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'Jesus Wife' fragment gets more testing, delays article
A scholarly article based on the 'Jesus Wife' fragment was delayed as researchers waited on further testing.
January 3rd, 2013
02:30 PM ET

'Jesus Wife' fragment gets more testing, delays article

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - One of the most anticipated articles in religion circles will be absent from the pages of the January edition of the Harvard Theological Review. Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King's final article on the "Jesus wife" fragment did not make the scholarly journal because further testing on the Coptic papyrus fragment has not been finished.

King announced the findings of the 1.5-by-3 inch, honey-colored fragment in September at the International Association for Coptic Studies conference in Rome. In a draft version of the article submitted for publication in the January edition, King and her co-author said the scrap had written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife," but was then cut off.

King said the fragment dates to the 4th century but could be a copy of an early gospel from the 2nd century.  King and her research partners dubbed the hypothetical text "the Gospel of Jesus' Wife."

Despite King's insistence, the discovery did not prove anything definitive on the marital status of Jesus.

The announcement of the papyrus scrap exploded in the media.

"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 [Jesus] was married or not," King told reporters in a conference call from Rome in September.

5 questions and answers about Jesus' 'wife'

A dealer took the fragment to King for analysis and translation in 2011. The dealer wishes to remain anonymous, she said.

"We're moving ahead with the testing, but it is not yet complete, and so the article will await until we have the results," King said in an email to CNN.

"The owner of the fragment has been making arrangements for further testing and analysis of the fragment, including testing by independent laboratories with the resources and specific expertise necessary to produce and interpret reliable results. This testing is still underway," Kathyrn Dodgson, director of communications for the Harvard Divinity School, said in a email to CNN.

"Harvard Theological Review is planning to publish Professor King’s paper after conclusion of all the testing so that the results may be incorporated," Dodgson said. "Until testing is complete, there is nothing more to say at this point."

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In her original article King explained how a papyrus expert had dated the fragment to the right time frame and how an expert on Coptic linguistics said the grammar seemed to fit the time period, as well.  But what was untested in the early goings was the ink used on the papyrus.

Elaine Pagels, a professor from Princeton University who is an expert on gnostic writings such as this one, noted to CNN in September "You can find boxes filled with Coptic fragments," but what makes this one significant is for the first time it explicitly has Jesus referring to "my wife."

Faking antiquities is not uncommon, which is part of the reason so many critics questioned the authenticity of a text that potentially went against nearly every other ancient text concerning Jesus. Other scholars refused to comment on the find until the full battery of testing could be completed.

“The academic community has been badly burned,” Douglas A. Campbell, an associate professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School said in September, noting how similar discoveries have turned out to be fakes.  The provenance of the document, "the history of where it came from and how they got it,” was a great concern to Campbell and other academics.

The Vatican newspaper weighed in on the matter in late September mincing no words and calling the fragment “a fake.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

On the day King announced the fragment, the Smithsonian channel announced it had been working with King for months on a documentary about the find and the authentication process.  It had been slated to air in early October but was pulled back.

Tom Hayden, general manager of the Smithsonian channel, said in a statement in October  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."

No announcement has been made as to when the premier will happen.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Vatican

soundoff (1,768 Responses)
  1. Life Aye OK

    Origin of Life: Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics
    Dec. 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the first time in a major hypothesis paper in Cell this week.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220143530.htm

    January 5, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • End Religion

      thx for posting

      January 5, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • lol??

      Is this "...coherent pathway..." narrow?

      January 5, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  2. Rybl101

    I am sure that if it said "Jesus said, Give all your money to the Church..." the Vatican would be swearing that it is authentic.

    January 5, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  3. darth's daughter

    It should be authenticated, it is a piece or history and important, along with verification if Jesus had sired children?

    January 5, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  4. kd

    Such a waste. The whole Jesus myth has addled the brains of billions and billions for centuries.

    January 5, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • lol??

      For a minute there I thought you said billions of centuries.

      January 5, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  5. Brian Smith

    If people really thought the bible was the word of God then it wouldn't sit on shelves unread.

    January 5, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • lol??

      You're quite wrong on that. It would be burned by the progressives. God is a step ahead of them, so to speak.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  6. Robert Brown

    This is for those who believe a force, power, or deity is a possibility, but have rejected the God of Christianity for several reasons. If you are convinced there is no such thing, then don’t bother reading further.

