Re: Digging for the Truth episode on History Channel
- I'm the wrong person to answer this, but I saw the same show (twice)
and heard exactly what you did. I don't think he understood the
I suspect he thought he was being asked if his community are the
descendents of the early church and followers of Jesus. He may also
have taken the question to be more spiritual in nature than biological.
I've been to St. Marks In Jerusalem. Too bad they didn't talk more
about the church.
- Dear Albert -
This is clearly a misunderstanding/misinterpretation on both ends. I
imagine that Mor Severus Malki Murad is not aware of the exact
accusations being made in the Da Vinci code. I am pretty certain
that he meant to say that a number of the Semitic Syriac Orthodox
Christians in the Middle East have a blood lineage that can be
traced back to the Semitic community into which Lord Jesus was born
and from where the apostolic Christian community originated. Did he
mean that the blood lineage is traced back to our Lord Jesus
Himself? I would think the archbishop would have to be a big
ignoramus about Syriac Orthodox doctrine and faith to suggest that.
Knowing Mor Severus' background I don't believe he would ever
Let us say a person had an uncle who is a Syriac Orthodox bishop,
obviously celibate. Does that person have a blood lineage with the
bishop? Absolutely. Does this mean that he is the bishop's son.
Unfortunately, language has nuances. This is, I am pretty certain, a
case where the bishop interpreted the question literally. What the
bishop said has some truth to it (although he is discounting the
fact that the Syriac Orthodox Church faithful in the Middle East
have come from different ethnic backgrounds - Jew and Gentiles of
different races.) In his eagerness to talk about his community's
ancestry, he may not have suspected the possible misinterpretation
of his answer. On the other hand, the host and his listeners appear
to be reading more than what the bishop said or intended to say. And
I believe the interpretation is wrong.
PS: I welcome you to explore the Syriac Orthodox tradition. Do post
your questions on the forum and visit the SOR web site as well as
the several other web sites linked to it.
Thomas Joseph, PhD
Web Master, SOR (http://sor.cua.edu/)
Technical Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies
--- In SOR-Forum@yahoogroups.com, "albertkieholl"
> I was watching an episode of Digging for the Truth on the History
> Channel, and the host was in Jerusalem at the Monastery of St.
> speaking with Archbishop Severios Malki Murad. The host was tryingthat
> to track down subjects for DNA testing in his attempt to prove or
> disprove the claims made in the book The Da Vinci Code, namely,
> Jesus Christ had children by Mary Magdalene, the descendants ofwhom
> are still alive today. In the discussion with the Archbishop, it
> sounded like the Archbishop declared that the members of his
> community were not only followers of Jesus Christ, but were actual
> physical descendants of Jesus.
> I could not determine if the Archbishop misunderstood the question
> or if he was actually affirming that Jesus had children during his
> earthly life. Could someone clarify this for me? Does the Syriac
> Orthodox Church believe Jesus married and fathered children? Where
> might I read something about this?
> I am interested in exploring the various Orthodox (Eastern and
> Oriental) communions, perhaps with an eye toward joining one, so
> this information would be helpful.
> Albert Kieholl