SUNDAY REVELATIONS: Jesus and his wife.

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife, a Coptic papyrus fragment introduced to the world by Karen L. King, is about the size of a business card. Despite the ambiguity of scientific tests, Coptic scholars Leo Depuydt and Christian Askeland claim it is a forgery “beyond doubt.” READMORE on The Ave. Photo: Karen King.

Lets just imagine that Jesus existed as what he was supposed to be (not the God part). Until 30, the Jesus of the Roman (Christian) bible was a Judean peasant, son of a Nazarene stone mason who made a living helping Herod build stuff in Tiberius.

If that tiny kernel of information is correct, we know a few things not discussed in the Roman account. For example, as a really poor peasant he would not likely have had a reason, time or money to study The Law. If, however, young Jesus had a few shekels, we know there were classes taught by the Pharisees. The Romans would not have included this tidbit since the Pharisees and their followers were demonized by the Romans because the Pharisees and their followers led the Jewish revolt. So assuming Jesus was literate in the law, Jesus must have been an observant, lay Pharisee.

With some money and some education, this Jesus would have been kind of a catch for some woman. So here we got a problem. The text left to us by the Romans (who edited the Christian bible to fit the needs of the Roman state religion under Emperor Constantine in the 300s) makes no mention if Jesus had marital life. Of course in those days wives were not usually mentioned, at least not wives of humans. But, if Jesus were to die a virgin, that would be news worth noting. This is problematic because under Jewish law, Jewish men GET married long before they are 30.

The paradox would create two problems for the Romans:

1. Christianity claims that Christ (Greek for anointed one) had been anointed as King. Presumably by the time Jesus was thirty he would, as a good Jewish male, have had offspring. Princes descended from a dead man-God would not be such a good thing in a religion intended to justify inherited rule by Roman emperors (who, of course, were all anointed as Gods).

Of course, there is no history of an effort to kill off Jesus’ progeny after the crucifixion. Josephus never Jesus!even mentions Jesus’ progeny as playing any role in the rebellion. The rebellion occurred thirty years after the crucifixion so presumably a son of Jesus would have been prominent. The answer here is simple: there was no significant community of Christians in Judea by the time of the revolt. Josephus does not mention any significant role for the Christians (as opposed to the Pharisees) in the revolt. So, the story in the Romans (Christian ) bible would work for the Roman editors as long as they left their man-God a virgin when he ascended to heaven and focused on the stories told by Paul (who never met the living Jesus).

2. The imperial court editors had another problem .. Jesus was intended to replace a number of deities popular among the citizens in part because they had a miraculous birth from a virgin mother. That explains Mary. BUT, if Jesus was God as man, how could the editors be sure that the eternal Jesus would never impregnate a human female again? Virgins giving birth to more Gods would threaten the rule of a divine Caesar! (Actually Hong Xiuquan , a Chinese revolutionary, claimed just that .. to be the son of Jesus! In 1864 the European (Christian) armies killed the man to protect the rule of their client, the Chinese emperor!)

So, now we have the Davinci Code and more recently the Gospel of Jesus’ wife. I kinda think this Gospel is real .. at least it cleans up some of the contradictions in the Roman (Christian) bible. It leaves the modern Christian with a well off educated peasant, a observant lay follower of the Pharisees, who followed all the Jewish laws, married and impregnated a lady Jew, but had very little to do with the myth created around him by Paul and the later Christian church.

Oh .. by the by, Jews in that era had no rules against polygamy!


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