    Some say the stories in the bible are unbelievable and some are proven false by science. Specifically, the ones that really bother most folks are the creation and the flood. So, you can believe some force or deity can start the ball rolling, so to speak, but our understanding doesn’t line up with a literal 7 day creation? Ok, fair enough, what if the whole creation story is a parable or allegory? Some would say well that could be ok, except, the sun was created after plants in genesis. I have noticed that as well, but if you want to just find what you consider a problem then give up and quit, why bother questioning in the first place?

    Here are some things to consider on the plants appearing before the sun. First, is the obvious one “let there be light.” Next, and from there on, after each day in the story, it says,” and the evening and the morning were” and then whatever day it was. Finally, when plants first emerged it is suggested that the earth’s atmosphere was cloudy and foggy until the plants grew long enough to clear some of the CO2. So, if you look at it from an earthly perspective, while light could be perceived during the day and lesser light at night the sun moon and stars weren’t clearly visible until the atmosphere cleared.

    You know God communicated with several people in the bible using dreams and visions. Suppose he gave Moses a vision or dream about creation to write down, it would be like a slide show, the first frame darkness, then light, water, land, plants, the sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, animals, people. If you were sitting on earth watching it unfold in super-fast forward it could have appeared just like that.

    The key to creation if you can accept a power, force, or deity had some hand in it, is Genesis 1:1” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” If you can then accept that what follows is a parable given to Moses by God, it would seem to me that it would be reasonable that it is a very simple story that a man who lived in ancient times could understand and accept. It follows at least to some degrees the steps of the development of life on earth, as we think they occurred. If you view chapter 1 in that context it could alleviate some of your objections to that part of the creation narrative.

    If you believe some power or deity is possible, but not the God of the bible, did this shift your concerns past the first chapter of the bible?

    January 5, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Reality

      As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
      https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

      Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

      It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

      o More details from National Geographic's Genographic project: https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic

      "Our spe-cies is an African one: Africa is where we first ev-olved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth. The earliest fos-sils of recognizably modern Ho-mo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago. Although earlier fossils may be found over the coming years, this is our best understanding of when and approximately where we originated.

      According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time—a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

      Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landma-ss likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe."

      January 5, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • raulisodo

      Wow, this is great. Someone using reason to explain their point of view rather than just calling everyone else names or denegrating them for their position. Too bad someone else is going to call you names for posting this. Society has lost civility in its quest to be the "best". The "I'm right and if you don't agree you're an idiot" mentality prevails, especially in these forums.

      What I'd like to see is an equally well-thought out an logical response from the "other" side, explaining the "big bang". matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Yet out of "nothingness" the right set of materials and conditions came together to form this explosion. Any takers?

      January 5, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • ???????

      Stephen Hawking said god didn't create the Universe, story on CNN.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      January 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      Robert Brown
      Thanks for the caveat emptor, please do the same with all your future posts, really, thank you.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • SixDegrees

      If you're going to argue that the bible has a basis in science, then you need to throw away your faith and subject ALL of your religious views to scientific scrutiny. And here, religion fails miserably, as your very own post – strewn with willful misinterpretation, errant facts and outright lies – attests.

      Faith is a necessity for religion. It cannot survive without it. Evidence and reason corrode it instantly.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • A Cross

      M-y wife and I recently signed up for 23.anadem, which analyzes a sample of ones DNA. It is useful for identifying potential health risks, and tracing an.cestry. My own ancestry, through the genes, was mun.dane My wife had a remarkable ge.netic make up, which includes 3percent gen.etic material which is N-eanderthal. She is Ja-panese, with Sp-anish, French, Sl-avic, and South American na-tive (think Inca) background. But several thousand years ago (note this; it must have occurred WELL BEFORE 8000 years ago which creationists believe was about the time that g-od created man), a very distant ancestor of hers m-ated with a N-eanderthal. I know this is hard to believe, it is hard for me to believe, but this is true, and should cause some of you to think, as it has caused me to do. For those who wonder what this cross looks like – she is beautiful

      January 5, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • End Religion

      @BobbyB: "what if the whole creation story is a parable or allegory?"

      Your book of fraud is either the literal word of god or allegory which is open to interpretation by anyone. If it open to interpretation then you've opened the can of worms so that anything in it means whatever we want it to, and no organized group should then be telling anyone what is right or wrong.

