One has to wonder whether the era of “instant communications” in which we live is a help or a hindrance to our understanding of the world. A case in point is the recent buzz about the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”.
In the time since the report of the discovery of the text fragment, many doubts surrounding it’s origin have arisen.
It appears that there is an oddity in the Coptic text of this supposed “gospel” that also occurs in an online transcription of the Gospel of Thomas.
Andrew Bernhard at Oxford University has written an article entitled, “How The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Might Have Been Forged A Tentative Proposal” that attempts to explain how a forger may have used the Gospel of Thomas to create the fragment that was making headlines.
This brings me back to the premise of this post. Because of our culture’s obsession with the “new” and “now,” fed by the ability to instantly communicate around the world has created a bit of a problem. This problem is magnified by the inability of most people and institutions to admit they were wrong.
In the present case, the instant transmission of the “news” of it’s discovery and translation by Harvard historian Karen King has put us in a situation where the REAL story will never be told. The world has long since moved on and the only meme that people will remember is that there is an ancient fragment that talks about Jesus’ wife.
The next time you hear of some “great discovery” that has the possibility of overturning everything you may have once believed, make sure to sit back, take a deep breath, set it aside for a time, and look at the issue again sometime in the future. Be measured and considered before jumping to conclusions.
I’m not advocating sticking your head in the sand. In fact, quite the opposite. Don’t be so focused on what is immediately in front of you that you forget to lift your head and look around. Often times what looks like a mountain is merely a mole-hill that has gotten out of perspective.
- Cranach (Gene Veith): The “Jesus’ wife” fragment is from the Internet?
- NT Blog: Jesus’ Wife Fragment: Further Evidence of Modern Forgery
- First Things: Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Forgery Confirmed?