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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. James C Edgar

    Ahh, The Harvard Medical Review – or whatever – won't publish until dating tests are complete. But, the Catholic Church declares it a fake. And they haven't even seen it. Seems about right for them.

    January 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Bet

      If it said "the Vatican Bank is completely legit and pedophilia is a-okay", the RCC would have already canonized whoever found this thing and the pope would carry it around his neck in a glass case.

      January 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  2. Bob

    There is no god, no afterlife, no mystery to what happens when you die. You didn't exist before your birth. You simply go back to that state after you die and your brain rots. We don't need to invent holy men and spiritual garbage to make our selves feel better. Just embrace your fate and enjoy your life while trying not to be a dick to others.

    January 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • kirk1

      bob, using that language in a religious blog you are being disrespectful, so you are what you are telling others not to be.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Bob

      Anyone that claims a religion as the correct one is already saying the gods and fairies of the other religions are wrong. That seems pretty disrespectful.

      Anyways, how can the truth be disrespectful?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • **

      kirk1,

      This is not a "religious blog". It is a blog site about beliefs.

      Yes, we could all try to be more polite; but some beliefs, in themselves, simply do not deserve respect.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • kirk1

      ** you are correct, thank you. i will be more careful on my statements. the majority of the articles are of a religious nature.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "We don't need to invent holy men and spiritual garbage to make our selves feel better."

      I think the jury is still out on that...the research is conflicting and all culturally bound. Maybe you don't, maybe I don't, but people are different. Maybe you don't now, but might in a few years. The opposite may be true for others. I think this is too complex and too unknown for us to claim to have the answers.

      January 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  3. TG

    The name Jesus was not uncommon (Latin form of the Greek I·e·sous´ ), just as the name John in English, with Flavius Josephus (37 C.E.-101 C.E., Jewish historian) mentioning some 12 persons (other than those in the Bible record bearing that name) by this name. The apostle Paul speaks of "Jesus who is called Justus" at Colossians 4:11.

    These make such a "big-to-do" about this without seriously giving consideration that more than one person has ever been called Jesus. It is as Jesus said concerning the Jewish religious leaders that they were "blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel."(Matt 23:24)

    January 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • kirk1

      tg...are you quoting the new world trans? do you know someone called judge rutherford?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  4. Gregory L. Faith

    No one will ever know. It is what you believe in that answers your questions. Some may say that he had a wife and she was with him when he passed. When his body went missing, you have to understand he was a Jew and the burial customs were used on him. A great man, killed by the Romans along with two thieves.

    January 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Bob

      A great man? He was a homeless schizophrenic. How great are the men who claim to be holy in our time? Why are the really old ones any better?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  5. L.H

    Could Jesus have married Mary Magdelene???? Sure we really do not know-there is little discussion of this, the Knights Templar swore by this ideology! Many Christians have differing views on Jesus- some bleive he was God made flesh others believe as much of the scripture says he was the son of God, separate definitively his own man!

    January 5, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      Could my invisible pink unicorn have married Thor? Sure, we'll never know.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • frank

      Could it be that they were both hermaphrodites and the inner circle knew this and thought it special – something to protect? Maybe they were fine together this way, but could not conceive any children. (If you like, and I doubt it, I can come up with about a hundred more scenarios for this story.)

      January 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      Hey, maybe Geezus married Mary HadALittleLamb !?!?!

      January 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bet

      Maybe they impregnated each other, had each other's children, got divorced and sued each other for custody. Jeebus went back to carpentry and made stripper poles for Mary Magdalene's gentlemen's club to pay for each other's child support. Then he got wise, opened his own gentlemen's club and that's how the whole Jeebus hanging on a pole thing started.

      Can I get a R'amen?!

