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Newly revealed Coptic fragment has Jesus making reference to 'my wife'
September 18th, 2012
03:28 PM ET

Newly revealed Coptic fragment has Jesus making reference to 'my wife'

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - A newly revealed, centuries-old papyrus fragment suggests that some early Christians might have believed Jesus was married. The fragment, written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians, says in part, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ..."

Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King announced the findings of the 1 1/2- by 3-inch honey-colored fragment on Tuesday in Rome at the International Association for Coptic Studies.

King has been quick to add this discovered text "does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married," she wrote in a draft of her analysis of the fragment set to appear in the January edition of Harvard Theological Review. The divinity school has posted a draft of King's article to which AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University, contributed.

"This fragment, this new piece of papyrus evidence, does not prove that (Jesus) was married, nor does it prove that he was not married. The earliest reliable historical tradition is completely silent on that. So we're in the same position we were before it was found. We don't know if he was married or not," King said in a conference call with reporters.

"What I'm really quick to say is to cut off people who would say this is proof that Jesus was married because historically speaking, it's much too late to constitute historical evidence," she continued. "I'm not saying he was, I'm not saying he wasn't. I'm saying this doesn't help us with that question," she continued.

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In the accounts of Jesus' life in the Bible, there is no mention of his marital status, while the accounts do mention Jesus' mother, father and siblings. The four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - tell the story of Jesus' birth and early childhood then skip to his short, three-year ministry before detailing his death and resurrection.

The idea that Jesus was married is not a new one.

In other writings about the life of Jesus from antiquity suggest Jesus may have been married to Mary Magdalene, a disciple who was close to Jesus. Author Dan Brown also used the idea of Jesus being married as a jumping off point for the fictional novel "The Da Vinci Code." King dismissed that notion in her call with reporters.

“There’s no indication we have that Jesus was married,” said Darrell Bock, a senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. “One could say the text is silent on Jesus’ marital status is because there was nothing to say.”

Initial dating for the honey-colored fragment by the team of scholars puts the papyrus piece coming out of the middle of the second century.

King is referring to the fragment as the "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife" or "GosJesWife" as a short hand for reference, and noting that the abbreviation does not mean this scrap has the same historical weight as the canonical Gospels.

Biblical scholars often use the term gospel to refer to a genre of ancient writings featuring dialogue between Jesus and his disciples, King notes in her paper. The Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Judas are just a few of the ancient accounts about the life of Jesus that Christians do not consider canonical.

Read this story in Arabic

At the conference, King said another professor suggested the fragment could have come from the text of a homily, or sermon, where the writer was using this phrase as a literary device. She told reporters that while she will consider that as a possibility, the fragment is “probably a gospel. Probably from the second century and most close to the Gospels of Mary, Thomas and Philip.”

Bock agreed with the notion that the text fragment shared similarities with those gospels, called the Gnostic Gospels, which were the writings of an early outlier sect of Christians. He said the text could be referring to a "gnostic rite of marriage that is a picture of the church and Jesus, not a real wife."

But he added, "it’s a small text with very little context. We don’t know what’s wrapped around it to know what it’s saying.”

Bock said it’s likely to be a gnostic text if it proves to be authentic. “The whole text needs vetting. She’s doing the right thing to release it and let scholars take a look at,” he said, adding “it’s a little bit like trying to analyze the game in the first quarter.”

“It’s a historical curiosity but doesn’t really tell us who Jesus was,” Bock said. “It’s one small speck of a text in a mountain of texts of about Jesus.”

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The owner of the fragment has been identified by King as a private collector who has asked to stay anonymous. The owner brought the fragment to Harvard have King examine it in December 2011.

King then brought it to the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. Roger Bagnall, the institute's director and an expert on papyrus, examined it and determined it to be authentic, Bangall confirmed to CNN.

Ariel Shisha-Halevy, professor of linguistics at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, who was asked to examine the authenticity, according to the draft of the article, told King via e-mail, “I believe - on the basis of language and grammar - the text is authentic. That is to say, all its grammatical ‘noteworthy’ features, separately or conjointly, do not warrant condemning it as forgery.”

Little is known about the origin of the text. Because both sides of the fragment have writing on them, King said it could have come out of a book rather than a scroll.

