Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

I watched a cartoon with my 4 year old grand daughter this morning.  My Big, Big Friend is a cartoon series about a tiny little girl who has a giant blue pet elephant.  The elephant is a constant source of joy and delight for the little girl and her friends, one of whom has a pet giraffe.  In this particular episode, one of the girl’s friends is frustrated because his parents believe he’s too young to care for a pet dog.  When someone asks the lad to keep their puppy for a week, the tiny little pooch requires so much care and attention that the little boy realizes he should wait until he’s older and more responsible.

It’s a practical and popular lesson: a puppy requires so much attention that not every child is ready to be dog owner.  But only a four year old child could accept that message without being distracted by the medium: a story line about a little girl who has no problem feeding and caring for a full grown elephant!  I suppose that’s why My Big, Big Friend is a kiddie cartoon rather than a major motion picture.

That juvenile cartoon came to mind later in the day when I came across this headline in the news: “Ancient Document Mentions Wife of Jesus.”  The Smithsonian Institute and a variety of major media outlets were celebrating a breakthrough discovery that will “force scholars to rethink the history of Christianity!”  A tiny fragment of a document dating back to the Fourth Century after Christ seems to hint at Jesus having a wife.

The scholar who produced the tiny fragment explained that it doesn’t prove Jesus had a wife, but does prove that some early Christians thought he did.  Not exactly.  Why aren’t we talking about this giant blue elephant in the room?

  • The fragment was reportedly found years ago among a collection of Gnostic documents.
  • The fragment is being championed by a Gnostic scholar named Karen King.
  • Gnosticism was not a sect of the Christian Faith.  It was a religion about esoteric secret knowledge.  It existed before Christ came and attempted to co-opt some of the teachings of Christ once Christianity began to grow and thrive in the Roman Empire.  Gnostic ideas were rejected by the Church. Today it is a dead religion.

Other scholars have already denounced the fragment as a modern day forgery, but even if it were authentic, it wouldn’t prove that early Christians believed Jesus had a wife.  It could only hint that perhaps one non-Christian Gnostic believed that idea 400 years later.  This is hardly a breathtaking discovery and it will certainly not cause scholars to rethink the history of Christianity.  You can’t accept the message without being distracted by the medium.

Lift up the Cross!

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