Anyway, I came across a review for a new edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which included an extract from the Wife of Bath's prologue. The esteemed lady is speaking to her fellow pilgrims about the experience she's gained by being married five times. As she does she says something about Jesus' perspective which made me laugh because it's often how I feel when reading the Bible.
This is for all those who know just how hard preaching can be, for all those who are training for pastoral ministry, and especially for all those who think that they understand the Bible quite well.
The Wife of Bath's Prologue, as retold by Peter Ackroyd [Italics added by me]
I don't care what anyone says. Experience of the world is the best thing. It may not be the main authority but, in relationships, it is a good teacher. I know all about unhappiness in marriage. Goodness me. Oh yes. I was 12 years old when I first got a husband. I've had five altogether, thanks be to God. Five of them trooping up to the church door. That is a lot of men. By and large they were gentlemen, or so I was led to believe. Yet I was told quite recently - I forget by whom - that our Saviour attended only one wedding. It was in the town of Cana. So, the argument goes, I should only ever have been married once. And then there was the time when Jesus rebuked the Samaritan woman. They were standing beside a well, weren't they? “You have had five husbands,” He said. “And the man you are living with is not your husband.” He was God and man, so I suppose He knew what He was talking about. I don't understand what His point was, but I am sure He had one.
To read the rest of the extract and the accompanying review click this link - http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article5945019.ece