A comparison of the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ wife and the Unknown life of Jesus Christ/ Issa.

A comparison of the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ wife and the Unknown life of Jesus Christ/ Issa.

Image Public Domain Wikicommons

A Controversial Fragment

Since its announcement in 2012, there has been a lot of controversy about what is known as the Jesus Wife Papyrus otherwise known as the Gospel of Jesus’ wife.This is a small fragment of text written in the Coptic language that has been examined by a leading scholar from Harvard University, Professor Karen King and her colleagues.

After Professor King announced the existence of the papyrus accusations of forgery quickly followed seemingly due to the contents of the fragment. It appears to feature Jesus saying the words, ‘my wife’.

Professor King is a respected Harvard scholar with a long standing reputation. Before the announcement she had already done some initial investigation and satisfied herself that this was an authentic manuscript, but still the accusations came.

Jesus had a wife?

For Jesus to mention a wife is so abhorrent to some people that they will perhaps always claim it is a forgery. Noticeably these same people do not denigrate every little fragment of the Gospel of Mark or John, presumably because the contents do not offend them in those cases.

Professor Karen King has always been careful to point out that this text does not mean that Jesus was married: just that some early Christians might have thought he was.

After the media frenzy and some further investigation by the likes of MIT scientists, a scholarly publication concluded that the papyrus and the ink were both ancient. Yet still the debate is raging with many still insisting that the fragment is a modern forgery.

In praise of the feminine

In my opinion, as an outsider to Biblical scholarship, there seems to be more debate about this piece of Coptic script than a lot of other pieces of Coptic script. Maybe because the actual text is saying something that many people just do not believe Jesus could have uttered – he praises women and perhaps even refers to someone who is his wife.

The full translation is as follows from both the front and the back of the fragment.

Translation
1 ] “not [to] me. My mother gave me li[fe…” 2 ] .” The disciples said to Jesus, “.[
3 ] deny. Mary is [not?]worthy of it [
4 ]…” Jesus said to them, “My wife . .[
5 ]… she is able to be my disciple . . [
6 ] . Let wicked people swell up … [
3
7] . As for me, I am with her
3 in order to . [ 8 ] . an image … [
] my moth[er ] thr[ee
] …[
] forth …[
] (untranslatable) [

This is the translated text in full which is taken from the front and back of this tiny credit card sized fragment. Of course it is just a fragment and there are lots of gaps, but it is mainly the line, ‘Jesus said to them “my wife..”‘ that is causing the controversy.

Comparison of other texts

But if we look more closely, this does fit with other texts that we know of. For example in this fragment, Jesus discusses whether a woman is able to be his disciple. This has parallels with some other non-canonical texts such as the Gospel of Phillip in which there are arguments about whether or not Mary Magdalene was fit to receive teaching from Jesus due to her being a woman.

What drew my attention were the first lines “My mother gave me life” which precedes a passage seeming to praise woman including the phrase “as for me, I am with her”.

A forgotten gospel

This passage seemingly praising the virtues of women reminded me of something called the Tibetan Gospel of Issa. Nowadays this text is pretty much forgotten but about one hundred years ago ‘The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ’ by Nicolai Notovitch caused a bit of a sensation.

Notovitch was an adventurer and writer. Born in 1858 in the Crimea, he was educated at the University of St Petersburg after serving in the Russian-Turkish war as an Officer.

An epic journey

Apparently in 1887 he travelled to Tibet and Kashmir. During his travels he broke his leg which needed an extended stay in a monastery in Tibet. Whilst he was convalescing, apparently the Buddhist monks allowed him to see and to translate some secret writings that revealed the life of a saint they called Issa. Notovitch took this to mean Jesus Christ.

On this return to the West he published this secret Gospel and it caused a sensation. Nowadays most people think this gospel is a fake and even question if Notovitch was ever in Tibet.

Tibet landscape

Image Pixabay Public Domain

I find this latter point a bit odd as his book, which is readily available as an ebook, provides a vivid account of his travels in India, Nepal and Tibet and is littered with details. Descriptions of roads, people, vehicles and mountain views abound in his account. Indeed his travelog actually takes up a good deal of the book before the ‘gospel’ even starts.

