ROME--Biblical scholars have long been puzzled by a passage by a man named Baruch, in the apocryphal text of the same name, which reads, "Yeah. I hit on that. She was a nice piece of ass, though a bit of a holy roller for my taste." Although scholars know who Baruch (or Barry, as his friends called him) was, and even where his tomb is in Nazareth, the identity of the woman he was talking about was never clear.
That is, until now.
Recently, DNA researchers, using a bit of Jesus' skin found on the shroud of Turin, have matched it up with some of the skeletal remains found in Baruch's tomb in Nazareth, and have determined, with a 98.9 percent certainty, that Jesus was, in fact, the son of Baruch, not God.
In fact, scholars believe that Mary and Baruch were contemporaries in ancient Nazareth, and might have hung around with the same group of friends. But why, then, should Mary have claimed that God, through the Holy Spirit, impregnated her, rather than Baruch?
Biblical scholar Bart Erhman, the author, among other works, of Lost Christianities and Misquoting Jesus, explains why in his new book Mary and Barry Sitting in a Tree: "Religions are highly competitive human constructs. Mithraism, the cult of Isis--there were very few religions or cults back then that didn't include a virgin birth. Virgin births were all the rage back then. I'm pretty sure Mary's not atypical teenage pregnancy was put to good use, over the centuries, to give the young and growing religion, Christianity, some street cred."
As for the effects this finding will have on Christianity and Islam, the two Abrahamic religions for which the virgin birth of Mary is still central, Erhman explains, "This will not affect them at all. Religions are built not on reason and evidence, but on credulity. I'm sure, in their eyes, Mary will continue to be the sweet little girl these religions need her to be, for only god knows why."
As for those white wedding dresses signifying purity, market analysts in the wedding industry are quite confident that their sales will not diminish.