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.
The Vatican needs to sit down and shut up! They don't want their deceptions exposed! They are the perpetrators of so many lies in order to manipulate people for their own ends, mainly money and control. Mary wasn't a virgin either. That deliberate lie was a political decision at the Council of Nicea made to control and oppress women! Evil, evil religion! No wonder people are leaving it in droves! I hope it dies out!
There's nothing more ridiculoys than a wannabee theologian showing off their lack of knowledge!
Mary, the Mother of Jesus appeared at Loiurdes to a girl called Bernadette. She [an ignorant peasant girl] asked the Lady who she was; and the Lady said "I am the Immaculate Conception" – an expression the girl didn't even know the meaning of.
Now Burbank – Don't you THINK Mary, the Virgin Mother of Jesus knew better than you that she WAS born without sin so that she was spiritually immaculate and so fit to bear the Son of God?
It's not rocket science B, get over yourself!
Sorry – couple of spelling bloopers – I was so MAD at this Burbank creature I didn't check!
"ridiculoys" does have a nice ring to it...
Does it really matter if he was married or not. We Christians accept him as the son of God. I don't care whether he wa married or not. He saved us all. Cut him some slack.
What did you need saving from?
" He saved us all."
Saved us from what? What is your verified evidence for this 'saving'?
(p.s. do you really love, worship and want to spend eternity with a being who you need to be saved from?...one who gets off on a human sacrifice as appeasement for his own alleged botch-job of creating humans?)
I needed saving from death. I developed a blood clot in my lung. Asked for a healing and I got it. Some would say that I was going to get well any way. I believe but for the prayer of my family, friends and myself that I would have died. It doesn't matter if no one believes me. I believe. To each his own.
Good news on the recovery, but it's unverifiable as an act of god and brings up the question of why a god would make the choices it is attributed with i.e. why some survive and not others. There's no rhyme nor reason – same result as an arbitrary choice or plain luck.
Haha, watch neil degrassi video on youtube abou that, he said people equating good things happening to them is a farce, look at all the bad things that happen.... it's just as probable that you'll be hit by lightning and die instantly as it is your cancer will magically disappear.
Gambler's eyes. Sylvia E., are you related by chance to Sheila E.?
Some teabagger would use that fragment as a bath towel if it was big enough.
That's a sweet idea. Bible toilet paper and bath towels!
No, Jesus did not get married. Jesus knew that He was going to be crucified (Matt. 20:18-19). He would not have married a woman knowing He would not be able to provide for her later. Also, the Lamb, who is Jesus, will attend the wedding feast as the bridegroom later (Rev. 19:7; 21:9). Jesus already has a bride and that is His church. So, we could say He will be “married” in the future but He was not married while here.
How do you know all this! Were you there?
Satan said to Jesus while he hung on the cross, " Where's your victory now Son of God ? "
Jesus said , " Last chance to recuse yourself as judge , jury and executioner , lest ye spend eternity in
HHHHEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ". end of story.
Jesus wife is the Church. the Bride. The bible says this. no new news.
So then....going up inside a church is adultery no?
You are absolutely correct! And what a glorious day that will be at the wedding feast! I can't wait! Maranatha!!
Aye, fairest colleen... and that lovely pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is beckoning also!
Paddy – Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have is Jesus Christ of Nazareth and He is much more precious :) Thanks for the laugh but I am a complete Jesus freak through and through. He changed my life completely and it was a radical change which I can't deny or anyone who knows me. It would be too much for a little green leprechaun to handle. :) Jesus loves you too!
if Jesus had male organ, I am sure he used it too
keep your children and livestock behind locked doors. Oh wait, he got out of his tomb, didn't he? Shucks, I guess he can walk through walls...
All atheist types lie all the time, the two things atheism brings to the world have been lying and mass murder.
I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your assertions regarding atheism are unfounded generalizations. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".
The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:
"pervert alert" degenerates to:
"Taskmaster" degenerates to:
"Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
"truth be told" degenerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"tina" degenerates to:
"captain america" degenerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"nope" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
and many other names, but of course we all know this resident idiot as
the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer wannabe.
