The Christians always were in danger of forgetting to ask
themselves whether the founder of their religion was married or
That sin of omission is now atoned for: the answer is Yes,
Jesus was married. At least, thats what three
English authors, who have written The Sacred Enigma
(1), and a French correspondent of Nostra (2) tell us. However,
their conclusions differ as regards the date of the marriage, the
identity of the bride, the destiny of the couples
descendants and certain other points of detail. But theres
still a chance of reconciling the two viewpoints.
You have a choice between Theory A, that of the three English
writers, and Theory B, that of the Frenchman. The source of the
conflict between them is this: according to A, to be an unmarried
male adult was regarded as something scandalous among the Jews;
but Jesus never caused any scandal, ergo Jesus must have
been married. If we remember that the adult Jesus died at the age
of 33 after a public life of three years that began with the
miracle at the wedding in Cana, it follows that the wedding in
Cana was that of Jesus himself, who was then aged 30.
According to Theory B, the Gospel of the
Holy Twelve (currently being translated) tells us that
Jesus married at age 17, became a widower at 24, and then entered
public life without remarrying.
At this level of analysis it is worth noting that Theory A is
more attractive than Theory B. The really important thing is how
we come to find ourselves now in the year 1983 A.D., and
precisely what event in the life of Jesus marks the year 0.
On this point everything points to Jesus Christ having been born
several years before Jesus Christ! The astronomer will perhaps
date his birth from the phenomenon known as the Star of the
Magi. Someone else might think that the year 0 is the date
of the celebrated appearance of the child Jesus before the
doctors of the law, while someone else will date the death of
Jesus according to the calendar of Pontius Pilate, the procurator
of Judea. The champions of Theories A and B therefore have the
field pretty much to themselves in an area of study that has been
amply explored for many centuries, and can present us with one or
other new solutions or a link to some former hypothesis. I myself
can furnish them with the basics of a very ample bibliography on
The second point at issue between the two theories concerns the
identity of Mrs. Jesus. According to A, Mary Magdala
of Galilee, known as Mary Magdalene, alias the
Sinner, was the bride in the wedding celebrations in Cana.
According to ancient custom, the wedding reception was held at
the expense of the fiancées parents, either in their own
home or at a restaurant. As the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus
the young bridegroom interfered in something that was none of her
business by encouraging her son to change the water into
excellent wine (the best was saved for last).
Unfortunately the passage where the mother of Mary Magdalene
congratulates her son-in-law on his excellent and discrete
initiative aimed at saving the dinner has not come down to us.
Subsequently it is Mary Magdalene that we find at the foot of the
cross, in the company of Mary the Virgin, at the same moment when
she has been a widow for at least three days.
Theory B says that Jesus did marry someone called Mary
(Myriam) but that she was from Judea, not Galilee. This was the
woman whose widower Jesus became three years later. Given that
the relevant wedding announcements have been lost and that we
know nothing at all about Mary the Judean, we are forced to rely
on the testimony of the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, a
priceless document that no copyist has altered (3) and which has
the advantage of having been drawn up by the Holy
Twelve themselves working together at the same penholder.
On this point of detail we have an intervention from if
not the Papacy itself then, at least, Father Biondi, the
spokesman for Monsignor Lustiger, the Archbishop of Paris (who is
of Jewish descent). In the early days of the Church,
says Biondi, no one would have been worried about saying
that Christs disciples, with the exception of Saint John,
were married. To say that the Christ was married is something
that no one would have worried about at least, not among
Christs contemporaries. However, when the Gospel of Thomas
says literally that Mary (i.e. Mary Magdalene) was seated
on Christs couch (in other words, on his bed), the
commentaries on this image that have been written within the
Church are alone sufficient to show that it was regarded as
almost scandalous to suggest that any woman had approached
It seems here that the church is leaning more towards Theory A,
but Theory B has certainly not yet lost the battle. One might
point out to Abbé Biondi that the Mary referred to by the Gospel
of St. Thomas is not described either as a Judean or as a
Galilean, but as a Myriam, as are a number others,
and that she doesnt have any identity papers
that we know of. We therefore await with impatience a comparative
study of the Gospel according to St. Thomas and the Gospel of the
Holy Twelve. From the text of his translation, theorist B quotes
the opening of Chapter 48, verse 8, where Jesus, a widower and a
single person, describes his own situation in the following
48-8 There are certain celibates who are born thus in their
mothers womb, and there are others who have been made into
celibates by other people, and there are those who have made
themselves into celibates for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.
Let he who is capable of understanding try to understand this
A careful reading of this passage suggests that Jesus is actually
posing a riddle with three possible answers, each with an equal
chance of being incorrect.
I. Jesus was a bachelor because of his preoccupation with
the kingdom of heaven, i.e. My vocation is so
time-consuming that a wife would simply be a nuisance. Such
has, in fact, been the general sentiment of Christianity for two
millennia. Even if Jesus was married, Christian conscience
would insist on his celibacy.
It is from this point that there arise the controversies
regarding a mysterious Mary who apparently got into
his bed. This point of detail is only relevant today in the
context of the possibility of priests getting married, but it
could obviously not have arisen at a time when the priestly
sacraments excluded this possibility.
II. I am unmarried because men have interfered with
my life as a married man. The nature of the interference is
not stated, but it could be the death of the wife or the
castration of the husband. Whatever the details, the intervention
seems to have been a very violent one.