      January 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • TG

      Had the churches been honest and sincere, these could easily see that Jesus is God's "only-begotten Son", not God.(John 3:16) Jesus established himself as inferior to God, saying that "the Father is greater than I am."(John 14:28)

      And the word "begotten" means to "to be the father of a child", coming from the Greek word monogenes that means "single of its kind, only".(Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of New Testament, pg 417) Jesus was thus fathered, being unique as a son of God and God's first creation.(Rev 3:14)

      Hence, Jesus rightfully called God his Father, whose name is Jehovah, and in which Jehovah said moments after Jesus baptism: "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved."(Matt 3:17) And later, at the transfiguration, Jehovah said: "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved, listen to him."(Matt 17:5)

      January 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      TG,

      There is not a shred of verified that any spirit in the sky named Jehovah ever *said* anything.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Flying Spaghetti Monster

      R'amen, my noodly minion.

      January 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Bet

      @TG

      Jesus also said "I and [my] Father are one." John 10:30 and "...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." John 8:58, just to name a few, so he clearly did say that he was god.

      The word "monogenes" can be used as a noun or an adjective, and means "only child", or "only legitimate child". It does not mean "unique". The Greek word for unique is monadikos. Greek-English Lexicon of Liddell & Scott

      Jesus was not god's first creation. Genesis 1:1 states "In the beginning, god created the heavens and the earth."

      Rev. 3:14 states “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation." which can't mean that Jesus was god's first creation. To believe that, you would have to admit that someone rules over Jesus ("ruler of God's creation"). Since xtianity posits that Jesus is god and god is omnipotent, how can an omnipotent god have a ruler?

      Perhaps it is the big copper ruler that Sister Thomas Aquinas used to smack our hands and not a ruler in the sense of "a leader"?

      If you want to argue Greek translations and the bible, it helps if you at least know what the bible actually says.

      January 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • L.H

      I used to think atheists were just bitter people who had their dreams crushed–who suffered possible religious abuses, or were people who had a hard time feeling deeper because of personal pain they blame "God" for or personal pain they cannot understand why it happened. Now I think atheists are just vile in their thoughts and angry because they cannot and do not wish for anyone to feel things, see things, and know things they do not or cannot!

      January 5, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      LH, it's pretty clear from your posts that you don't "think" at all.

      January 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  6. ecarlson1961

    Jesus never refers to anyone as his bride. Although it is possible that Jesus had a wife, this fragment looks very much like a forgery. The fact that its provenance, or source, is being kept hidden is a classic sign of a forgery.

    January 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      In what ways does it look like a forgery? I would also think that there are many good reasons to keep the source anonymous at this point. Accusations of bias. The potential for violence from religious nuts. Etc..

      January 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      My invisible pink unicorn told me that ecarlson1961 is an ancient manuscript forgery expert.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
  7. Michael Walsh

    When a man and a woman get married in a church they take their vows before god (for better or worse etc). Now this could not be possible or fitting for jesus because he and god are one, as in the trinity. think about it for a moment as i mentioned in my last comment about the gospel of the holy twelve which was preserved in a tibet monastery, kept from the founding fathers and scribes who corruped the scriptures to suit their own lusts. this gospel says that jesus had a girlfriend for seven years and she was taken up from him so he would not be distracted from the work he had to do. also mentions that he and mary magdelene were one. therefore marriage on earth for jesus could not be possible. you just dont swear to yourself.

    January 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • kirk1

      if jesus was god on earth how could john say that no man has seen god?
      (John 1:18) No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him.
      jesus also died, right? so how is it that the scriptures says that god can not die?
      Hab.1:12..Lord, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, you will never die.
      You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
      .

      January 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  8. southernsugar

    ROFL Jesus didn't have a wife, so laugh on. Catholics are always bashed at Christmas, Lent and Easter. Jesus was God made Flesh. God made man. Carry on.

    January 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  9. Willa45

    For centuries entire Religions have relied on ancient texts and biblical writings in order to comprehend, interpret and teach God's message to their followers. True, the text must be proven to be legitimate but why are some religious leaders so quick to condemn and deny? Why so hard to accept that other texts are still hidden out there waiting to be discovered? If some of the religious hierarchy could accept the notion that Religion can be a "work in progress" they might keep an open mind and be more eager to explore new information.

