VATICAN CITY (ABSNN) - It is a fake, the papyrus fragment that claims Jesus was married, that is.
According to today's issue of the Vatican's newspaper, L'Observatore Romano, "Substantial reasons would lead one to conclude that the papyrus is indeed a clumsy fake." The editorial was written by Gian Maria Vian who added, "In any case, it's a fake. And might I add, Jesus was a confident heterosexual."
Pat Robinson, the founder of TBN's 700 Club, an evangelical Christian TV program, had this to say:
"Hogwash! He's wrong, the Wop is. First off, no real man is named 'Maria.' Second, he's a Catlick; what's he know about the B-I-B-L-E?"
Ah, OK, other (actual biblical) scholars seem pretty evenly split on the issue of the papyrus scrap's authenticity.
Dr. Karen L. King revealed the existence of the papyrus fragment last week during an International Coptic Conference held in Rome.
"It's very clear to me and others that this is a Honey Do List written by the wife of Jesus," she said.
"Not so fast," challenged Egyptian Coptic scholar Alberto Camplani of Rome's La Sapienza University.
"This fragment says 'Jesus said to them, my wife.'" The sentence ends there. I urge extreme caution for anybody who wants to write peer-reviewed articles about the authenticity of this scribbling," he said.
"The real fire storm seems centered around diverse political agendas," said Moby Dick (no relation to Andy Dick).
"There is the feminine agenda that wants a married Jesus, subservient to his wife (presumably Mary Magdalene) who berates him in the papyrus for buying bargain brand tampons during his last shopping trip."
There is the GLBT agenda that wants a gay Jesus who has the hots for the lithe, feminine figure to his right in Da Vinci's fresco The Last Supper. That is supposed to be James the Beloved. Looks pretty gay to me, though."
"Then there is the polygamous agenda that wants a Jesus with a half-dozen wives. The most prominent member of that group is Mitt Romney, the Mormon candidate for President of the United States," Dick said.
For his part, Mitt Romney has steered clear of this controversy.
"I've screwed the pooch too often in the past two weeks to get involved in this," he wisely said.
The following is a sample of other biblical scholars who have weighed in on the issue:
"It's pretty unlikely that it's authentic. It's possible to get hold of a scrap of blank papyrus and write on it," according to University of Durham Professor Francis Watson.
"I have not met anybody who supports its authenticity," said Coptic scholar Christian (I have a dog in this fight) Askeland.
"Among the specialists I know," Askeland continued, "Two-thirds are skeptical about its authenticity; three-fifths know it is a fake; and the remaining 68% prefer Bono."
AnnMarie Luijendijk, associate professor of religion at Princeton University told thespoof.com:
"We can see by the way the ink is preserved, that this is a genuine Honey Do List Written by the wife of Jesus Christ in 29 A.D. See here where it says, 'Fix the damned door hinge'? That's the tip off it's real. All women get pissed off when their husbands put off fixing door hinges," Luijendijk concluded.
thespoof.com's religion reporter, Fr. François Dubois, S.J. summed up the story thusly:
"Jesus was a haunted, meek individual. He was wholly human and holy God. I tend to think he just married a shrew. The papyrus speaks for itself."
And we'll leave it at that and bring you any further developments as they occur.