"Just like most of the earliest papyri of the New Testament and other literary and documentary papyri, a fragment this damaged could have come from an ancient garbage heap," the King says building on prior research by Luijendijk.

King writes "the importance of the 'Gospel of Jesus’ Wife' lies in supplying a new voice within the diverse chorus of early Christian traditions about Jesus that documents that some Christians depicted Jesus as married."

The Smithsonian Channel also announced Monday that it will air a special on King's findings on September 30.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (4,539 Responses)
  1. Praise Elohim!

    What is biblical is that the Second Coming Christ already came with a New Name (Rev 3:11) – Christ Ahnsahnghong! And He appeared with His bride,

    Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

    The bride is God the Mother and her purpose for Her coming is to give us eternal life,

    Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life [eternal life].

    The Bride is God the Mother – http(://)youtu.be/TLwNWqsxLac

    God bless you
    http(://)english.watv.org
    http(://)uccspace.net

    September 19, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Praise Elohim!

      The Bride is God the Mother – http://youtu.be/TLwNWqsxLac

      God bless you
      http://english.watv.org
      http://uccspace.net

      September 19, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Don't be talkin about that Elohim guy. Someone might actually go find out what that came from. Shhhhhhhh.
      ..............
      ..............
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZY2eeozdo8&w=640&h=390]

      September 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  2. oneSTARman

    It would be Unusual for a Rabbi such as Jesus to NOT be Married; however it Would be unusual for any Rabbi's WIFE to be referred to in the Texts.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  3. Mike

    You can either believe Paul's version of the Gospel or you can believe in the Gnostic version, but you can't believe both. Since Paul was successful and the Gnostic's weren't, I'd say God and the truth are on Paul's side.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • oneSTARman

      It is MUCH more significant that the EMPEROR of ROME made Christianity the Imperial State Religion in 400AD. That was why Christianity was spread around the world.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • nojinx

      I'd say God stayed out of it and the editors made some critical decisions regarding how divine Jesus would look with the ol' ball-and-chain attached.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Cq

      Unless Satan was the voice Paul heard on that roadside. Remember that Paul had fights with the apostles who actually knew Jesus and were taught by him. He was also a persecutor of the Christians. Who's to say that he stopped being an enemy, just working against it from inside?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Rynomite

      "Since Paul was successful and the Gnostic's weren't, I'd say God and the truth are on Paul's side."

      So acceptance = God's truth? Not facts? Science or evidence?

      So by your logic, back when the majority of people in the world once thought the earth was flat, then God's truth at that time would have been "Flat Earth"?

      Hitler was pretty successful at exterminating jews. Was that God's truth?

      Ooops Godwin's law!

      September 19, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      Sounds like sound logic to me

      September 19, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Mike

      @oneStar...Yes...Pagan Rome was replaced by Christian Rome exactly as the book of Revelations predicted three hundred years earlier.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Seyedibar

      right.. Paul... the man who never even claimed to have met Jesus. The Paul gospels were written by Luke... who himself never met the man he called the messiah. Even the Book of Acts has been revealed as a fiction and historically inaccurate, so that throws out most of the tale's veracity. Also, Paul went on to perform all the miracles and sorcery that jesus performed before crowds (water to wine, faithhealing, exorcisim), which means you might as well worship him as well... or David Blaine. Whichever you find more entertaining. Magic is not real.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • cedar rapids

      'Pagan Rome was replaced by Christian Rome exactly as the book of Revelations predicted three hundred years earlier."

      really? and what passage is that from then? do i need a codebook to be able to translate it properly?

      September 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  4. Rick Shultz

    You need to read this before you pop off. The author of the paper, Dr. King was quoted as saying the fragment does NOT prove
    that Jesus was married nor does it prove that he was not. It may, as has been suggested, be merely allegorical and intended as part of a sermon or homily. She has NOT been irresponsible. If anything she has been the opposite in saying that this piece of pachment PROVES nothing.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      Correct ! She also didn't keep it hidden as if it was some kind of secret. I believe everything was done correctly. CNN just posted it so they can watch the Athiest bash Christians and visa versa.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Correct

