In other news, Catherine Lawless has written a paper on the legend of St. Ismeria who, according to a couple of late medieval Florentine manuscripts, was Jesus’ great-grandmother (the mother of the Virgin Mary’s mother).
Again, not having read the paper, I’ll withhold judgment on the author’s interpretation of these not-all-that-ancient texts. But let’s be perfectly clear that the historical value of these documents is precisely nil. I’ll probably enter Lawless’ information in my biblical genealogy database along with the data I’ve picked up from the Kebra Negast, the book of Jasher, and the Georgian Chronicle. That’s because it’s worth studying such old traditions for what they tell us about the people who pass them on. Lawless’ point seems to be that this legend addressed the spiritual needs of certain late-medieval Florentine women. If that’s her point, I have nothing to say against it.