah son of Jesus” inscription, which is written in
Aramaic on one of the ossuaries, another limestone burial box is labeled in
Aramaic with “Jesus Son of Joseph.” Another bears the Hebrew inscription
“Maria,” a Latin version of “Miriam,” or, in English, “Mary.” Yet another
ossuary inscription, written in Hebrew, reads “Matia,” the original Hebrew
word for “Matthew.” Only one of the inscriptions is written in Greek. It
reads, “Mariamene e Mara,” which can be translated as, “Mary known as the

Francois Bovon, professor of the history of religion at Harvard University,
told Discovery News, “Mariamene, or Mariamne, probably was the actual name
given to Mary Magdalene.”

Bovon explained that he and a colleague discovered a fourteenth century copy
in Greek of a fourth century text that contains the most complete version of
the “Acts of Philip” ever found. Although not included in the Bible, the
“Acts of Philip” mentions the apostles and Mariamne, sister of the apostle

“When Philip is weak, she is strong,” Bovon said. “She likely was a great
teacher who even inspired her own sect of followers, called Mariamnists, who
existed from around the 2nd to the 3rd century.”

DNA Analysis

Jacobovici, director, producer and writer of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” and
his team obtained two sets of samples from the ossuaries for DNA and
chemical analysis. The first set consisted of bits of matter taken from the
“Jesus Son of Joseph” and “Mariamene e Mara” ossuaries. The second set
consisted of patina — a chemical film encrustation on one of the limestone

The human remains were analyzed by Carney Matheson, a scientist at the
Paleo-DNA Laboratory at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada.
Mitochondrial DNA examination determined the individual in the Jesus ossuary
and the person in the ossuary linked to Mary Magdalene were not related.

Since tombs normally contain either blood relations or spouses, Jacobovici
and his team suggest it is possible Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple.
“Judah,” whom they indicate may have been their son, could have been the
“lad” described in the Gospel of John as sleeping in Jesus’ lap at the Last

Robert Genna, director of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory in New York,
analyzed both the patina taken from the Talpiot Tomb and chemical residue
obtained from the “James” ossuary, which was also found around 1980, but
subsequently disappeared and resurfaced in the antiquities market. Although
controversy surrounds this burial box, Genna found that the two patinas

“The samples were consistent with each other,” Genna told Discovery News.

Upon examining the tomb, the filmmakers determined a space exists that would
have fit the “James” ossuary. Given the patina match and this observation,
Jacobovici theorizes the lost burial box could, in fact, be the “James”

Statistical Data

A possible argument against the Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb is
that the collection of names on the ossuary inscriptions could be

But Andrey Feuerverger, professor of statistics and mathematics at the
University of Toronto, recently conducted a study addressing the
probabilities that will soon be published in a leading statistical journal.

Feuerverger multiplied the instances that each name appeared during the
tomb’s time period with the instances of every other name. He initially
found “Jesus Son of Joseph” appeared once out of 190 times, Mariamne
appeared once out of 160 times and so on.

To be conservative, he next divided the resulting numbers by 25 percent, a
statistical standard, and further divided the results by 1,000 to attempt to
account for all tombs — even those that have not been uncovered — that
could have existed in first century Jerusalem.

The study concludes that the odds are at least 600 to 1 in favor of the
Talpiot Tomb being the Jesus Family Tomb. In other words, the conclusion
works 599 times out of 600.

Another Tomb?

The researchers discovered a second, as-yet unexplored tomb about 65 1/2
feet from the Talpiot Tomb. During the documentary, they introduced a
robotic camera into this second tomb, which captured the first-ever recorded
footage of an undisturbed burial cave from Jesus’ time. The team speculates
that this other tomb could contain the remains of additional family members,
or even disciples, though further examination and analysis are needed.

In the meantime, Discovery has set up a special Web site, , to provide related in-depth information and
to allow viewers to come to their own conclusions about the entire matter.

As Academy Award-winner Cameron said in a press release, “It doesn’t get
bigger than this. We’ve done our homework; we’ve made the case; and now it’s
time for the debate to begin.”




