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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. Banjo Ferret

    Tim the Destroyer of Worlds has no time for a wife. He's too busy planning the upcoming apocalypse. Ferretianism is the one true religion. Repent!

    http://www.banjoferret.com

    January 10, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  2. W.G.

    This was written in the 4th century . Like islam which began near that tim ande even a little later .
    It´s just satan "workin´it " . Trying to make it harder for people to believe in GODs truth .

    January 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      w.g.: and you know "god's truth"?

      January 11, 2013 at 9:25 am |
  3. W.G.

    This was written in the 4th century . Like islam which began near that tim ande even a little later .
    It´s just satan "workin´it " . Trying to make it harder for people to believe in GOD :

    January 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  4. IAM

    So the news is out that I had a wife, and I'm a dirty little Mediterran carpenter. I guess I'll have to come back soon and straighten all this mess out. You guys have really messed things up there on earth.

    January 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Satan

      Soooo. Fancy meeting you here. Well, okay it's just awkward. Congrats on your marriage. I didn't know.

      January 11, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  5. Satan

    All this talk about Jesus's wife and nobody cares that I just got engaged.

    January 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • small 'c' christian

      But for you, it's hardly news... What is this, Seven? Eight? even Mickey Rooney was relegated to the back pages after No 6

      January 23, 2013 at 4:09 am |
  6. meifumado

    Jesus did not eat pork, So why do Christian's?
    Face it the whole religion is a fake.

    January 9, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      i think they eat the pork as foreplay. have you seen church picnics?

      January 9, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Zoey

      Jesus wasn't Christian, he was Jewish and Jews don't eat port.

      January 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Wow

      Does a human beings choice on to eat pork or not to eat pork really determine if "God" exists? If so, I debate you. I just ate steak therefore, I believe that is evidence supporting that God does exist.

      January 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • ^^ Tom Tom Bait ?Poe? Stupdity Deluxe "Wow" (TBT? idiot) ^^ lol

      January 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It isn't what goes in your mouth that defiles. It's what comes out. Evidence of that abounds hereon.

      January 10, 2013 at 9:22 am |
    • meifumado

      Was trying to make a point that some did not get
      Christian's say they want to live and do as Jesus that's why I asked why do Christians eat pork if Jesus did not.
      I could really care less what people ate, just trying to point out that the religion is a farce

      January 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • Saraswati

      Jesus also didn't speak English or take a hot bath everyday, I don't really see the point. The biggest problem I see with Christianity is that most forms require a libertarian concept of free will that isn't supported by today's psychology. those few that don't require this end up with even bigger holes. Certainly there are also historic and scientific problems, but those are worked out by various more liberal forms of Christianity. The praise and blame elements and the dependency on free will to justify God's actions are really the fatal flaw in the religion.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:16 am |
  7. Dirty Fossil

    No g-od roaming around 244 MILLION years ago, according to bible the Earth isn't that old.
    A fossil skeleton found in central Nevada's desert years ago has been identified as belonging to a 30-foot-long sea monster that ruled beneath the waves 244 million years ago.

    January 8, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  8. truth be told

    When confronting any statement from a so called "atheist" always recognize it is a lie. All atheists are by nature liars.

    January 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Truth Be Told, you are truly a brilliant scholar and writer.

      Well, at least you're right about one thing. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Turdy.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      tbt is a troll cvnt

      January 8, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • meifumado

      Blasphemy is a victimless crime

      January 8, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Decency costs Nothing

      And you – sam stone are a foul mouthed crearure with a very limited vocabulary of 4 letter words and the intellect of a potato....................!

      January 8, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      January 8, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • sam stone

      got to play to the audience like you, duncency

      January 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      duncency: you are a punk. your god is a punk. get back on your knees and beg, slave

      January 8, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      if you think you can keep up with me, duncency, bring it on. otherwise, go home and get your shinebox, boy

      January 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      Pretty much what I thought. Run, little cvnt

      January 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry "truth be told", but your assertions regarding atheists are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Texhimself

      Atheists are by nature skeptics. Fools like you are by nature, fools.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • utalkintome

      liars?...pfft lmao! ...unlike the gawdsquad who lies to themsleves day and night....provide any evidence for your loving gawd, then you can join the adults discussion...till then, your opinion and posts are invalid

      January 16, 2013 at 3:50 am |
  9. I AM

    Well, where is the rest of it ? That is such a little bit to go on, isn't it !

    January 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  10. 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

    January 7, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Decency costs Nothing

      Yeah! Oh can I interest you in shares in my underground airline?????? lol

      January 8, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Gold

      DCN
      Where Does All Earth's Gold Come From? (NOT G_OD) Precious Metals the Result of Meteorite Bombardment, Rock Analysis Finds
      Sep. 9, 2011 — Ultra high precision analyses of some of the oldest rock samples on Earth by researchers at the University of Bristol provides clear evidence that the planet's accessible reserves of precious metals are the result of a bombardment of meteorites more than 200 million years after Earth was formed.

      January 9, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  11. ReligionPigeon

    The only true Lord is Dread Cthulhu; Bringer of Eternal Darkness.

    May His darkness fall upon you, and your pain and suffering know no bounds.

    "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

    January 7, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Mike

      At last, someone speaks Truth.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • meifumado

      "That is not dead which can eternal lie,
      And with strange aeons even death may die"

      January 8, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  12. elgeevz

    I really don't know if Jesus was married or not, but I have never heard of a Jewish rabbi who wasn't.

    January 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • lotus_notes

      My thoughts exactly.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • lol??

      "Mat 23:8-10 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, [even] Christ."

      January 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  13. livesbybumperstickers

    So much of this discourse seems to be the phenomena of brains knowing things that they could not possibly know.

    January 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  14. Chad

    With the assistance of @tallulah13, I have compiled the list of atheist requirements for acceptable documentation of all ancient events.

    My question is, does this seem reasonable? Would a real historian actually endorse these requirements as valid?

    Atheist requirements concerning ancient historical writings
    1. account must be written at the exact same time the events being recorded occurred, not at a later date no matter how proximate it was. The 20 years from Jesus death to Paul's first letters is deemed entirely unacceptable.