Most people will probably never even attempt to read the book. It is generally believed to be a fake so when those sorts of rumours are in abundance, people don’t even bother investigating something for fear of wasting their time or worse, of looking gullible and foolish. This is irrespective of whether it is truly fake or not. Even if the travelog part is genuine, it is still uncertain as to whether this newly discovered ‘gospel’ is authentic.

Similarities or synchronicities?

However I did find it interesting that the Gospel of Jesus’ wife or Jesus wife papyrus echoes some of the passages of the sayings of Issa. Such as,

Respect woman for in her we see the mother of the universe and all the truth of divine creation is to come through her…She is also the germ of life and death.

Again this is at the start of a long passage of respecting mothers, women and wives as the source of a man’s divinity on earth.

Even as the Lords of Hosts separated the light from the darkness and the dry land from the waters so does woman posses the divine gift…

In my opinion here are parallels between the Lost Gospel of Issa and the Gospel of Jesus wife. Both texts demonstrate respect for women which Jesus was known for in his teaching. This veneration of women was out of keeping for the time of Jesus and also for the Victorian era in which Notovitch was publishing although it was less of a stretch.

Image Pixabay Public Domain

Certain other elements of the texts bring into question whether this is a Victorian fabrication. The Gospel of Issa features an account of the missing years of Issa/Jesus which it says he spent in India. There he was taught the Vedas and other holy scriptures.

Issa the Rebel

The character of Issa doesn’t like the fact that the holy teachings are kept away from the lower castes of India and decided that all people were created equal so started to spread the teachings.

He also ignored the teachings about the many gods of Hinduism preferring to teach that god is the indivisible soul of the universe. These actions of Issa eventually annoy the Hindu priests as they feel that he is disrupting the social order by teaching the lower castes.

The priests decided to send people to kill him, but Issa escaped and headed for the Himalayas for further study. As the text moves on, Issa almost gets into trouble again with teachers in another area before escaping back to Israel at the age of 29 where eventually he is tried by Pilate. These latter details were purportedly provided by merchants traveling between Palestine and India.

During the text there is a repeated doctrine that God is a formless creator and that idols should not be worshipped. It is hard to say if these texts were made up by Notovich. It is reassuring that he himself wrote a critique of the texts and the contradictions they contain.

Jesus in India and Universal Truths

There is a very strong tradition that Jesus spent some of his missing years in India and Tibet. People have also noticed the similarities between the teachings of Jesus and those of Buddhism in places and have suggested that these have arisen due to Jesus’ missing years having been spent in India. Conversely in the canonical Gospels, at times, Jesus seems adamant that people should follow Jewish laws.

Image Pixabay Public Domain

In my opinion Buddhism and Christianity like all religions include some universal truths which mystics have access to no matter the era. So the similarities between Christianity and Buddhism could be less to do with a possible sojourn of Jesus in India and more to do with the fact that these are universal truths.

Now that the materials involved in the fragments of the Jesus Wife Papyrus have been authenticated, I do find it interesting that there are similarities of between the Jesus wife papyrus and the supposed missing gospel of Issa from Tibet. Because the materials of the fragment of papyrus have been authenticated as being ancient, this may be time to revisit the Issa text as there are some similarities with these lost early Christian beliefs.

Is this a lost temple to the giants?

Is this a lost temple to the giants?

Image: By Odilia (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

We live in a society influenced by the Bible and in most people’s minds the classic biblical monarchs such as David and Solomon evoke a golden age of Israel: of wisdom, wealth and sophistication.

So it comes as a shock to most people to find out that despite over half a century of archaeological searching, we still cannot find any evidence of a monarchy at the time of King David. No palaces, no temples, no infrastructure, no masses of court records and as one archaeologist said, we cannot even find the garbage! It just did not exist at that time in that place.

Of course people do argue that because the Temple mound, where the Dome of the Rock is currently situated, cannot be excavated, we are unable to confirm if the original Temple of Solomon which used to be the centre of the Jewish faith, actually existed there.

But even so, we would expect to find the artefacts of a great kingdom that existed in the area; an organised society like that simply leaves its mark, but we have found nothing.

This has led some leading experts to rewrite the Biblical stories understanding them to be greatly exaggerated. According to the archaeological evidence, the area around Jerusalem were just sparsely populated highlands at the supposed time of King David.

Le courronnement de David.Paris psalter (BnF MS Grec 139), folio 6v
National Library of France. Public Domain

So according to some scholars, the great monarch becomes a tribal chieftain with a band of tribal warriors instead of armies. This may be far from the sumptuous riches that the bible describes, but it fits the picture that we see in the actual evidence.

