Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus' Marriage to Mary the Magdalene
Rating: 1 Star - did not finish
Honestly, the subtitle alone is absurd. If you have read my reviews before, you know how I feel about ridiculously long subtitles. If the subtitle needs to be that long, you are doing something wrong. In this case, there is much, much wrong. I contemplated not even bothering with a short review, since I quit this one very early on, but I just could not remain quiet and had to say SOMETHING.
I will start with the positives, because despite what it looks like, I do try to find something good in every book I review. It is tough sometimes, and I REEEEEALLY have to look, but there is always some little nugget of positive that I can show. In this case, it is that the writing itself is actually quite good. I don't mean the content, I will get to that in a moment, but the actual writing. It flows well, and the style is engaging. Any other book or subject and I might be able to make it through the entire thing.
Now, onto the not so good. Pretty much, everything else. I wanted to give this one a try, as I am always interested in these ideas of 'lost gospels'. There is so much we do not know about the early days of Christianity and Jesus, as well as his family and followers. Imagine if manuscripts were discovered that could truly be authenticated and just came right out and said, "Here's the story." Wouldn't that be amazing? Instead, we have things like this, 'hidden gospels' that we have to use a great stretch of the imagination and connect all these dots that don't totally seem to fit, in order to make something kind of make sense if you look at it sideways.
I am not opposed to the idea of Jesus being married, and it does make sense. It is not a new idea by any means, and certainly would not have changed His work or Message. I can also understand the whitewashing of that aspect of His life from the Gospel, if that were to turn out to be the case, as the Apostles were only concerned with the work that Jesus performed and His role as Savior. His possible wife and children did not fit into that mold and thus would not have been something they considered important for future generations to know.
I was ready to give up on page 36 when Gnosticism reared its ugly head - particularly as the author seemed to find a fault in Christianity as we know it today and seemed to scoff at it, while giving favor to Gnosticism. Being objective did not seem to be on the menu. Additionally when the author straight out said Gnosticism was more grounded in history than the Gospel, I knew I may not be able to continue on much longer.
While I found the author's factual history to be interesting, and even enjoyed that aspect of the book early on, I could not abide the constant ending of each chapter with a silly 'cliffhanger'. It was incredibly juvenile and kind of annoying, truth be told. I barely even got into the actual content, the core thesis of the book, in that this obscure manuscript was really he hidden story of Jesus and Mary, and had to quit around page 50. It was simply too absurd to continue.