The fact that the book these news articles are designed to promote mentions “decoding” an ancient text is the first sign that this is dubious. That the “decoding” will be carried out on a text that has been known for centuries should make you even more suspicious.
The book in question is The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson. One of its authors should be familiar to you from previous sensationalist claims – that he had identified the tomb of Jesus with his and his son’s bone box in it, that he has a nail from the crucifixion, and that he has proof of the Exodus.If one person claims to keep making monumental discoveries, it is fair to hold them to a very high standard of evidence, since they are either absolute genius-level in their field, or they are offering hype without substance.
A Washington Post article claims that the text that the book is referring to is Ecclesiastical History of Zacharias Rhetor. In fact, it is that work’s version of the tale of Joseph and Asenath that is the focus. Apparently Jacobovici and Wilson are reading that work as though it were about Jesus and Mary.
That’s not a discovery. It is creative reinterpretation.
And so as far as I can tell, there’s nothing here to get excited about.
For more on the texts in question, see Bob Cargill’s post on them from last year.