(Includes diagram of tomb, tomb discovery outline, photos of ossuaries and
engravings, a downloadable pdf that describes and illustrates evidence, and
an outline of supporting evidence)





How many Kids did Jesus have & did marriage, motherhood diminish Magdalene?

How Many Kids did Jesus and Magdalene Have? Does being wife & mother diminish Magdalene? Does an anti-marriage bias make some people resist a Jesus-Magdalene marriage?

Margaret Starbird writes, and I agree:

I personally believe that Mary was expecting at the time of the arrest and crucifixion, which would have been the reason that the friends and family of Jesus made an immediate move to get her out of town. She is never mentioned at all in the Acts of the Apostles — although the mother of Jesus and the apostles and brothers of Jesus are all together on Pentecost.

Katia inserts:
Magdalene is mentioned repeatedly in all four Gospels, yet not in Acts.  Something must have taken her quickly out of the picture.

Margaret continues:
What happened to Mary, his most devoted companion / beloved?… If she weren’t pregnant, there would have been no reason at all to get her out of town and protect her whereabouts and identity. But as the bearer of a royal bloodline, she would have been protected as a “national treasure.” I believe  Mary’s only child was a daughter — and that this piece of her story is part of the “underground stream” of European legend, art, and artifact (the subject of my 1993 “Alabaster Jar” book that apparently launched Dan Brown’s research). I was very reluctant to believe in the possibility of a surviving child, but numerous synchronicities eventually convinced me that it is at least a possibility.

I do not believe that Jesus and Mary had any other children. That view is supported by Barbara Thiering who postulated 2 sons and a daughter (Tamar) in 1992 (“Jesus the Man” aka “The Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls”). Thiering postulates that Jesus divorced Mary Magdalene, an idea that has IMO even less credible evidence. The “three children” theory was adopted by Lawrence Gardiner in his “Bloodline/Grail” book, and has recently surfaced again in K McGowan’s book.

For years I’ve heard people argue that believing Mary Magdalene married Jesus and had a child somehow diminishes her — identifying her with a husband and child-bearing role rather than as a strong teacher or priestess in her own right.

Katia inserts:
As if parenting and partnering mean you can’t be a spiritual, magical, religious leader or teacher.  How many pastors today are parents and married? How many great men of the world were married with children?  Yet if a woman is not childless and completely independent of men she can’t be a strong teacher or priestess?  As a spiritual teacher myself (online Mystery School has 500+ students, 100 very active) it is true I struggle with motherly and wifely duties.  My three girls, one of them a baby in diapers, need my attention for hours of every day.  Furthermore, my oldest, as well as two teen step-sons are homeschooling, so I’m a school-teacher too.  I am plagued with guilt and worry almost on a daily basis as to whether I am doing right by them.  Motherhood is time consuming, yes, and you might could call it “distracting.” But it does not diminish a woman anymore than fatherhood diminishes a man.  A woman can still be a spiritual leader, can still write and teach inspiring things with kids in her life.  Magdalene probably only had one child.  That’s nothin’! 

Margaret, mother of five grown children herself, continues:
And, because certain feminists and others are not interested in conventional marriage, they don’t like the idea of a married Jesus / Magdalene, so they are sure it couldn’t have happened.

I’m be more interested in knowing the truth than in supporting a falsehood for the sake of a certain anti-marriage agenda.

In memory of Her–

 * * * * * * * * * * * *

While I was putting this post together, my friend Lore who moderates the Magdalene-List forum at, wrote to me as follows:

What interests me about Magdalene is that she can be used to set an example of what Yeshua really taught about women in order to wipe out the misogyny that gutted his teachings. Which is why I can agree both with Margaret about sacred union / their marriage and with Karen King that immersing her too far into marriage and motherhood might do more harm than good because she should be recognized as a spiritual leader in her own right.

