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Documentary about 'Jesus' wife' papyrus delayed
The fragment is written in Coptic, a language used by some early Christians.
October 16th, 2012
12:55 PM ET

Documentary about 'Jesus' wife' papyrus delayed

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– If you set your DVR to record the Smithsonian Channel's documentary on the "Jesus Wife" papyrus fragment two weeks ago and it didn't, it wasn't your fault.

Despite the massive publicity the documentary received after the discovery was announced, the Smithsonian Channel has delayed the release of the film about the Coptic fragment with the phrase, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife..." to wait for further testing on the fragment.

"We have been allowed exclusive access to this discovery for months. Our program will take into account the upcoming tests as well as the academic response to the initial announcement," Tom Hayden, general manager of the Smithsonian Channel, said in a statement sent to CNN on Tuesday.

Academics have expressed skepticism about the fragment's authenticity following an announcement about it last month from Harvard professor Karen King.

King has posited in a draft article, tentatively accepted by the Harvard Theological Review, that the papyrus dates  to the fourth century but that it could be a copy of a lost second century text.

5 Questions and answers about Jesus’ 'wife'

The papyrus found its way to King in 2010 from a collector.  She translated the Coptic, an ancient language used by Egyptian Christians, and discovered the phrase that made heads turn around the world.

But the fragment, which is about the size of a business card, also contains other phrases, which have stoked academic skepticism.

Many have noted its striking resemblance to the Gospel of Thomas, an early Gnostic Christian book containing sayings attributed to Jesus that were decided to be non-canonical and are not included in the Bible. Mark Goodacre, an associate professor of religion at Duke University, wrote on his NT Blog that the text on the papyrus was "a patchwork of pieces from the Gospel of Thomas."

That could suggest the piece of papyrus accurately dates back to the fourth century but a modern forger came along and added the text.

Opinion: What fascination with Jesus’ 'wife' tells us

When asked about the progress of the chemical testing of the ink a spokesman for the Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard Theological Review refered back to a statement from last month.

"Karen King's 'marriage fragment' paper, which Harvard Theological Review is planning to publish in its January, 2013, edition - if testing of the ink and other aspects of the fragment are completed in time - will include her responses to the vigorous and appropriate academic debate engendered by discovery of the fragment, as well as her report on the ink analysis, and further examination of the fragment," the statement said.

As for the film, Hayden's statement said the  the delay "will enable us to present a richer and more complete story. We will be announcing a new premiere date in the coming weeks."

The Vatican in late September pushed back on the papyrus, with its newspaper calling the fragment “a fake.”

“Substantial reasons would lead us to conclude that the papyrus is actually a clumsy counterfeit,” the Vatican’s  newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said in an editorial by the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Gian Maria Vian.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Coptic • TV

soundoff (444 Responses)
  1. FYI

    Heads up – if you wish to refer to the subject of this article - the Doc-umentary - you must break up the word fragment c-um in it or it will be flagged by the automatic filter.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Mr. Hand

      What a load!

      October 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  2. Martin

    If this film is released showing my Messiah as married my people will take to the streets with AK47's and rocket launchers and kill hundreds of innocent people......Oh actuially no we wont thats what Muslims do.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • gary

      you are just sad .. you are what you hate in them or anyone else .. its is fate if you hate

      October 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • gary

      I'm hoping a Mosque opens right next to your home .. if you have one

      October 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Stephen

      Actually Christians do it too, except they use M16's and grenade launchers.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Pamela Hunter

      The truth will set you free... And my rabbi Jesus did follow all the laws.... including the one for rabbis to marry. Just wait till you hear about the children. lol.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Mr. Hand

      Just don't draw any Jesus cartoons! I swear I will go nuclear if you do!!

      October 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • 12345

      LOL.

      Stephen – That's right, US military activity is determined by insults to Christianity. Finally, a fellow believer!

      October 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  3. Bob

    "Many have noted its striking resemblance to the Gospel of Thomas, an early Gnostic Christian book containing sayings attributed to Jesus that were decided to be non-canonical and are not included in the Bible."

