Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jesus Was (not) a Married Homeboy

I want to ask a psychological question: Why does a fragment from the 6th - 9th century AD that says "Jesus had a wife" get front page at Because: this is innuendo. CNN is thinking Let's put the thought out there, in the minds of Jesus-wonderers and Jesus-skeptics, that...  uh-oh...  Jesus had a wife! Let's declare that this fragment is "authentic." And headline it like this:

"Study: Jesus' Wife Fragment Not a Fake"

With this declaration CNN should be first in line to say "Amen!" to the historical authenticity and veracity of the four biblical gospels.

While rummaging through the attic a few weeks ago I found a fragment of an old article that said, "Jesus is my homeboy." This fragment is authentic. That is, it is not a forgery. OK - well and good. Shall I conclude from this that Jesus was a homeboy?

The CNN sensationalist fragment puts these referential words into Jesus' mouth: "my wife." OMG!!! This very, very old (659-859 CE) piece of papyrus says that Jesus said "my wife," referring to his wife. Yes, this is 600-800 years after Jesus lived on the earth, but no matter. The fragment is "authentic!"

Apparently time does not matter. CNN has entered the arena of biblical documentary scholarship and wiped out New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham's book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses with one tiny, very non-eyewitness, fragment. 

With this hermeneutical stroke we enter a new era in ancient textual studies. Armed with this new methodology I put the two above-mentioned documents together and conclude: Jesus was a married homeboy. 

At least he wasn't running around with the disciples and ignoring his wife.