The Holy Family of Jesus as commonly depicted in religious art is a myth fabricated by the early Christian church. Explaining this assertion, Tobias Churton leads the reader on a fascinating and highly readable quest to discover all that is to be found in the historical sources about Jesus' family background, parentage and siblings and the possibility of his having descendants. When Romanized Christianity decided to bend the historical facts about true early Christianity, Jesus was required to be the only son of God and to have been the product of a virgin birth, so that he could avoid the taint of original sin. Any inconvenient siblings had to be written out of history to prevent them from muddying the theological waters. Even today, in Catholic encyclopedias of the saints, St James the Just (the 'Zadokite'), while regarded as Jesus' brother by the majority of Church Fathers, is instead called the 'son of Alphaeus', deliberately obscuring any theologically compromising family relationship.
This investigation is based on a thorough examination of a broad range of sources: the canonical evidence (Gospels and Epistles); apocryphal evidence including the Gnostic gospels and rejected works of early Christianity (including the Dead Sea Scrolls and the works of Josephus, Hegesippus and Eusebius); and myths and legends about 'heirs', known as the Desposynoi, who either travelled to France or remained in Palestine centuries after Jesus. 'It must be the case that behind both the historical and the legendary evidence there exists a missing, truthful picture of the family of Jesus. The task of the book is to establish as much of that truth as is historically possible within the bounds of reasonable probability.' (Churton)
Tobias Churton is a writer, composer and filmmaker. He has a Master's degree in Theology from Oxford, and is an Honorary Fellow of Exeter University where he lectures on Western Esotericism. He is highly regarded as a bridge-builder between scholarship and the general reader, with the television series and bestselling book Gnostics and several successful books on the history of Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry and alchemy. He is a keen and objective commentator on the Gnostic phenomenon, past and present.