    Wait!! Someone "decided" what to include in the bible??? But I thought it is the "word of god" and all that...,.

    October 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • rjthakid

      It is the Word of God. Was there a point you were trying to make?

      October 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • come on man

      hope your not saying because man put the books together it's not true........if so, you would be guilty of a logical fallacy!
      the issue is not how it was put together but if what it says is true....men put many things together and we can verify if it is true or not....so what's your point?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • 12345

      The point is that people decided which books went in the bible. But I already know what you're going to say – it was god that made them do it. There's no talking to these people.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • come on man

      @12345
      I think you are still missing the point....the issue is this: are the books that were included in the Bible true or not......

      October 23, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  4. gary

    Men wrote the Bible .. about a man made God .. Christians through in the Hell part .. As much as organized religion as far as deaths and separating men around the planet .. it looks like we would get ourselves a much better idea .. this has gone on long enough ... brainwashed is right .. and there is more HELL that comes from the man made god idea than there ever was or will be good

    October 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Ace

      It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists. "Gandhi"

      October 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • cor

      You were probably the sadistic child that enjoyed watching his classmates collapse into tears after you told them that there was no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Ace

      To Cor

      No i wasn't, but you have to admit that the joke is on you. you're the one who's fighting against something invisible lol.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • gary

      COR: Truth is they both do not exist

      October 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • OTOH

      Ace,

      Ahem... believers do exist, however. Get it?

      October 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • cor

      Actually, Ace, I was talking to gary. Nice Gandhi quote though

      October 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Ace

      Sorry Cor. My bad.

      Now Otto, just keep fighting against the invisible, that's good for your mental health. lol

      October 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • doesnotmatter

      @Ace. Which part of "Believers do exist" did you not understand. Let me make it simpler for you. Atheists fight the believer's and their notion of God. Get it ?

      October 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  5. Steve

    I find it interesting that all the wording is neatly written within the boundaries of the papyrus. And...it's one of a kind. You would think that those who lived during Jesus's era, would have recognized and referenced the presence of a wife-those who loved him and hated him. To good to be true. Nice forgery in hopes of making money and publicity. By the way I am God.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • texcal68

      Since the God or gods noted in humankind's mythologies doesn't exist, you must not exist.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Steve

      Fear no evil my beloved child, for I am all around you. Your mythological disbelief of my existence is quite amusing. Have you met my brother Hades?
      Sincerely God

      October 17, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  6. Not written by eye witness

    This fragment, if found to be real, was not written by an eye witness. The Bible was written by 1st century Christians who were eye witnesses to the events. The Coptic fragments were written a few centuries later in a different language from the rest of the Bible. Would your life story be more accurate if told by those living at the same time as you? Or by someone living several hundred years later? Even if this fragment is real, it changes nothing.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • anniet

      actually, they were written down 100 years after the events took place. none of the events in the bible were written down at the time they happened.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • inFormed

      Almost everyone of that era could neither read or write. Certainly a fisherman and a carpenter would not be given any such education.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  7. richunix

    CNN STOP blocking post because you DO not like them.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • wordpress filter help

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN “awaiting moderation” filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the “offending” letter combinations.
      ––
      ar-se…..as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck…..as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on…..as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m……as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt…..as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters…!
      do-uche
      ef-fing…as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w……as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck……!
      ho-mo…..as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny….as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss…yet “ass” is allowed by itself…..
      ja-p……as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch….as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s……as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick….as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe…..as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x……as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t…..but shat is okay – don’t use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic…..as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t……as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at…..as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g……as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re….as in who’re you kidding / don’t forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f….also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered “racist”, so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles

      October 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Mr. Hand

      Don't forget balls. You can say balls.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Sunflower

      love the filter help.... wish there was a "like" button. You would have thousands by now.....

