Bejesus Seminar Discovers New Gospel in Desert, Common Sand & Call to Faction Supporters Jubilant

March 1998By Andrea Burman

Andrea Burman, who enjoys thinking satirical thoughts, teaches English at a Catholic high school in the Los Angeles area and recently entered the novitiate as a Benedictine Oblate.

A wise and ancient scholar named Waniphallis (d. 666) once remarked to his Latin colleagues that Christians were often too prone to chastise and even exclude those whose beliefs or actions did not always coincide with so-called orthodox Church teaching. He pointed out that the entire messianic message was that of compassion, tolerance, and acceptance. Did not Our Lord eat with sinners, speak to women, have mercy on prostitutes? In his own troubled times, Waniphallis witnessed a growing arrogance among priests, bishops, even the Holy Father himself. He was troubled by their repression of women (was not Mary Magdalen at the Last Supper? did not Mary receive the Holy Spirit, too?), and saw that ultra-conservative prelates (all males, of course) were leading the Church in a way that was non-Christian.

Then, in the year 652, Waniphallis and his master teacher and life partner, Dicus Macbrinibus, said they made a remarkable discovery. In a tiny cave just outside the walls of Rome, the two men claimed to have unearthed a series of scrolls containing the text of an unknown Gospel penned by the controversial self-ordained Judeo-Christian priestess, Namrub Bat-Miriam. Little is known about Namrub — even when exactly she lived — but it is known that she was silenced, then excommunicated, by the Church because she was an assertive woman who claimed priesthood for herself. It is also known that, in spite of such censure, Namrub managed to form a group of women devoted to fostering what she considered to be the true message of Jesus, a message, as it turns out (see below), that is remarkably compatible with that of Gaia, Sappho, and Krishna.

History has only been able to take Waniphallis's word for it that Namrub's Gospel was actually written, for according to Waniphallis, reactionary clerics "removed the Gospel from Rome and covered it up" — these somewhat cryptic words are the only words Waniphallis is known to have said about the matter. The contents of Namrub's Gospel have remained totally unknown, though they were a matter of some speculation in German Protestant circles in the 19th century.

But on January 13, 1998, Namrub's Gospel was found in a large jar in the sands of the Judean desert — far from Rome indeed — by a group of Bejesus Seminar people on a pilgrimage to the various spots where Jesus didn't speak the many famous words he didn't speak — or didn't speak them the way the reactionary clerics wanted us to think he spoke them. The following excerpts from the text, now fittingly called The Gospel According to Namrub, are taken directly from these scrolls. In an emergency meeting, the Bejesus Seminar (BS), which holds the copyright to the text, has authenticated virtually all of the text, and has issued a bulla (Latin for bull) declaring that the text constitutes the long-lost Deposit of Faith.

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