    January 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  10. Catalysis

    If you read the new testament of the bible Jesus repeatedly refers to the people that are true to him and follow his teachings as his "bride" etc.

    Supposedly all the fragment says is: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife," but was then cut off... well this is pretty consistent with the rest of the new testament. Perhaps the writer simply used the word wife as opposed to bride.

    My guess is that it is easier to get a bunch of hits on this article if you claim Jesus "may" have been married.. and drag this story out repeatedly then it is to mention that the terms used in the fragment are generally the same as that seen in the Bible.

    January 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • southernsugar

      The "bride" Jesus speaks of is the Church. Jesus started the Catholic Church, when he took Peter and knelt, Saying, "On this rock you will build my church". Peter's name means rock in Aramaic. Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter, during His time on earth. Read the bible.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bet

      @Southernsugar

      Get off your high horse and try reading the bible yourself. It doesn't say "On this rock you will build my church", it says "And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

      It makes you look even stupider when you can't quote your own book but arrogantly assume that you know it better than others.

      I've read the bible many times, as a catholic, as a born again xtian, and as an atheist. I've studied it more than most priests and ministers ever do, in multiple languages.

      Jesus didn't start the Catholic church. He didn't kneel with Simon Peter or anyone else. The bible is a collection of fairy tales copied from other common myths of the time.

      January 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  11. Dude in Colorado

    The Giant Spaghetti Monster was married to the Meatball Queen.... Marraige is ok.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • lordnimrond

      "Meatball Queen" has to be one of the best things I've read all day!

      January 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  12. John not the Baptist

    Chad
    BTW if you can find me a definition of FAITH that does not include....Belief that DOES NOT rest on loical proof or evidence. That is common among the definitions of faith, you are either deluded or twisting the meaning of words again, not unusual for you.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • John

      Hebrews 11:1 is the Biblical definition of the word faith.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @John

      Maybe, but if so, no one of "faith" uses it that way. And besides, it's a stupid definition in that it's unseen evidence. If you can't see it (measure it), it's not evidence. duh.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • John not the Baptist

      John
      Using a bible verse to define life 2000 years after that book of fiction was written, how christian. Try looking up the definition in the real world.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Chad

      Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Hebrews 11

      Dont forget, the New Testament was not written in English, the word translated as "faith" here is Greek: Strongs g4102
      πίστις pistis

      It does not have the "belief without proof" connotation that the english word "faith" does.

      which means:
      1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
      a) relating to God
      1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
      b) relating to Christ
      1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
      c) the religious beliefs of Christians
      d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
      2) fidelity, faithfulness
      a) the character of one who can be relied on

      January 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @John not the Baptist "Using a bible verse to define life 2000 years after that book of fiction was written, how christian."

      =>you probably didnt realize that the New Testament wasnt originally written in English, rather Greek. What we read when we read the NIV or the KJV is translations of the original text into English.
      As such, using the biblical definition is precisely the correct way to understand what the original author meant when he wrote it.

      January 5, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Grundig Glasswerks

      Chad's homies probably give him a shasta blasta for each time he posts.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hey, Chad? About that "empty tomb" thing? When you evade answering questions by asking more questions, it pretty much confirms that you don't have answers. Your claims are more empty than any tomb.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Chad

      Hey tallulah13, how about that contemporary, non-biblical accounts of the lives of Pontius Pilate, Socrates, Plato, King Herod, Quirinius and Caiaphas?

      LOL
      couldnt find it?

      in case your wondering, that's because there isnt any. Using your "contemporary, non-biblical" is a non-sense requirement (which is why you make it of course)

      Here's why:
      A. there are no "contemporary" written accounts of virtually ANY ancient person. This is because recording history was something done after the fact, and only for rulers like Caesar.
      B. excluding from consideration the ancient doc uments that we have from a variety of sources just because they were later collected in one location (the bible) precisely because they were authentic, is utter nonsense.