Christian definition of marriage has done great harm to women over many centuries. We’re finally making progress in that realm but the [extreme Christian] fundies would like to turn around all the gains we’ve made and put women back into servitude to men via marriage. And the progress hasn’t gone far enough, which is why women file for more divorces than men. It is the party being harmed that generally wants out of any relationship. I knew before I filed for divorce that I would never marry again because I wanted control of my own life. The whole divorce debacle only reinforced that.

I didn’t find out until after I’d filed that he’d run up thousands and thousands on credit cards I didn’t even know we had. Because he was my husband, he had the right (at least back then) to sign my name and put me in astronomical debt without my even knowing about it — and the legal system said I had to pay. He also had the right to batter me emotionally and physically, then complain to the divorce judge that I was emotionally unstable because I sought therapy. My attorney told me that he could get custody of my children because I sought refuge and healing from him. How crazy is that?

That has changed somewhat today but not near enough, so I’d love to see a strong, single MM who chose to be in control of her own life, including being free to choose her sexual destiny. I think it would transform women’s image of themselves if that were true. I don’t believe it is though. I believe if they loved each other and spent so much time together, touching and kissing in public, then they had to be married.

The irony is that the RCC [Roman Catholic Church] never taught that Jesus was single or celibate. They avoided addressing that directly (probably because they knew he was married) but everyone thinks that was church dogma from the earliest days, therefore it must be true. Even those who railed against women and marriage as evil didn’t say he was celibate or unmarried.


Paradigm Shift: Adding a Feminine God

Margaret Starbird writes:
A “paradigm shift” occurs when we honor the “Feminine Face of God” –as incarnated in Mary Magdalene, the Blessed Mother [Mary] and other holy women.

Katia writes:
I wish there was a Sunday School near me that did just this — honored both the sacred masculine and sacred feminine, God and Goddess.  My kids could sure use that balance.  This paradigm shift is so new and mainstream churches need to catch on. I’ve heard a handful of Methodist Churches honor Sophia as Christ’s “spouse” and as the Sacred Feminine.  But none are near me and my family.  Time to start our own Alternative Christian Church, we realized(!). And that’s just what we did here in Dallas / Fort Worth!

Pregnant Magdalene & Jesus standing as married from a Church in Scotland early 1900sMargaret continues:
One of the major points I try to make in my books is that when Magdalene’s voice was silenced, the voices of women were silenced as well, since she is the “model” for our relationship to Christ (the Church and each soul as “Bride” or “Partner.”)

The “Partnership model” was lost in the cradle of Christianity, before it could even get off the ground…. For me, THAT is the paradigm we’re trying to reclaim. It’s a HUGE shift from the “Patriarchial” model (God with a long white beard)– and is illustrated in the “sacred marraige” window posted at the top of my website which shows Jesus and Mary Magdalene “hand-fasted”–holding right hands, a symbol for marriage. Margaret’s website is here:

In reclaiming Mary Magdalene, we reclaim a piece of ourselves and restore the paradigm of “cosmic balance” of masculine and feminine energies.

Peace and well-being,

A lady named Rhonda had posted this:  “I was thinking that for so many years Mary was considered a prostitute and with all the historical evidence proving that she wasn’t and even the Vatican itself saying she wasn’t, that this is causing a VALUE SHIFT in how we think of not just Mary [Magdalene] but all women in the bible.”

All the women in the Bible.  Yes.  First we re-evaluated Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus.   Magdalene went from being a prostitute with a demon problem to being the first Apostle and first witness to the Resurrection.  Some of us have shifted our value judgement of her so far as to make her a spouse of Jesus and co-Teacher with him.  And Mother Mary – we realized she does not have to remain a virgin even after giving birth to Jesus. The Church came up with the idea of her eternal virginity in order to satisfy celibate Catholic priests who were/are so against sex they condemn/ed it as filthy and dirty. 

Mary is now coming into her own, too, and is probably an incarnation of Sophia, the Goddess in the Old Testament (she is present during creation helping God, see Proverbs).  Mary can be a full living, loving woman, she doesn’t have to be sanitized and de-sexualized into a virgin any more than her son has to be sanitized into a celibate monk disdainful of women.