      In addition there are 2 Genesis accounts. Huh? Why would there be 2? Why are they different? Which is "right" (as if any of this nonsense would be)? Why would the inerrant word of god have differing versions of his own creation story?

      ***
      "If you believe some power or deity is possible, but not the God of the bible, did this shift your concerns past the first chapter of the bible?"

      Not one bit. Just more machinations in an attempt to make imaginary nonsense into reality.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • OK

      raulisodo
      Looks like you got your answer with peer reviewed information

      January 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • raulisodo

      @EndReligion: What I'd like to see is an equally well-thought out an logical response from the "other" side, explaining the "big bang". matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Yet out of "nothingness" the right set of materials and conditions came together to form this explosion. Any takers?

      January 5, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • End Religion

      @raulisodo: nothingness isn't empty. It weighs something. It is the dominant "stuff" of the universe. It is a roiling mass of virtual particles popping in and out of existence. It is unstable. If given enough time it will, and did, burp out a universe so amazing that one no longer need be awed by imaginary gods. Stand in awe of the universe that birthed you.

      http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/415708/june-21-2012/sign-off--a-universe-from-nothing-

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjaGktVQdNg&w=640&h=390]

      January 5, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      So a mass of matter, on whatever scale small or almost infinite, encounters a mass of anti-matter of a similar size, bang......

      January 5, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • raulisodo

      OK

      raulisodo
      Looks like you got your answer with peer reviewed information

      Huh? Where?

      January 5, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      Of course far too simplistic, without any scientific authority. My point would be more on the line of a devoutely religious more technically advanced power coming in contact with a heathen/other religious primitave society...bang.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • raulisodo

      @EndReligion:
      "It is a roiling mass of virtual particles popping in and out of existence" – what are the particles made of? how did they get there? Popping in and out of existence – doesn't that go against the laws of physics?

      January 5, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • ironman59

      Simple fact is that the stories in the bible are direct copies from other cultures. Creation myth, end of world myth, etc. The old testament basically stolen from the Jews. The new testament written over a 400 year period. Even now the pope has publicly admitted that December 25 is not the "birth of christ" that it was a translation error that through it out of whack. That is because that SCIENCE has proven that the planets were aligned in the summer of 6 BC which the bible refers to as the time of birth.

      The only reason that christianity grew was because the Romans saw that it was a tool to control the masses. It was a weapon of fear and that their multi-diety world have to many escapes for the people. With a single diety concept you could instill more fear & the uneducated masses fell for it 100%.

      Religion in all of it's forms is the only true evil on this planet. Look at the number of wars that are based on religious differences around the world. Mass slaughter exists on this planet because "my religion is the correct & your's isn't". So for those of us that understand this is all nonsense, that no "gawd" exists anywhere and go on facts instead of making up stories, we are the next true incarnation of man. The day religion dies is the first day in mankind achieving his ultimate abilities.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      raulisido
      The theory being at the begining, if there was such an event, there was as much anti-matter as matter. Why matter. developed in our reality, over anti-matter is the mystery, we don't know. The energy value known as the Higgs bozon probably has an equivalant yang to its ying. We may never know. From primitave man untill know, the most powerful quest for knowledge is the same as a childs "WHY".

      January 5, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • frank

      Robert Brown – "If you believe some power or deity is possible, but not the God of the bible, did this shift your concerns past the first chapter of the bible?"

      Uh, no.

      January 5, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • End Religion

      @raulisodo: i'm not a scientist. I am not Google. I am not a library. I'm paraphrasing Lawrence Krauss. I've given you plenty of information for you to look into it yourself. Read Lawrence Krauss's peer-reviewed work though his book may be easier to swallow instead.

      Heck, the video explaining it is right there on the page for you. Research dark matter yourself if the video doesn't answer your questions. Sheesh, there's a Science channel that plays a show on it every other day. The information isn't hard to find UNLESS YOU DON'T WANT TO FIND IT.

      I've given you fish; I'm teaching you to fish; I'm not going to fish for you for the rest of your life. You just don't like the type of fish you've caught.

      January 5, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      raulisodo
      Check out the LHC at Cern, where they have isolated anti-matter particles, they destroy one another, matter and anti-matter, in a blast of energy and no longer exist except as energy that was created.