      @Shultz
      Nor do any of the other ancient writings prove that jesus was the son of god and that christianity is just another myth that was cleverly marketed into a major religion. The reasoning goes something like this; the truth is written in the bible and we know this because it is written in the bible, of course you could say the same thing about any other religious tome.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      Correct, more archological evidence is found all the time that support the bible characters and timeline. You may not believe in God, or Jesus was the son of God. Cosidering that mankind's biggist weakness is that we can seem to pass information on from one to the next. you might give a though to the idea that anchients felt this knowledge was so important it must be pasted on. It has for over 2000 thousand years. Pretty amazing.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  5. j

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Atheists4Jesus

    Jesus was not married...it's all in the scripture (Holy Bible)! He is God in human flesh who died on the cross for humankind. You need to go by God's Word!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      "He is a god in human flesh," do you listen to yourself? Holy book, died for sins... lol No wonder votes can be bought! smh

      September 19, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Lisa

      "God's Word" was decided by the Church fathers. Men decided what books to consider Christian scripture based on what their group believed. The other groups they called heretics, but who's to say that one of them wasn't the actual correct faith, put down by power hungry men?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • d

      wow – really? do you believe it all? literally?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Jesus Christ

      Yea... all and always sounded like non-sense to me. That is why I still worship Zeus.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Dave

      You sir are a fool, Zeus does not exist! Only Rah is Lord!!

      September 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Talking snakes, feathered men, a man living inside a whale, talking shrubs, men created from dust, women created from ribs, zombie resurrection after a 3day visit to Hell.... Is there no end to what christians will allow themselves to believe in?
      Oh wait, yes there is. Revelations says that only 144,000 jews will be allowed into heaven an the rest will burn. Most christians blatantly ignore that passage because they know it kills their chances in the afterlife.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • .

      @JC. you left out your middle intials, It's Jesus H(oratio) Fukking Christ.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  6. Mike B.

    You folks just ramble all day.....get a job!!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Mike H.

      We ramble WHILE on the job!

      September 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  7. Jae

    http://www.youtube.com/user/JesuslovesAsia

    Jesus was not married...it's all in the scripture (Holy Bible)! He is God in human flesh who died on the cross for humankind. You need to go by God's Word!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Nah. Humans wrote the book. Scholars know pretty much when and why. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • sam stone

      No we don't

      September 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • matt

      i'd wager you can't color within the lines

      September 19, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • realbuckyball

      And then they fought for centuries about what texts to put in the Babble, and then they VOTED, non-unanimously, to decide what texts to include, and STILL do not agree to this day.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Seyedibar

      He was none of those things because there is no word of god... just a collection of man-made stories about magic and tribal racism. Jesus may be loosely based on one of the 3 messianic leaders of Israel two millennia ago, but the new testament is very clearly fiction, not fact.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  8. nedsays

    ...how do you know the fragment is not from some 4th century "novel" or for that matter referring to Jesus of Nazareth?

    September 19, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • .

      nedsays, see what a dumb question I just asked.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  9. natemacbain

    1) To those not practicing or actively studying Christianity: why is this topic of any interest to you? Stop posting irrelevent comments when your opinion doesn't even matter. 2) To those who do study or practice Christianity: Why is this topic of any interest to you? The scope of depth of this 'finding' is ludicrously questionable to say the very least. It's embarrassing in fact. "Here's an old thing some scholar found that I can't positively identify or attribute authorship to; must mean Jesus was married." Sooooo funny. Practice some science for crying out loud. This is academic pop-culture sensationalism at it's most irrelevent extreme.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      I completely agree with you except for the achademic comment. The author clearly states that this fragment is no proof that Jesus was ever married and is most likely from the trash. As pointed out it could simply be sermon notes.
      I do completely agree. If you are an Anthiest, do find some kind of joy making hateful comments to people on the message board? I assume you will say yes, that some person who was a Christian has done that or worse to you in the past. So in other words you are no better that the people you despise! Good show!

      September 19, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The topic is interesting to anyone who wants to learn about history.
      Even people who don't worship Oriris can still be fascinated by the pyramids.
      As for you second point, I think it's obvious you didn't actually read the article.
      "Bock said it’s likely to be a gnostic text if it proves to be authentic. “The whole text needs vetting. She’s doing the right thing to release it and let scholars take a look at,” he said, adding “it’s a little bit like trying to analyze the game in the first quarter.”
      “It’s a historical curiosity but doesn’t really tell us who Jesus was,” Bock said. “It’s one small speck of a text in a mountain of texts of about Jesus.”