So back to Rhonda’s point about viewing all women in the Bible differently.  Yeah.  Look at poor Tamar, and Dinah, and even Sarah.  Our opinions of them are changing, too. That’s the Old Testament, but the New Testament women should all be re-evaluated also.  A shift, a definite shift is occurring where women are not viewed as either harlots or virgins, whores or chaste mothers.  This is good, this is revolutionary, we must keep it up.

We must never forget that however we view them now, we cannot change how their husbands, fathers and brothers viewed them when they lived, which is usually as property, as prized breeders, but not as equals.  Very, very, few men if any viewed women as intellectual equals, as full human beings. Jesus was very avant garde in his time.

The Church says Jesus was fully human but deny he did human things like experience sexuality, mate and produce children.  Ah, the contradictions.  But we are figuring all these flaws out and re-shaping our spiritual system, our Christianity, to include God-ess right alongside her pal God. 

It’s a great time to be alive, people!


Jesus’ Marriage to Magdalene: the Evidence

Margaret Starbird posted to the Magdalene-List forum today about the evidence be it circumstantial, that Jesus was married. The point about the prophecy verses in Micah is very fascinating.

Margaret writes:

The circumstantial evidence for the marriage of Jesus and Mary
Magdalene is “overwhelming” because of the numerous “shards” of the mosaic created when one assembles the pieces. Like a picture puzzle, when you get enough of the pieces in the right place, you can tell what the picture is going to be–

In keeping with the old adage, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”: Just because Scripture doesn’t say “Jesus’ wife was Mary called “the Magdalene” doesn’t mean that they weren’t husband and wife.

Evidence FOR the actual marriage union of Jesus and Mary Magdalene far exceeds evidence AGAINST it. Those who argue that they were NOT married, are arguing “ex absentia”: “the Gospels never say that she was the ‘wife of the Savior’.”

The case “FOR” the Bride:

Based on the Gospels, the chances for his marriage are 50-50 because Scripture never states either scenario–even though one or the other must be true!

Based on the practices of Judaism, that probability jumps to about 99% in favor of marriage. The brothers of Jesus and the other apostles all travelled around with their “sister wives” (as missionary couples)… it was the norm in their community! Two by two!

In addition, the Gospels mention the anointing as nuptial rite
(based on ancient rites of “hierosgamos”). Every pagan convert to Christianity would have immediately recognized the Bride.

We find also the “reunion” of Bride and Sacrificed Bridegroom/King in the garden on Easter morning (again, every convert would have immediately identified the “Bride.” So would every Jewish person who knew the prophecy of Micah: “Why are you crying?” (Micah 4:9, John 20:13).

And Mary’s title is derived from that same prophetic passage
(Micah 4:8-11). Amazing gematria of her title links her to the
Goddesses of Love and Fertility (the same ones that celebrate
the ‘hieros gamos’ and death/resurrection cycles of the ancient
rites of the “Sacrificed King.”

Numerous scholars/theologians have recognized Jesus as a
“Tammuz”/Adonis/Dionysus god/man incarnation. It’s time for
them to recognize and honor the Bride.

By the way, the 2nd c. Rabbi Simeon ben Azzi is mentioned in five places in the Talmud because he was so unique in the fact that he wasn’t married. But in two other places, it is said that he WAS married (to the daughter of Rabbi Akiba!) and divorced her so that he could devote himself to the “Torah”– In other words, EVEN HE was allegedly married…if only briefly. Details are found in Dr. Wm E Phipps, “The Sexuality of Jesus.”

The point that was being made in the Talmud was that Azzi’s case was SO VERY UNUSUAL and contrary to the norm (in Judaism marriage was a cultural imperative!). It was the duty of a Jewish father to find a suitable bride for his son by the time the young man was 18, (20 if he was studying to be a rabbi!) and if the father failed in this duty, the town’s elder helped him.