      January 5, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      raulsido
      "matter can neither be created or destroted" You are way behind current physics. When matter and anti-matter collide they are both destroyed in a blast of energy, check out the science being performed at the LHC at Cern. Just restating the same false premiss does not make it true, educate yourself.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Reality

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      SixDegrees,
      I tend to take a fairly literal interpretation of the bible. My ideas on the creation, the garden of eden, and the flood, are intended to help those who can see that a God is possible, but they do not accept the God of the bible, because of their understanding of science. This could be the wrong approach to take, but the idea is to warm them up to the idea of God, so that they can be in a position to accept their free gift of salvation. If they become born again the holy spirit will teach them what they need to know.

      My thoughts on these narratives being parable rather than strict historical accounts are not out of keeping with the way the bible is written. Jesus taught many things with parables. Personally, whether they are strict historical accounts or parable doesn’t matter to me. I believe that God is real, the bible is his written word, and Jesus Christ is the virgin born son of God and the savior of the world. I am in him and he is in me. Peace.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Reality

      o "In the 1930s, theoretical physicists, most notably Albert Einstein, considered the possibility of a cyclic model for the universe as an (everlasting) alternative to the model of an expanding universe. However, work by Richard C. Tolman in 1934 showed that these early attempts failed because of the entropy problem: according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy can only increase.[1] This implies that successive cycles grow longer and larger. Extrapolating back in time, cycles before the present one become shorter and smaller culminating again in a Big Bang and thus not replacing it. This puzzling situation remained for many decades until the early 21st century when the recently discovered dark energy component provided new hope for a consistent cyclic cosmology.[2] In 2011, a five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies and spanning 7 billion years of cosmic time confirmed that "dark energy is driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds."[3][4]

      One new cyclic model is a brane cosmology model of the creation of the universe, derived from the earlier ekpyrotic model. It was proposed in 2001 by Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University. The theory describes a universe exploding into existence not just once, but repeatedly over time.[5][6] The theory could potentially explain why a mysterious repulsive form of energy known as the "cosmological constant", and which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard Big Bang model."
      A different cyclic model relying on the notion of phantom energy was proposed in 2007 by Lauris Baum and Paul Frampton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[7]"

      January 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing with a prayer:

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (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)

      January 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Stan

      Does humankind have the capacity to survive? Indeed the sun burning out may be a long way off but our demise is not so far off. I am not confident in our ability to survive. For those that believe the God of the Bible and those that believe in the sheer coincidence of who we are, for both of you I would suggest that this question is one worth pondering. I believe you may be distracted by things that really don't matter in the end..

      January 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  7. Zaphod 2010

    I thought jesus only ran around with men. Are "they: now changing it because it's so against the bible?

    January 5, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      Originally, the jesus figure was portrayed in dull brown sackcloth dresses. It wasn't untill much later when certain influences became prominent in the RCC, he was portrayed in elaborate gowns and dresses, like some trany drag queen and of course this led to scandals uncovered in the recent past. Lordy, lordy. who knows what went on in the past to your average altar boy before press coverage.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  8. New human species

    New human species to clear up debate

    Neanderthals and hobbits aren't the only species that may have coexisted with modern humans. Scientists in southwest China have discovered the bizarrely shaped skulls of a possible new human species called the Red Deer Cave People that existed until the end of the ice age, about 11,000 years ago. The odd skeletons had prominent jaws and jutting cheekbones, and middling-sized brains more commonly seen in human ancestors from hundreds of thousands of years ago.

    January 5, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  9. justanotherchildofgod

    Without the surrounding text to put the fragment in context it means nothing even if it dates to the correct period. Christ spoke in metaphors all the time, often using "brides and grooms" and verses often refer to the church as "the bride of Christ". This could be metaphor, a quote of some other verse or speaker who said "my wife." . Out of contest those two words are pretty unimportant.

