Book asks question: what if Jesus had been a woman?

As a child, Kristen Wolf set up a makeshift altar in the driveway of her home, decorating a desk with a white cloth and a crucifix before proceeding to conduct a Mass and causing a stir that resulted in a reprimand.

The move came, she now says, from a sense that she was left outside the center of Catholic tradition and spirituality by her gender, a feeling that led her decades later to write “The Way,” a re-imagining of the story of Jesus with a woman in the central role.

“I had a very definite sense, even as a young child, of being somehow excluded from my spiritual experience,” Wolf said in a recent telephone interview.

“As I looked on it, the church leaders could only be male and our God was male, the main player was the Father’s only son. The women were mostly in ancillary roles … I never felt there was a heroic female.”

Decades later, after attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and studying the Bible and mythology, as well as reading retellings of once-male stories from a female point of view, Wolf thought there was a need for a new take on the Biblical tale of the Messiah.

The result was the story of Anna, a tomboy in ancient Palestine whose androgynous appearance leads to her being disguised as a boy and sold to shepherds. Captured and taught by a group of women who live according to an ancient philosophy, she tries to spread their teachings to ordinary people.

reuters.com/article/2011/08/18/us-books-jesus-idUSTRE77H1KS20110818

I could just as easily write a book asking the question, “What if I had been born a ham sandwich?” But the topic would be no less ridiculous.

I would ignore such foolishness.

I agree. We have enough real problems here today, what does "what ifs" solve? It doesn't change anything, and anything we say is purely speculation. Time to get the head down from the clouds and deal with the real world.

She has a vaild point. Many people feel marginalized. I've had a non-traditional spiritual background so I won't dare judge another.

If this is helpful to her and somehow helping her spiritual journey, so be it.

The “what ifs” are the whole point of speculative fiction. They’re entertaining! I already have to deal with “the real world” for the majority of my waking hours, sometimes it’s nice to indulge in fictional flights of fancy where Nazis ride unicorns.

Yes, there is a book with a Nazi riding a unicorn on the cover, see for yourself: amazon.com/After-Downfall-Harry-Turtledove/dp/1597801313/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315421299&sr=8-1

Regarding this book in particular, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s getting Red Tent vibes from it. I liked The Red Tent but I think I might just pick this one up from the library.

Unfortunately, even if Jesus-female had had androgynous features, she would have still been a woman. In 32 A.D. that would have meant she would most likely have been ignored.

From what it seems in the Bible, they had to try Jesus in front of a judge-figure (Pontius Pilate) before crucifying Him. I do not know if the reason for this need to go to Pilate was because of the manner they wanted to kill our Savior, or if it was because to kill any man was against the law, unless the proper authorities gave it the OK.

On the other hand, again, in the Bible,
[BIBLEDRB]John 8:4-5[/BIBLEDRB]
"..]this woman was even now..]" Unless they were able to set up an appointment so quickly with the authorities, it would seem women unfortunately did not have the right to a trial as men did.

If Jesus had been a woman, she would likely have been stoned before any message was carried out, dying in a manner different than what would be considered as fulfillment of the prophets' visions...which would still be possible if God had done things differently, thereby providing us with a different bible, than the Bible we have today, as well as different societies throughout history which allowed different laws, etc. In short it would be a whole different reality.

In any case, even if all that had been the truth, we would still be sinful by nature, striving to live as God commands us.

I wonder why Kristen Wolf never was taught how important Mary, Mother of God, is to the Church, and what a heroine she was when [BIBLEDRB]Luke 1:38[/BIBLEDRB]. This despite knowing that being pregnant and not yet married would spell out death for her!

True heroism means to have the courage to do God's Will, no matter what may happen to you.

Aaaanyway, hypothesizing makes my head hurt! Time to go eat lunch! (What if my lunch had been already prepared for me today? :p)

Unfortunately, even if Jesus-female had had androgynous features, she would have still been a woman. In 32 A.D. that would have meant she would most likely have been ignored.

From what it seems in the Bible, they had to try Jesus in front of a judge-figure (Pontius Pilate) before crucifying Him. I do not know if the reason for this need to go to Pilate was because of the manner they wanted to kill our Savior, or if it was because to kill any man was against the law, unless the proper authorities gave it the OK.

On the other hand, again, in the Bible,
[BIBLEDRB]John 8:4-5[/BIBLEDRB]
"..]this woman was even now..]" Unless they were able to set up an appointment so quickly with the authorities, it would seem women unfortunately did not have the right to a trial as men did.

If Jesus had been a woman, she would likely have been stoned before any message was carried out, dying in a manner different than what would be considered as fulfillment of the prophets' visions...which would still be possible if God had done things differently, thereby providing us with a different bible, than the Bible we have today, as well as different societies throughout history which allowed different laws, etc. In short it would be a whole different reality.

In any case, even if all that had been the truth, we would still be sinful by nature, striving to live as God commands us.

I wonder why Kristen Wolf never was taught how important Mary, Mother of God, is to the Church, and what a heroine she was when [BIBLEDRB]Luke 1:38[/BIBLEDRB]. This despite knowing that being pregnant and not yet married would spell out death for her!

True heroism means to have the courage to do God's Will, no matter what may happen to you.

Aaaanyway, hypothesizing makes my head hurt! Time to go make lunch! (What if my lunch had been already prepared for me today? :p)

If Jesus had been born as a female instead of a male, "She" could not have done the things that Jesus as a man did. Women could not go out and preach, they couldn't speak in synaguoges or the temple. In that culture, the mission Jesus had could not have been fulfilled by a woman. Jesus was not male because there is something "wrong" with being female. It was simple necessity.

If this story has helped the author's spiritual journey, that's great. If it helps people see that God is not male or female, that is even better.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.