Title: God Kings – The Descendants of Jesus
Genre: Documentary – Ancient History, Religion,Occult
Production Company: Reality Films

Is the Jesus story an ancient Roman marketing plan? Did Christ have a wife and daughter? A twin brother? These and other controversial questions are posed in God Kings: The Descendents of Jesus, a new DVD by Philip Gardiner.

Borrowing from the Gnostic Gospel of Philip (which was discovered near the Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945), retired professor Hugh Montgomery openly challenges mainstream Christian belief by arguing for an alternate history of Jesus and the Christian Church.

Legend has it that Constantine, the very first Christian Roman Emperor, conquered the pagan Romans in the name of Christ. Apparently Constantine was empowered by a vision (in some accounts, a dream) of a cross in the clouds that he encountered on the road to Rome, just before the Battle at Milvian Bridge.

On this and similar points Montgomery believes he’s dispelling 2,000 years of Church propaganda by suggesting that Constantine was a clever manipulator, seeking to control the lives and afterlife beliefs of the masses. Montgomery says that important details of Jesus story were allegedly fabricated and sold to the public to ensure Constantine’s complete control over their temporal and eternal aspirations.

But not only that. Jesus also had a wife and daughter, Montgomery says. And he interprets certain key Coptic words in the Gospel of Philip to support his idea.

Not every scholar would agree with Montgomery’s translation of the Coptic terms in question. But that doesn’t deter him from saying that Jesus’ powerful descendents can be traced along the bloodlines of the Germanic Odin and biblical David. Those of Odonic and Davidic lineage are said to have a quiet, inner power not necessarily exerted over others but which nonetheless can be sensed. And Montgomery, funnily enough, says he’s one of them.

Montgomery then proceeds to speak out against The Da Vinci Code, claiming it’s a work of plagiarism and, except for the idea that Jesus was married and had children, is largely hogwash. Montgomery also offers some seemingly Freudian influenced comments about language, rhythm and musical preference and presents a vision of God that fits with the idea of naturalistic pantheism—that is, God is everything and everything is God.

This is an entertaining video but it’s doubtful that all contemporary scholars would agree with Montgomery’s claims. However, he does point out – and I think rightly so – that the Jesus stories we’ve been told are not necessarily the whole story, and that power and politics may have played a part in their formation and promulgation.

Montgomery is a well-spoken man with not a few credentials to his name. Having said that, my main reservation with his work is that it might lead some non-experts to hastily replace one set of assumptions with another. Instead of leaping from one position to the next, it seems a better way to approach the history and, perhaps, heart of Christ’s life and teachings is to carefully study the existing evidence. True, a difficulty arises here in that it’s virtually impossible to read everything that’s been said about Jesus. But with the power of the internet, we can at least check to see if different perspectives can be found within surviving textual accounts.

And I highly doubt that Jesus would object to this. After all, he did advocate personal responsibility and the freedom to choose.

—MC (revised from 2009)