Dr. Phipps, does a really good job of making the case purely from the practices of Judaism. My work adds the “Hieros gamos” parallels of the Pssion story with ancient rites of the sacrificed king and its importance for our current age — the desperate need to “heal the wasteland” by reclaiming the “partnership” paradigm in the original strata of Chistian revelation and practice.

In memory of Her,

Margaret Starbird on Bloodline of Jesus

Katia writes:
There is alot of hype now about “blood descendants” of Jesus and Mary Magdalene currently walking the earth, claiming to have the holy blood and holy grail flowing in their physical veins rather than their spiritual and mental veins.  The following is an important point Margaret Starbird made last week which I felt compelled to crosspost all over the place. 

Kelly Fleming on the yahoogroups forum Magdalene-list asked:

“What reference to today, at this time, this moment, would an ancient brood of kiddies and wife reveal?”


Margaret Starbird responds:

It’s NOT about an ancient brood of kiddies, Kelly. It’s
about balancing the masculine and feminine as partners on
a planet that has, at it’s heart, a Partnership or Union
model for life. Claiming that Jesus was married is a way of
insisting that he was FULLY human, “like us in all ways but–
sin.” It also enables us to image the Divine as “Complements”–
the union of the Logos and Sophia, the first “emanations” of
the unseen “HOLY ONE.” Ultimately it takes us back to something
akin to “wave” and “particle” theory–and it helps to heal the
wasteland caused by the hegemony of the masculine/solar principle
on our planet (playing itself out in the “desert” as we speak–
all the while praying that it won’t blow up the entire planet!).

This is the “gist” of the book I wrote about the symbolic numbers
in the New Testament. The “celibate god” ruling from a celestial
throne becomes the “wounded fisher king” of medieval legends–
precisely because he has not partner (his wound it to the “thigh”).
When the “Grail” (feminine partner!) is restored, the waters
begin to flow and the wasteland is healed.

peace and light,

Jesus’ secret brothers & sisters – Painting

Now this is one gorgeous ancient portrait of the holy family.  The colors are stunning. Wish it showed Jesus’ sisters, too.  At least we get a look at one sibling.  See below… (and please peruse my ponderings at the end)


Documentary claims Jesus had ‘secret’ siblings
London, December 23, 2006

Author Dan Brown caused an uproar when he suggested in The Da Vinci Code that Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and that they had a family.

However, a never seen before ancient portrait suggests that though Jesus may have had a family, it might not be the one Brown suggests.

The portrait, which was discovered deep in the wilderness of the Judean desert, in a remote part of the Holy Land in an ancient Greek Orthodox monastery of St Gerasimos, has a highly unusual portrait of the Holy Family, for along with Mary, Joseph and Jesus, it also shows the presence of a fourth member – a young man.

And what makes this young man’s presence even more interesting, is the fact that though simply clad in a dark robe and carrying his belongings on a stick, there is a golden halo which envelops his head.According to a controversial Channel 4 documentary, the man’s name is James, and reason why he is included in the picture, is because he happens to be Jesus’ blood brother.

James’ inclusion in this picture is a clue to a real-life church conspiracy to cover up the fact that Jesus did have a hidden family – his siblings: James, Joses, Simon, Jude (sometimes referred to as Judas), Salome and young Mary, reports the Daily Mail.

Dr Robert Beckford, a committed Christian and reader in theology at Oxford Brookes University as well as the man behind the new findings also reveals in the documentary that the Bible itself mentions Jesus’ siblings with a reference in the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, where when Christ preaches at the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth, the citizens question his claim to be the new Messiah with the words “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas? And are not his sisters here with us?”

Dr Beckford further supports his argument with a passage from the gospel of St Mark in which Jesus’ family go searching for him one day when he is preaching.

“A multitude was sitting around him and they told him: ‘Behold your Mother, your brothers and your sisters are outside looking for you.’ ”

The documentary also suggests that not only did Jesus’ siblings apparently play a crucial role in the founding of Christianity, but that their teachings were so much of a threat to the official church that it ruthlessly tried to eradicate them from history by rewriting Christ’s life story, fabricating his place of birth, falsely crediting him with creating the Lord’s Prayer and even inventing the idea that his mother Mary remained a virgin throughout her life.