      "the evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning...It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than have many theologians." - F. F. Bruce

      January 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      None of the "doc uments" you cite, Chard, present ANY evidence that Jesus was divine. Not a single one.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So I guess I can't use Socrates as proof of anything. By the same reasoning, you can't use Christ, the bible, empty tombs as proof of the existence of your god. You just defeated your own case, Chad. Congratulations.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Chad

      Said another way, if your requirement for doc umentaion is that it be:
      1. written at the time the events being recorded occurred
      and
      2 be written by a person who was an enemy of the person whose activity is being recorded

      then, there simply is no evidence, or ANY person in ANY of ancient history.. NONE.

      seems pretty absurd when you spell out "contemporary non-biblical" means doesnt it :-)

      January 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Jen

      As an agnostic who is open at looking at any evidence that god exists, I can assure you that asking for a non-biblical source is not a nonsense requirement. It is simply looking for non-biased evidence. Not a difficult requirement.

      None of the evidence you have ever presented provides evidence for god (let alone your god – aside from the empty tomb). As for the empty tomb, you say that the number of people that attest to it proves it. Well my three year old attests to monsters in her room, as do millions of other three year olds. My three year old has received much more education than most people living 2000 years ago. So you agree that closet monsters exist right? Because if you don't you are a hypocrite. Which is it?

      January 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, Chad, there is a contemporary account of the Battle of Gaugamela written by Persians, which tells of how the Macedonian Alexander the Great defeated them. This was 300 years BEFORE Christ's alleged life. I guess there really are contemporary accounts written by enemies.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Jen

      So everything written about Hitler was written by his biggest fans then? God, do you ever think about anything critically?

      January 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      Chad,

      There might well be legends and inaccuracies in the stories that we have about Plato, Socrates, etc., and yes, even Julius Caesar. If any wisdom attributed to them has been verified to be useful to us, that's what counts. The same goes for Jesus - useful, verified advice... fine (although nothing he allegedly said was particularly novel); but we have no business believing his (actually, his disciples') unverified stories of what goes on in an afterlife or in the 'mind' of a supernatural being.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Also, Chad, the existence of individuals can be reenforced by such things as the existence of contemporary coins with portraits and names of rulers. It's highly unlikely that any ruler would allow the face of a fictional co-ruler to be put on a coin. Maybe a god, but not another mortal.

      We have the actual mummified remains of Pharaohs that predate Christ by thousands of years, along with (doubtless embellished) accounts of their lives, and even derogatory graffiti insulting the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut (circa BC 1458) discovered in her funerary monument. (Amazingly enough, there is no archaeological evidence of jewish slaves or for the exodus story.)

      History is rife with evidence for the existence of individuals. Kind of makes you wonder why there is none for your "son of god".

      January 5, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "Actually, Chad, there is a contemporary account of the Battle of Gaugamela written by Persians, which tells of how the Macedonian Alexander the Great defeated them. This was 300 years BEFORE Christ's alleged life. I guess there really are contemporary accounts written by enemies."

      @Chad "ouch, ouch.. no completely wrong.

      The Battle of Gaugamela took place in 331 BC between Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia

      now, there are several historical sources:
      1. Arrian of Nicomedia AD 86 – 160
      2. Quintus Curtius Rufus was a Roman historian, writing probably during the reign of the Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) or Vespasian (69-79 AD).
      3. Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian, who wrote works of history between 60 and 30 BC
      4. Plutarch . 46 – 120 AD

      now, the sharp eyed will notice that the earliest history of the battle was some 240 years AFTER the battle actually occurred. So, all this means that there are NO CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS of that battle.

      in fact, 240 years after the event is some 220 years more elapsed time than the earliest accounts of Jesus after that event.

      now, I dont blame you for not doing any investigation and uncovering these actual facts for yourself. Making inaccurate and unsubstantiated a-priori assumptions seems to be an atheist membership requirement.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So tally's citations are meaningless because the accounts were written centuries after the battle, huh?

