De Kretser relies on Barbara Thiering for "The Story of Jesus" but is challenged by Anonymous who says he relies on "reliable methods".


Brian de Kretser

(Investigator 147, 2012 November)

The belief that Jesus died on the cross is a fiction. He survived together with the two who were crucified with him — Simon Magus and Judas.

This information is to be found in the books written by Barbara Thiering—
•    Jesus of the Apocalypse
•    Jesus The Man
•    The Book That Jesus Wrote
According to Thiering—
•    J.C. was born on 1st March BC 7
•    J.C.'s brothers were James, Joses-Barnabas, Jude, Simon, James
•    J.C. is baptized by John the Baptist, March 8th Ad 29
•    J.C.'s "father" Joseph dies, March 1st AD23
•    J.C.'s betrothal to Mary Magdalene, June 6th AD 30 
•    J.C.s wedding to Mary Magdalene, 23rd September AD 30
•    Arrest of Simon Magus (chief) and J.C. (second leader) March 20th AD 33
•    J.C. crucified with Simon Magus and Judas, March 20th AD 33. They were not dead but Pilate was hoodwinked that they were and gave    
       permission to remove them from the cross

•    J.C.'s daughter, Tamar, was born 1st September AD 33
•    J.C. had sons — Jesus Justus born 1st June AD 37, Jesus III born April 10th AD 44 (when Jesus was 50
•    J.C.'s second marriage was to Lydia on 17th March AD 50. When J.C. was 56 years old he had a second daughter, by Lydia, born on 
       March 16th AD 51

•    Paul marries J.C.s daughter Tamar on 27th March AD 54.
•    At 60 years J.C. became a grandfather when a daughter was born to Paul and Tamar on 1st September AD 54
•    AD 62: J.C. still alive and well, aged 69, and with Paul
•    J.C.'s brother, James, killed on orders of Ananus the Younger by stoning
•    AD 64: J.C. still alive; Peter and Paul were executed by Nero
•    The last appearance of J.C. (according to the Book of Revelation) was his presence at a council in Ephesus in AD 70 when he was 76.
•    J.C. not present in AD 73 in Rome at the wedding of his son, who was 36 years old. This would indicate that J.C. died some time between
     AD 70 and AD 73 at the age of about 78 years.

Not bad for a man who was supposed to have died on the cross on 20th March AD 33!

J.C.'s actual father is said to be a Roman archer named Tiberius Julius Abdes Panthera who was nicknamed "The Panther". J.C. was often referred to as Ben Panthera ("Ben" meaning "son of").  Joseph had nothing to do with it, neither did God.

Brian de Kretser
Darwin, N.T.



(Investigator 148, 2013 January)


Mr De Kretser in #147 quotes Sydney theologian Barbara Thiering on Jesus' marriage, births of his children, and his activities decades after his crucifixion.

The upshot of Thiering's method is that the Gospels, when read literally, are largely wrong.

Thiering and her book Jesus The Man (1992) — in which she finds hidden meaning in the Dead Sea Scrolls — were reported in South Australia's Sunday Mail as follows:
"Barbara Thiering…said the virgin birth was a myth and Jesus survived the crucifixion and went on to marry former prostitute Mary Magdalene and father three children a girl and two boys…

Dr Thiering believes in God: "I see this as Christianity against the church; this is a recovery of Christianity as it was."…

The breakthrough came in Thiering's interpretation of an acknowledgement last century that the gospels contain a second meaning, hidden below the words. Thiering sees in this an actual chronicle of events portraying the history of Jesus." (June 7, 1992, p. 8)
Note that there are no historical records supporting Thiering's claims — her claims are based on alleged "second meaning, hidden below the words." Her subsequent book Jesus of the Apocalypse (1995), likewise, rewrites the book of Revelation to expose alleged hidden meanings that no-one's ever seen before.

The problem is that by postulating hidden meanings we can make anything mean anything.

The Bible Code (2010) by Michel Drosnin, for example, finds a detailed description of the "war on terror" hidden in the Hebrew lettering of the Bible! President Obama is allegedly named in the Bible, "Raven Rock" his bunker is also named, as well as other prominent people, terrorists, Scud missiles, nuclear terrorism, al Qaeda, and many specific dates and terror events foretold.


Back in Investigator 71 (March 2000) in my article The Bible: Tested, True, Triumphant I replied to John H Williams who had backed Thiering:
Mr Williams cites the theologian Barbara Thiering. Refuting the latest critics is a specialized job often needing detailed knowledge of ancient languages, culture, literary customs, laws, etc. I don't do that.  I'm a "generalist" who compares Bible statements with discoveries in many scientific disciplines. I seek the conclusions after the verbal fireworks die down.  However, a simple critical start on Thiering might be Gwynne-Seary (1996) who argues: "Thiering's claims are a bad joke."
Williams in #72 responded:
…he predictably used a gross put-down by someone called Gwynne-Seary, writing in the Fortean Times (1996), to dismiss decades of fine scholarship and research as "a bad joke". Obviously, because someone writes in a rather suspect journal criticising Ms T does not invalidate some or many of her ideas. Naturally, one asks, ‘who is this Gwynne-Seary, what's his belief system, what kind of axe is he grinding? I recommend her books to Investigator readers as an antidote to the gospel stories…

Thiering is well used to criticism and personal vilification. She's a Christian who believes in God and so is regarded by the established church as one who has betrayed them. Such is the vast power of their vested interest, they maintain the demonstrably false dogma (untruths) of the virgin birth and other miracles in the face of all the available objective evidence.
John Williams in (#125) changed his mind about Thiering and wrote: "I'm not invested in the Yesu'a ben Panthera story, nor was I in presenting Barbara Thiering's pesher theory, and offered it for comment and debate. I find it a useful and ‘therapeutic' alternative to the supernatural version, about which every Christian child is conditioned…"


Until 2012 there was not a scrap of historical evidence indicating Jesus was married. The Da Vinci Code (2003) by Dan Brown which has Jesus married to Mary Magdalene is historical fiction based on speculation and imagination.

Then in September 2012 Karen L King of Harvard made public a 4th century Coptic manuscript-fragment which quotes Jesus as saying "My wife…"

The fragment has 33 words in 14 incomplete rows. King thinks there was a 2nd century original in Greek which was translated into Coptic two centuries later. She makes no claims about it being biography and says it "does not provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married." (Erin McLaughlin—ABC News September 18, 2012)

The rest of the sentence after "My wife…" is missing. Since we're left guessing the sentence might have continued figuratively with "is everyone who follows me." This would be similar to: "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50)

But even if "My wife…" is literal the fragment is simply too late a document to challenge the traditional view that Jesus died single. The Gospels nowhere hint at Jesus being married despite marriage being the common, acceptable and expected role for Jewish males.


Numerous theologians, both amateur and professional, have in recent centuries presented theories, some weird and wrong (like Jesus being a hallucinogenic mushroom) and some more plausible but also dismissed. Barbara Thiering's theology has likewise not gained respectability.

The situation is what the Bible warned about:
"We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming." (Ephesians 4:14)
The investigative methods that survive and prove ever more of the Bible reliable are the obvious ones — historical documentation, archaeological discoveries, and scientific tests.

These confirm that the real story of Jesus is in the Bible and in its words — not "hidden below the words".