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Prof. Bovon cries foul in the use of his work

Disclaimers from Key Experts Used in the “Lost Tomb” Documentary:

Part One

Prof. Bovon: Mariamne is not the Historical Mary Magdalene of the First Century

The filmmakers of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” and their advisers have asserted that Mary Magdalene’s name in the apocryphal Acts of Philip was “Mariamne,” and that this was also the current and accurate name for the actual historical person of the first century. They based this upon the important work of Prof. François Bovon of Harvard University, who recently discovered and published the first complete copy of the Acts of Philip.

However, Prof. Bovon wants to clarify that he did not in any way state that the name “Mariamne” of the Acts of Philip should be the linked to the historical Mary Magdalene of the first century. In fact, the Acts of Philip presents the geographically improbable assertion that the figure “Mariamne” was both the sister of Philip of Bethsaida and of Martha of Bethany. In reality, Bovon proposed that this Mariamne, who both evangelized and baptised, was the same character whose persona in time evolved to become the fictitious Gnostic sage and evangelist, more closely linked to the Mary of Magdala in the Manichean Psalms, the Gospel of Mary, and the Pistis Sofia.

Based upon apocryphal stories such as these, which speak of a close relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and which give a high prominence to her in the early church, the storywriters of “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” have surmised that Jesus and Mary were married and even produced a family. Of these three assumptions—(1) that the name of Mary Magdalene was not Maria or Mariam, as recorded in the Gospels, but rather Mariamne; (2) that the Mariamne of the Acts of Philip is to be identified with Mary Magdalene, though the Acts of Philip never says so explicitly, and (3) that Jesus was married and fathered a child—none is supported by any of the earliest records dealing with these individuals, namely the canonical Gospels and Josephus.

See Bovon’s disclaimer on this issue at the Society of Biblical Literature Forum

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