      And how long after Jesus' supposed crucifixion were the Bible accounts written, Chard?

      January 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Chad

      as well.. rulers/extremely influential people in society were the only ones getting on coins, inscriptions on public works, mummified.

      Of course there was no body to mummify, so that leaves that out.
      The Son of God, during His time on earth, preached publicly for 3 years in a backwater province of the Roman Empire, attracted a small number of followers, and died an ignoble death. No coins minted in His honor at the time.

      I forget, are you a Jesus denier? If so, I'm happy to post the sources detailing why there are no credible historians today that claim Jesus was not a real historical figure.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Chad

      So tally's citations are meaningless because the accounts were written centuries after the battle, huh?
      @Chad "I didnt say they were meaningless did I :-)
      what I said was that they were not contemporary as he had claimed they were. It is YOU ATHEISTS that claim that unless an account is contemporary it cant be trusted.. remember?

      And how long after Jesus' supposed crucifixion were the Bible accounts written, Chard?
      @Chad "~20 years"

      January 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Never said he didn't exist, bonehead.

      When are you going to post evidence he was divine, honey?

      January 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, look! More pretty yellow smiley faces! Chard's on the defensive yet again.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Jen

      Oh look, Chad is ignoring me because he has ZERO arguments against me again. Poor Chad – couldn't win a debate against me if his life depended on it. It's okay Chad. My education is far superior to yours.

      January 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @Jen, accepting only docs that:
      1. written at the time the events being recorded occurred
      2 be written by a person who was an enemy of the person whose activity is being recorded
      as shown above, results in no ancient evidence for anyone.

      ========
      @Jen "So everything written about Hitler was written by his biggest fans then?"
      @Chad "note "ancient evidence" above

      January 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
  13. T'ain't Real, Man

    The first thing that tells me the bible is a story book are the pictures today's Christians put in the Bible. The pictures of Jesus show a fair skinned, blond haired blue eyed man. Really? In the middle east? More likely, if he existed at all, Jesus looked like Yasar Arafat.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Be a Realist

      don't tell that to the tea party, kkk, white supremacist,..they love black jesus

      January 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Howdy, Cowbay

      Or maybe Golda Meir?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Liberace; America's Greatest American

      The blond haired blue eyed hippy surfer dude Jesus has always been my favorite. He probably looked more like Ahmadinejad, though.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bet

      Thumbs up Jeebus is my totes fave!

      http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3qqstg/

      January 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  14. Be a Realist

    I would imagine people wrote those stories, just to write stories. Moses, according to leading archaeologist and historians, was painted a picture in the bible to entertain those who feared. The bible again was found to be inconsistent with the truth. I now wonder if anything in the bible were true. My guess is, only by accident. After all, history was written by the survivors with their side of the story.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Chad

      "guess"

      are you comfortable guessing that the bible isnt true?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      @Chad – are you comfortable "guessing" that Santa Claus is not true? Same thing.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Be a Realist

      well, the bible was said to be history.. tainted by religion. All stories written by man with fabrications to create the spectacular.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      There is quite a lot of evidence to support that Moses was real and lived as King Thutmos II of Egypt. There is however no evidence to support that he ever spoke to a god. In fact there is quite a lot of evidence pointing to "his god" being the family of Jacob which ruled the region he was sent forth to stabilize. The descriptions of the ark match exactly those found in the temples of Egypt. Some say that the 12 tribes were meant to reference the 12 Hyksos states he organized the land into. The "covenant" spoke of in Jewish faith was nothing more than an oath to quell the plague of war and revolution in the Mediterranean.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • John not the Baptist

      Chad
      We have no problem guessing that the bible is not true, we have faith that it is not true, just as you do that it is real

      January 5, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Red

      There is evidence that Moses was a priest in the religion of Akhenaton (Pharoah of the Sun) who believed that there was only one one God. This 18th dynasty Pharoah was probably of the line of Joseph thus influenced tremendously by the religion of the Jacob. Akhenaton was not trained to be a pharoah but to be a priest but his older brother died and he was thrust into the role. God works in mysterous ways.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bet

      There's no evidence that Moses existed. There are no records of the Israelites living as slaves in Egypt or having escaped from Egypt. No artifacts or texts have been found in Egypt or the Sinai to support the story of Moses.