    2 account must be written by a person who was an enemy of the person whose activity is being recorded, (non-sympathetic). Sympathy to the subject entirely taints the doc to the point that it is entirely worthless.

    3. account must be a authored by a direct witness of the events

    4. the person or event being recorded must not be that of a "religious figure". For those persons/events there simply is no acceptable evidence since atheists already know before even looking at the doc that it is false by definition.

    January 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • little timmy

      Just because Chad searches day and night for weaknesses in logic in the arguments of others (and then frequently twists what others have said) on any range of topics, he thinks it somehow validates the arguments he fails on over and over again. I'm starting to notice this pattern for a few days now.

      January 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • End Religion

      i think it's pretty natural for chad to do. There are millions of people all with different ways of saying things. He's just trying to boil it down to an acceptable essence so he can destroy it and then it will be something to cut and paste into every post from then on. I try to refine some of my posts over time. He's just trying to get to the shortest possible route of showing atheists are all wrong. Can't blame him for efficiency.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • L.H

      LOL LOL LOL LOL delete all history books then hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, I said "unbiased" chad, which means neutral, not enemy. Maybe someday you'll stop lying and confess that your faith is simply that, and that you really don't have any proof. I think people may even respect you if you decide to be honest.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      Of course, I did mention an account of a historical figure that was recorded by his enemies. The Persians recorded the story of their own defeat by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela. This was 300 years before the alleged birth of Christ. See how that works, Chad? A non-biased source. Please keep that in mind when you try to use the "Empty Tomb" described in the bible as proof of god.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • Jeff

      #4 – I believe you mean to say "athiests [have faith] that is false by definition" rather than "know." No athiest can prove that there is no God. Athiests and Christians are similar in that they both have faith. It's just that Athiests choose to place faith in themselves and/or nothing whereas Christians choose to place their faith in a Holy, all powerful God.

      Also in regards to #1, I'd like to point out that Paul isn't the only writer in the New Testament. Not sure why you singled him out specifically.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "Actually, I said "unbiased" chad"
      @Chad "by which you mean "anyone that agrees that what Jesus said was accurate can not be used as a historical source, which means that only people who believe that Jesus was NOT the Son of God as he claimed could be used, which means they are an enemy, they must oppose the person."

      =======
      tallulah13 "Of course, I did mention an account of a historical figure that was recorded by his enemies. The Persians recorded the story of their own defeat by Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela"

      @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 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Chad

      Alternatively, if you are using the http://www.livius.org/di-dn/diaries/astronomical_diaries.html as your source,

      Note that there is also a third requirement that atheists continually levy, namely that those historical accounts not be
      hearsay (account must be a authored by a direct witness)

      unfortunately for your astronomical diaries, they failed the test since they did not directly witness the events they only heard about them at a later date. As such, they are also not contemporary as they by definition added the accounts of the battle to the earlier observations of the celestial positions.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Why do you assume that all claims require the same evidence? Wouldn't saying that I am Superman require more verification than telling you I was born in a certain year? All claims are not created equal.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chad

      Well, at least you are acknowledging that you endorse a double standard when it comes to acceptable evidence of ancient events. lol

      Regarding your "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" nonsense:
      that is demonstrably false. Probability theorists studying what sort of evidence it takes to establish a highly improbable event have come to realize that if you just weigh the improbability of the event against the reliability of the testimony, we would have to be sceptical of many commonly accepted claims.
      Rather what’s crucial is the probability that we should have the evidence we do if the extraordinary event had not occurred.
      This can easily offset any improbability of the event itself. In the case of the resurrection of Jesus, for example, this means that we must also ask, “What is the probability of the facts of the empty tomb, the post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection, if the resurrection had not occurred?” It is highly, highly, highly, improbable that we should have that evidence if the resurrection had not occurred.
      - Craig

      cue ad-hominem

      January 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      You're using more extraordinary claims to support extraordinary claims. That doesn't work. And saying "cue ad-hominem" at the end is merely an attempt to push some who may be reading to watch what they say, lest you then start claiming the same nonsense about "atheists do this and that and this and that".

      January 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "You're using more extraordinary claims to support extraordinary claims. That doesn't work"
      @chad "you lost me, how?
      now, dont go spinning off onto some "i'm not going to explain it, because you are a liar". Just explain what you are saying, I dont understand it"

      ====
      what exactly is wrong with attempting to stop people from immediately resorting to name calling? Why cant you police yourselves in that respect??

      January 7, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Is that really all you can say? What don't you get? Your using extraordinary claims to support your original extraordinary claims. It doesn't get any clearer than that.
      Also, what actually is an ad-hominem and what you call an ad hominem are two completely different things.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Chad

      The point I was making, is that the notion that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" is demonstrably nonsense.

      I have no idea if your complaint is lodged against that statement, or if it is lodged against my claim that Jesus is real, etc...

      January 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Chad

      and, there is only one definition of "ad-hominem", if you say "that argument is false because the person advancing it is an idiot", you commit that fallacy.

      January 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Wow do you really not see the difference in your two points?
      Tell me Chad, if extraordinary claims do not require extraordinary evidence, if I were to tell you that the angel gabriel is above my house telling me to say all these things, would you believe me?
      If I were to tell you that god came to me and told me he wants all people to use logic, and evidence, not faith, would you believe me?
      Are you using a double standard in rejecting some extraordinary claims but accepting your religious ones?

      January 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Chad

      extraordinary claims do not require extraordinary evidence, that is exactly what I am saying.

      Here is why:

      The statement that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence is demonstrably false.
      Probability theorists studying what sort of evidence it takes to establish a highly improbable event have come to realize that if you just weigh the improbability of the event against the reliability of the testimony, we would have to be skeptical of many commonly accepted claims.

      Rather what’s crucial is the probability that we should have the evidence we do if the extraordinary event had not occurred. This can easily offset any improbability of the event itself.

