WWJWD -- What Would Jesus' Wife Do
Unless you’ve been hiding under a pulpit, you’ve likely heard about the latest faith-based kerfuffle: the notion that Jesus had a wife. The alleged evidence is based on a 4th century papyrus fragment of a Coptic text released by a Harvard professor in which Jesus refers to “my wife” and later says “she can be my disciple.” The fragment, written in the language of early Egyptian Christians, measures 1.5 inches by 3 inches and is owned by an anonymous “collector.”
After a major publicity blitz announcing the finding by Harvard Divinity School professor Dr. Karen King, the university is now backing off publishing the research pending the results of scientific dating research and the testimony of language experts.
In the meantime many scholars are now calling the fragment a modern forgery or a fake. To me, unless you’re The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, it all seems like much ado about nothing. The odds that Jesus had a wife are remote at best and ultimately it doesn’t change anything. Married or not, Jesus is still, for Christians throughout the world, the Savior.
Nonetheless, it’s fun to imagine what Mrs. Jesus would have had to endure. Thus, here are my top fifteen reasons not to be Jesus’ wife:
1. It’s hard to take the Lord’s name in vain when he’s standing in the kitchen.
2. When arguing, he always turns the other cheek. So aggravating!
3. Twelve guys always hanging around makes intimate moments impossible.
4. Having to endure people singing “Joy to the World” on his birthday gets old.
5. Being called “Mrs. Christ” is irritating. “How many times do I have to tell you, that’s not our last name!”
6. Awkward encounters with Pilate’s wife at the next pilates class.
7. Your mother-in-law is perfect. “Do you have any idea how much pressure that puts on me at Thanksgiving?”
8. 11. He insists on calling every grace he says before dinner “The Lord’s Prayer.”
9. The way he suavely whips out his lighter at cocktail parties when someone pulls out a cigarette and says, “The Light of Christ.”
10. “I came not to be served but to serve.” That’s all well and good but guess who’s still left to do the dishes?
11. He’s always saying “Let the little children come to me.” You try hearing that all the time while your own biological clock is ticking louder than Big Ben.
12. You think it’s easy getting someone to their annual physical who walks around saying, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick?”
13. Every time he forgets to stop by the grocery store on the way home he gives me the same thing: loaves and fish, loaves and fish.
14. “Pick up your cross and follow me.” That’s rich coming from someone who can’t even pick up his socks off the bedroom floor.
15. I never was able to cash in on that life insurance policy.
Even if it turns out that a small group of 4th century Christians thought Jesus had a wife, it doesn’t mean he did. The written material of the time and the tradition of the church are weighted heavily against it. Though it is a lot of fun to imagine “what if.”