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.”
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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.
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For more insight into this check out the novels - king of Bat'ha by Hashim -- and sequel - Tales from the East by Ivanhoe - for more perspective on religious beliefs based upon actual experiences.
hi, I'm a Christian. That means that I KNOW God is real. that means I KNOW that Christ died for my sins. that means I KNOW He rose again after 3 days and then later ascended into Heaven. I KNOW He's real because I feel Him everyday. I KNOW because He's been there through every trial I've been through – He's given be strength when I had none. If you don't believe in Him I can't make you but neither can you change my mind. The only One who can change anyone's mind is God. So all you other Christians who have been typing please remember this and less hatred in your messages
Actually that's a delusion. Even the simplest definition of knowledge would disagree with you. "True justified belief". Your belief might be true, that's not for you or I to say, but it's completely unjustified. So you're wrong. Sorry.
To All creationists time to evolve.
Published on Jan 13, 2013
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundred of thousands of years. So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome—an extraordinary technical feat that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago—but their analysis showed that "we" modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today. In "Decoding Neanderthals," NOVA explores the implications of this exciting discovery. In the traditional view, Neanderthals differed from "us" in behavior and capabilities as well as anatomy. But were they really mentally inferior, as inexpressive and clumsy as the cartoon caveman they inspired? NOVA explores a range of intriguing new evidence for Neanderthal self-expression and language, all pointing to the fact that we may have seriously underestimated our mysterious, long-vanished human cousins.
Science & Technology
Why is it so hard for people to have faith. If there is spirits or ghost or whatever you wanna call them out there, and don't be naive and say they don't exist and they originate from an obvious unkown energy, force, or what have you, don't you think there would be such a thing as a "God". These are things we still don't understand, or wait a minute . . . "Man" knows everything, right? This is where faith comes in. Just as when "Man" thought the earth was flat and you would fall off the edge and Bammmm the earth is round. Just wait when "Man" finds out the truth, hopefully a sign will come or even the 2nd coming (I personally don't need it )that will prove his Divine Existence, since "Man" is so hard headed and stuck on what he can only see just as when the ocean looks flat when looking at it's horizon! God Bless All!
No gods, no devils, no demons, ghosts, vampires or goblins. You'll go on waiting because this purported "2nd coming" has been 2000 years in the making. Jesus is vaporware.
Only thing people believe on these blogs is "science" which they also disagree on.
Earth’s timeline works better than the bible's timeline
Trace our planet's geological and biological ages
Amen. And as far the 'The Bing Bang Theory' I say you can't have a 'bang' without a banger!...common sense will at least allow you to believe in a divine God.
This papyrus, just like the fictional "da Vinci Code", is no more probale, or improbable, than the Gospels that describe God getting a Virgin pregnant without her prior knowledge or permission, and Wise Men from the East who were too thoughtless to realise that telling the reigning King about the birth of a King-to-be was potentially Unwise.
It is, in general, a bad idea for grown up people to proceed on a basis of "faith" in improbable stories. If someone offers you a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably isn't good.
If somebody offers you a religious belief that is incredibly wonderful, take the word "incredible" literally, and don't believe it.
Actually the ancient Greeks figured out the earth was round. The flat earth stuff only came with the church out of the dark ages when Europe lost most of its knowledge. The knowledge was never actually lost however as the Muslim empire had expanded, incorporated and added to it. When this knowledge was "rediscovered" it kicked off the renaissance and Europe once again got back up to speed and added to the body of learning (after the church sentenced people like Galilieo to house arrest until he died etc).
who can find something in the Gnostic gospels that says anything about Jesus wife?
this wife thing is nothing more than an illuminati scam.
The entire Babble is nothing but a scam.
that last reply about the blood moons was decent ill have to do some more research.
did you see all that 9th AV business. ?
anyways in ezekiel they have the temple specs for the millineal kingdom and there is a person referred to as the prince and he involved in the sacrifice ritual symbolizing that he is a sinner, so this is not some descendant of Jesus either.
