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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. Live4Him

    @Smithsonian "such as the flood story ... The stories remain a part of folk traditions" : So, why are almost all dinosaur fossils (i.e. world wide) found in flood conditions?

    January 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      do what now? really? are you serious?

      January 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Pete

      LOL! Dude seriously try selling your crap to the world's largest research center. LOL! You just can't handle the bible isn't really an historical document because if contains literary genre. It's why your religion requires you to have faith because you aren't suppose to look at the real facts.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @cedar rapids: Where are most dino fossils found? In sedimentary rock. What causes sedimentary rock – floods.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • GetALife

      There were far more floods spanning orders of magnitude more time than the bible claims. As usual, the bible gets things not just wrong, but very far wrong.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Pete

      "So, why are almost all dinosaur fossils (i.e. world wide) found in flood conditions?"

      That are found in 75 -150 million year old rocks which means it has nothing to do with the story in the bible.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • End Religion

      Here are a few "inconvenient" facts that, each independently of each other, comprehensively disprove the utter garbage of creationism.

      First and most obviously is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor likely wiped them out.

      The fossil record includes the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years ago) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the 700 odd known species of dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths and hairy rhinoceros of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

      The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

      A Tyrannosaurus Rex ate a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark for the entire 360 odd days Noah supposedly spent on the ark. T-Rex was not even the largest carnivorous dinosaur we know of. Spinosaurus, Argentinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus were all larger and ate more even meat. Even they were not large enough to bring down the largest sauropods we know of, many species of which weighed in at close to 100 tons and were about 100 feet long. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships larger than the D-Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the ark.

      Then, of course, there are the various races of human beings. There were no Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Australian Aboriginals, blonde haired Scandinavians, Pygmies or Eskimos on the Ark. Where did they come from?

      Second, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another, independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large, often Carboniferous Period forests, in the case of coal, or tiny marine creatures in the case of oil. For the fossils to develop into oil or coal takes tens or hundreds of millions of years of “slow baking” under optimum geological conditions. That’s why they are called “fossil fuels.” Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this.

      Third, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13, 700,000,000 years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see the collective, misty light of many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny accusatorial witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

      Fourth, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims, the Universe about three times the age of the Earth.

      Fifth, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed.

      Sixth, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ simplistic and patently absurd explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

      Seventh, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

      I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics. Even large parts of medical research would be rendered unusable but for the fact that monkeys and mice share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs.

      In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders copying then extant mythology were wrong. Creationists aren’t just trying to swim upstream against the weight of scientific evidence; they are trying to ascend a waterfall.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Yum

      Live4Him,

      How many human bones have been found in the stomach/digestive regions of the thousands upon thousands of dinosaurs which have been discovered?

      January 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • JJ

      Lol...and we wonder why we're going down the shiter. You need to stop watching the Flintstones and listening to your pastor and crack open a 2nd grade Science book.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • ??

      @ end religion..BRILLIANT post.I would love to have a copy of that to show the friendly neighbourhood religious folks when they come a-knocking

      January 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Support_The_Troops.

      If the religious people think evolution is part of God's design that whole copy and pasted segment is irrelevant.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • My goodness but you’re stupid

      “why are almost all dinosaur fossils (i.e. world wide) found in flood conditions”

      The fossils are found in rock that is formed in standing bodies of water pools, ponds, lakes. Not in deluges like a flood. Next thing you’re going to be telling us is that fish are proof of the flood because they live in water.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Bob F

      Here's a fact that comprehensively disproves the utter garbage of evolution: The changes that are required for macro-evolution simply do not happen. They are emperically observed to not happen. Mutations that would be necessary for new structures or processes absolutely do not occur, this is observable BILLIONS of times EACH DAY on this planet as things reproduce. Like kind produces like kind, with 100% observable surity. Yes, there are plenty of variations within a type such as wolves to dogs, etc. but none of that ever involves new structures or processes, so responders please don't waste your time citing micro-evolution (i.e. adaptation) as macro-evolution.
      Again, the daily emperical and QUITE OBVIOUS observation shows that evolution simply does not happen.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bob F

      And what do you think would happen, over millions of years, of many minor mutations? Are you so obtuse that you would ignore the actual DNA evidence as well?

