Friday, September 21, 2012

A little slip of paper

It's going to be hard to decide what is true and what is simple conjecture, but as if there isn't enough confusion in our lives, along comes Karen King from the Harvard Divinity School, and she says that she has a piece of paper suggesting that Jesus Christ was a married man.

Lookie, I will admit that I am hardly a biblical scholar, having spent many a squirmy youthful morning in Sunday School planning activities for later on Sunday that were not exactly divine.  But I don't remember anyone even suggesting that Jesus had a wife.  This little piece of papyrus, alleged to be authentic, contain phrases in which Jesus mentions a wife and says that she will be able to be a disciple.

The papyrus
We think that's what it says.  What we don't know is whether the person who wrote these words knew what he or she was talking about.  There was a lot of debate back in the early days as to whether Christians ought to be married or have sex.  Or either.  This hardly solves anything conclusively.

But scholars, biblical or otherwise, can all agree on one thing.  If Jesus did indeed have a wife, she was, like my wonderful wife, a saint.

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