Sorry CREATION LOST. austin
EVOLUTION IN A TEST TUBE Jan. 30 2013
3-D structure of the evolved enzyme (an RNA ligase), using 10 overlaid snapshots. In the top region, the overlays show the range of bending and folding flexibility in the amino acid chain that forms the molecule. The two gray balls are zinc ions. (University of Minnesota)
University of Minnesota researchers unveil first artificial enzyme created by evolution in a test tube
Amen. And as far the 'The Bing Bang Theory' I say you can't have a 'bang' without a banger!...common sense will at least allow you to believe in a divine God.
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
– Some guy named Al
If Jesus Christ used the term wife then He would have been referring to the church, since we are the bride of Christ.
I wish I could say that's the dumbest thing I've ever read on here, but it's not, which makes it even more depressing.
jim: the bride of christ? is he on top, or are you on top? does he enter from the "back door" of the church?
@sam stone..., from which side He enters in you? Do you have any sides at all???
i have an inside and and outside
Except that unless you happen to be Jewish, the church you worship in did not exist in Jesus' time. All Christian churches owe their existence, whether as breakaways (Lutheran, most protestant sects) or the two so-called "Mother" churches (RC and Eastern Orth) to the Council of Nicaea in 325, roughly three centuries after the events described in the four canonical gospels.
Ergo- any reference Jesus may have made regarding his "wife" cannot have been to the Christian church- it simply did not exist yet.
You are correct to say that Christ would be referring to the church when he mentions His wife, and for those who thinks its dumb look through the Scriptures, Christ repeatedly mentions the church being His bride, because he wants us to have a personal relationship with Him, and the Earthly equivalent that people who now read it and who heard it back then would be marriage
As an intellectual and scholar I hardly think Harvard would be thought of as any sort of authority on anything other than maybe a law degree.
well, as long as the word comes from an "intellectual and a scholar"
wow. an intellectual AND a scholar.
Harvard presently has one of the world's most expert and eloquent biologists, E.O.Wilson. It also had the late and equally eminent Stephen Jay Gould. Besides those two, I doubt that their law degrees are any more distinguished than that.
They also have a theological college that actually thinks.
That scroll looks like it was written with a Sharpie.
The name "Jesus" has been found in more than 70 different tombs in and around Jerusalem. It is a common name. The only reason why this is even so-called "news" is because the mainstream media wants to lead people away from God. "They knew God, but they wouldn't worship Him or give Him thanks...Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God's justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too." Romans 1:21, 28-32
Sounds like Romans was prophetic to the attention of the Social Conservative Christians of the Republican Party who have embraced Mammon and Ayn Rand economics.
You purport to speak for god and WE are boastful?
Nothing arrogant about that
@Bob the Janitor
Check your god(S) at the cave enterance before entering.. No god(s) required for studying humans..
updated 1 hour 55 minutes ago
Jan. 29 2013
Scientists have unearthed and dated some of the oldest stone hand axes on Earth. The ancient tools, unearthed in Ethiopia in the last two decades, date to 1.75 million years ago.
Ancient DNA reveals humans living 40,000 years ago in Beijing area related to present-day Asians, Native Americans January 21, 2013
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-ancient-dna-reveals-humans-years.html#jCp
Another one for you Bob the Janitor
EVOLUTION IN A TEST TUBE Jan. 30 2013
Jesus was the first stand-up comedian. "Take my wife...please!"
He was also half Vulcan.
If the text cuts off where the article says it does, why is this in any way decisive, even if Jesus actually uttered the words? From a guy who supposedly spoke in parables often, isn't it possible he was about to spin a tale or recite some sort of godly lesson that strated with "let's suppose I had a wife who did x." The grammar is the key – the indicator of a hypothetical scenario could have been further along in the sentence... anyone speak ancient Coptic who would know this?
This fragment is going to quietly go away. The good doctor got the cart in front of the horse and her claims cannot be substantiated. The media, in a frenzy to display controversy, jumped on the wagon and now they have to wash the egg off their collective faces as quietly as they can. Unless someone can figure out a way to package the story with as broad a credibility as possible while impugning Christianity at the same time it will become a dormant project.