      January 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • little timmy

      Gosh, that's easy Live4Him. I'm sure back in prehistoric times before mankind, there were more floods and shoot – dinosaurs didn't know how to build levees. (I shouldn't be talking to you cause my daddy told me people with those Live4Him bumper stickers talk to themselves and are crazy.) But I had to answer that dumb question.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Dee

      End Religion...I feel like doing a standing ovation after reading that. That was perfectly written. Sadly, no amount of evidence will get through the thick skulls of creationists.

      January 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      @BobFooey: Every aspect of young earth creationism has been refuted. Here are all the arguments and refutations: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc

      Specifically 29+ evidences for macro-evolution: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html

      January 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      'Live4Him @cedar rapids: Where are most dino fossils found? In sedimentary rock. What causes sedimentary rock – floods.'

      flood is one source but wind and natural erosion are a few of the others. Actually flood is the worst one to try to claim as different species of dinosaurs are found in different layers and a global flood wiping them all out at the same time wouldnt be so neat.

      January 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  2. Johnny Johnny Brrrrrrando

    @Zag Zaggy. I find it amusing that a anonymous person always has to write "oh, I'm a graduate from blah blah and have a degree from blah blah, therefore my opinion is valid." Just tell the truth. You work at Fox News and graduated from Southern University in New Orleans with a BA in Fine Arts. Hows that job at the call center going?

    January 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  3. joe

    Interesting that the Vatican immediately said it was a fake, without seeing the fragment or doing any testing whatever. Divine inspiration really comes in handy.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  4. KIrk

    I have no doubt the text on the papyrus is ancient Greek.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Matthew

      The language is not Greek. The language is Coptic, which is an entirely different language that simply used the Greek alphabet in its written form, just as English and Spanish are two different languages although they use similar alphabets.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  5. Olaf Big

    It's like testing Hobbit for factual accuracy, except much less entertaining.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • bob dole

      It's... nothing like that. What's your IQ?

      January 4, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Olaf Big

      Bob, I will be appropriately modest about my intellectual achievements...

      January 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  6. Jay

    Seems like a lot of work to sell something based off a fictional story.

    January 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  7. Blinkers

    Keeping in mind that most language’s of the ancient times only had “masculine” format. Therefore, the “story” of “Jesus” could have also meant the feminine format as well thereby lacking in representation….

    The “story” of “Jesus” could have been about two lesbians…, yet, another Greek tragedy incognito.

    One could only ponder if artificial insemination was available during these ancient times?

    January 4, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Live4Him

      False. The Konine Greek (i.e. the language of the NT) has masculine (i.e. he), feminine (i.e. she) and neuter (i.e. it).

      January 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  8. Live4Him

    Correction:
    Computer analysis of all the known New Testament manuscripts reveal only 0.1 percent variance.
    Hall, Terry – How the Bible Became a Book, SP Publications, 1990

    January 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis; the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Smithsonian: Well, thats YOUR view, but it isn't supported by the evidence. For example, early civilizations believed that the universe consisted of fire, water, earth and sky. However, the Bible records it as consisting of matter, energy and time – which we now know to be true.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • cw

      What does that even mean? What computer analysis? How was it performed? What were the techniques used? Even the accounts of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection in the gospels differ, so that 0.1% variance claim is completely bogus.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "Well, thats YOUR view, but it isn't supported by the evidence."

      The Smithsonian is the world's largest research center and they wrote that statement, so yes they do have the evidence.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'However, the Bible records it as consisting of matter, energy and time '

      oh does it indeed? and where can we find this?

      January 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @cw: A comparison of all the manuscipts / fragments that has Matthew 1:1 were compared to each other via a computer program.

      Computer analysis of all the known New Testament manuscripts reveal only 0.1 percent variance. That means that 99.9 percent of the manuscripts' contents are in perfect agreement. Most of the small percentage of actual differences are in spelling (such as the English "honour" versus "honor"), word order ("Paul the apostle" verses "the apostle Paul"), and grammar ("Father who art in heaven" versus "Father which art in heaven"). And none of the variations affects any basic doctrine.