It also implies that James, the man in the portrait, was the one chosen by Jesus to lead the church after his death, and not St Paul, as is commonly believed.,001100020016.htm

Did Jesus Have a Secret Family?
By DAVID LEAFE 22nd December 2006, The Mail

A family affair: the painting shows Jesus on the shoulder of Joseph, followed by Mary and, behind her, what is now claimed to be Jesus’s brother, James.

Is the man on the left of this picture the key to unlocking a mystery even bigger than the Da Vinci Code…and the proof that Jesus had a secret family? 

Deep in the wilderness of the Judean desert, in a remote part of the Holy Land which has changed little since Biblical times, there stands an ancient Greek Orthodox monastery with a highly unusual portrait of the Holy Family hidden in its chapel. 

Showing the young Jesus being carried on the shoulder of Joseph, while his mother Mary rides behind them, it appears similar at first to the thousands of other such images painted over the centuries. 

This is a picture you are unlikely to see on any Christmas card, however, for next to Jesus, Mary and Joseph there is a mysterious fourth figure – a young man with a golden halo who is wearing a simple dark robe and carrying his belongings on a stick. 

His name is James and, according to a controversial Channel 4 documentary to be screened on Christmas Day, his inclusion in this picture is a clue to a real-life church conspiracy as disturbing as anything dreamed up by Dan Brown in his bestselling religious thriller, The Da Vinci Code. 

In that novel, Brown speculates that Christ was married to his loyal follower Mary Magdalene and that they had a daughter together. However, it seems the novelist may have missed the point. 

According to Monday’s programme, Jesus did have a hidden family, but they were not a wife and daughter – rather his brothers and sisters: James, Joses, Simon, Jude (sometimes referred to as Judas), Salome and young Mary. 

These secret siblings apparently played a crucial role in the founding of Christianity, but their teachings proved too dangerous for the official church. 

Taking over their movement, it tried to eradicate them from history by rewriting Christ’s life story, fabricating his place of birth, falsely crediting him with creating the Lord’s Prayer and even inventing the idea that his mother Mary remained a virgin throughout her life. 

Presented by Dr Robert Beckford, a committed Christian and reader in theology at Oxford Brookes University, the claims will outrage many Christians and particularly Roman Catholics, for whom the idea that Mary was a perpetual virgin is a key part of their faith. 

However, Dr Beckford says the Bible supports his arguments. 

For evidence that Mary had other children besides Jesus, he points to the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. 

This describes Christ preaching at the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth where the citizens question his claim to be the new Messiah. 

“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas?” they demand. “And are not his sisters here with us?” 

Christ’s family are also mentioned in the next gospel, in which St Mark relates how they go searching for him one day when he is preaching. 

“A multitude was sitting around him and they told him: ‘Behold your Mother, your brothers and your sisters are outside looking for you.’ ”

Over the centuries, theologians have concocted various theories to explain away these references. The most common is the view accepted by the monks of the St Gerasimos monastery which houses that intriguing painting of the Holy Family. 

They do not know who painted the picture or when, only that it dates back many hundreds of years, but they are clear about the relationship of James to Jesus. 

They believe Joseph was a widower who had children from his first marriage when he met Mary and that James and his siblings are only Jesus’s half-brothers and sisters. 

If true, this could explain why there are so few pictures of these shadowy half-siblings who, as relatively minor figures, would not have merited inclusion in those pictures which illustrated the most important people and events in Jesus’s life. 

However, Dr Beckford has a more sinister theory as to why the glimpse of James in the St Gerasimos picture is so rare. He believes that the early clerics suppressed such portraits because they knew these were Jesus’s full-blood brothers and sisters. 

The same censorship is apparent in the Gospels, he argues. As we have seen, both Matthew and Mark mention Jesus’s family briefly, but although the Gospel of Luke drew heavily on these earlier works, it does not mention any other children of Mary and Joseph. 