CT, without even realizing it, your argument presents a logical position as to why the entire bible is a collection of unsubstantiated stories. Ancient "spun tales," indeed!
"There ain't no jesus gonna come from the sky.
Now that I found out, I know I can cry." – John Lennon
I know this is hard you non believers to understand.. But the bride is the church. The Bride is not a literal one dimensional that non believers understand. The bride is not a certain religion. The Bride are the people who have spiritually acquired a relationship with Jesus. They are the ones who keep Him up front in everything they do. Not the flamboyant type who run around and where the t-shirts and speak the lingo. They are the ones who you see that are morally sound continue the study of the holy bible yet are not religious and they love and care for everyone including Jews and Israel. They believe actions speak louder than words. There is something about them that you want, but are not willing to do.
Sigh... "Jesus' bride is the Church..." they say in many ways and forms, completely forgetting or overlooking the idea that at the time he said it (and taking it on 'faith' that he did actually say something like "my wife"), the "church" they are claiming he meant simply did NOT exist!
All Christian churches, from Roman Catholic to Lutheran to anglican, unitarian, presbyterian, baptist, 7th day adventist, etc, etc, etc, owe their origins to the consolidation of over 55 seperate sects into one "catholic" church under the Romans in the 4th Century. So when the man claimed to be speaking of his "bride", how could he possibly be referring to an organised church that did not yet exist? And I doubt he was referring to his own religion- Judaism. He spent his last years preaching change, so I doubt he was happy with the status quo on that front.
That you felt you had to use the word small "c" christian. I hate that people have to label themselves as Atheists, atheists, Christians, christians, Jews and jews and so on. We can't just be Joe, John, Bob, Susan and Lisa anymore. Now we "are" our label.
Jesus was an urban legend. All the Church is his bride is malarkey.
Get a life. You are like a child with an imaginary friend.
Hater- While my reasons for the nym are my own, please feel free to just call me Ishamel, if you wish.
Appologies small "c" Christian. Well earned. I just hate labels, not you personally.
at small c christian............no if you read the old testament, and other parts in the new testament, he talks all about the bride groom , and relates it to the old testament Jewish cultural event of a wedding, a dowry, going into the chamber.....your argument is contextually ignorant and short sighted. and you are clearly desperate which is wicked weather that was your intention, which you would not admit, your heart is desperately wicked and deceitful beyond measure.
Wow... desperate. Been a long time since someone resorted to that in response to a logical statement. I can apply some of your fragmented logic (actual citations would have been more appropriate than name-calling) to the Old Testament sections, perhaps. However, you know that virtually every book of the New Testament was written "after the fact", carefully selected works were chosen for inclusion into the so-called NT, and other than being a central character in the tales, Jeses himself had nothing to do with the writing of those stories, and he sure did not write them himslf.
People speculate all the time. They write up things, they write things as they wish they were, or try to provoke scandal. I'm sure that was true back then too. I'm waiting until something concrete comes out before wasting too much time on it. That's advice that I;m prepared to give everyone, including the media person who wrote this article despite a complete lack of new news about anything,
What irks me is the damage this story does on mere speculation. If this was genuine, it should have been released after testing, not before. This story is mainly to cast doubt on the truth. To spin a liberal take on Jesus, and that's wrong. Everytime something like this comes up, it ends up being exposed, but that won't stop some liberal from basking in this deception, going: I told you all that stuff wasn't real. Eventually, when this is shown to be false, or, at worse a plant, what then? We just sweep its dubious origins under the rug?
Honest historians know that Jesus is a amalgam of multiple protestors and rebels against the Romans, and that most of the people he was modeled had wives and families. When Constantine ordered the New Testament written in 300 AD, they sifted through a lot of ancient records and cherry picked the ones he approved with edits. Jesus was a man in the early version, the resurrection myth was added during he dark ages around 600 AD—earlier version don't have it. But the Christian churches of the world cannot let such things be widely known, so they've suppressed the truth for 1,000s of years and will continue to do so.