      Hall, Terry – How the Bible Became a Book, SP Publications, 1990 , pg. 135)

      January 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Just another typical lying christian

      Live4Him” However, the Bible records it as consisting of matter, energy and time – which we now know to be true.”
      Please post the verses from the bible where it records the universe consists ”of matter, energy and time”

      January 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  9. BILL

    THE SO-CALLED BIBLICAL EXPERTS ERR "NOT KNOWING THE SCRIPTURES."
    THE WORD "WIFE" RECORDED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THIS ANCIENT LANGUAGE ALSO MEANS..."BRIDE."
    CHRIST'S BRIDE IS OF COURSE HIS...."CHURCH".....(SINGULAR)
    THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SINLESS SON OF GOD WAS NOT MARRIED.
    HE WAS CRUCIIFIED, BURIED, AND AROSE THE THIRD-DAY, WALKED AMONG THE PEOPLE FOR AN ADDITIONAL 40-DAYS, THEN ASSENDED INTO HEAVEN WHERE HE CURRENTLY SITS AT THE RIGHT-HAND OF THE FATHER.
    THE ONLY "BRIDE OF CHRIST" IS HIS CHURCH.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • joe

      Oy Vey

      January 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Larry

      Your caps locks key does not make you more valid, it just makes you look like a nut job. The person who found the fragment makes no claims about the marital state of Jesus, they just say that the two words appear next to each other on a parchment. They could refer to Jesus having a wife or be the beginning of a point that is unrelated to his marital state that uses a metaphor.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  10. lol??

    Of course Jesus was not married in the conventional sense. Another reason to hate Him by the authorities. Bet Paul was......"Act 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men [and] brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question."

    January 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  11. Deadhead4ever

    You Christians are so uneducated about your own Saviors Life ! ( I can`t even write SAVIOR without laughing )
    He was born a Jew lived as a Jew and died as a Jew ! He did not rest on what is now Sunday . His sabbath was from Sundown Yom Sheeshee ( Friday ) til Erev Shabbat ( Sat night ) . The Last Super was a PASSOVER SERVICE
    He was almost 100 % married as any male of his age would have been . And since this is what the article is about I might as well go ahead and comment on that as well :-)

    January 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • End Religion

      And you know that notion just crossed my mind.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Live4Him

      You do realize that Paul never married – falsifiying your posit.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Lee-Anne Griffin

      Of course we know he was Jewish. Duh. But, to us, he was the messiah. Or Christus in Greek. Hence the name Jesus The Christ. We also know that back then the Sabbath was basically Saturday. When the first Apostles started meeting at the temple on Saturday and preaching the Word, the other Jews wouldn't let them in so they started meeting on Sunday. Over time, Sunday became our day of worship by tradition. And it is absolutely no big deal. But that he was Jewish is no big deal. The followers of Christ eventually left the Jewish church and started their own. Their hope at the time is that all Jews and Gentiles would follow them in the updated Jewish Church. But feel free to feel superior for no reason. Doesn't affect my beliefs or make you any more (or less) intelligent than I am. If you don't have faith, it is impossible to explain it to you.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Deadhead4ever

      I love the first line of defence ...... IT IS A FAKE . Of course its a fake . Everything is FAKE when it flies in the face of what you believe to be the truth. If more and more FACTUAL PIECES OF EVIDENCE were to come out in the future that he was married and had kids( another normal assumtion one can make about a married man his age ) you would all OVERLOOK it becuase YOU HAVE FAITH . YOUR ALL A BUNCH OF SHEEP ( JEWS CHRISTIANS MUSLUMS , BELIEVERS IN DEITIES .)

      January 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • You can’t get there from here

      Lee-Anne Griffin ” If you don't have faith, it is impossible to explain it to you.”

      Translation: I can’t explain to you if you don’t already believe it

      January 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  12. lol??

    The experts must be in a recession and will take any work they can get. WILL WORK FOR FOOD

    January 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  13. Brian Smith

    Athiests and theists both believe that thousands of religons are bogus.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  14. I am not God

    I challenge every human on this planet to prove I am not God.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Does the fact that you want us to prove a negative count?