    January 5, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • End Religion

      You're praying to a man, who if he existed, likely had a wife and several pre-teen male lovers. That's your god? Seems like a bad choice of gods. If you're going to be obedient to imaginary creatures, why not Zeus? He was pretty nifty. Maybe Bacchus, god of wine and partying - he sounds like fun.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • JJ

      Doesn't sound like much of a god who has to talk in circles all the time tripping up his followers. That's why there are thousands of sects within the Christian cult. To the non-deluded the bible is nothing but a human creation written by a bunch of sheep humpers.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • raulisodo

      He didn't say "wife" – he said "life". The context was: "And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... "

      January 5, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • End Religion

      thumbs up for Princess Bride

      January 5, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Stan

      Inconceivable.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  10. William Ball

    Nonsense............ Are you people really that stupid and short sighted to see that when Jesus refers to "my wife" he is speaking directly to YOU! We are the bride of Jesus, We are His Wife. You are his wife jesus and his love is, and always will be for YOU! Not a bride as our finite little minds view it. The more I delve in to this Jesus the better ot becomes! He is my King, he is our savior!

    January 5, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • JWT

      I am not the wife of jesus nor is he my saviour.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • End Religion

      @WillyB: the more you delve into jesus, the crazier you become. The fellow never existed. You didn't get the memo that religion is the greatest hoax in history?

      January 5, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • shawn L

      Funny how a christian is name calling. What was that saying, "Do unto others?" or, "Let those without sin..."

      January 5, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • JJ

      You're the bride/lover of Jesus then YOU kneel down and suck his cock you pathetic loser.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Julie

      I saw and spoke to Jesus yesterday, and his cousin Jose.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • raulisodo

      "And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... "

      January 5, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • jkee

      It is easy to see that many of you non believers have not studied the subject of the secular evidence of Jesus Christ. The secular evidence is overwhelming that Jesus lived, died and arose from the grave. During the period the New Testament was written there was nothing written denying the existence of Christ. Why would twelve men give their life for something that was a myth? Just put in your search engine, secular evidence of Jesus Christ.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • End Religion

      @jokee: "It is easy to see that many of you non believers have not studied the subject of the secular evidence of Jesus Christ. The secular evidence is overwhelming that Jesus lived, died and arose from the grave."

      There is zero evidence – ZERO – that your son of god existed. While no evidence exists for jesus I'm willing to accept some dude named jesus could have existed, however there were likely many dudes so named. And if a dude named jesus existed it doesn't take a brain surgeon to agree he died. but then of course, you go right back into fantasy to even think evidence for anyone returning from a grave could exist even if it happened last year, let alone 2000+ years ago. Claiming evidence for a zombie simply falls from the realm of belief into lies.

      ***
      "During the period the New Testament was written there was nothing written denying the existence of Christ. Why would twelve men give their life for something that was a myth? Just put in your search engine, secular evidence of Jesus Christ."

      12 men didn't give their lives. The book is a fantasy, a fraud. Any "evidence" has been debunked over and over, some of it even by the church itself.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Stan

      To Blave, to bluff...I think you cheated someone in cards.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
  11. Beth

    Jesus loved her and she loved him__in the highest sense of love which is compassion. He saved her and befriended her when she was about to be stoned by the people. She stuck by Jesus to the very end. So IMO proving or disproving them being married makes no difference. Let love and compassion be the center of relationship, married or not.

    January 5, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • raulisodo

      "Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... '

      January 5, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Haha. LOVE "The Princess Bride."

      January 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
    • Stan

      could it be? That we all have the "princess bride" in common? If true it could be the new fashion.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  12. james hotz

    Mary Magdalene was the 13th deciple and the closest confident to Jesus, the book of John was written by her , but a woman couldn't be a deciple. she was also related to Joseph of Armathea a wealthy tin trader, and Jesus uncle. Jesus had many relatives including James his brother.

    January 5, 2013 at 6:38 am |
    • tom

      I'm more or less with ya, but chronologically the Book of John couldn't possibly have been written by her, as it was a polemic against gnostics that appears to have come a couple hundred years later.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:04 am |
    • charles

      What scholarly obervation , Not! stoopid.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • justanotherchildofgod

      Why would you think Mary wrote the book of John? In John 21:20-24 Peter questions Christ and says, "Lord, what about this man?"And also says, "This is the disciple who is testifying." Also in John 19 it says, "26 When Jesus then saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son." 27 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." From that hour the disciple took her into his own household." Son is clearly the male, but even if it is not, the language of the original scripts use "her" and "his" and these are not hard to translate. Clearly the author of the book was a male.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • John

      The Gospels were not written by any of the Apostles. They were written by others between 35 and 100+ years AFTER Jesus's death. The Apostles, like 99.9% people of their class at the time, were completely illiterate — unable to read or write at all.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Bet

      Good gravy, please learn to spell. It's disciple, not deciple, and Arimathea, not Armathea. In addition, there is no evidence that Joseph of Arimathea existed, or even that a place called Arimathea existed, much less that he was a tin trader, donated a tomb to Jeebus, traveled to Great Britain, was given the Holy Grail by Jeebus for safekeeping, or any of the other made up stories about him.