There are only 3 reason why Jesus will have never had a wife.
1. Any known living children or descendants would diminish the power and authority of the church both figuratively and literally.
2. Any known living children or descendants would be hunted down and forced to live up to the expectations of the ever caring believers, and/or be protected and hidden by, or destroyed by the church. Either way, one would have to believe between Jesus and his father any descendants would be protected by omission.
3 As a man Jesus chose not get married. His free will; not mine, not yours, nor his fathers' will shall change the truth.
Given all three reasons, you got believe that the church hates it being thrown in their face every day and will do anything to make her stop.
Yes that is right church; Jesus had a choice. Too bad you can not except it.
Evolution wins hands down, it is time for religion to get the hell out of the way !
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.
Part 1 of origin of life
Part 2 above
Where Does All Earth's Gold Come From?
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.
Dr Willbold continued: "Our work shows that most of the precious metals on which our economies and many key industrial processes are based have been added to our planet by lucky coincidence when the Earth was hit by about 20 billion billion tonnes of asteroidal material."
This research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
Darn, so much for my theory that we were an alien genetic experiment.
The emergence of life, huh? Have you tried this experiment in your kitchen with rock, water and carbon dioxide? Do you need any lightning or is it just "poof", and you have life, eh? Do you have to program it to evolve into more complex life forms or is that just an inherent feature?
Why should it be surprising? God and the Holy Spirit spoke to people throughout the Bible! He uses the Holy Spirit to warn us, or to convict us regarding something that endangers us, or that is wrong.. there are countless stories of God warning people of an upcoming danger...God is not in a box. He is all powerful. He created us, and He knows our thoughts, our mind, our desires. Yes, He speaks to us..most Christians hear from Him frequently during prayer...talking with our Daddy. Jews also hear from God...Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac..David. Because people are so prideful that they believe we are the end all, and came from the poof-evolution (now that takes faith!) educational brainwashing, they do not want to acknowledge that there is anything greather than they are. How can anyone see a baby grow in the womb and not believe in God...Oh, I am sorry...it is the evolution god. (satan?)
Not a reply, a completion.
Jesus called us, his followers his Bride. Perhaps that is what the athiests saw to try to convince themselves of the lack of thruth of the Bible...We are the Bride of Christ..but I was never married to Him...I became His bride when I accepted Him as my Lord.
sounds like a lot of conjecture
I've honestly never heard the oxymoron "educational brainwashing". See, education is what sets people free. Brainwashing is what religion is... the forcing of conjecture as fact. Christians hear what they want to hear – fact is, there's nothing there.
How foolish my generation is. Jesus' bride is the church, symbolically showing His sacrificial love and laying His life down for her (Ephesians 5). And no, the story of Jesus is not a lie. People who say that only want to establish their own worldview so they can live however they want. The Bible is not a fictional story 'book'. It's breathed out by God Himself (theopneustos). There is no higher authority than the Bible; people love to attack it, because people hate authority instinctually. Yet God can change stone hearts to become flesh, and change sinners like myself and all of mankind to love Him, only because He loved me first. 1 John 4:19.
Jesus' bride is the church, not one person. If He did, we would've heard about it LONG before. His purpose was to die, so that we could have life. And He is living now. Thank you Jesus.
Thank you David! Well, said.
"There is no higher authority than the Bible." So the people that lived thousands and thousands of years before the Bible were just doomed from the get-go I suppose. Yet somehow they managed to keep the human species going. I don't attack the Bible because of some "hatred for authority." I attack it because a) it contradicts itself repeatedly b) so much of the information in it has been discredited it can't even hold on to its "divine" status anymore and c) there is far too much justification for Old Testament laws. Whether they apply to us or not is irrelevant, they applied to some culture somewhere at some time, and if they are supposed to have been decreed by some almighty being, then that being is a malicious jerk, end of story
Clearly you're angry that you never outgrew the hold the Bible is meant to place on people, both intellectually and authoritatively. You fear it, not us. I fear God as much as I fear Santa won't bring me presents this year.
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.