Dr Beckford maintains that the reasons for this censorship can be found in a vicious power struggle among the early Christians in the years after Christ’s death in approximately 33AD. 

The Gospel of John suggests that Jesus asked his disciple Peter to take care of his flock and, indeed, it is Peter who is traditionally regarded as the first leader of the Christian church. 

Yet at least four different documents written by reputable historians of the time, but not included in the Bible, suggest that Christ wanted his eldest brother James, and not Peter, to lead his church. 

This is clear from the writings of Hegesippus, a respected early chronicler of the Christian faith, who is believed to have lived between 110AD and 180AD. 

“The succession of the church passed to James, the brother of the Lord,” he said. 

As the first Bishop of Jerusalem, James had an arch-rival in the apostle Paul, whose teachings differed from his in one key respect: the issue of whether Jesus really was the son of God. 

Like Jesus, James was a Jew and, in line with Old Testament prophecies, he believed that Jesus was an ordinary man chosen by God to lead his people. This was very different to the idea championed by Paul that Jesus was a divine being, born of God himself. 

Although Paul never met Jesus and based his beliefs on a series of mystical visions, his ideas quickly gained popularity as more and more Gentiles joined the movement and the Jewish-Christians led by James soon found themselves outnumbered. 

Then the Jewish-Christians suffered two very serious setbacks. 

In the year 62AD, James was stoned to death on the orders of the Jewish High Priest of the temple in Jerusalem, who was jealous of his influence. 

Just five years later, the Romans captured Jerusalem and destroyed the great temple itself, robbing James’s followers of their headquarters and the focus of their faith. 

Parading the temple’s sacred treasures through the streets of Rome, the marauders sold off the looted gold to pay for the building of their city’s most famous landmark – the Coliseum. 

The downfall of James’s Jewish Christianity was complete, and when the Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Holy Roman Empire in the 4th century AD and the church fathers began to compile the New Testament, they set about obscuring the existence of James and Jesus’s other brothers and sisters. 

At the same time, many of Paul’s teachings became enshrined in official church doctrine, including the belief that salvation could be achieved through faith in Jesus Christ as the son of God. 

According to Dr Beckford, this idea was perhaps more palatable to the establishment because it could be interpreted, wrongly, to mean that the rich and powerful could redeem themselves through this belief alone, without any need to change their lifestyle. 

Having settled on this doctrine, Dr Beckford believes that the church then began altering the details of Christ’s life to support the idea that he was a divine being. 

He says there is virtually no evidence in the Bible for the assertion that Mary was a perpetual virgin, but the early church elevated her to this status since it seemed more fitting for the mother of God. 

They also set about changing the circumstances of the Nativity itself. 

For 2,000 years, the traditional Christmas story has related how Jesus was born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem, after Mary and Joseph travelled there from Nazareth to register for a Roman census. 

However, Bethlehem is 90 miles away from Nazareth, and Dr Beckford questions whether a woman who was nine months pregnant could really have undertaken this arduous four-day journey on a donkey. 

He points out that there is another town called Bethlehem which is in Galilee. In 1992, building works there revealed the ruins of a 6th-century church – built on top of the kind of natural cave in which many scholars believe Christ was born. 

Since this Bethlehem is only four miles from Nazareth, Dr Beckford believes this cave is more likely to have been the genuine site of the Nativity, but that the church fathers had good reason to suggest that Christ’s birth took place in its now celebrated namesake instead. 

In this, they were fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy which stated that the new Messiah would be a descendant of King David, and this meant he had to be born in the same town as David – in the Bethlehem near Jerusalem. 

In their attempts to establish Christ’s divinity, Dr Beckford claims that the early church fathers also played down the role of one of the most important figures in the Christian movement, the prophet John the Baptist. 

He cites the passage in the Gospel of Luke which introduces the Lord’s Prayer. “He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him: ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’ “ 

This translation from the Greek suggests that the disciples are referring to the act of praying in general but it could equally be interpreted to mean: “Teach us the prayer that John taught his disciples.” 