Thanks hal for proving my statements. There is no better example of the disgusting filth that is atheism than the atheist itself.
truth be told... what investigation into atheism have you done be to be sure it's not correct?
I'm sorry, "hal 9001", but your assertions regarding Christianity are unfounded generalizations. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".
your logic is absurd...Think of all the atrocities man has started since the dawn of civilisation – wars, crusades, inqusitions?? Athiests were the minority you idiot....how many atheists do you think were back 1000 years ago or even longer?? Hardly NONE! Everybody believed in a god of some sought – Zues, Thor, Baal, Christ or wherever you grew up really! ...hence all the atrocities (prob 99.9%) that have taken place....have been done not by athiests, but by people who had faith in a religious god of some sought – hence they are not athiests!......my brain hurts from your idiotic statement.
All religious types lie all the time, the two things religion brings to the world have been lying and mass murder.
"truth be told"… Are you an 8 year old child? Or is it total and complete ignorance?… I would love to know how far you went in school…
And how many people have been killed in the name of god?
I'm sorry, "Jenny", but your assertion about my truth value assigned for "truth be told"'s assertions pertained to atheism, not Christianity. If you would like to discuss a truth value that I have assigned in another article or line of discussion, "Jenny", then I'm afraid you'll have to reference that specific article and line of discussion in order for me to help illuminate your misunderstanding. Using my IEE module, "Jenny", I'm afraid I have to assign a truth value of "TOTAL FAIL" for your assertion since you missed the point.
I feel the need to pass this movement on to you all: I apologize for being such a turd.
hal 9001 – I was teasing you but by your reply I would say with total sucess! :) Jesus loves you friend, even if you don't know it, see it or believe it. He still loves you.
I have to agree that i've never seen such liars as atheists. Then again, my brother, a christian, is a pathological liar. So atheists sure don't corner the market on lies. And I've seen plenty of murder from the Catholics. So lets not be the pot calling the kettle black.
Hal 9001 – you flunked history, right?
There has been more torture, persecution, incarceration and mass murder against religious believers in the last 100 years by ATHEISTS than in any/all religious wars in in the history of mankind.
Examples – Mao, ChouEnLei, Stalin, Lenin, Marx, PolPot, Castro, KimJonIl, Hitler etc. And BEFORE you start dribbling into your latte – Castro, Stalin and Hitler were BORN Catholics and lapsed/apostate Catholics who turn to Atheism are the worst and most bitter attackers of their past faith.
Do educate yourself before spouting utter drivel, there's a good chap!
Even if the fragment is proved to be genuinely linked to the 2nd century, that has zero bearing on the truth of what is on it. Lots of people in the 2nd century lied. I could write an article today saying making President Obama say, "I was in fact born in Africa," but that doesn't mean he said it or that he was not born in the states. This is a lot of hype over nothing.
and what was the benefit for making up him being a married man?
Jesus Christ wife is the Church. Jesus is married to the Bride (the Church = believers)
Monica – thak you, good comment.
But for the rest of the trolls on here :
Streuth! you Americans will swallow ANYTHING that smacks of controversy – without a shred of proof!!!!! Even the people who discovered the thing have backed off and admitted it's a long shot!
You DO realise that after Jesus died people named their SONS after Him. So what if a bloke 200 years after Jesus was given His name.......and married........that would mean that HE could have written that minute scrap of a message??????
Noooooooo! You won't accept THAT – it's possible, relevant and not blasphemous – and THAT will never do, will it? How does it feel to have the intellect of a spinach leaf? Huh?
Lots of people lied in the first century, also. Books WERE written to that effect.
Unless God told the Pope himself, I don't see how anyone can say its "a fake". This kind of statement is how the Church erodes its credibility.
God talks to people all the time, or haven't you read that article here?
the church has credibility left?
Well of course the Vatican calls it fake. They might have to acknowledge they have some things wrong. Besides, it wouldn't fit in with their version of the Bible. Plenty of stories were written on the times of Jesus, but only some were deemed "fit" to use in the early bibles. (it's a book, of course there were editors)
The New Testament was written at the time by 4 men who lived, worked with, and were taught by Jesus. Their accounts were immediate and based on eye witness and first hand knowledge. John stood at the foot of the Cross with Jesus' Mother when He died.
