So Joyce suggests that Jesus never died on the cross, but “plotted” to remain alive in spite of crucifixion. He was drugged on the cross, but the guards, apparently bribed, did not examine Jesus’ comatose body too closely. A doctor was concealed in the tomb in order to nurse Jesus back to health again, assisted by Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus’ uncle. As Jesus recovered he paid one last visit to his disciples and then retired as a monk at Qumran.^65 But Jesus was not to live out the remainder of his days in the quiet Qumran setting. Joyce postulates that Jesus was a part of the Hasmonean line, and connects him with the Zealots as an open revolutionary against Rome. In accord with his background, Jesus had married Mary Magdalene even before his crucifixion, according to Hasmonean tradition, and fathered at least one son. Jesus was opposed to the Roman rule and left Qumran for Masada, where he died while fighting the Romans.^66 Holy Blood, Holy Grail

Another recent attempt to present Jesus as a traveler is the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Acknowledging the usage of Joyce’s presentation, this work also holds that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene (who is identified as Mary of Bethany). The children from this marriage were heirs of Jesus’ kingly bloodline.^67 Jesus was said to have been crucified for crimes perpetrated against Rome, not against the Jews. However, he did not die on the cross, but was drugged to make him appear dead. Pilate was bribed in order to allow Jesus to be removed from the cross alive. The Essenes then took his body, which was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a relative of Jesus. After nursing Jesus back to health, Joseph, Mary Magdalene and Lazarus (Jesus’ brother-in-law) went to France to live. However, no one knows where Jesus went after his recuperation. The authors suggest India, Egypt, Masada