      September 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • nojinx

      I am not a Christian, but I find theism fascinating. The JudeoChristianMuslim triad is the closest to my home turf in the US, so I study that most of all. It is a hobby for me, if you want to know why it is of interest.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • reji

      i read it because i find it interesting how people make something out of nothing.wanted to see just how much this would spiral into some additional belief.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Father Francis

      Stop posting irrelevent comments when your opinion doesn't even matter.

      Lord God Nate has spoken.
      No one is to have an opinion but him.
      AZZHOLE.

      September 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  10. Cristiabella

    At least it didn't say "My baby mama ..."

    September 19, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  11. smart man

    sorry all

    jesus never existed dot com

    check it out

    September 19, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Aware

      Sounds like you want to believe in something.....how sad...that you can't...actually pitiful

      September 19, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • heh

      Cute 'name' for a dumb man.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Reality

      From Professors JD Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      : “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at http://books.google.com/books?id=AsPHR4-7Wc8C&pg=PA444&lpg=PA444&dq=%22place+of+life%22+%22the+historical+jesus%22+crossan&source=web&ots=8mVx_1M6g4&sig=XFqT8S1coAT18xq8Qwt1vMcMjW0

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      (Warning, the online book is not complete).

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style."

      September 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Seraphim01

      Actually, Reality, it is NOT historically certain. Outside of this one man's book, can you find ANYTHING solid that THE Jesus was crucified? Only in a scant few letters do they mention any sort of man, and then, if I recall directly, not even by name. If he existed historically, and had as much impact as the bible says, there would be verifiable record.

      There is not.

      I am open to seeing sourcing on the subject and think it would be interesting, but spouting off a single man's opinion is not verifiable fact when others have stated against such truths.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  12. matt

    I sincerely pray to the god I don't claim to comprehend or even exist that you religion dummies wake up from your delusions and man up enough to say you were wrong

    September 19, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  13. Reality

    Married? So what? It does not change the following:

    – only for the new members of this blog:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    Some of the references used for the update:

    o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
    o
    2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    50-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    50-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians
    50-90 Signs Gospel
    50-95 Book of Hebrews
    50-120 Didache
    50-140 Gospel of Thomas
    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
    65-80 Gospel of Mark
    70-100 Epistle of James
    70-120 Egerton Gospel
    70-160 Gospel of Peter
    70-160 Secret Mark
    70-200 Fayyum Fragment
    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
    80-100 2 Thessalonians
    80-100 Ephesians
    80-100 Gospel of Matthew
    80-110 1 Peter
    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
    80-130 Gospel of Luke
    80-130 Acts of the Apostles
    80-140 1 Clement
    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
    80-250 Christian Sibyllines
    90-95 Apocalypse of John
    90-120 Gospel of John
    90-120 1 John
    90-120 2 John
    90-120 3 John
    90-120 Epistle of Jude
    93 Flavius Josephus
    100-150 1 Timothy
    100-150 2 Timothy
    100-150 T-itus
    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
    100-150 Secret Book of James
    100-150 Preaching of Peter
    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
    100-160 2 Peter

    3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
    – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
    4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
    6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
    7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
    8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
    joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
    9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Cut and past much?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Missed the "e" on paste

      September 19, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the reading challenged for those who do not understand the updated Aposltes' Creed:

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:

      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Dave

      "Jesus said to them, My wife".. Maria and I were going to the store when we got caught in a wormhole. Where are we and do you have a phone?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Rob-Texas

      Reality have fun when you meet eternity. I know many people believe we are just mater and the end is the end. There are just as many people that believe their is existance after the death of your body. There are many near death experiances that can not be explianed, and there are just as many or more that believe in existance after death. Hopefully you will not be one that was dead wrong. No do overs at that point. I myself has witnessed enough and personally experianced enough to believe and hope you will one day as well.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:47 am |
  14. Peter

    Mormons couldn't read this unless it was in a magical hat. Thanks CNN for helping them out. It's important for everyone to be able to understand irrelevant and highly unreliable religious texts. While we're at it, let's just do away with the whole Bible thing and all agree that we as humans have the inherent desire to believe in something greater than ourselves because deep down we realize that we are completely unable to not screw everything up.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  15. PJ

    Yeah- who's your SAVIOR now, Baby!!!! YEAH!!! Jesus is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather and he says all American Christians are going to Hell for being hypocrites and funding War and Murder worldwide. He says you are worse terrorists than Al-Qaeda ever was.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Reality

      Our War on Terror and Aggression:

      An update (or how we are spending or how we have spent the USA taxpayers’ money to eliminate global terror and aggression)

      The terror and aggression via a Partial and Recent and Not So Recent Body Count

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.