      In the case of the resurrection of Jesus, for example, this means that we must also ask, “What is the probability of the facts of the empty tomb, the post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection, if the resurrection had not occurred?” It is highly, highly, highly, improbable that we should have that evidence if the resurrection had not occurred. – Craig

      January 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Try actually answering my questions and points instead of your usual quoting by irrelevant people.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Chad

      sigh..
      ok, please follow, this was your original statement:
      @Hawaii "Why do you assume that all claims require the same evidence? Wouldn't saying that I am Superman require more verification than telling you I was born in a certain year? All claims are not created equal."

      in which, you specifically state that the standard of what is considered sufficient evidence to establish a claim changes depending on the claim made. You are demanding MORE evidence for a claim considered more "out of the ordinary."

      I said that was nonsense, and provided the reason.

      =========
      @hawaii "if I were to tell you that the angel gabriel is above my house telling me to say all these things, would you believe me?"
      @Chad "if all you are presenting as evidence is that statement, then I wouldnt believe you.
      But, you are of course and as usual missing the point I made.
      I wouldnt believe you either if you told me that your wife was telling you these things.

      in either case (your wife, or the angel Gabriel), you would have to do more to establish the claim than just telling me it was so.
      I wouldnt require a different degree of what would constitute "reasonable evidence to establish the claim" for one over the other. The same level of evidence applies in either case.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      You didn't give a reason, you gave a quote from William Lane Craig. That's all.

      So why wouldn't you believe me Chad? For what reason do you think I would be mistaken?

      January 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @Hawaii "So why wouldn't you believe me Chad? For what reason do you think I would be mistaken?"

      =>"your word for it" is insufficient to prove to me in either case.

      the point is, I dont demand different evidence based on who you claim to be hearing from. The evidentiary requirement is the same in either case.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      So if I got say, a thousand people to believe me, and they got killed because I was able to convince them over say, 30-40 years, would you then believe me?

      January 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Damocles

      @hawaii

      You have to call yourself an 'eyewitness' and then make the claim of angels dancing on your roof. I'm unsure how many eyewitnesses chad requires, but I'll claim to be an eyewitness to the rooftop dancing angels as well if it'll help.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Chad

      If 1000 people all independently, at various times and in varying circumstances, BUT all within a short period of time such as a couple weeks (not 30-40 years as you indicated. The claim to have seen must arisen abruptly), in groups and individually, some of whom were atheists to begin with and didnt believe in the Angel Gabriel, all personally reported seeing the angel Gabriel sitting on your roof and talking to you. And, they felt so strongly that they had witnessed this personally, that all of them were willing to go to their death proclaiming that they had seen the angel Gabriel sitting on your roof and talking to you.

      Then, yes, I believe you!

      January 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Bob

      "And, they felt so strongly that they had witnessed this personally, that all of them were willing to go to their death proclaiming that they had seen the angel Gabriel sitting on your roof and talking to you.

      Then, yes, I believe you!"

      Then because of all the individuals that can claim in seeing Santa Claus and be witness to him then you must believe he's real too. Especially when you take into account all the historical books. Santa is real!

      January 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Here you go, Chad.

      http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t40.html

      A contemporary account of Alexander the Great beating the Persians at Gaugamela.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Chad

      who has ever claimed to have seen Santa Claus?
      Not "dad dressed up as Santa Claus", rather someone claiming to have "the real Santa Claus"?

      January 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Damocles

      Ahhh so 1000 is the threshold.... 999 won't cut it.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      And Chad, I do blame you for not doing your homework. I practically handed it to you saying it was a Persian account, yet you cite Greek accounts, which I most specifically did not mention.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t40.html A contemporary account of Alexander the Great beating the Persians at Gaugamela."

      @Chad "unfortunately, that account fails two critieria that you have established, #1 and #3:

      1. account must be written at the exact same time the events being recorded occurred, not at a later date no matter how proximate it was..
      3. account must be a authored by a direct witness of the events

      They did not directly witness the events of the battle they only heard about them at a later date.
      As such, they are also not contemporary as they by definition added the accounts of the battle to the earlier observations of the celestial positions.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      From the website:

      "On 1 October 331, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great defeated a large Persian army at Gaugamela, commanded by king Darius III Codomannus. The only contemporary source describing the event is the Astronomical diary, a day-by-day account of celestial phenomena, written by the officials of the Esagila temple complex.

      The diary mentions other events as well, e.g., the level of the Euphrates, the weather, the food prices, incidents concerning Babylon and its temples, and political events – after all, the celestial phenomena were omens of important political changes.

      The following text, a cuneiform tablet now in the British Museum in London, is damaged, but the account is clear: there were terrible omens and the battle -which is described after the astronomical observations- was truly important. "

      I guess you must think that they were making up the mundane, day-to-day stuff, like food prices, too, long after the fact and based on heresay.

      Face it, Chad. You were wrong. And because you couldn't be bothered to look for non-Greek sources, you're lazy, too.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Chad

      1. They did not witness the battle rather they heard about the battle from others sometime after it actually took place. As such the account is not contemporary as you require, the information about it was added to their daily celestial observations at a later date.

      3. They did NOT directly witness the battle, they heard about it from others. As such the account is hearsay (as you have defined hearsay)

      January 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Do you know that they did not witness the battle?

      January 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You are simply splitting hairs in a desperate attempt to rationalize your desire to believe a myth, chad. These scribes could have very well witnessed the battle. Darius traveled with an entourage, including his wives and mother.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Chad

      - it was written by "officials of the Esagila temple complex"
      – the sentence is in past tense "On the fourteenth, these Ionians [13] a bull [lacuna] short, fatty tissue [lacuna]. Alexander, king of the world, came into Babylon [lacuna], horses and equipment of [lacuna] and the Babylonians and the people of [lacuna] a message to"

      I realize you desperately want to have an ancient doc that you can point to that satisfies your criteria, however, you"l have to either find a different doc, or change your criteria to allow this one. It clearly fails your requirements #1 and #3.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Now, if these accounts were compiled into 4 books, and is at least 2000 years old, and the authorship cannot be independently verified, would you still believe it?

