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According to Monday's programme, Jesus did have a hidden family, but they were not a wife and daughter - rather his brothers and sisters: James, Joses, Simon, Jude ( sometimes referred to as Judas), Salome and young Mary.
- (Matthew 13:55)
For evidence that Mary had other children besides Jesus, he points to the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.
This describes Christ preaching at the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth where the citizens question his claim to be the new Messiah.
"Is not this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, Joses, Simon and Judas?" they demand. "And are not his sisters here with us?"
at least four different documents written by reputable historians of the time, but not included in the Bible, suggest that Christ wanted his eldest brother James, and not Peter, to lead his church.
This is clear from the writings of Hegesippus, a respected early chronicler of the Christian faith, who is believed to have lived between 110AD and 180AD.
"The succession of the church passed to James, the brother of the Lord," he said.
In the year 62AD, James was stoned to death on the orders of the Jewish High Priest of the temple in Jerusalem, who was jealous of his influence.
Just five years later, the Romans captured Jerusalem and destroyed the great temple itself, robbing James's followers of their headquarters and the focus of their faith.
We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever..
For 2,000 years, the traditional Christmas story has related how Jesus was born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem, after Mary and Joseph travelled there from Nazareth to register for a Roman census.
However, Bethlehem is 90 miles away from Nazareth, and Dr Beckford questions whether a woman who was nine months pregnant could really have undertaken this arduous four-day journey on a donkey.
He points out that there is another town called Bethlehem which is in Galilee. In 1992, building works there revealed the ruins of a 6th-century church - built on top of the kind of natural cave in which many scholars believe Christ was born.
Since this Bethlehem is only four miles from Nazareth, Dr Beckford believes this cave is more likely to have been the genuine site of the Nativity, but that the church fathers had good reason to suggest that Christ's birth took place in its now celebrated namesake instead.
In this, they were fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy which stated that the new Messiah would be a descendant of King David, and this meant he had to be born in the same town as David - in the Bethlehem near Jerusalem.