      October 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  8. snowboarder

    who cares if jesus had a wife or not? at best he existed as a philosopher and his life was grossly embellished by the writers of the gospel. at worst he is entirely fictional.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • He is Lord, liar, or lunatic

      You can not say he was a philosopher or a good man. There is clear proof he existed. He claimed to be the son of God. He claimed to be the only way to heaven. You either believe that or he must be a liar or a lunatic. Lunatics and liars don't generally make good philosophers. Accept Him as Lord or reject Him. There is no middle ground. Playing the middle ground is the same as rejecting Him.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Bhawk

      There is no more clear proof Jesus exsited than aliens at Roswell or Ewoks or dragons. In fact more evidence exsist for dragons. It is all about faith–belief without proof.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • joe

      What evidence? From poets written decades later? Look at how much evidence of Caesar and artists of the day there were. Even soldiers and Gladiators were immortalized with statues and paintings. But what exists of this supposed Miracle Man from the time he was alive? Nothing.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • texcal68

      The evidence that the Jewish holy man named Jesus existed is considerable. That said. Nearly half the 27 books (13) that make up the New Testament were written by man that never met the historic Jesus during his life, Paul. Of those books, only 7 are considered authentic. The 4 Gospels don't contain a single eyewitness account. They were written decades after Jesus' death, by people in other country in a language (Greek) Jesus didn't speak. Therefore, your point is valid.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • OTOH

      He is Lord, liar, or lunatic,

      C.S. Lewis left out another "L" choice - Legend.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Sly

      'Either believe him or not' ... nope, sorry, doesn't work. Tried it with Lance Armstrong and turns out he was lyin' the whole time.

      So, scratch that 'believe' stuff. We need proof!

      October 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  9. Tombstone

    When I was being brainwashed as a kid about Jesus, I thought he was a white man. IF he was around then, he was a short, tan skinned, curly haired middle eastern man, who grew up wanting what the rest of us hetero males want, Women. Even if he was a Rabbi, he most likely was married, as was the norm then and now. Move on to the 21st century christians, women are equal, not subserviant, peices of property.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What does Jesus' potential marital status have to do with your allegation concerning women's status. An allegation that many women would contest I daresay.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • X

      It's all good. Western women know that we own our men.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Mr. Hand

      Are you saying there were no white people 2000 years ago??

      October 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  10. JJ

    The Smithsonian Channel caved under Catholic pressure and their threats. Just wished the church cared half as much about their rape of children as they do about the myths they push onto their gullible sheep.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Since the papyrus has roundly been condemned as a fake, no.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  11. Reality

    With or without a married Jesus:

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of 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 descent into Hell, 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
    (references used are available upon request)

    October 17, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  12. Thomas

    Morman translation says Jesus had binders full of women. Go figure.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • WASP

      @thomas: ROFLMFAO. i wonder if mary had a binder full of men? lol

      October 17, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • 12345

      They probably just shared a binder of men.

      October 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  13. Abby M

    Well, I had difficulties with the validity based on 1 Corinthians 9:5 (where Paul talks about how it is not just ok but right to bring a spouse along). This would have been the perfect opportunity for him to invoke Jesus as having done so because Jesus trumps Paul. But ... Paul does not. And we know that 1 Cor has been around from much longer than this scrap.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • guest

      I thought Paul wrote his books after Christs death, if this scrap is 4 century. Then its around the time of the gospels, and well before any of Pauls later writings.

      October 17, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Satch

      But Paul, like everyone else who has a book in the bible, never met Jesus. All the writings are based on hearsay.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Reality

      From Professors 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 also 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 books.google.com/books.

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

      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.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      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.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • richunix

      Historical fact:

      1. We do not have ANY writings from the 1st Century
      2. Papyrus (P52) fragment (size of a credit card) from the middle of the 2nd Century (refers to John)
      3. Incomplete writings from the 3rd Century (Mark/Luke)
      4. Majority of the Gospels are from the 9th Century. BAR NONE of the writing of the 5477 manuscripts that are currently available are same.

      AND Scholars agree that the gospels are not written by the men that witness the events, but by Greek scribes years later if not hundreds of years, as with the case with Corinthians.

      Get your fact right first befoer you post

      October 17, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ninth century? Not even close

      The church long held that the gospel of Matthew was the first and was penned by the apostle of the same name (Matt. 10:2-4). Lately, the priority of Matthew as the first written gospel has come under contest with Mark being considered by many as a candidate for the first written gospel.