      The first Egyptian reference to what was most likely the Israelites is from around 1200 BCE, and refers to a "people" who were living in Canaan, not Egypt.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @John not the Baptist “We have no problem guessing that the bible is not true, we have faith that it is not true”
      @Chad “I agree that your approach in determining factual accuracy starts out with an a-priori assumption, the proceeds by ignoring the actual text under consideration.
      How is it possible that you could be comfortable with that approach??

      ======
      @Red “There is evidence that Moses was a priest in the religion of Akhenaton”
      @Bet “There's no evidence that Moses existed”
      @Seyedibar “There is quite a lot of evidence to support that Moses was real and lived as King Thutmos II of Egypt”

      @Chad “LOL
      Three atheists, three contradicting baseless assertions

      =========
      @Be a Realist “All stories written by man with fabrications to create the spectacular.”
      @Chad “what investigation have you done that has led you to this conclusion?
      Let me guess, your response is one or more of the following:
      1. why do you (chad) reject Thor?
      2. religious institutions are horrible
      3. you (the theist) havent proved that the God of Israel is real, and until you do, He does exist (that is the belief)

      now,
      #1 is fallacious on a couple levels.
      –A. My investigation, or lack thereof, into the reality of Thor doesnt have any impact whatsoever on the reality of the God of Israel. That amounts to "oh yeah? well, you havent investigated other gods!". No excuse for you, and not a reason to reject God. –B. Believers have a reason to reject the existence of Thor, namely that belief in the God of Israel is mutually exclusive with belief in other gods.
      #2. Ok, so, I agree with you that religious institutions are horrible. The bible says the same thing! What does that have to do with the reality of the God of Israel?
      #3. Saying that "God is false until you prove He is real" is equally as fallacious as "God is real until you prove Him false"

      January 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You claim god exists. The onus is on you to present proof or acknowledge that all you have is faith, Chard.

      That's all you have ever had. The fact that you continue to present nonsense as evidence must mean that all your faith isn't sufficient for you, much less for anyone else. If your faith were truly enough, you wouldn't be here.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  15. MagicPanties

    My invisible pink unicorn says she does not have a wife, so why should Geezus?

    January 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  16. and the 10

    I am completely fascinated with people who actually think that human beings had no concept of right and wrong before the 10 commandments. How ridiculous they are. In fact the ten commandments came from people as well as 'love your neighbor'. The only way it's possible that people actually believe we had no concept is their minds are so corrupt and evil, they just couldn't fathom the fact that good people always existed.

    We love our children and it's that love that enabled us to create secular law and caring, over time, which helped society grow. If anything,, religion disrupted 'good and caring' secular and 'people' laws for their own selfish greed.

    jesus knew nothing that many already knew. In fact he was only repeating what he learned. (that's if he really existed.)

    January 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Chad

      Actually, the bible doesnt say that morality arose due to the 10 commandments, that is not at all what Christians/Jews claim.

      Christians/Jews believe that the existence of a shared morality indicates that the God of Israel has built into us the knowledge of good and evil long before the 10 commandments codified it in written form.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Be a Realist

      You've just successfully proved nothing.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • John not the Baptist

      Chad
      Hearing voices in your head that tells you to take your only son, build an altar, put on firewood, bind and lay your son on the altar, take out your knife and prepare to kill him, untill the voice in your head says no its OK don't do it, because you FEAR me you are off the hook. Now that is an insane story that goes on today, except the voice in the head doesn't sat stop. Fear is what the whole scam is built upon, pay for salvation is what it is all about.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  17. holy moses..

    As we are finding out that moses was a warrior who was paid to protect Egypt to guard the perimeter. He split and was only followed to persuade him to come back. After all, why hire a group to protect you and actually think you could defeat them?? They wanted to persuade him to come back.

