the Lost Gospel' by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson will be launched on Wednesday by Pegasus Books. The authors claim a sixth century AD manuscript [BL 17, 202] tells the story of Jesus’s two sons and his marriage to Mary Magdelene (Harry Mount, 'Is this proof Jesus married and had two sons? Ancient manuscript said to be 'lost gospel' with a sensational twist', Daily Mail, 9 November 2014.
[It] focuses on a story to be found in a manuscript dating back to 570 AD and written in Syriac - a Middle Eastern literary language used between the 4th and 8th centuries and related to Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus. Written on vellum [...] it had been in the archives of the British Library for about 20 years, where it was put after the British Museum had originally bought it in 1847 from a dealer who said he had obtained it from the ancient St Macarius Monastery in Egypt.[...] Jacobovici claims the manuscript, which is 29 chapters long, is a 6th century copy of another 1st-century gospel and casts parts of the Bible in a very different light.The document claims to tell the story of the Old Testament character Joseph and his wife Aseneth. Despite what the authors claim, the book is far from being 'unknown', there are a number of discussions of it (see Wikipedia for some details) and an online translation in the Internet (here Joseph and Aseneth: Translated by David Cook [The passage calling Joseph the Son of God is XXI]). Jacobovichi and Wilson claim the document is "in code", and that "Joseph" was actually "Jesus" and that "Aseneth" was actually Mary Magdalene.... We do not learn if they think that the sons of Jesus were really named Manasseh and Ephraim or are "codes" for somebody else. Quite why this cannot be a straightforward story of the Patriarch Joseph (who had two sons Manasseh and Ephraim ) based on Genesis 41: 38-52 and the further elaborated is not clear. Certainly the story would have been of considerable interest to Christians of Egypt - On where this story happens was Heliopolis, not far from the Coptic monastery of Saint Macarius located in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate (where the British Library manuscript is from). Simcha Jacobovici's lawsuit against Joe Zias seems to still be ongoing....
Vignette: Meanwhile the Biblical name Asenath seems to still excite the interest of story writers...
Greg Carey (Professor of New Testament, Lancaster Theological Seminary) puts it better than I could - 'Another Jesus and Mary Magdalene Hoax', Huffington post blog 10th November 2014.
Also see Robert Cargill, 'Review of “The Lost Gospel” by Jacobovici and Wilson', Xkv8or blog, November 10, 2014.
Jim Davila, ' A new Syriac Gospel in which Jesus married Mary Magdalene? I don't think so, paleojudaica, November 10, 2014.