In an article today on BBC news there is a story regarding a 4th century piece of papyrus which clearly states Jesus had a wife. Now normally I wouldn’t care about such nonsense, but there was one line in particular that caught my eye.

Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: “A statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything. It’s nothing more than a statement ‘in thin air’, without substantial context.”

Now pardon me, but isn’t the entire bible nothing more than statements in thin air? Aside from a very limited number of facts contained in the bible stories almost none of it can be verified in any way at all. Even the very existence of Jesus is highly debatable, let alone the question of his being the son of god… were god to exist.

I find it fascinating when bits of history such as this note appear thousands of years after the fact – a historical snapshot of a past age, but I find it disturbing that religious scholars can’t even see past their own prejudices and explore the past more openly. The early church made a great many decisions regarding the nature of man and god and the relationship between them. Many characters were left out, many documents ignored and many decisions based solely on politics were made to ensure the survival of the church.

It’s a curious thing indeed.