Was Jesus married?
I was surprised to see the name of an old flame of mine, Karen L. King, in a newspaper article by Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press. I was especially surprised to discover that Ms. King is now a professor of early Chistianity at Harvard Divinity School, and that she claims a Coptic papyrus fragment, that was supposedly recently discovered and translated, apparently says, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'"
I knew Ms. King back in college where she was captain of the university's cheerleading squad. She was voted Miss Congeniality by the football team, and didn't mind being referred to as "Miss" back then.
This is "the first known statement that explicitly claims that Jesus had [a] wife," she was quoted as saying. Although "this fragment and that sentence is not evidence of Jesus' marital status."
Ms. King was always good at talking out of both sides of her mouth. Among other things.
Scholars believe that these six words, written in Sahidic Coptic on a piece of codex, date back to the fourth century, and are proof that Jesus of Nazareth was married. That's not what I believed, however, so I called on one of my easiest dates and asked her if I could examine the ancient scrap of papyrus myself.
"Jim," Karen purred from Rome, "I haven't heard from you in ages."
"That's because I just got out of prison for killing my wife," I reluctantly admitted.
"So," she asked hopefully, "you're single?"
After quickly talking out of both sides of my mouth, I was finally able to convince her to let me conduct my own translation of the text. It was just as I thought, the translation wasn't complete OR correct. Jesus wasn't bloviating about being married. He was simply entertaining His friends at the Last Supper. You see, Jesus didn't say, "My wife..." Instead, he spoke the inspiration for Henny Youngman's most famous one-liner.
The proper translation is as follows:
"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed Peter. "Telleth us another one, Jesus."
"I asked My wife, 'Where do you want to goeth for your anniversary?' And she saideth unto Me, 'Someplace I have never been before.' So I saideth unto her, 'Then goeth thou to the kitchen!'"
Andrew guffawed. "Jesus, You really cracketh me upeth," he saideth.
Judas was not amused.
"Should You not saveth thy jokes for the poor, Master?"
"It matters not, ye who smells strongly of armpit. What matters is that I taketh My wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back!"
The disciples laughed with great merriment. Judas just rolled his eyes.
John slapped his knee with one hand. "Dost Thou really taketh her everywhere, Master?" he asked.
"Of course, otherwise I'd have to kiss her goodbye!"
"You slayeth us, Jesus. You slayeth us," Philip spaketh.
"Hey, Judas," Jesus teased,"how do you turneth a fox into a pig?"
"With Thy holy power, Master?"
"No... you marry it!"
"That is not funny, Master. Verily, it isn't."
"Judas, thou hast the sense of humor of a goat, and thou smelleth of one as well. Verily. Tell me, oh stinky one, how does one knoweth if one's wife is dead."
"I'm sure I knoweth not, Master."
"When the dishes begin to pile up!"
Bartholomew snickered at Judas. Judas gaveth Bartholomew the stink eye.
"Telleth us another one, Jesus," Matthew begged Him. "Telleth us another one."
"My wife is on a new diet. Coconuts and bananas. She hasn't lost weight, but, man, can she climbeth a tree!"
"Thou art funny, Master," James spaketh, "and Thou looketh good as well."
"Yes, I do. Knowest thou how I lost 120 pounds of ugly fat?"
"How, Jesus? We beseech Thee, tell us how," all but one asked.
Jesus looked at the Twelve plus one, and turned serious.
"By leaving My wife back in Jerusalem!"
Eleven plus one laughed. Judas did not.
"Tell us a parable, Master," Judas, the party-pooper, asked.
"A man," Jesus began, "a man wins the lottery and rushes home to telleth his wife. 'Honey,' he tells her, "packeth thy clothes. I just won the lottery!' The wife says, 'And what shall I pack, husband?' The man says, 'I don't care, just getteth the heck out!'"
Judas shooketh his head in disgust, while the others howled. Eth.
"Another parable, Master," Simon squeeled. "Another parable."
"A woman runs after the garbage wagon, yelling, 'Am I too late for the garbage?' 'No, verily,' the garbageman spake unto her. 'Jumpeth right in!'"
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"
"Did I telleth thou how My wife spent two hours at the beauty shop? And that was just for the estimate! While there, she got a mudpack. For two days she looked great... then the mud fell off!"
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!"
"That offends me, Master," Judas, the odorous one, whined. "MY wife's an angel."
"Thou art fortunate, Judas. MINE'S still alive!"
"Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha!" the eleven disciples plus one broke out. Judas greweth furiouser and furiouser.
Thaddaeus was holding his gut. Matthias, who everybody knew was trying to weasel his way into being an Apostle though he kneweth full well that the union contract specifically stateth that there can be only 12, was on the ground in tears.
"Thou be-eth the best, JC," Thaddaeus brown-nosed. "The Best!"
"I can't believeth how quick-witted our Master be," spaketh Thomas. "Jesus gotteth you good, Judas. He gotteth you good."
Judas stomped away angrily.
"You'll payeth for that, Son of Man," Judas threatened as he left. "You'll payeth for that."
"Don't goeth away mad," Jesus spaketh unto him. "Just goeth away! Verily."
Judas shooketh an angry fist at Him.
"Letteth him go, Master," James spaketh. "The air smelleth sweeter already."
"Master," John turned somber and thoughtful, "Hast Thou given any thought on what doeth Thou ere the Roman soldiers come to arrest Thee, and lash Thee, and crucify Thee, and put their fingers in Thy nostrils and pull forward, and tell Thee "pulleth my finger," and point at Thy chest and ask Thee 'what be-eth that?' and when Thou looketh down they cruelly flick Thy nose upward and..."
"Enougheth, already!" And Jesus did smacketh John upside the head with what He liked to call The Attention Getter. "Verily, I shall say unto them:
"Taketh My wife. Please!"