      January 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad, you do understand that contemporary means within the lifetime. You are splitting hairs, trying to redefine meanings into something you require, not the actual purpose. This is a record of the battle of Gaugamela, written by the defeated foes of Alexander the Great within the same time period. All your desperate words cannot change that.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh let's not forget, the details don't agree, and the main character (Gabriel) is presented differently in each book.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • maryam

      I'm personally glad if he searches for facts, its better than the vile you write as your opinion to blast others, rather than state the truth BASED on facts. Chill out.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • sam

      Chad...you are trying far too hard. Tallulah's right, just deal with it.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • maryam

      @"little" timmy ~ I'm personally glad if he searches for facts, its better than the vile you write as your opinion to blast others, rather than state the truth BASED on facts. Chill out.

      January 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "you do understand that contemporary means within the lifetime. "

      =>so, "contemporary" has an established meaning, then there is the tallulah13 meaning

      established meaning:
      contemporary
      --Adjective Living or occurring at the same time.
      --Noun A person or thing living or existing at the same time as another.

      using the word the way the rest of the world does, these are correct statements:
      "John the Baptist was a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, as were the disciples Mathew, Mark, etc.."
      "the New Testament was written by contemporaries of Jesus of Narareth"

      in other words, a "contemporary account" is an account written by a contemporary

      ======
      now, the tallulah13 meaning has a twist, in that the account must be written at the same time that the event which it is chronicling occurred.

      Now, if you want to use the tallulah13 version, then the astronomical diary fails, because it was written after the battle being chronicled took place.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Butthead

      Uh huh huh.. notice maryam going off on little timmy who noted chad's propensity for twisting the words of others. maryam further twists little timmy's intent to be "facts". huh huh huh . . .i bet i know who maryam is.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Another sock puppet? Say it ain't so! I thought Rachel was the only light of Chard's life.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, did I miss anything? Did any of your accounts prove Jesus was divine? No?

      Then why are you even here?

      January 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Let's see. Thus far, Chard, in spite of voluminous postings of ;) and ====> and snide little snickers, has failed to prove that:

      God exists
      Jesus was divine
      Evolution doesn't occur
      The Big Bang was initiated by God.

      Does that just about sum up Chard's achievements, uh, I mean, failures?

      January 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • Akira

      Good grief.
      It should be abundantly obvious by now that everyone who has ever asked Chad for evidence has told him that saying "because the Bible says so" isn't evidence...and what does he use as contemporary accounts? Oh, yeah. The Bible.
      No WONDER people don't want to talk to Chad...

      January 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, Chad, you created your own list then put my name on it. I asked for contemporary, non-biased sources. (Possibly I did say non-sympathetic, as in indifferent or not seeking to forward an agenda.) You are the one who concocted a ridiculous list that really has nothing to do with my original criterion. It's childish and dishonest, but frankly I expect nothing better from you.

      You have already shown that you attack and lie because you have no evidence. You are a sad human being, and given your propensity for falsehood, you are a bad christian. The only person you fool is yourself.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • tallulah13

      Also, Chad, it doesn't matter that the bible claims that the apostles were the contemporaries of Christ. The bible is ineligible as evidence because it is utterly biased. Please site the contemporary, unbiased references you have to prove the apostles' existence. I'm honestly interested.

      Of course, all of this has nothing to do with the original question. Where are the contemporary, unbiased accounts of the "Empty Tomb" you love to hold up as proof of god?: Personally, I think it likely that there was a man named Jesus (or perhaps several he was based on), but there there is absolutely nothing to indicate that he was "the son of god" or that any of the supernatural events of the bible occurred.

      Here's your chance, Chad. Stop trying to distract with unrelated rantings. Bring your evidence of the "Empty Tomb". Convince us.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:32 am |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "Where are the contemporary, unbiased accounts of the "Empty Tomb" you love to hold up as proof of god?"

      @Chad "happy to!
      but, first I need to know what you exactly mean when you say "contemporary, unbiased"

      I think we have established "contemporary" according to your definition. Namely that the account be written at exactly the same time that the event being chronicled occurred, not later, after the event. Those astronomical diary's of the battle for example, fail that test.

      ==
      However, I still dont completely understand "biased"

      according to you, "The bible is ineligible as evidence because it is utterly biased

      now, I have captured your requirement as:
      2 account must be written by a person who was an enemy of the person whose activity is being recorded, (non-sympathetic). Sympathy to the subject entirely taints the doc to the point that it is entirely worthless.

      where exactly is my description of your requirement wrong?

      January 8, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Chard, you never heard the words "neutral" or "disinterested" or "objective", then?

      My word, but you're disingenuous. As if the opposite of "biased" is either "sympathetic" or "enemy."

      January 8, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Stand by while Chard looks up the words "objective," "neutral," and "disinterested" in his picture dictionary....

      January 8, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      Again with bald-faced lies, Chad. Contemporary, non-biased. That is the criterion. With the same lifetime and not trying forward an agenda. Simple enough. But as you don't have any evidence, the best you can do is lie about what I asked for, then say it's impossible. Do you honestly believe you are fooling anyone beyond yourself? Is this the sort of integrity one can expect from a christian, Chad, or is it just you?

      January 8, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Chad

      Well then, perhaps you would be so kind as to explain why the Gospel of Mark for example, is not "objective," "neutral," and "disinterested".

      It merely records the statements and activities of Jesus of Nazareth and is free from any commentary by the author. How is that not "objective," "neutral," and "disinterested"?

      January 8, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Because, Chad, the Gospel of Mark is forwarding a specific agenda (Christ is the son of god). It was included in the bible later because it suited the needs of the religion. This is the very definition of biased. How do you not understand that?

      January 8, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • tallulah13

      Mark 1: "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;"

      Can you see the bias?

      January 8, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Chad

      So, you are objecting to the author of Mark being convinced that Jesus was the Messiah as a result of having witnessed His life, death, and resurrection (the author or Mark was one of the persons that reported personally having witnessed a resurrected Christ).

      now, you have rejected this eye witness because he, having witnessed the events, became convinced that Jesus actually was the Son of God.

      Which means, you will only accept eye witness testimony as "unbiased" if they DONT believe that He is actually what He claimed to be..
      right?

      January 8, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • meifumado

      The onus of proof is with the believer

      January 8, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • tallulah13

      Example of unbiased proof that Christ existed at all:

      A fragment of a roman scroll written at the time Christ was allegedly alive contains a reference to a guy calling himself Jesus, who claimed to be the son of god or king of the jews.

