THE Age this morning brings us news that Jesus may have been married, a possibility Christians of one variety or another are known to have been tossing about, often with some vehemence, for at least 1,800 years. It is all very fascinating for those interested in such things, which explains the debate’s longevity and its less-scholarly manifestations in works of pulp by the likes DaVinci Code author Dan Brown and, somewhat lower on the literary scale, the sludge of Leslie Cannold, who appears not to realise that the Gospel of Thomas, from which she drew inspiration for her recent memoir in the voice of Jesus’ sister, is not and never has been part of the New Testament. Given that one Thomasine “gospel” depicts the Saviour as a naughty boy in the Just William mould -- bringing clay sparrows to life and sending them on their way, amongst other scamperies – this is hardly surprising.
To each his own, and perhaps the rest of us should be grateful for that. If biblical scholars were not preoccupied with drawing grand conjecture from small bits of papyrus they might make careers in the law or at the ATO, where interpretations of the abstract and arcane cause normal people much expense and grief.
And there is another reason for gratitude on this grey morning in Melbourne: how very fortunate we are that the Age has limited its theological interests to the Christian faith. With Muslim protests against that Youtube video planned for this weekend on the steps of the State Library, it would not have promoted public order if the paper had wondered in public about the Prophet’s sub-teen spouse, his Heaven-bound horse, or assurance that no decent rock or tree will allow a hunted Jew to cower behind it, come the day of reckoning.
No, that would not have done at all. The smart editor needs to pick his subjects, otherwise multiculturalism might get a bad name.
A NOTE: Those interested in Jesus’ purported nuptials will enjoy this, a paper on the latest conjecture by the scholar quoted in the Age.