Friday, May 02, 2014

The Jesus "Hoax"

Count on the Wall Street Journal to keep me current on early ecclesiastical history.  I'd seen some of the early stories about the Jesus-had-a-wife papyrus.  Somehow I had missed the (apparently rather sophisticated) second-round critique arguing that it's a hoax.  Comes now the Journal with a bonus cluck about all those gullible reporters and how quick they were to jump on the story in the first place.

Me, I have no business opining--ignorance, dear madam--but I do tend to suspect that it is a hoax, as the paper and informed scholars now seems to believe.  Still, I wonder when the Journal  will see fit to show the same sort of skeptical discipline to, say, Obama-was-born-in-Kenya or Hillary-murdered-Vince-Foster or Roosevelt-bombed-Pearl-Harbor or any of the rest of the army of canards that seem to be around since at least the time of Charlemagne.

And while we are at it, note, there are two separate Jesus issues on the table.  One, is the document a hoax?  And two, was Jesus married? The two are not necessarily related; that is, Jesus might have been married even if the document is a hoax.  

Me again: I don't have much doubt that there was an historical Jesus, albeit there is plenty of room for discussion about what such a person said or did.  I am inclined to think he probably was not married: wandering miracle maker, unemployed and likely unemployable--not the best prospect coming out of the gate in the connubial sweepstakes (cue old jokes about mama's boy).  But I'm a bit puzzled that true believers might want to believe that he was not married.  Consider: unemployed 30-year-old, no family man, spends all his time hangin' with his homies.   Eeuw, let's not go there.


Anonymous said...

Daddy's boy.

mike shupp said...

Memory (okay, Wikipedia) says Christopher Marlowe was charged with blasphemy for stating that the Apostle John was Christ's catamite. So the idea's been around for four centuries, maybe more like twenty centuries.