    Later moses was dealing with his warriors who were getting frustrated with lack of food and tiredness. Moses created a 10 commandments with god stuff that worked well in those times since man feared nature. Yet this same 10 commandment guy authorized the destruction to villages, killing innocent women and children.

    Please get a grip folks, your religion is just fabrications at a time when man didn't understand nature and pointed to god fabrications. Please grow up.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • lol??

      Athena likes straw men. The more you write on the SAT test the higher the score.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Be a Realist

      looks like LOL is sol

      January 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • kirk1

      hey atheists, why not go to some atheist blog, oh wait i am sorry, there wont be anybody there cause there aint no blog!
      if you dont like religion, why the hec are you here in a religious blog? are you that lonely?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Thutmoses was knowingly creating a tradition to preserve the Jacobians in the Egyptian Empire. It seems like once a dynasty, they had to send ambassadors to prevent them from falling back to worshiping the Baal family of kings, which had the ruled the region into antiquity. They inserted the lineage of Yahweh into Canaanite legend, so that he was the second son of El (Baal was the first and favorite) and hence also had legitimate claim to rule the region. We have hundreds of official Egyptian seals and cartouches and tomb plaques that speak of the rule of JHVH I and II during the middle second milennia BCE.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      @kirk1
      Who says we don't like religion? I find mythology quite fascinating whether it's Batman or the Elohim.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Be a Realist

      the atheist bogs are called 'Science' blogs. and there are far more of those than the voodoo believing christian ones.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • kirk1

      wow science & batman, that really proves there is no god. go then to science blogs or the spock blog.
      i built a house & told everyone that it got here by accident, no one built it, where would you put that theory?
      every house has a builder & yet you would say that the universe that is so much more complex just happened by accident?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • tallulah13

      First Amendment, Kirk. This is an open blog and we can come here an comment if we so choose. You can whine and shake your little fists all you want but free speech is protected.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • End Religion

      kirk, you and lionlylamb are going to get along well with that ridiculous builder bullshit analogy.

      January 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      When it comes to the universe's existence, the only honest answer is "We don't know."

      A far more stupid and arrogant lie is: "Big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz!!!!!!!!!"

      January 5, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      kirk1,

      Yes, there are atheist blogs - lots of them. Believers rarely go to them (although they are welcome) maybe because they are superst-itious or fear being 'infected' with realism.

      Some atheists come here because this is where the Believers are ( atheists are often promptly banned from posting on religious web sites).

      January 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  18. it is

    is there another da vinci movie coming out?

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

      No, but I want to buy the paint by numbers kit.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • frank

      I wouldn't be surprised. The dinner party picture just screams "his wife and his boyfriend are having a tiff".

      January 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Bet

      @lol

      No, but I want to buy the paint by numbers kit.

      Why don't you ask your mommy for an advance on your allowance? I'm sure if you cry and beg, she'll give in.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • L.H

      That's really twisted Frank-you take thousands of years of divine providence by billions of people, you take hundreds of accounts of goodness and brotherly love and try to twist it into a modern day sick psychology–you have the wrong kingdom friend–this isn't Alexander the Great!

      January 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bet

      @LH

      thousands of years of divine providence by billions of people,

      Provide an example of this.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
  19. Christians Are Simple Minded People

    I read a few years ago of a preacher who liked to accentuate his sermons with passages from the Bible, then read the same passage from the ancient Hebrew texts. He began to realize that there were many discrepancies in the two texts. His conclusion was that over the centuries, as more and more translations and interpretations of the Bible came into being, the true texts as they appear in the ancient Hebrew texts were changed so much that there is little in common between those ancient texts and the modern bible as we know it today. When he began to let his findings known, he was ostricized and removed from his position in the church. Typical Christian response.