      That would serve as evidence Christ existed. Proving that he was the son of god is a lot more difficult.

      My question to you, Chad... Are you a mormon? Joseph Smith has just as much evidence to support his claims as Saul of Tarsus did, possibly even more.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "Example of unbiased proof that Christ existed at all: A fragment of a roman scroll written at the time Christ was allegedly alive contains a reference to a guy calling himself Jesus, who claimed to be the son of god or king of the jews."
      @Chad "define "roman scroll.. for example, Paul was a roman citizen.
      so, again, we're getting back to the whether of not the author of the account believed, as a result of witnessing these events, that Jesus was the Messiah.
      By saying "roman scroll", you are saying you want the author to have not been convinced that Jesus was the messiah.

      =====
      @tallulah13 "Joseph Smith has just as much evidence to support his claims as Saul of Tarsus did, possibly even more."
      @Chad "
      – Joseph Smith had a personal claim, no one else corroborated it.
      – In the case of Jesus, we have multiple independent eye witness attestations (Paul, Mark, Matthew, John, Jude, Peter, James), and a further investigation on the part of Luke and perhaps Barnabas (depending on who authored Hebrews).

      so.. how do you claim to support your statement?

      January 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      1) You didn't respond to my other question.
      2) I find it hilarious that you say you're going to present evidence and proofs for things, and never do, and merely want to ask about definitions that only you seem to not understand.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Chad, you say "Gospel of Mark", and witness as if Mark witnessed anything. Mark if you believe the story was not a witness to anything Jesus did, he was a follower of Peter, he never knew Jesus. The other two problems with Mark is as follows, 1) no one knows who authored Mark, or when. Until around 180 ad the gospels were only known as the "Memoirs of the Apostles" with no names affixed to them. 2) If you want to believe Mark, then the Gospel of John is void, because they both very different accounts of the arrest of Jesus and his CRUCI-FICTION. In Mark from the time Jesus is arrested until the time he dies, he says three sentences, that's it. Jesus is also mocked the entire time by everyone. The last thing he says before dying is "Father, why have you forsaken me", dying not knowing why god was doing this to him. In John's gospel Jesus not only know why he is going to the cross, but is completely accepting of it, and quite a chatterbox before he dies. The tell completely different stories that cannot be reconciled by saying witnesses sometimes leave out details. 3) The ending of Mark. In the oldest copies of Mark the story ends at the tomb with the two Marys running away, and never telling anyone. If they ran away and never told anyone, how does the storyteller know at all? The resurrection is not in the oldest copies, it was added later.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      I apologize for any typos, my computer must be having a stroke.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @rabidatheist "you say "Gospel of Mark", and witness as if Mark witnessed anything. Mark if you believe the story was not a witness to anything Jesus did, he was a follower of Peter, he never knew Jesus"
      @Chad "based on what do you know that mark was not a witness to the events of Jesus life?

      ========
      @rabidatheist ". The other two problems with Mark is as follows, 1) no one knows who authored Mark, or when"
      @chad "all of the gospels are unattributed, why is that a "problem"?
      Mark was authored ~30 years after Jesus death.

      ======
      @rabidatheist ".Until around 180 ad the gospels were only known as the "Memoirs of the Apostles" with no names affixed to them."
      @Chad "the gospels didnt identify the author, nor did they have titles. Why is that a problem?

      =======
      @rabidatheist ".If you want to believe Mark, then the Gospel of John is void, because they both very different accounts of the arrest of Jesus and his CRUCI-FICTION"
      @Chad "the provide different, non-conflicting details of the life of Jesus. Why is that a problem? Is that not what one would expect to get from two different eyewitnesses?

      January 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "Oh let's not forget, the details don't agree, and the main character (Gabriel) is presented differently in each book."

      =>different but non-conflicting accounts? that's fine. Like "I saw Gabriel sitting down talking to Hawaii" and another ""I saw Gabriel standing up talking to Hawaii"

      =>presented as differently, how? give me an example

      January 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      A non-biased source would only comment on Christ as existing and make no conclusions about his divine nature. That's why we call it non-biased. It's amazing how difficult is is for you to grasp that concept. The biblical "witnesses" you listed (if indeed they existed) believed that Christ was divine, therefore they are biased. You have to prove the guy even existed before you start on the "son of god" part.

      No one knows the true authors of the bible. There is no evidence to support the miraculous claims of the bible. The chapters of the new testament that chronicled Christ's "life" are contradictory and not contemporary with the events they describe. The bible is not a reliable source.

      And Paul was not Christ's contemporary. Paul met Christ in a "vision" much like Joseph Smith met the Angel Moroni. Therefore, they have exactly the same proof of experience. Why aren't you a mormon?

      And what exactly is your contemporary, non-biased source for the "Empty Grave"?

      January 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "A non-biased source would only comment on Christ as existing and make no conclusions about his divine nature"
      @Chad "you are talking about an unbiased account, not an unbiased source. There is no really such thing as an unbiased source in reality, every person has a bias but that need not prevent them from producing an unbiased account of an event.

      For example, a news reporter now can be rabidly pro-Obama, but is expected to be non-biased in their reporting, reporting the events in an accurate manner (having no bias or prejudice; fair or impartial).

      You are actually ASKING for a biased source, in that you want that person to NOT believe that Jesus was the messiah.

      Mark, for example, is an unbiased account. As it is not un-biased to say that Obama is the president, so it is also not biased to say that Jesus is the Messiah. And, as stated before, Marks account is stark and simple, exhibiting a lack of embellishment that would indicate bias.

      ====
      @tallulah13 "The biblical "witnesses" you listed (if indeed they existed) believed that Christ was divine, therefore they are biased. You have to prove the guy even existed before you start on the "son of god" part."
      @Chad "well, from their point of view (and virtually all historians today), denying the existence of Jesus represents and EXTREME bias. Certainly His existence at the time was never questioned, He obviously existed.

      It would be silly to accuse a Clinton biographer of bias for not including evidence of his existence in the book.

      ====
      @tallulah13 "No one knows the true authors of the bible"
      @Chad "no authorship was indicated, so?"

