Oddity of the Day

I live with a medievalist. (No, this - in and of itself- is not the oddity of the day.) Through her, I have learned many fascinating things about the world, not least of which is this: the only relic from the body of Jesus Christ that can make any claim to legitimacy (barring, I am guessing, toenail clippings and locks of hair) is... his foreskin. Furthermore, the body part in question played a almost lurid (no, definitely lurid) role in a number of medieval visions. And now my roommate has shared a newer chapter in this fascinating historical narrative: in 1983, someone stole Jesus' * foreskin.

*I am also fascinated (in a way that is less likely to earn this blog all kinds of strange Google traffic) by the fact that Jesus (and Moses) are part of the select club of individuals (the rest are mostly classical Greeks, apparently) whose singular names do not take a possessive "s" at the end. I can't account for Moses, but I have a theory about Jesus' lack of possessive "s" that is wholly unresearched: there is a certain aesthetic unpleasantness to hearing the cacophony of slithery "s"es of an entire congregation uttering "In Jesus's [us's...us's...us's...] name we pray" in near tandem, so this (combined with the simplification and elision that accompanies frequent use of a word) led to the elimination of the final "s." Anyone else have a similarly unsubstantiated theory? Any linguists want to bring me down to earth with actual fact?

Leave a Reply