As will sometimes happen, local daily had an interesting letter in it this morning:
- In the Voices section of the April 23 Argus Leader was a picture of the Last Supper. The picture was a good one, but what it portrayed was completely inaccurate. Where were the women and children?
- Everywhere that Jesus went, he was accompanied by women and children. He loved them. He cared for them. He always had them near.
- Most biblical stories are about men. Two thousand-plus years ago, the roles of women were much restricted, and women were treated as inferior to men. The role of women in Christianity and Judaism was as if they were invisible, which resulted in men being all there was when the Bible was written. And, of course, we need to remember that the Bible was written by men.
- In biblical usage the term “disciple” often means “student,” someone who believes in a person’s message and who tries to follow that person’s values and teachings. “Apostle” means “one who is sent forth as a messenger.” Using such definitions, all female and male followers of Jesus could be considered his disciples.
- According to Wikipedia, there are at least 53 named women who were disciples and/or apostles of Jesus.
- Not much has changed in the past 2,000-plus years. Women still are restricted and treated as inferior to men. If Jesus was physically here with us now, he would be appalled. It is past time that the good old boys woke up to the fact that without women, there would be “nothing” and “no one.”
- I hope that the next time I see a picture of the Last Supper, I won’t have to ask, “Where are the women and children?”
- Rev. Ed D. Crowson
Letters such as this always provoke in me a chuckle. “The picture was a good one, but what it portrayed was completely inaccurate.”
Really? Completely inaccurate?
Am I to conclude, then, that the letter’s author was there?
No one, apparently, had the presence of mind to bring a camera to the Last Supper, so it’s hard to say who, precisely, was there.
The biblical accounts reference “the twelve,” but they don’t say “the twelve and nobody else,” nor do they say “the twelve and a bunch of women and children and two puppy dogs,” so that’s all up in the air.
Note that I am not quibbling with the Reverend’s comments on the sexist nature of the Bible, since I happen to agree with him on that score, for the most part. Nor am I arguing about whether any or all portions of the Bible actually happened, for that is irrelevant to the matter at hand.
Which is the claim made about the portrayal of the Last Supper. Viz., “completely inaccurate.”
Well, let’s see. Anyone reading the biblical record (the only source) would have to conclude that, for one, Jesus was there, and the twelve disciples, too—so that much of it must be accurate enough. Perhaps the picture is incomplete and other people, unmentioned for whatever reason or no reason at all, were indeed present. But to say that the rendition is “completely inaccurate” is...yep, completely inaccurate.