      ===
      @tallulah13 "There is no evidence to support the miraculous claims of the bible"
      @Chad "nonsense, empty tomb for example.
      As well, you can not simply say that all accounts of Jesus that have been collected as the New Testament are not viable sources of information. Although it is #4 on your requirements list, no real historian does such a thing.

      ====
      @tallulah13 "The chapters of the new testament that chronicled Christ's "life" are contradictory"
      @Chad "example please?"

      ====
      @tallulah13 " and not contemporary with the events they describe."
      @Chad "sigh.. only because of your definition of "contemporary" :-)
      the definiton that the rest of the world uses for a contemporary source, is an account written by a contemporary.

      ====
      @tallulah13 "The bible is not a reliable source."
      @Chad "what evidence do you have backing that up? No detail in the bible has EVER been proven false."

      ====
      @tallulah13 "And Paul was not Christ's contemporary. Paul met Christ in a "vision" much like Joseph Smith met the Angel Moroni. Therefore, they have exactly the same proof of experience. Why aren't you a mormon?"
      @Chad "He certainly was alive when Christ was alive, that's a fact. What we dont know is if he ever met Jesus prior to the road to damascus .
      No, only Joseph Smith had the vision, different from the road to damascus where others heard Jesus speaking.And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man

      January 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Chad do you always change people words when quoting them? That is rather dishonest, "Chad "the provide different, non-conflicting details of the life of Jesus. Why is that a problem? Is that not what one would expect to get from two different eyewitnesses?"
      I did not say NON-CONFLICTING, I said they do conflict, and cannot be reconciled by putting the two together.

      I am also glad to hear that you have no trouble accepting the writing of unknown scribes, making claims of supernatural events, Thor and Odin will be happy to hear you will be verifying their existence next.

      As for Marks gospel, or any of them, the earliest reference to any of them is by Papias, and that isn't until the middle second century, so please tell me how you know Mark was authored 30 years after the alleged Jesus.

      January 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @rabidatheist "I said they do conflict, and cannot be reconciled by putting the two together."
      @Chad "I said the dont, provide evidence they do"

      @rabidatheist "II am also glad to hear that you have no trouble accepting the writing of unknown scribes, making claims of supernatural events, Thor and Odin will be happy to hear you will be verifying their existence next."
      @Chad "sigh..
      I didnt say unknown scribes (you were saying something about twisting words :-) )
      I said the the gospels didnt identify the author, but we do know who wrote them.

      =======
      @rabidatheist "As for Marks gospel, or any of them, the earliest reference to any of them is by Papias, and that isn't until the middle second century, so please tell me how you know Mark was authored 30 years after the alleged Jesus."
      @Chad "most contemporary scholars now regard it as the earliest of the canonical gospels (c 70) - Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield.

      try and find a single reputable historian that dates Mark to the second century :-)

      January 8, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Here are contradictions in the New Testament.

      http://www.skeptically.org/bible/id6.html

      You are simply lying when you say "No detail in the bible has EVER been proven false." There are websites dedicated to the contradictions.

      Both Joseph Smith and Saul of Tarsus claim legitimacy through "visions". You believe one and reject the other because it pleases you to do so, not because there is any difference.

      My definition of contemporary has never changed. Yours seems to change with what you personally need. The books of the bible have been dated to times after the alleged life of Christ. Thus they cannot be called contemporary.

      And Rabidatheist? Chad frequently lies, because he is too proud to admit he is wrong.

      January 9, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "Here are contradictions in the New Testament. http://www.skeptically.org/bible/id6.html"
      @Chad "utter nonsense, it is always astonishing to me that someone would simply look at a list like that and accept it as being accurate without doing any investigation whatsoever :-)

      Does it NEVER occur to you, that there is a reason that serious scholarly atheists NEVER use anything in that list when they are attempting to disprove the Christian claims?

      here are two explained:

      Jesus' lineage was traced through David's son Solomon. Mt.1:6.
      Jesus' lineage was traced through David's son Nathan. Lk.3:31.

      Matthew traces Jesus legal lineage thru Joseph
      Luke traces Jesus blood lineage thru Mary

      There were 28 generations from David to Jesus. Mt.1:17.
      There were 43 generations from David to Jesus. Lk.3:23-31.

      telescoping genealogies is extremely common throughout the bible, old and new testament, and that is exactly why you cant simply add up the "begats" to figure out when the flood was, and when Adam was. Jewish genealogies establish legal claims, they are not intended to be a mechanism by which you can establish elapsed time.

      =======
      @tallulah13 "Both Joseph Smith and Saul of Tarsus claim legitimacy through "visions". You believe one and reject the other because it pleases you to do so, not because there is any difference."

      @Chad "Smith had a vision, whatever it was, happened only to him and in his mind.
      Saul of Tarsus DID NOT. Companions dont also hear your "visions" :-)
      The fact that his companions also heard the voice indicates that it was not just in his mind.

      Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
      5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
      Acts 9

      =======
      @tallulah13 "My definition of contemporary has never changed. Yours seems to change with what you personally need. The books of the bible have been dated to times after the alleged life of Christ. Thus they cannot be called contemporary."
      @Chad "right, I got your requirement, see #1 in the list.

      The point is, that is not what the rest of the world views as "contemporary account".
      see of example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_contemporary_accounts_of_Samuel_Johnson's_life

      January 9, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Chad Do you have ANY evidece for Mark that dates to the first century? NO you don't, the earliest references, and written evidence doesn't come until the second century.
      @ Chad, How do you say they do not conflict when Mark, and John both tell very different stories about the arrest, and death of the alleged Jesus.
      @ Chad I have a game to play. Take all four gospels, and only from the morning of the alleged resurrection, and write down who, what, when, and where. And only the morning of the resurrection, you will see how very different, and conflicting they actually are.

      @ Tellulah I am new to the CNN site, I used to have fun of the Faux News comments section with the religous until someone started talking about the vile, hatred found on there, and Faux News closed the comments section. This may be an exercise in futility because I am afraid you may be right about Chad.

      January 9, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • rabidatheist

      And Chad, insulting historians that don't agree with your story does NOT make their research invalid. You would have made a great Grand Inquisitor!