The idea that John was the creator of the Lord’s Prayer raises a possibility which was unacceptable to the early church and which remains unacceptable for many Christians today: that John was Jesus’s teacher rather than Jesus being John’s teacher. 

According to Dr Beckford, the Bible editors did all they could to reject this notion, as is apparent in the Biblical accounts of Jesus’s baptism. 

The fact that John baptised Jesus is clear from the Gospel of Mark, the first to be written. But Matthew, the second oldest gospel, introduces a line in which John protests that he is unworthy of this task, while the other gospel writers, Luke and John, make no mention of John the Baptist’s role at all. 

Like Dr Beckford’s other ideas, this will no doubt be the subject of scholarly debate for many centuries to come. However, he insists that, away from the ivory towers of academia, his arguments have a very real significance for how Christians live their lives today. 

In emphasising the belief that Jesus was God’s son, he warns that Christianity risks losing sight of its original message, as preached by James. 

This focused on the need to serve God not only through abstract worship and prayer, but also in our everyday actions, and this is perhaps something we should remind ourselves of as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth once again this Christmas. 

In that way, although it is difficult to imagine a time when James and Jesus’s other brothers and sisters will be depicted on Christmas cards or portrayed in Nativity plays, we can perhaps acknowledge their legacy and restore to them the place in history which, it seems, they have been denied for so long.

Katia’s Ponderings
I am so glad the New Testament records the names of Jesus’ brothers but of course I wish it told us his sisters’ names, too.  Because the word sisters, a plural word, is used and not sister, we know he had at least TWO sisters.  Legend settled with that and named them Salome and Mary, the two most popular names for girls in the first century A.D.  Jews then and now never name daughters after mothers, nor after any living relative for that matter.  Has to be a deceased family member if you’re going to do the namesake thing. Only a posthumously born child can be named after a parent, and for obvious reasons, these are always males.  So there is no way Jesus had a sister named Mary.

And wouldn’t it be cool if he had just as many sisters as brothers?  Or howabout more?  My grandmother was one of twelve children, six boys and six girls.  It is possible.  Daughters were so undervalued that they don’t even list them.  I have often imagined Jesus aka Yeshua with a sister named Rebecca or Rifka, the ancient form of the name.

James a Younger Brother?
I don’t care for the elderly Joseph, young Mary, Jesus had step-brothers theory.  I prefer to envision James and all of Yeshua’s siblings as the children of Mary.  That would make James, a younger brother of Jesus.  Apparently the painter of this icon didn’t think so and painted James as older.  At first look, I wondered if the “James” character weren’t Mary’s brother.  They are painted so similarly. 

James is Carrying What?
And what the heck is that flail on James’ hand? He’s goading / prodding the horse it looks like.  Interesting it’s a white horse, symbol of a royalty, wealth, and of the messiah (Hinduism teaches the messiah Kalkin will return on a white horse). 

James’ traveling stick with travel bag attached is reminiscent of the Fool card in Tarot.

Son of Goddess?
I think it’s cool James also has a halo in the portrait they found in the desert monastery (St Gerasimos).  Maybe the painter is simply communicating he was a saint, not divine.  But, could he be born of a divine mother, a god-ess?  I like to think the early church deemed him divine thru his mother Mary, our Christian Goddess, so long ignored.  She is Sophia, god-the-mother incarnated.  She came into the world to bring god-the-son and to assist him in his mission. 

Did Yeshua come to educate us, enlighten us, “save” us, what?  And Sophia-Mary, why did she incarnate?  Who ARE these people and are they among us today?  Possible, possible, I supposed.  The so-called Buddha-boy in India today has many thinking Buddha has reincarnated.  He was born 160 miles from Buddha’s birthplace and is behaving much like Buddha.  But I have flown off topic…


Katia Romanoff

P.S. Merry Christmas, 2006 (Or Kristmas, as we like to spell it at our Mystery School: )