      The historian Papias mentions that the gospel of Matthew was originally in Aramaic or Hebrew and credits the gospel to Matthew the apostle.

      Irenaeus (ca. A.D. 180) continued Papias' views about Matthew and Mark and added his belief that Luke, the follower of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by that apostle, and that John, the Beloved, published his Gospel while residing in Asia. By the time of Irenaeus, Acts was also linked with Luke, the companion of Paul.

      This would mean that if Matthew did write in Aramaic originally, that he may have used Mark as a map, adding and clarifying certain events as he remembered them. But, this is unknown.

      The earliest quotation from Matthew is found in Ignatius who died around 115 A.D. Therefore, Matthew would have been read by Ignatius. The various dates most widely held as possible writing dates of the Gospel are between A.D. 40 – 140. Ignatius died around 115 A.D. therefore Matthew had to be written before he died. It is generally believed that Matthew was written before A.D. 70 and as early as A.D. 50.

      October 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And rich, Corinthians is not a Gospel, it is an Epistle.

      October 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing – Make sure you read the complete update:

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of 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 descent into Hell, 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
      (references used are available upon request)

      October 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  14. Lord vader

    At least you wont find Christians lining the streets killing people over a video with misleading info like muslims do. Thats the difference between islam and Christianity. Take notes atheists!

    October 17, 2012 at 6:38 am |
    • Daremonai

      No.... Christian protest groups find other ways to 'legally' make your life miserable instead.
      The difference comes from what tools they have available.... if Muslims had more legal power they would not be rioting, and if Christians had less they would be. Both care about having the power over others and cleansing the world of anything but them.

      October 17, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Big Man

      If Christians were day in and away out grossly antagonized for decades like Muslims (thanks to Zionist creeps) then you would see violence. And the above artifact btw is not vulgar assault or defacement of Jesus. Such little minds.

      October 17, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • sam stone

      So, one group of delusional people are less violent than another group of delusional people?

      October 17, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Satch

      The Muslims have a long way to go if they want to catch up to killings in the name of Jesus.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Mr. Hand

      Vader you are right. These Muslim apologists below are fools. The fact is they lose minds and murder and cut off heads over cartoon drawings and you-tube videos. Pathetic. Now watch them come after me over something Christians did 700 years ago.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • texcal68

      If you knew of what you speak, you would know Christians not so long ago, were every bit as violent as any Muslim today.

      As with all of humankind's religions, Christianity is based on mythological stories, stories when closely studied prove lacking.

      The New Testament is composed of twenty-seven books written by people that never met Jesus during is life. They were written over a seventy year period by people outside of Palestine, in a language Jesus didn't speak (Greek).

      My point is; you need to know a lot more about Christianity before commenting on the subject again!

      October 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Sly

      Because you wierd religious types riot or flog yourself over books, us athiests are supposed to 'take note'?

      We've been wondering what makes y'all tick since we first saw you going to church on Sunday instead of watching the NFL.

      Hey – as George Harrison said, "Whatever gets you through the night, its all right", so all power to you religious folks for your beliefs.

      We just prefer our own beliefs – there's plenty of room for all of our opinions!

      October 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  15. hammerofastraea

    I think it would kinda neat to find out more about the actual life between baby and 30 of Our Holy Savior and I would say "right on" myself if he had a hot chick. (Ha!) But, more than likely, this phrase is something like: "My wife, the church, will be with me forever..." or "My wife is my faith in Heaven..." or something like that. This is the most plausible. But, despite the fuel it would be for annoying anti-religious atheists, it would be cool if this did refer to a wife and not a problem whatsoever with me!

    October 17, 2012 at 5:14 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    October 17, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • Suck on this

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKAW96N-Vms&w=640&h=360]

      October 17, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Earthling

      Prove it. Last time your response was totally pointless. Try to at least seem like you understand what "prove" means this time.

      October 17, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!

      October 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian:..