      January 9, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      Rabidathiest: It's futile to engage in conversation with Chad, as he has a very difficult time with being honest. There are more interesting people to spar with here, and some christians who are actually earnest and nice.

      Chad: The bible can never be considered an unbiased account, as the thing was collated to support a very specific belief, one which has no outside, neutral sources to verify it. It can not be considered reliable, as we have no idea who wrote it or when. There is no evidence whatsoever to support the supernatural claims made by the bible. It has the same historical importance as the Iliad, another book of unknown origin which chronicles the workings of the divine among the mortal.

      You can twist the words of others and lie all day, Chad. It still won't make your belief into evidence. Sorry. I"ll give you the last word here, because I'm not coming back to this thread. You just aren't that interesting.

      January 9, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Chad

      @rabidatheist "Do you have ANY evidece for Mark that dates to the first century? NO you don't, the earliest references, and written evidence doesn't come until the second century."
      @Chad "sorry, no.. you can go about this several ways:
      1. look at the analysis of dating for Mark, for example: http://atheism.about.com/od/biblegospelofmark/a/dating.htm
      2. try and find a single reputable scholar that dates Mark to first century, you wont be able to.

      ===========
      @rabidatheist " How do you say they do not conflict when Mark, and John both tell very different stories about the arrest, and death of the alleged Jesus."
      @Chad "they provide different details, but the details dont conflict. That's what you would hope to see from two independent eye witnesses"

      =========
      @rabidatheist "Take all four gospels, and only from the morning of the alleged resurrection, and write down who, what, when, and where. And only the morning of the resurrection, you will see how very different, and conflicting they actually are."
      @Chad "it's been done thousands of times, the conclusion is that they are different details, but they dont conflict.
      see for example: http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/harmony/index.cfm

      January 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "The bible can never be considered an unbiased account, as the thing was collated to support a very specific belief, one which has no outside, neutral sources to verify it."
      @Chad "utter nonsense on both points, we have much extrabiblical support, and claiming that none of the ancient texts that were later collected as the new testament are corrupt by definition is utterly fallacious (that's why no serious historian makes that claim).

      as I said before, do some reading and you see all of the evidence for dating and authorship.

      The problem you are suffering from, is one of familiarity. You simply have no familiarity with the bible, or the historical research surrounding it. You just came in with "it's all nonsense" and started trying to find something to copy and paste. That's why your views arent shared by any reputable historian.

      January 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Chad This is the first paragraph of that link, so pay attention."Because of the reference to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (Mark 13:2), most scholars believe that Mark was written some time during the war between Rome and the Jews (66-74). Most early dates fall around 65 CE and most late dates fall around 75 CE"

      It's because of the reference to the destruction of Jerusalem....the content. That content in the bible is told as a prophecy that Jerusalem be destroyed. Are you really willing to use a link that says your prophecy was written after the events? I want you to give be evidence that Mark was written in the first century, because all you have is dating based on content.

      January 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Chad

      lol
      that was one site :-) I chose it because it was an atheists site..

      the bible is the most heavily researched book in the history of the world. There are literally hundreds of scholarly works written on the Gospel of Mark alone. I dont blame you for not knowing this, you just first decided that all of Christianity was false, then went looking for something to cut and paste.

      You really should get familiar with the bible if you propose to critique it!

      ^ a b Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. pp. 164. ISBN 0-385-24767-2.
      ^ a b c d Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
      ^ a b "Messianic Secret." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
      ^ Jens Schroter, Gospel of Mark, in Aune, David E., (ed) "The Blackwell companion to the New Testament" (Blackwell Publishing, 2010), p.277-8
      ^ a b c d Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 24-27.
      ^ Mark Roberts, Can We Trust the Gospels, in 2007, p.68
      ^ Jens Schroter, Gospel of Mark, in Aune, p.278
      ^ Bernd Kollmann, Joseph Barnabas (Liturgical Press, 2004), page 30.
      ^ Kirby, Peter. "Gospel of Mark" earlychristianwritings.com Retrieved January 30, 2010.
      ^ Darrell L. Bock (9 October 2007). The Missing Gospels: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities. Thomas Nelson Inc. ISBN 978-0-7852-8906-7. Retrieved 16 October 2010; Black, David Allen, “Why Four Gospels?” 2001, Kregel Publications. ISBN 0-8254-2070-9. Blomberg, Craig, “Jesus and the Gospels”. 2009, B&H Publishing. P 138-140. ISBN 978-0-8054-4482-7. Edwards, James. “The Gospel According to Mark”. 2002 Eerdmans Publishing Co. LaVerdiere, Eugene. “The Beginning of the Gospel”. 1991, The Liturgical Press. ISBN 0-8146-2478-2. (p15)
      ^ Lane, William, The Gospel According to Mark. 1974. Eerdmans Publishing Co. ISBN 0-8028-2502-8.(p 10)
      ^ "Above all the heterogeneous source material which the evangelist has used tells against [the traditional] account... [t]he author of Mark is a collector, in so far as he demonstrably takes up written and oral material from the tradition which varies in both form and theology." Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). p. 26-27
      ^ biblical literature (2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved November 19, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: [1]
      ^ "The Gospel of Mark" Retrieved 11 November 2012.
      ^ Papias, quoted in Eusebius History of the Church, trans. G.A. Williamson (London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1965). 3.39.15 / pp. 103–4. Also available online
      ^ Irenaeus, Against Heresies III.1.1. Available online
      ^ James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2002) p.6
      ^ Adela Yarbro Collins: Mark: a commentary. Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2007, p. 19-22. ISBN 978-0-8006-6078-9.
      ^ Adela Yarbro Collins: Mark: a commentary, p. 21-33.
      ^ Adela Yarbro Collins: Mark: a commentary, p. 33-42.
      ^ Adela Yarbro Collins: Mark: a commentary, p. 42f.
      ^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). Chapter 2. Christian sources about Jesus.
      ^ Peter, Kirby (2001-2007). "Early Christian Writings: Gospel of Mark". Retrieved 2008-01-15.
      ^ Achtemeier, Paul J. (1991–). "The Gospel of Mark". The Anchor Bible Dictonary. 4. New York, New York: Doubleday. p. 545. ISBN 0-385-19362-9.
      ^ M.G. Easton, Easton's Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897), "Luke, Gospel According To"
      ^ Meier, John P. (1991). A Marginal Jew. 2. New York, New York: Doubleday. pp. 955–6. ISBN 0-385-46993-4.
      ^ Helms, Randel (1997). Who Wrote the Gospels?. Altadena, California: Millennium Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-9655047-2-7.
      ^ Marcus, Joel (2004). The Way of the Lord: Christological Exegesis of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Mark. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 115. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/978-0-567-08266-0|978-0-567-08266-0]].
      ^ a b Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. "Luke," p. 267-364

      January 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad it doesn't matter how large a bibliography you post, the fact remains that there is too much unknown about those writings. And of most concern to me is that we don't anything about the true author.

