The absence of credible alternative sources severely limits the options for claiming that the “real Jesus” was significantly different from the Jesus of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. To make that claim, you have to make the move that Professor King makes, further down in the Smithsonian piece, and assume that the evidence we conspicuously don’t have is somehow more telling than the sources that actually survived:

‘The question the discovery raises, King told me, is, “Why is it that only the literature that said he was celibate survived? And all of the texts that showed he had an intimate relationship with Magdalene or is married didn’t survive? Is that 100 percent happenstance? Or is it because of the fact that celibacy becomes the ideal for Christianity?”’

Note the two options here for why we don’t have any direct evidence of a Mrs. Jesus: “Happenstance” on the one hand, or a kind of historical rewrite job by the church fathers on the other. Randomness or cover-up; accident or conspiracy. The third possibility, that “only the literature that said he was celibate survived” because Jesus actually was celibate and all the early witnesses agreed on this is ruled out as somehow too straightforward, too easy, a possibility that the simpleminded entertain but the initiated necessarily reject.