      October 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • scatheist

      Prayer does nothing. There's no one to pray to.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  17. GOOD NEWS

    Jesus was not fake, he was a true Prophet sent by GOD,

    so what he thus clearly foretold here (=John 6/27, 40)

    has thus absolutely come True now:

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com

    ****UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES****

    October 17, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Earthling

      Why should anyone believe this?

      October 17, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • Bhawk

      You site a book thats filled with all sorts of strange stuff–Ewoks have as much evidence as Jesus

      October 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  18. GO_GOP

    The Bible is the word of our Lord. Period. Those who ignore it do so at their own peril. Also if you are in USA it is your duty to believe and follow the Bible because USA is (proudly) a Christian nation and will remain so.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • Salad Spinner

      OMG....you have been brainwashed my poor man.....but that's ok...just keep sending money!

      October 17, 2012 at 4:26 am |
    • Christian Bob

      This nation was founded on the Christian values of Liberty . . . okay, the Bible doesn't really embrace Liberty. It is great with slavery, and obedience is the order on the day, not Liberty. Indeed, freedom of choice is very unChristian.

      Okay, scratch Liberty, that came from somewhere else, but Equality . . . uh, no, that's not a Biblical thing either. Jesus told slaves to stay slaves and do what they are told, and basically equality is just not part of the Christian deal.

      Uh, let's see, Freedom of speech, assembly, and the press is , no, next . . .

      Gun-carrying . . . no, nothing about that in the Bible. Moving on . . .

      Search and seizure limitations, due process, no, nothing in the Bible championing those.

      No cruel and unusual punishment? God IS cruel and unusual punishment. Nothing but cruel and unusual punishment in the Bible.

      Equal rights for all races, women and so on? Openly prohibited by the Bible.

      Uh, okay, so the founding documents of America are not based on Christian values at all, BUT IT IS STILL A CHRISTIAN NATION, DADGUMMIT!!!

      October 17, 2012 at 4:43 am |
    • Earthling

      Making stuff up does not make it true. Reality is apparently something you are unfamiliar with. Maybe if you take your head out o the sand and look around, you might notice it.

      October 17, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • Big Man

      "Our lord". Some folks live still in the Middle Ages.

      October 17, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • mb2010a

      Actually, the Bible is the word of man, not God...

      October 17, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • sam stone

      Inbred troll cvnt

      October 17, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • boyamidumb

      You cannot argue with these Taliban. Do not waste your time.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Bhawk

      I guess christian values include slavery, serfdom, burning at the stake, pohibition on celebrating christmas, kill others for the land, raping, and pillageing. Thats early Amercian settlers that came with Christian Values–oh and hate the Pope.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Bhawk

      can you prove he is a god

      October 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  19. allanhowls

    The Bible, as we think of it today, was ratified at the First Council of Nicea, some 300 years after the death of Jesus. Several books were omitted, even though they were historically closer to the events being depicted, in favor of providing a more singular and orthodox narrative that supported one side of a major politico-religious debate taking place at the time. It really has nothing whatsoever to do with the "inspired and divine word of God."

    You get to read the parts that Athanasius wanted you to read, and that's it.

    October 17, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      I agree totally. There is no evidence that the bible was written by god or divinely inspired.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Not only that but the reason there are 4 gospels is because Eseubius suppressed all the others, not because of content, but because "there are 4 winds, and 4 pillars of the earth" The votes in the Councils were NEVER unanimous. And that's just the New Testament. The Old Testament is even worse.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • just wokeup

      Boom! You nailed it! people should google the council of Nicea and read for themselves what unfolded.
      He locked them down for a month till they all agreed on 1 interpetation and that was considered the word of god.
      It really should be called the word of Nicea to be totally honest!

      October 17, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Big Man

      Divinely inspired through plant drugs. Current thoughts about Moses and his firery visions in the OT.

      October 17, 2012 at 7:19 am |
  20. Gerard haughey

    LOL! Her name is " King". Amen!

    October 17, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Gerard haughey

      And if that's not enough her first name " Karen" means "Pure"

      October 17, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • Earthling

      Congratulations, you win the "least relevant comment" award.

      October 17, 2012 at 6:43 am |
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About this blog

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.