Like many readers, I have been stunned by the revelations in the new book by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson, The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene. Their bold detective work exposes the hidden narrative of Jesus found in a text called Joseph and Aseneth, which timid scholars have known for centuries, but long dismissed as an early Jewish romance, almost a romantic novel.
However, this new study has a special relevance for me, as it means that I think the time has finally come for me to reveal my own findings on a somewhat related topic. I too have discovered a long-lost crypto-gospel, one that has lain untouched for centuries, its true significance unrecognized. For years, I trembled to reveal it, lest I should be targeted for destruction by the agents of Biblical orthodoxy and scriptural fundamentalism. Now, though, the truth can be told.
The lost text I have rediscovered is called The Bourne Identity, which was brought to public attention by a scholarly editor named Robert Ludlum in 1980.
Carping critics might initially feel that the book’s somewhat late provenance distracts from its historical significance. Reading the text though, there is not the slightest doubt that we have a direct narrative of Jesus and his time. The original manuscript was probably written in 34 AD, likely in mid-September.
We begin, for instance, with the charismatic main character, Jason Bourne, whose initials, JB, so obviously recall Jesus Christ! Now, you may object that in translation, JB differs slightly from JC, but this was an evident ruse by the early Christian author to avoid persecution and death. (As a parallel, we look at the author of Joseph and Aseneth telling the story of Jesus and the Magdalene in such a wildly disguised and allusive style). But on further examination, the hero’s name is Jason Charles Bourne.
Reading The Bourne Identity, the allusions to Jesus become utterly clear. The book takes the form of a post-Resurrection narrative, after “Jason’s” seeming death in an exploding boat. Think of the Resurrection appearances at the Sea of Galilee. Coincidence? Hardly.
The rest of the book takes the form of his quest for his lost true identity, in a striking parallel to the many Gnostic myths of forgetting and remembering.
The book’s villain is Carlos “the Jackal,” a natural way of framing the Devil in the form of an animal-headed Egyptian deity, whether Set or Anubis.
Throughout the book, the Christological and Biblical references mount. We even find the origin of the name “Bourne” in a passage that harks back to Genesis: “to stay alive he had to get away from the place where Cain was born.”
While I am still researching the topic before publication, I believe that the Jason Bourne series runs to twelve novels, perfectly reflecting the number of the apostles!
Throughout the series, we see the symbolic and mythological resonances that indicate its Christological context, the war of angels and evil spirits, with good spirits conceived in the Greek sense at the time, as daimons.
The film version even starred an actor called Matt Daimon.
I rest my case.