Mrs. Jesus Speaks

In the New Yorker, Paul Rudnick channels his inner Mrs. Christ:

By this point, Jesus and I had been dating for seven years, and my friends kept saying things like “So when is Jesus going to pop the question?” and “Maybe Jesus would like you better if you were crippled” and “I bet Yimmel the Moabite is starting to look pretty good right now, even with the chronic perspiration.” At last, I got up my courage and I told Jesus, “You can either become a divine beacon of light for the entire world or you can marry me and start thinking about moving out of your parents’ manger.” For a second, Jesus looked dejected, but then he glowed even brighter and he took my hand and declared, “We can have it all! I want you to become my wife!” Which made me even bolder, and I asked, “But what about Mary Magdalene?” And Jesus said, “That was the old me.”

The Vatican argues that the “wife” fragment was a forgery… but we all know how seriously the Vatican takes uncovering the truth.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    I’ve heard that Jesus’s wife was the one who started the worldwide tradition of screaming out “Oh, God!” during orgasm.

  • chicago dyke, Blonde

    folks, let’s face it: she was a (likely unwilling) beard. if she was saying anything to him, it would be “so why don’t you spend any time at home? why are you always on the road with 12 other guys who can’t stop telling everyone how much they love you? you turn water into wine for them, but you make one of the marys wash your feet… with her hair? what the hell. your mother told me that you never were much of a carpenter, and damn if she wasn’t right. if you love preaching so much, maybe you should preach on the topic of humility, getting real work or even following thru with your promises. i’m sure the Torah has something to say about those things. and when are we going to have children? that’s the whole reason women get married, you fraud. and i’m sick and tired of your penchant for martyrdom. i really wish you’d shut up about it already and get a real job.”

  • Guest

    From one of those so called ‘lost’ gospels? Some story that the Da Vinci code used? I heard long ago that Jesus was lost in India and learnt the lost art of walking on water too. I also heard that the world was created by the devil and that mankind was the half-breds of aliens. Actually I like the one that the world was created by th devil best.

  • Rick T

    The Vatican doesn’t like anything they don’t control. If the story isn’t one of theirs then they call it a lie.

  • cl

    …but we all know how seriously the Vatican takes uncovering the truth.

    I know, right! I mean, after all, they never issued a formal apology to Galileo, nor did they ever cave to consensus WRT to the contemporary evolutionary narrative. Nasty Catholics!

    Oh, BTW, it’s not just “the Vatican” who thinks the piece a forgery. But hey, who cares about telling the whole story, right? Let’s just tell one side!

  • Paul Caggegi

    Experts on deciding on what is a forgery and what is not. Ha! Shroud of Turin? :D

  • Thalfon

    Bringing up the Galileo bit doesn’t exactly help to speak for the church. They were just a *smidge* late to the ball game there. Really, even with the apology after the fact, that story only serves to discredit their efforts at putting forward the truth.

    Why not just post a link to one of the non-Vatican sources you mentioned? If other researchers not associated with the Vatican are coming to the same conclusions, that’s a lot better of an argument than “but we apologized to Galileo” is.

  • Chris

    Above article links to a paper written by a NT scholar at Durham.

    Also, James McGrath here at Patheos has listed several sources denouncing the work as well.

  • Marco C

    I heard Galileo was very pleased with the apology. 

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this snippet was a forgery, but if it is, it would actually fit right in the about 80% of the gospels anyway. 
    I mean, what is “real” about the bible? The way they started writing about Jesus about the same time as if we started writing about WW2 about now? Or the fact that even those writings we have, written decades after the fact by non witnesses, are the copy of a copy of a copy, of a copy?

     Or that the first Christian scribes were all amateurs and prone to make gross mistakes when they didn’t just plain rewrite the books to be more like what they understood christianity to be? And then someone else rewrote that to reflect their beliefs?

    Finally, when everything was said and done, a bunch of politicians got together and decided which of these forgeries belonged in the bible and which didn’t.

    But forget even all that. read the 4 gospels again. Read the resurrection, read the last supper, find a good way to reconcile the vastly different accounts, then just for fun, add Paul’s own mythical Jesus into the mix and let’s have fun. 

    Forgery or not, this Jesus guy has enough problems, a wife wouldn’t be the worse thing to happen to him.

  • cl

    Why not just post a link to one of the non-Vatican sources you mentioned?

    I left it incumbent on the free-thinking atheists here to do their own research, but, nonetheless, Chris has made an initial offering in that direction (though I suggest further digging still). 

    If other researchers not associated with the Vatican are coming to the same conclusions, that’s a lot better of an argument than “but we apologized to Galileo” is.

    I agree, but, I wasn’t attempting to make an argument here. Rather, I was criticizing the “friendly atheist” for a distinct lack of critical thinking and objective reporting in favor of rhetoric which bolsters a pre-determined conclusion—both big “no-no’s” in any respectable intellectual circle.

  • cl

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this snippet was a forgery, but if it is, it would actually fit right in the about 80% of the gospels anyway.

    Are you being intentionally dishonest? Or just shamelessly ignorant? Either way, it doesn’t bode well.

    I mean, what is “real” about the bible?

    Uh… nevermind. My previous question is now answered. You are shamelessly ignorant, at the very least.

  • Sindigo

    Oh fair enough then, since they apologised to Galileo we can forgive them the other times when they failed to uncover the truth. Like their continued opposition to condom use in Africa, which has killed thousands upon thousands of people or the systematic protection of pedophile priests or simply the fact that they worship a fictional god. You’re right, since they recognise the truth of evolution they must be on the side of truth.

  • Gribblethemunchkin

    I know, I know, never feed the trolls, but I can’t help it. cl, if you read Marco C’s comment in full, please explain to us, how do you think the bible was written and where does you account differ from Marco C’s. Do you think the bible was written earlier? Do you know the history of the apocrypha, how do the councils of Carthage and Rome not support Marco Cs comment?

    The gospels are ancient, translated, often poorly, over millenia, by people who weren’t there and who often had preconceptions and biases they put on the texts.

    When you say that Marco C is shamelessly ignorant, are you ignoring the vast swathes of christianity that swear up and down the King James bible is the “correct” version? How lucky for they that they happen to have been raised with that version.

  • PabloHoney

    How can Jesus have a wife if he never existed?

  • Guest

    I love all the jokes circulating about the gospel of Jesus’ wife, but I feel compelled to respond to this post.  I am working on a master’s in religious studies, and we just studied this fragment last week.  The media loves to sensationalize stories like this.  It’s important to remember what the scholars have to say on the subject.  Karen King, who wrote the original article about the gospel of Jesus’ wife, emphasizes that this fragment is important not for what it tells us about the historical Jesus, (since it was composed in the late 2nd century it doesn’t give us historical information), but for what it tells us about how some early Christians viewed Jesus.  It is a lot of fun to speculate, though.

  • chicago dyke, Blonde

     real scholars, even Christians, admit that when it comes to archaeological standards. so much of the mythology of Christian belief fails to live up to a higher, factually based standard, the same that we hold to almost every other religion in the history of the world. it’s so easy to accept and admit that it’s probably highly likely that the myths that describe gods with the heads of animals or magical bridges or magical serpents who devour the world… are just myth. scholarship supports that assertion, and most people including those who aren’t scholars go along with it just fine. but when people in the west point out that “hey, there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence here that backs up any of these claims. most of what we have is the work of believers, often hundreds of years later who were never “there” even if there was a “there” to be at” get shouted down. in the end the vast majority of the so called evidence for the life of christ is highly suspect, and would never be accepted as proof if JC were a godling named Ganesh or Laxlatl.