III. I am celibate from my mothers womb
could mean either that he has an innate vocation for celibacy or
that he suffers from hereditary impotence.
Theorist B, forced to opt for I, II or III, presents a scenario
in which a married Jesus has his vocation decided by the fact of
becoming a widower, i.e. he deploys arguments II and III while
completely ignoring argument I.
We eagerly await Theorist As formulation of a hypothesis on
proposition III, i.e. on the political reasons for the castration
of Jesus or the absence of his wife, who was presumably either
killed or imprisoned. Let he who is capable of
understanding try to understand the text demands. At first
sight I would say that this person who is capable of
understanding is the correspondent of Nostra, whom I have
called Theorist B.
The third point of difference between the two theories is again
raised by Theorist B. It concerns the progeny of Jesus and his
wife Mary the Judean.
Theorist B quotes the Gospel of the Holy Twelve,
chapter 10, verse 10, where Jesus declares that He who does
the will of my Father who is in heaven is my father and my
mother, my brother and my sister, my son and my daughter
(5). It follows from this that the Father in heaven
corresponds to that which is commonly called Our
Father, i.e. God the father of Jesus.
The father should be Joseph, the putative father of Jesus, and
the mother should be Mary the Virgin, while the brother is one of
the two saints James and the sister is someone else to be
determined. The son and the daughter are
therefore the children that Jesus and Mary the Judean had during
their seven years of marriage.
Considering that Jesus, by definition, remained celibate during
the nine years of his public life, the possibility of a second
marriage with Mary the Galilean, known as Marie Magdalene or the
sinner, can be excluded.
Apart from the fact that the wording of verse 10/10 seems to be
confused, the idea comes into the readers mind that Jesus,
who was engaged to Mary Magdalene before his death, could have
married her after his resurrection. The 40 days that separated
Easter from Ascension were more than sufficient for a couple in
reasonable health to produce a child. Besides, we can point out
that the life of Jesus during these 40 days of the glorious
body was rather intangible, that we dont find him
meeting very many people, and that this period does not form part
of his public life. It is superfluous to state that I
accept full responsibility for this hypothesis, which I am
surprised to be the first to formulate.
The next step puts the ball firmly in the other partys
Theorist B states that the marriage between Jesus and Mary
Magdalene, the Galilean and sinner, produced progeny which would
end in the royal family of the Merovingians, whose present head
is Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair.
Several items of evidence in fact suggest that the Merovingians
were of Semitic origin. Grammarians have studied the mutation
Levi-Clovis-Louis. There is
the evidence in particular of the Mérovee-Levis, whose name gave
rise to Levis-Mirepoix, and we all know the story of Frederick
the Great showing the Duc de Levis Mirepoix a canvas representing
the Holy Virgin and saying A Levi, my dear friend. I
wont tell you anything about your grandmother that you
dont know already.
If the fleur-de-lys is a royal emblem it is by allusion to the
lily that toils not neither does it spin sung by King
Solomon, and which justifies the name of rois
fainéants (the useless kings) that the textbooks give to
Theorist B then returns the ball to the other partys court
by eliminating these arguments (which, in fact, have no
historical value) and reproaching Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair
for claiming descent from Jesus and Mary the Judean, although he
is willing to concede that Mary Magdalene could have had one of
the many males that paid court at his couch.
Without As knowledge, Plantard has risen to his own defence
on this point. I admit, he says, that The
Sacred Enigma is a good book, but one must say that there
is a part that owes more to fiction than to fact, especially in
the part that deals with the lineage of Jesus. How can you prove
a lineage of four centuries from Jesus to the Merovingians? I
have never put myself forward as a descendant of Jesus
Thus, thanks to Plantard, Theorist B finally has the opportunity
of achieving a victory over Theorist A that he wasnt
The interview that Theorist B gave after his victory shows a
certain excess of excitement. His way of interpreting the motto
My Kingdom is not of this world leaves the listener
hungry for more. The links between divine law and political law
that could be used to substantiate connections between two Jewish
royal families, that of Jesus and that of Herod, are indeed
mentioned, but are immediately followed by a deafening silence.
One would like to think that the Massacre of the Innocents and
the condemnation of Jesus for which the Herods were responsible
have only a moral or mystical significance.
Whatever may be the case, we await with impatience the
publication of The Gospel of the Holy Twelve. The
extracts that Theorist B has already published suggest that it is
one of those deliberately ambiguous texts, like all the writings
worthy of the name of Gospel. We hope, however, that the
translator will approach his task with a greater degree of
Philippe de Cherisey
P.S. I am compelled to state that I myself figure very
prominently among the collaborators on the Sacred
Enigma, and that one of the three Englishmen involved, Mr.
Henry Lincoln, is known to me. I do not share in the least the
opinions of M. Plantard de Saint-Clair on the romanticised
aspects of a work that was very carefully put together. It is in
this capacity that I am taking the liberty of writing to you.
(1) Editions Pygmalion/Gérard Watelet. Paris, 1983
(2) NOSTRA no 565 (7-14 April 1983)
(3) The italics are those of A
(4) Vous avez dit étrange. Jacques Pradel on
France-Inter on 18-2-82
(5) The italics are those of the translator B
(6) Vous avez dit étrange. Jacques Pradel on
France-Inter on 26-2-82