      Same with Mary Magdalene. No evidence of her existence outside the bible. It would make a good chick flick though.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  13. Casey Collins

    Scripture talks about the bride as the church and Christ is the bridegroom. I don't believe that Christ married, nor had children. It is up to your individual belief or faith whether or not to accept or reject anyones findings.

    January 5, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • End Religion

      That's odd. You'd think it'd be up to one's choice to live in reality when one chooses to accept evidence versus believing in imaginary creatures. But you're saying even if something has been proven X it is still wise to simply believe in Y because it makes one feel good?

      January 5, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • Edwin

      You can accept the fragment as genuine and still believe Jesus was unmarried. Nothing on this fragment is guaranteed to be literal truth, even if it is legit.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • William Ball

      Spot on Casey! We are the wife, we are the bride of Jesus.......... Thank you for your post.

      Jesus was not some great "moral" teacher. He is the king of kings. He did not come here to leave an empty tomb for us to debate anything other than that fact........ He did not intend to.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • End Religion

      @BillyB: you're saying you know the mind of god? Sounds a little arrogant. Isn't that a sin?

      January 5, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • SixDegrees

      "It is up to your individual belief or faith whether or not to accept or reject anyones findings."

      Strange – I would think it would be up to evidence and reason.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • raulisodo

      His true message was love – can't we all get along? "And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv."

      January 5, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • raulisodo

      @EndReligion – If you're so anti-faith/anti-God/anti-religion, why do you waste so much time and energy reading and posting in the "belief blog"? Don't you have anything better to do with your time?

      January 5, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • End Religion

      @raulisodo: see my response to you here: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/29/my-take-if-you-hear-god-speak-audibly-you-usually-arent-crazy/comment-page-72/#comments

      "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"

      Why are you wasting time here? It is a public forum about "belief," not a "nutter only" blog.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  14. Steve Wilkinson

    Wish the press put this much effort into advertising the real 1st and 2nd century fragments found not all that long ago (the real news in textual criticism), rather than these possibly fake, rather late gnostic writings (sensationalism).

    January 5, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Trisul

      There are many other indications that Jesus was married, and if she happened to be Mary Magdalene, it is not just sensationalism. It could spur a search for further information and better knowledge about the teachings of Jesus. This is sorely needed, as Christian churches have strayed away from his fundamental teachings and concentrated on later dogmas.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:53 am |
  15. tonny2

    no islam no paradise

    January 5, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • William Ball

      KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE................ NO JESUS, NO PEACE.

      Islam is empty pale and poor to knowing Jesus and his love for YOU! Islam has a founder that is laid out on a stone slab for all who care to view. Jesus's tomb is empty because he is who he said he was (god). mohammad is a dead person lying on a slab unable to save himself, or anyone else for that matter.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • End Religion

      @BillyB: check out Psalm 10:4 concerning your "savior's" distatse for your hubris, then pack your flame-retardant swim trunks for the eternity you will spend being lava-boarded in god's beautiful concentration camp beside scenic Lake O' Fire. A note to asthmatics: don't forget your inhalers, the brimstone count is high this season!

      January 5, 2013 at 8:00 am |
  16. jo shmo

    I think he was married. He was a rabbi, and he was Jewish. What Jewish man in ancient times didn't have a wife by the age of 33 years ... or was still a virgin at 33? Come on, if he existed, he was the rock star of that time, I am sure he was fruitful and multiplied. ??? I think it was left off because the people didn't like the woman! just sayin'.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • george

      yup. married and boyfriend on the side.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Or, maybe he was a tad bit BUSY!

      And, considering Christianity has done more to elevate the status of women than any movement in history... AND the fact that Jesus and the disciples treated women in a completely different way than the culture they were in... your comment seems just a tad bit... what's the word... anachronistic?

      January 5, 2013 at 2:12 am |
    • Bet

      @ Steve Wilkerson

      And, considering Christianity has done more to elevate the status of women than any movement in history...