      January 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chad

      Interesting how you are perfectly ready to accept a single source, anonymous astronomical diary for which we have absolutely no clue who wrote it, written after the fact, but reject a multiply attested account for which we know the author.
      :-)

      That's why I dearly love assembling your "requirements for authenticity of ancient texts", because then we can see how other ancient texts that you accept perfectly fine, dont even come remotely close to meeting them.

      January 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  15. End Religion

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

    January 6, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • yes

      the Bible can be fun!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:53 am |
  16. Kimberly

    HELLO: Mt 9:15, Lk 5:35, Rev 21:2, Psl 19:5, Isa 50:1, Mk 10:7-8, Rv 21:9-10, Eph 5:25-32.

    All this to say WIFE=CHURCH.

    Marriage between a man and a woman is the earthly representation of the spiritual relationship between G-d and "man," or between Christ and His followers. Between a man and a woman to represent two differences becoming one, just as Christ becomes one with His followers, so as is Christ one with the Father.

    And for those who falsely believe that He is done w/Israel aka Jews, and that Christians have somehow usurped that relationship, He says to her [Israel], "who gave you a bill of divorcement?" While Christians are grafted in through the sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross, G-d has not cut off the root of Jessie, the seed of Jacob.

    And He says that we are just like in the times of Noah, which means that right now the door to the "ark" of Grace is WIDE open, but once HE shuts that door to Grace (just like HE shut Noah's ark's door before the flood), then at that point NO ONE will be able to enter.

    Selah ... STOP & Consider.

    January 6, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Kimberly", but "Christ", "G-d", "the Father", "He" and "Noah" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • franklin revels

      yes, you are right. I believe in g-d and have faith in Jesus by HIS gift of faith.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • CJA

      What you've got is a circular argument. Basically you say "This book is true because it says inside that it is". The book can be the Quran the hristain Bilble or whatever. You can't apply logic because reduces ti "it s true because it says it is true". But the way is is to say "I like to believe X is true" and then notice that NO ONE, no skeptic can say you are wrong. How can we say what you like or don't like. Now your other statements are all based on "I Like To,..." and must be in fact true.

      January 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • L.H

      Hal9001-you mean you believe they are myths!!!! you have no idea if it is or not–be straightforward or you'll be mocked and laughed at for actually believing your beliefs are "The Beliefs" LOL LOL

      January 6, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Hairy Johnson

      Jesus Christ is the one true living God <3 Amen!

      January 6, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • End Religion

      If the bible were the word of god it's originating texts would not have been altered (neither have been translated, had gaps in its original text filled in, nor had portions voted on at the First Council of Nicaea)

      January 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
  17. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    Again, with or without an apparently dirty, sometimes sick "Jesus-wife":

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

    p.4

    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    January 6, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • A Cross

      No bones of Adam or Eve yet. and the fossil record around the planet is huge. Go figure or the talking snake with bones inside

      January 7, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  18. jingo

    the whole jesus thing is a lie

    January 6, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • ReligionPigeon

      The only true Lord is Dread Cthulhu; Bringer of Eternal Darkness.

      May His darkness fall upon you, and your pain and suffering know no bounds.

      "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn"

      January 7, 2013 at 12:46 am |
  19. jerry

    The entire bible is composed of stories that were scrapped together on bits of papyrus from that era just like this one. Anyone could have written them and changed them for any reason. They are just stories with moral messages from that time period. Allowing these papyrus bits to rule your life today when we know so much more about our environment is just silly.
    Are there great take aways from the stories? Sure... but should we let people from that time period with technological limitations who tried to explain issues they had no way of understanding with made up stories overrule what we understand today? Absolutely not.

    January 6, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Athy

      Well said, Jerry. One of the most logical statements I've ever read here. Which means, of course, that none of the religies will believe it.

      January 6, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • Shane

      Unfortunately many (if not most Christians) believe the Bible to be infallible, and that divine intervention has made it so that the word of God has not been changed through the years.

      And no matter how many holes are poked into the stories, how many are shown to be false, such as the lack of real evidence that the Jews were enslaved in Egypt in the vast numbers stated in the Bible.

      January 6, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • End Religion

      I know little of Jewish history so correct me if I'm wrong but this appears to be a Jewish web site claiming there is no evidence for the mass Egyptian slavery myth mentioned in the bible: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/the-jewish-thinker/were-jews-ever-really-slaves-in-egypt-or-is-passover-a-myth-1.420844

      The article is rife with upset comments but none of them actually present any proof, just the bible, and "of course it happened because I believe it" arguments. It has no bearing on me either way aside from the fact that the actual truth of the matter would interest me.

      This article claims the same; Jews were never Egyptian slaves en masse and there was no mass exodus.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/staks-rosch/the-biblical-exodus-story-is-fiction_b_1408123.html

      January 6, 2013 at 4:05 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 6, 2013 at 7:41 am |
    • End Religion

      oy!

      January 6, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • lol??

      Reality sayz,
      "........not one shard of pottery.""..........."Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou [art] our father; we [are] the clay, and thou our potter; and we all [are] the work of thy hand."............"Jer 18:4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it]." ...."Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"

      January 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  20. Mike in Honolulu

    ......And Jesus said:' Take my wife--please!"

    January 6, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • Jeff Cox

      You're telling me that Jesus was just another Jewish comedian?

      January 6, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • I AM

      Henny Youngman traces his linage to Jesus. It is a long line of one line comedians.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:18 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.