    My conclusion is that the bible might be a good guide for trying to live a moral life, but there is no more truth to it than The Lord of the Rings. As for myself. I am a moral person without having anyone threaten me with an eternity in hell if I don't tow the Christian line.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Xanadu

      So are you saying the bible is all wrong but people can use it as a guide? How can that be if it is, as you say, all wrong?

      January 5, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Christians Are Simpl Minded People

      @Xanadu. All I'm saying is that there are many things in the bible people can use to try to emulate a good moral life, but that doesn't mean that the bible tells a true story. Too many contradictions show it isn't true, but that doesn't mean it should be just disregarded wholesale. There are many stories in it that can show us how to live a good moral life. Some people believe that Jesus's parables were true while most bible scholars know that they were just stories Jesus told to make a point. I believe the New Testamenr is a series of parables; made up storties if you will, to show us how to live a moral life.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • lol??

      How can you trust yer own mind to remember that little story correctly? Source? Might have been a JW.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • kirk1

      Simple Minded.......wow haven't you heard about the dead sea scrolls? Little has changed, and if someone threatens you with hellfire damnation, they don't know the Scriptures either. There is no burning hell, it is an illustration, what happens when you burn something it just goes away. Death is the opposite of life, from dust you were taken to dust you will return.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Keeping it Real

      Xanadu,

      The Bible is a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but mostly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      The NT is a collection of the writings of various 1st century evangelists who were promoting their new offshoot religion.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events in that book.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • lol??

      kirk1, .........................."1Cr 15:26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death."....You're just choosing where you want to be at your final destination(reminds me of ye ol' AMTRAK announcements every 3 minutes over the PA so you can't sleep in the train station)

      January 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • StandingUpForGod

      That simply isn't true.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Christians Are Simpl Minded People

      @ Keeping It Real. Precisely! In all the uncovered truths; hard evidence in clay tablets, artifacts and such that archiologists have uncovered, none show any evidence of what appears in the bible. The bible is the only source of Christian throry. The only actual hard evidence is the collection of Dead Sea Scrolls, which may very well be the original bible stories upon which all other stories are told. A thousand years from now, will someone uncover an old copy tf the Hobbit and believe it is a true story. Could be.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      @Christians Are Simple Minded People,

      Yes, the fact that places mentioned in the Bible have been verified archeologically has no bearing on the veracity of the supernatural stories put forth in that book.

      Mount Olympus (and many other places mentioned in their legends and myths) really exists in Greece. Does that mean that 12 gods really live there? Dickens' "The Christmas Carol" fairly accurately portrays the places and conditions of 19th century England. Does that mean that the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come were real? All sorts of fiction and fantasy stories are set in real places.

      I repeat: There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings or supernatural events in that book.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  20. tell the truth

    ..Using common sense and drawing simple logical conclusions,, No doubt the bible and jesus stories were just man made fabrications. Sad religions continue to brainwash children and cycle them into the fearful lunatics promoting silly beliefs in later adulthood. Fear does work as a brainwashing tactic. Deny it's fear and you could be the next terrorist.

    January 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • lol??

      Don't be such a fwaidy cat, ya little twerp.

      January 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • L.H

      There are many accounts of Jesus in the 1st and 2nd century that validate his truths and his historical reality

      January 5, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bet

      @LH

      Such as?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • tallulah13

      L.H.: Accounts that are not contemporary do not count. Neither do accounts that are biased. There are no actual contemporary accounts of the existence of Jesus.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • L.H

      tallulah13

      That is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard–you say that historical accounts of Jesus don't count–ahhhh–he was historical–helloooooo??????????/ Seriously!!! If you are going to argue for atheism at least use intelligent historical thought–history is just that history –it is not contemporary!

      January 5, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      All of which were written decades after Jesus, if he existed, was gone, doofus. Thus, not contemporary, that is, not written during or even shortly after his death.

      January 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "during his life or shortly after his death."

      January 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • lol??

      Dustballs demanding from God. What's wrong with that paint by numbers picture? Those kits must have been commercialized and marketed from sat morn cartoons. Talk about being taught to the test!

      January 5, 2013 at 10:49 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.