The Jesus' Wife Fragment 2014: Charges of Sexism

A Lapse in Judgment Leads to an Ugly War of Words

(a page of The Gospel of Thomas Resource Center, by Michael W. Grondin)

Apr 24: Christian Askeland posts Jesus had an ugly sister-in-law about the John fragment
Apr 24: Mark Goodacre posts Jesus' Wife and her Ugly Sister
Apr 26: Askeland's response to Eva Mroczek's comment about his title angers Mroczek
(Askeland will later say that his response was "poorly worded and unnecessarily aggressive")
Apr 30: Goodacre changes the title of his post to "The Forgery of the Associated Fragment"
May 6: Mroczek charges sexism on USC Religion Dispatches, angering Charlotte Allen
May 7: Askeland drops the word 'ugly' from his blogpost title
May 8: Jim West posts "Some Feminists..."
May 9: April DeConick posts Sexism and the Gospel of Jesus' Wife
May 16: Allen posts contra Mroczek in Opinion L.A., angering Mroczek supporters

Commentary: This byway of the fragment debates has not been its finest hour. The
two major opinion pieces by Mroczek and Allen are badly flawed, in my estimation.
While reporter Allen's is the worst on several criteria (including misrepresentation
of quoted parties and a blatantly false title and premise that feminist scholars were
opposed to any questioning of the authenticy of the JW fragment), scholar Mroczek
introduced an ugly ad hominem and guilt-by-association element by taking Askeland's
religion (religionism?) and his connection to the Green collection to be relevant.
Furthermore, though Mroczek's piece was hailed by many, it contains serious errors
of reasoning and evidence. In particular, it does not show, as it purports to do, that
Karen King was generally mistreated because of her gender - at least not by reputable
parties (anyone can be mistreated in the net's unmoderated areas.)
(See here my remarks in the comment areas of DeConick's and Mroczek's blogposts)

Sadly, the defects of both pieces have been ignored by their advocates in an eagerness
to score ideological points against their perceived enemies - another war of distortions
between zealots left and right where, as usual, neither is able to see, or willing to admit,
their own shortcomings. It is to be hoped that if there is any further discussion of this
subject, it will be more balanced and cool-headed than thus far seen. Emotions have
ruled too often in this unseemly episode; they need to be held in check, because they
prevent us from seeing the whole truth. Finally, it should be noted that, subsequent
to the lapse in judgment that led to this sad chapter, Christian Askeland himself has
acted more ethically and honorably than just about anyone else involved - friend or foe.
- M.Grondin, 22 May 2014, rev 27 May

This page initially made publicly available 22 May 2014. Last revised 27 May 2014.
Corrections and suggestions for improvement are welcome.