To be published in November, a new book by biblical scholar Janet Tyson reveals how the Fourth Gospel of the New Testament was constructed with profound symbolism and allusion to preserve the details of Jesus’ mission and his relationships with two chief characters – Mary Magdalene and Lazarus.
With the publication of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code has come an unprecedented potential for a people’s revolution: not since Martin Luther has there been such a possible catalyst for change and progress in our ideas of theology. Though a work of fiction, it has inspired many to re-evaluate history, the Bible texts, and other aspects of the ‘institutionalized’ truth we have come to know as Christianity.
What would happen, however, if one of the very texts central to the theology of the Christian tradition – central to the concept of a divine, chaste Christ, turned out to contain information that would really challenge the foundations of the Petrine Church?
The Fourth Gospel, commonly referred to as The Gospel According to John, is, Tyson contends, the testament of Jesus’ closest disciple, the character we know as Lazarus. After a decade of extensive attention to detail, sifting through the smallest of clues and being able to discern the most subtle of patterns, the author has determined that Jesus appointed this Lazarus, not Peter, to be his right-hand-man and successor, and he did so because of one key point Christianity has yet to acknowledge – the “child”…
Jesus and Mary Magdalene were, indeed, married, but the book goes further, by suggesting Jesus was already married, to Martha, making his union with Mary polygamous (a state that was permissible in Jesus’ day, but often frowned upon). The child he conceived with Mary was not merely the result of a sexual affair, or even of the natural progression of the marital state. On the contrary, this child was the pinnacle of Jesus’ plan from the very start – the intended culmination and “glorification” of everything he had set in motion. Lazarus was appointed Jesus’ heir only so that he could act as regent to Jesus’ son, the new “King of Israel,” until he became of age. The Fourth Gospel’s subversive text was deemed heretical by Paul but its encoded message is still there, hidden in plain sight for those “with eyes to see”!
About the Author
Janet Tyson has a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, is a Fellow of the University of British Columbia, Canada, and the author of Black Magick Woman: The Sinister Side of the Song of Solomon.
About the Book
Jesus, Mary, and Child: Samaritan Blood and the Kingdom at Shiloh
By Janet Tyson MA
Publication Date: Nov 7, 2006
Price: US $22.95, CAD $27.95, £14.99
Number of Pages: 428 294 b/w illustrations
ISBN: 0-9735341-9-2 (978-0-9735341-9-1)