Friday, July 14, 2006

‘Lost’ Book Found Describing JC-Mary Relationship

Those interested in evidence regarding the relationship between the historical Jesus and Mary Magdalene have been frustrated by lack of any real sources. For example, the scroll manuscript quoted as saying he used to kiss her on the mouth in fact has a hole in it where the word ‘mouth’ is inferred. Recently in Wales, a mysterious 400-year-old book has surfaced called The Genealogy of Jesus Christ which does not just list names (as many genealogies do) of New Testament characters, but also has notes as to the relationship between them. The book had been sitting in the archives of the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. (The Welsh being famously keen on genealogy long before it became a popular hobby, a book on genealogy could easily go unremarked.) It was re-discovered by the warden of Llandovery College when checking their list of donated books, where he realised the archives held an extra, uncatalogued volume.
cover of Catholic Tablet showing Mary MagdaleneThe 17th-century volume, compiled by one William Spenser (about whom nothing is known) is an A3-size leather-bound ledger with 594 pages containing handwritten entries in an A-Z reference format. The book appears a compilation from older sources, some of which are now lost. A spokesperson for Catholic newsmagazine The Tablet [pictured] said the book could prove extremely significant – “people should be excited about it because it sounds a fantastic find.” It was taken to Christie's auctioneers in London to be valued, but they could not find anyone to do the valuation, and after six months it was returned to the vaults. A TV company wanting to make a documentary on the find also had no luck finding experts. When the warden examined the volume, he looked up ‘Magdalene, Mary.’ (He admits this was due to the DVC-generated controversy.) The BBC report adds that he saw that “ the manuscript's margins contained anecdotal information about Mary Magdalene, which he could not find in the bible”. He also saw that one section, amounting to around half her entry, was crossed out. Yet what remains legible may prove controversial enough. It says Mary became Jesus’ assistant after he exorcised her of her demons. Another sentence, reported in the Welsh press, suggests there may trouble in store for those who insist Jesus was celibate or not mortal in any ordinary sense. It reads, "She was one of many women ministering into Christ, of their substances."