      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012

      U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      Continued below:
      Other elements of our War on Terror and Aggression:

      -Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles as of 09/15/2011/, 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      – Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed mostly due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,

      – Sa-dd-am, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Sa-dd-am's bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.

      – Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)

      – North Korea is still u-ncivil but is contained.

      – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.

      – The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “squ-are one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!

      – – Fa-na–tical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      – Timothy McVeigh was exe-cuted. Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty twice because of deadlocked juries. He was sentenced to 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole,[3][7] and is incarcerated in ADX Florence, a super maximum security prison near Florence, Colorado. He shares a cellblock that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef and Ted Kaczynski

      – Eric Ru-dolph is spending three life terms in pri-son with no par-ole.

      – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the "nuns" from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished.

      – Islamic Sudan, Dar-fur and So-malia are still terror hot spots.

      – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina's secession from Yugoslavia.

      The capture of Ratko Mladić: (Serbian Cyrillic: Ратко Младић, pronounced [râtkɔ mlǎːditɕ], born 12 March 1943[1][2]) is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[3] His trial began on 3 June 2011.

      – the bloody terror brought about by the Ja-panese, Na-zis and Co-mmunists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

      – Bin Laden was executed for crimes against humanity on May 1, 2011

      – Ditto for Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011

      – Ditto for Abu Yahya al-Libi on June 5, 2012

      September 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Jaeman

      http://www.youtube.com/user/GodShapedHeart

      Jesus was not married...it's all in the scripture (Holy Bible)! He is God in human flesh who died on the cross for humankind. You need to go by God's Word!

      September 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • J

      http://www.youtube.com/user/Jews4JesusChrist

      Jesus was not married...it's all in the scripture (Holy Bible)! He is God in human flesh who died on the cross for humankind. You need to go by God's Word!

      September 19, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  16. Shea

    It is said "go out and be fruitful" so jewish men are required to married to have children it is a honor to do so...being that he"Jesus" a Jew it is what he is suppose to do, obey the laws... Pretty sure he had children too...So many Lies about christianity that they are afraid of the real truth about their religion... Boy what a BIG CHANGE THAT WILL BE...for the people. But knowing people they want believe it and make excuses or turn the wording around to make it sound better.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Josh

      I agree with your summary, though I would not use a word as strong as "lies", but rather "convenient interpretations".

      September 19, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Zabazoom

      Jesus wasn't married he was Gay.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  17. MennoKnight

    Dated from the "middle of the second century....

    ....and noting that the abbreviation does not mean this scrap has the same historical weight as the canonical Gospels.

    A few things. This meas that this was written about 100 – 150 years after Jesus. In comparison to the New Testament where Paul's letters were written starting 15 years after Jesus' ascension, the first gospel, Mark written 25 years after (Peter was the source of Mark), Matthew who was an eye witness at 35 years, and Luke 35 years as a careful Roman/Greek trained historian who interviewed living eye witnesses such as Mary, mother of Jesus.
    The canon closed at the latest 60 years after when John the Elder wrote down what John the Disciple wanted added to the synoptic gospels.
    All this happened during the life of the eye witnesses of Jesus' ministry.