I find this idea quite strange. Not because I am religious (I am not) or because I have a need to glorify these kings – these were not the heroes of my childhood. I find it odd that King David – such a flawed character would be pure fiction. He is murderous, conniving and backstabbing to the point where even his own sons rise up against him.

Far from being the happy succession from father to son we tend to assume happened, Solomon was not King David’s eldest son but the son of the woman he spied from the rooftops who was married to someone else. David had the husband out of the way and got his wife Bathsheba pregnant. (So much for ‘you shall not commit adultery or murder’!)

I just don’t think it is human nature to provide a character to your glorious made-up ancestral King and make him into such a nasty piece of work. The fact that there are two versions of the story of King David in the bible and one has been sanitised shows that someone was indeed embarrassed at his antics at some point.

It started me wondering if the stories have not been transplanted from another place and time and brought to Jerusalem in the memories of another people. Could it be that we have been looking for evidence in the wrong place.

I find it very intriguing that although nothing like the Temple of Solomon or his kingdom can be found in Jerusalem and the ancient Kingdom of Judah, further north there exists a temple that fits the description of the Temple of Solomon very closely. This is the Ain Dara Temple in Syria and it has some very interesting features.

Its measurements, the way in which it is decorated and its layout greatly resembles the Temple of Solomon in the Bible. There are other Temples in the area which are of a similar style. And in contrast to Judah in the south at this time, the writing of a great civilisation has been found: for example over 20,000 clay tablets at the site of Ebla or Tell Mardikh also near Aleppo in Syria. Here we do find temples, palaces and a lot of writing.

By Odilia (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Could it be that the stories we see in the Bible are actually memories of people who migrated from north to south? They just transplanted their memories of the glory days to their new habitat.

The Old Testament only started to be written down after the time of the Babylonian exile in 700s BC. The people we now call ‘Jews’ had just been through a massive humiliation. They needed to rally round and write down their history in order to unite under a common story. This was possibly when stories which were originally about what we now call Syria were simply incorporated into the narrative of the people who lived in Judah.

Was it possible that the ones who had migrated from the north brought their stories with them and transplanted them? If so it gives a very interesting slant on what else can be found at Ain Dara.

Because almost as if a god or goddess had entered the temple, the footprints actually exist of what appears to be a giant being. Now the Old Testament does indeed mention giants on some occasions. We are also rediscovering many reports from around the world in the last 200 years especially of giant skeletons having been found.

Could Ain Dara be evidence that the Bible and other giant myths are true? Could the temple be a site where an actual giant god mentioned in the bible was present? I am going to be discussing more about these ideas in the forthcoming book and mystery school so stay tuned.

Mary Magdalene how did it all start?

Mary Magdalene how did it all start?

The Annunciation by Matthew William Peters, Lincoln Cathedral. Credit Dr Manjir Samanta-Laughton

Some people ask me- how did it all start. Where did the concept of the Magdalene Prophecies come from? By the way that is not what I wanted to call the book! The lady herself came through one New Year’s Eve when I was attending a Lebanese Bellydance event – only later did I see the significance of that. The name just came through loud and clear and it had had a great response.

But it all started way back in the 2001 when I was still training to be a GP. I had taken a trip to New Mexico to attend a conference on the science of consciousness. Still to this day I can feel the magic as I arrived by myself to the hotel. I met several people whom I kept bumping into after lectures.

One of them was a woman named Jenna. On the last night of the conference she invited me to her place in Santa Fe before catching my flight back and I agreed.

After chatting for a while, we decided to head out for something to eat and it was then that something very strange happened. We looked at the moon and I have never before or since seen the moon in that way. It is hard to describe but it seemed to change shape. Then suddenly, without either of speaking, we knew that we were the women going to the tomb of Christ that fateful morning after the crucifixion.

I can’t say who was who as such it was as if we were the group consciousness, not anyone particular individual. Now I didn’t even know it at the time but Jenna is Jewish and I have a Hindu background so neither of us had much idea about the New Testament or Mary Magdalene.

That’s how and when the visions began and since that moment I have had many more including being inside Mary Magdalene’s consciousness as she was giving birth to her second child. To find out the full story check out this lecture. Enjoy.

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