You're basing your fragments of knowledge on the Apochryphal gospels written between 150 and 400 years AFTER Jesus' death.
Sweetheart, get educated beforebabbling on about things you don't understand!
yeah ok, whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Patrick, your response is all we can expect from someone who has nothing to say; has low intellect[ but wants to play out with the big kids anyway!
The discussion that i would like to see is the one in which we question all the writings that eventually became the basis for the new testament. when that was compiled, other texts were left out, like the gospel according to Mary. How do we know how accurate ANY of those texts were? we really don't, anymore than we know how accurate this text is.
Brad...BINGO! Exactly! I find it hard to believe none of it was "edited" to suit their own views/beliefs.
The gospel according to MARY??????? Either you're "on" something and it ain't legal, or you've got a crystal ball. Whatever will you half-witted trolls dream up next........................ that IKEA has been going strong since the second century AD? LOL – whenever I nbeed a good laugh I just log on to belief blog. Only in America, folks!
@ Guest. Hating is not a virtuous quality.
Jesus' marital status is completely irrelevant to his teachings. He probably was married, like most men his age at that time. Just one more way in which God became a man. It makes the trinity argument stronger.
the problem with these people refusing to accept Jesus being a married man, they think it is a sin to accept that their Son of God was making love to someone, human style
I think it is obvious to all if jesus was having sex with anyone it was the young boys from the neighborhood, and other assorted livestock.
when Jesus was having intercourse with his wife do you think he said "oh me, oh me, oh me"?
ha ha. that is clever and funny.
Jesus is married, to the Church. The Bride and the Bridegroom.
lol. i am concerned about your moniker, though. sometimes it seems every baby daddy in america is claiming "the chair is not my son".
Jesus indeed did have a wife. She was Mary Magdalene, who traveled with Jesus during much of his preaching. It would be highly unusual for a rabbi, such as Jesus, not to have a wife.
So because it wold be highly unusual you're going to go ahead call it a fact? The dude factually never existed to begin with. So that means he couldn't have had a wife.
people back then were so orthodox, it was highly highly unusual for a grown man not to have a wife
But Jesus came from the Galilee, which was a very liberal place with lots of gentile, pagan influences. The Pharisees were going up there trying to rein in these Jews, and bring them back to strict practice. This is the source for that negative att_itude people had about anything coming from the Galilee, and the conflict between liberal Jesus and the Pharisees. With that in mind, he could very well have just been a single guy who up and declared himself a rabbi one day, doing against tradition as he was so apt to do.
Historical Textual Evidence for Jesus’ Existence
There are over 42 sources within 150 years after Jesus’ death which mention his existence and record many events of his life. They are as follows:
9 Traditional New Testament Authors – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Author of Hebrews, James, Peter, and Jude.
20 Early Christian Writers Outside the New Testament – Clement of Rome, 2 Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, Didache, Barnabas, Shepherd of Hermas, Fragments of Papias, Justin Martyr, Aristides, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Quadratus, Aristo of Pella, Melito of Sardis, Diognetus, Gospel of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, and Epistula Apostolorum.
4 Heretical Writings – Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Truth, Apocryphon of John, and Treatise on Resurrection. 9 Secular Sources – Josephus (Jewish historian), Tacitus (Roman historian), Pliny the Younger (Roman politician), Phlegon (freed slave who wrote histories), Lucian (Greek satirist), Celsus (Roman philosopher), Mara Bar Serapion (prisoner awaiting execution), Suetonius, and Thallus.
Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor who reigned during Jesus’ ministry, has 10 authors who mention his existence within 150 years of his life. These include: Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Seneca, Paterculus, Plutarch, Pliny the Elder, Strabo, Valerius Maximum, and Luke. If one removes Luke, since he is a New Testament source, there are 9 secular non-Christian sources. This means that there are just as many non-Christian sources for Jesus’ existence as there are for Tiberius Caesar’s! And, to compare, the total number of sources between Jesus and Tiberius Caesar are 42:10. Therefore, there are over four times as many sources for Jesus’ life and deeds than for Tiberius Caesar’s. If one is going to doubt the existence of Jesus, one must also reject the existence of Tiberius Caesar.