      That's a lie. Christian groups are intent on passing legislation that will deny women the right to make their own medical and reproductive choices. If they can't even let us decide what happens to our own body, they sure haven't done anything to "elevate our status" any more than it was in the Old Testament.

      Isn't lying one of the Big Ten as far as sins go? Shouldn't you be asking god to forgive you for lying right about now?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • josh

      Absolutly, also the bible says jesus knew all our sufferings which would include a wife, kids and inlaws. The account of jesus as a family man was probably left out because it plays to jesus being more humanized and less divine.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:03 am |
    • justanotherchildofgod

      I tend to think it doesn't matter if he was or was not married on earth because of the fact that he was Jewish. It would perfectly natural for a man his age to have married, and it wouldn't change his ministry, so I tend to view it as, "doesn't matter," but the accuracy of the text does matter, and the context of anything declared accurate matters, and the fact that somehow people think it would remove from his status as Christ if he was married bothers me.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • lol??

      What a bunch of speculators. A gaggle of jewish babes were out clubin' one night and when Jesus walked in of course they checked Him out. It was almost like artwork with their line dancin' when they all said in unison, "NAAAH!"......"Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him."

      January 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  17. JJ

    Christianity is in decline. This will just help to accelerate it.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Franklin Romney

      You are proof that some fools have no clue.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • End Religion

      Yep, it's pretty much all over but the crying. They're in the death throes now, becoming more extreme, with dwindling beliefs comes dwindling churches and that all important tithe. I wouldn't be surprised to find tiny convenience stores begin popping up inside them as they try to find ways to shore up revenue. Just like a gas station, but with a church you can pop in to fill up on bullshit and pick up some sodas and snacks while you're there.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:43 am |
    • DJ

      Kepp on dreamin buddy! if wishes were horses beggars would ride on it.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • End Religion

      DJ, next time you're at church can you also pick up some Necco Wafers and Bubble Yum for me? I wouldn't mind a Grape Nehi soda as well. Here's a $20 bill - pick up something nice for yourself, like maybe a dangling dead god on a stick to hang around your neck.

      January 5, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • raulisodo

      They should rename this to the Disbelief blog – based on the number of atheists lurking here

      January 5, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Bet

      @ raulisadodo

      Everyone has beliefs. Mine just don't include belief in an imaginary sky fairy, his zombie son/self, or books of magic.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • lol??

      ER the church Haggard founded has coffee shops I hear. Whatdaya expect for a kweer?

      January 5, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • End Religion

      lol??: what i would expect from a gay shop owner is what i would expect from a non-gay shop owner, with the caveat that i would expect the gay shop is more tastefully decorated.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • lol??

      I hope they have "special" disinfectants available at all times and don't get too wild with Mr. Clean.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  18. veggiedude

    There are Islamic texts that say the same thing.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • lol??

      Whatdaya expect for a johnny come lately?

      January 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  19. MashaSobaka

    Some people are acting like this would be the silver bullet that destroys Christianity for good. Give me a break. Religions are adaptable, just like any other social mechanism. The Christianity of today is, fortunately, practically a different religion than the Christianity of 500 years ago. Religions change as their followers change. If followers believe that Jesus had a wife, the religion will incorporate the detail into its folklore. Big whoop. Moving on.

    January 5, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • Capone

      Exactly.

      Religion is fantasy. As such, it can be changed to fit the audience at any time.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • Jimmyjam048

      And you know this because what? You played "Mr Pickle Pants" with Uncle Chester too many times and now you want to take your anger out on God (who you claim does not exist).

      Why waste your time refuting God if you don't believe in him?
      Millions of people don't believe in Santa Las, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairly, Peter Pan , Oz and the Yellow Brick Road (sorry Sr Elton) but you mention God and all Hades (pun intended) breaks ,lose.

      I do not believe in Athiests, so say "Hello" to Mr Pickle Pants for me.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • End Religion

      @jim: why so upset to find your imaginary sky fairy, his do-gooder son and biography false as well?

      January 5, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • lol??

      You're looking at the wrong spouse. You really mean politicians.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  20. sybaris

    I don't hate myself enough to be a christian

    January 5, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • End Religion

      I think I have a cat-o-nine tails around here somewhere you could borrow if you need to take a bit of flesh off the top.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:46 am |
    • Mars

      Your love for yourself is telling.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:52 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.