    This finding shows:
    1. That there was an active community of faith in Egypt who were followers of Jesus Christ around 150AD.
    2. That it was unusual for a Jewish rabbi to be unmarried and there was much debate about this for a long time, as there still is today.
    3. This is not new information. We have found similar findings for the last 100 years in Egypt.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Paul said not one thing specific about Jeebus, or his words, or his activity. All Paul is proof of, is Paul. The 1st Letter to the Gallatians, start with him yelling at the community in Gallatia for following ANOTHER gospel. Paul made up his "good news", as the gospels did not exist yet.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Lisa

      Wasn't Revelation written about that same time? I guess it doesn't have anything valuable to say about Jesus either.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Cq

      So who was an eyewitness to Jesus being tempted in the desert? Did they interview the devil, or just go with the story Jesus told? Would you believe a story like that?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Cq,
      Or the trial. It says they all ran away, but, there were witnesses for the trial ? Why are all the accounts of the trial different ? In one it says he gave a speech, in one it says he said nothing. Woops.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • MennoKnight

      realbuckyball,
      Friend, I want to challenge you then to read Paul's writings if you don't think it talks about Jesus. Simply read the book of Romans.
      Paul became a follower of Jesus within 2-3 years after the ascension, He was a contemporary of Peter, John, and James in the early church.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Cq,
      To me the obvious answer would have been Jesus told this to his disciples (Peter, Andrew, James, and John) who he called immediately after said event.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      MennoKnight,
      First of all, there was more than one Paul figure. The concepts in Paul show an obvious *development*. If that is true, why wrere the earlier concepts not FULLY developed, if they were "inspired", and changed later. And the Paul of Acts, is not the Paul who wrote some of the letters. He NEVER says anything SPECIFIC, no quotes, no locations, no nothing. Everything in Paul is imported from Greek Mythraism, which he got in Tarsus, which was a well known hot-bed of Mythraism.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDSUTjxNuiU&w=640&h=390]

      September 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      realbuckyball,
      I am familiar with that theory, but there are many holes in that theory.
      The biggest hole is that all the early church fathers from the the 2nd century don't give any hint to that. Another is the known heretic, Marcon, takes Paul's writings and puts them into the Gonstic heresies of Greek and Eastern mythologies.
      Your theory is based on writers 75 – 100 years after Paul.
      This fragment is exactly one such letter, as was the gospel of Thomas.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  18. Butters

    Who Cares if some guy was married 2000 yrs ago , I don't .
    This is ony further evidence why the bible should be outlawed , but noooo the Catholic church would have a fit .
    The devinity of Jesus was voted on , way after he died .

    September 19, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Lance

      So much for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. Did anyone ever tell you you sound like some extremist right wing nut?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Outlawed?
      Really, think about what you write:
      So you believe in censorship?
      What other books do you want to burn?
      So you agree with Stalin and Mao, the worst butchers in the history of mankind?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Lance,
      I was thinking left wing nut, but then you might be right, the far left and the far right both say similar nutty things.

      Watch out for the extremes, either left or right my grandfather always said.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  19. Mai

    Well, if I were Jesus' wife, I would have been upset that I wasn't in the Bible.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • cedar rapids

      I know Rufus was upset.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Jim

      And that he left you to go preaching for a couple of years only to get killed when he could have easily avoided it.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Alex

      Mai,

      What a selfish B... you are!

      September 19, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Praiz Jeebus

      Cedar Rapids - Exactly what I was thinking. ;)

      September 19, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Josh

      Especially since you were the financial backer for Jesus's ministry.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  20. Smith

    Why is the assumption that this is about Jesus Christ, the Messiah? "Jesus" was a common name of that era. Jumping to conclusions from a "snippet" is irresponsible.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • realbuckyball

      There were lots of messiah cults. The only reason you know about this one, is that Constantine used it for political cohesion in his empire.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Lance

      You make a point. Since they are only translating a small part of this fragment in the article we don't know the context of that statement. Jesus was a common name, so if this papyrus is about the disciple Jesus, born in the year 250 AD, we are not looking at the same guy.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • cedar rapids

      "Why is the assumption that this is about Jesus Christ, the Messiah? "

      because the rest of the snippet in part says.....The disciples said to jesus.......jesus said to them 'my wife'...she will be able to be my disciple.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Father Francis

      Thinking out loud here.

      Most of the writtings found on papyrus have been about
      lets say "important" things, maybe historical things ?

      Let me put it this way.
      You never find papyrus with a shopping list on it.
      Or a note to the son to take the herd to the south instead of the north pasture.
      Get the idea ?

      Things written on papyrus must be important enough to want to save.
      Or maybe i am wrong, and they used papyrus for toilet paper.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.