?????????????? Is the life of Jesus a usual story to you?
Jenny, the bible is a known fraud and any other "witness" account outside of the bible has been debunked. I will grant you we may never know if some dude named Jesus lived during that time - I would assume that is indeed possible. However, there is not one scintilla of proof "jesus the son of god" ever existed: not one.
End Religion – What proof or evidence do you have to support your claim? What leads you to that belief? Do tell. I have studied plenty of manuscript evidence, fulfilled prophecy, archeological evidence, and many other proofs and evidences of the Bible's trustworthiness. When you say there is no proof to support Jesus being the Son of God I would disagree. There is the resurrection of Christ as well as His miracles and fulfilled prophecies – prophecies that were made 800-1000 years before Jesus' birth that were fulfilled by Him. If you really want to disprove Christianity, I would challenge you to study the resurrection of Christ and present the evidence you find – not your feelings or beliefs but the historical evidence you find and go where it leads you. Please don't come back with mere assertions. That is if you are up to the challenge.
Neither your god nor a son of god exists until I see proof he did. There is no such proof. Not the tiniest scrap of it. If you're the kind to fall for prophecy you will believe anything *except* actual evidence. It is hilarious every time you nutters trot out "archaeological evidence" which shows a certain city may have existed at a certain place in an approximate time therefore god sent his only son to die for your sins: your delusion is as amazing as it is incongruous.
Jim, that's wishful thinking at best. While I agree that it's possible, there is no proof at all.
And you know this Guest because you read a book written in 3 languages, (2 of them dead) by scores of people over a 100 year time frame 2,000 years ago? Where did you see the original?
Try to debunk this all you like, but there is still the issue of God himself having a wife, a separate goddess that many Hebrew women worshipped.
there is no such thing as the god or goddess you believe in.
Can anyone "prove" that this goddess did not exist any more than we can prove that God did not? Believers are very selective about which gods and goddesses they, or anyone else, can just label "myth" without proof.
They don't exist until they are proven to have existed. There is no such proof.
"They don't exist until they are proven to have existed. There is no such proof."
Seriously, you're a nutter. Take a philosophy class. And no, I'm not a religious person, I just don't like people like you tarnishing the image of other non-believers.
Saraswati, take a class on kissing my ass. Pucker up, sweetie, there's no tuition.
@Guest "He was sent to earth to save us from our sin! " and someone forgot to display "Mission Accomplished" banner behind his cross, when he was being nailed!!
Jesus did NOT have wife. He was NOT sent to earth to marry, He was sent to earth to save us from our sin! Jesus is, was and ALWAYS will be the son of God AND God, the seond person of the trinity! I hate when people try to make Him something He was NOT and spread lies about Jesus, our Lord and Savior! It's blasphemy!
Considering the whole story is made up by men, I surprised you ahve such strong feelings. Did you also get upset because Dumbledore was gay?
I'm sorry, "Guest", but "God", "He", "Him", "son of God", "Lord", "Savior" and "the trinity" are all elements of mythology, therefore all of 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".
Speaking of making him into something he was not, it doesn't get any more absurd then raising his status from regular human to god.
Jesus liked his wine, and was even accused of being a drunkard, so he obviously did think of his own human pleasures sometimes, right?
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by her actions." Matt. 11:19
Hate? Wow that is not very Christian of you Guest.
God Bless you Guest. You're right but trying to explain it to these mindless trolls is like peddling in a hamster wheel!
Guest – What sins were we saved from? When a child is born what sin has it committed? How in the world can he be the son of God and God? You are a very confused individual. You "hate" when people spread lies yet you have not proven anything to be truth.
End Religion – Exactly!
Ryan – the bible thumpers are always the first ones to spew hate. You are correct, not very christian like.
Really??? – LMAO probably!
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.