      January 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Live4Him

      What's my name, birth date and job? You don't know. So, you're not God.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Live- be careful of the game he is playing. I would suggest that he define what "God" means and see if we agree first.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Uncouth Swain: Good point. I assumed the Biblical God.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      Only I am the One True Path, the Bringer of Light, the Spreader of Odiferous Effluence.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • jqp

      The standard test calls for killing you very slowly and waiting to see if you can resurrect and reveal yourself to a very small select group with a vested interest for a very brief period of time. This group them waits somewhere between 50-70 years to record the results - apparently to make sure that any evidence has been lost or forgotten and those who might be able to dispute their version of events is no longer alive.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • joe

      Since you identify yourself as "I am not God," that would seem to settle the matter.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Bob F

      We will when you die.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • I am not God

      Your feeble attempts to prove I am not God, the bringer of life on this planet, have failed.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @I am not God- I have tried to prove nothing. I simply ask questions. Questions that you have failed to answer.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  15. Brian Smith

    Is it written anywhere in the bible that Jesus was not married? Would it be unusual for a Jewish man of that time, at his age, to be unmarried.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Paul never married either, and died long after Christ was crucified. So, you cannot assume that a 30-33 yr od MUST be married. The Bible doesn't mention Jesus being married, but doesn't mention that relationship either – unlike all other familial relationships.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Brian Smith

      I never said he must have been married. I'm simply asking does it say he wasn't married in the bible?

      January 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Erich

      Paul speaks against himself often he speaks of marriage then says a man should never marry. Only a married man would say that. You are right it does not say in our Bible if Jesus was married but other text around the same time do elude to Jesus and Mary (not his mother) special relationship and yes Jewish Law was that a man of the faith must be married. Even Priest which Jesus was. So there for since Paul was also a Jew he must have been married. Don't forgot Paul was so devote to the Hebrew faith he killed apostles of Jesus before he converted.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Live4Him

      Where in the Bible does it say that you would be born? No where. Likewise, the Bible doesn't mention all facts. However, what we DO know is that as Jesus was dying on the cross, he gave His "last will and testament" – i.e. He passed off His responsibility to take care of His mother to a disciple. At this time, He doesn't mention a wife – indicating that He either neglected a responsibility or He didn't have that responsibiility.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • MQ1968

      The Bible does not say Jesus was married, but it refers to the church (His people) as his bride. See Revelation 19:7-9

      January 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • End Religion

      It doesn't matter what was usual or not, Jesus was gay, so he probably didn't want to be tied down to a badgering strumpet.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  16. Paul

    Jesus's 'wife' was the church. Many references in scripture refer to the birde (the church) awaiting the groom (the Christ. Yes folks Jesus had no last name. They were not common then. People were often named for what they were so for decades He was "Jesus the Christ". Over time it simply became "Jesus Christ"). So that may be the resolution to the whole issue. He was about to talk about the church that would come after his resurrection. Or the whole thing could be fiction. beofre the Bible assembled the New Testament, many many stories about Jesus, the apostles, St. Paul, and others circulated like folklore among the peoples. Of course that made it difficult to determine what was folklore and what was truth. As Christians, we need to have faith that the Holy Spirit guided the writers of the Gospels, aided their memory for those who were there (Matthew and John) and helped those who's gospels have been attributed to Peter (Mark) or a mix, especially input from St. Mary (Luke who has the only account of the Nativity, was a physician who administered to all in Jerusalem and traveled with St. Paul on many of this missions). Okay, end of lesson..

    January 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Paul

      Oops, sorry for the crappy spelling!

      January 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Live4Him

      There are 27 books in the NT. All of these were written by an author – i.e. it was NOT assembled. Copies of each of these books were kept in an individual's library. These lists (i.e. canon) were consolidated around 325 AD and bound into a single book called "The Bible" (which means book in Greek).

      January 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • cw

      This gospels were written, at a minimum, 40 years after the death/resurrection of Jesus. NONE of them were "there".

      January 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • .

      "All of these were written by an author"

      And they were edited by scribes and some of the stories where embellished, while others changed the translations of words. The Book of John is one book many theologian experts have shown was not written by the original author and shouldn't have been included in the bible.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Dave

      You could not be more wrong. You fail to account for the era and what ALL hetero Jews did back then. Particularly a Messiah who was preparing to bring his bloodline to the throne. (Messiah means "annointed one" or King). The only one who changed the reality was a Roman citizen (Paul) who was celibate and thought that all should be. There are so many reasons that Peter followed Paul around attempting to convert Paul's Christian Gentiles to Judaism, even Paul mentions that in his letters. Jesus tomb confirms that he was married, a son of his was buried there.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      There are 4 separate authors editors of the new testament and about 16 seperate authors. Just like the old Testament, it was never meant to make sense as a cohesive whole and describes several mystery cults, not just one.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ CW: the NT manuscripts were written between 50=95 AD. Christ was crucified in 33 AD (best estimate). That is 17-62 years after Christ. Assuming that His Disciples were between 18 – 35, all of the manuscripts could be written within a normal 60-80 years lifespan.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @.: A computer comparison of all 24,000 early NT manuscripts are within 99.7% of each other when compared NT book to NT book. This indicates a HIGH degree of accuracy in passing the information down over 2,000 years.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live4Him

      And where do you get your numbers for the average life expectancy in first century Rome?

      January 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • .

      cite your source of that statement.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • .

      cite your source live4him.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live4Him

      You're also conveniently forgetting that the earliest full manuscripts of the gospels are from the 3rd-4th century. Before that are fragments.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @. "cite your source live4him": It was in a book written by FF Bruce, New Testament Manuscripts.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hawaiiguest: As every source I've found indicates an average lifespan of 30-35 years, I'm thinking that Live4him is simply making things up.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ah, an evangelical source, not an objective, historic source. No wonder the numbers were wrong.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @hawaiiguest: A "fragment" is anything less than the full book. Some fragments are less than 6-sq inches, while others have everything except the first 3 chapters. However, we also have another source – the writing of the early church leaders, who quoted the Bible extensively. In fact, all but 11 verses in the NT are in their writings.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live4Him

      So your corroboration are people that wrote about writings that we don't have full copies (and these things were copies, which takes you even further from any original source) of? Not very convincing.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  17. AtheistMorons

    Yup, this article will be a gold mine for those arrogant atheists morons. CNN haw many atheists people do you have working there?

    January 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's a recycle of their failed attempt several months ago with this garbage. But it allows the gutter minded to rant on.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • .

      "But it allows the gutter minded to rant on."

      How's that log in your eye Bill? It must be huge!

      January 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Brian Smith

      It's hard for me to believe that Jesus would have used a username like AthiestMorons. Are you a follower of Jesus, or what?

      January 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Zag Zaggy

      Hey there, "TheTruth"... I'm an Atheist and I'm not a moron. I have a PhD from Cambridge University. I am very proud of the fact that I am an Atheist because it demonstrates that I am a rational human and have the ability to separate fact from fiction. For example, there is not one shred of evidence that god exists. Therefore, god is very likely just an imaginary deity. To believe in something without proof is moronic. Yes, you will no doubt say, "Prove god is not real." But that is also moronic. The burden of proof is upon those who make extraordinary claims. The existence of god is an extraordinary claim.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      Have to laugh at those that want to spout nonsense about atheists because they dont seem to realize that the hate they are spreading is, according to their belief, going to get them a warm afterlife.
      Big no-no folks.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • weber

      ))cedar rapids

      You understanding of God is too small. He is greater than even the best of those who profess to know and love him. Jesus Christ came to deliver that God has a plan for his whole creation. And not for just one religious group.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  18. PHILLIPE

    The woefully ignorant believers show their faces and ignorance again. Just because all scientific facts to the origins of the universe have not been theorized, tested, retested, and scrutinized, does not mean they will not eventually be so. And by the way, science is NOT thousands of years old. The faux concepts of God came along when most of the world thought the earth was flat. This is not a coincidence. Belief in God is the easy way around having to understand the facts. That takes time and EFFORT.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Live4Him

      You need to read some more. Aristotle is the father of science. He died before Christ was born.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Dan

      PHILIPPE, could we not turn your own statement around :The woefully ignorant believers show their faces and ignorance again. Just because all religious facts to the origins of the universe have not been theorized, tested, retested, and scrutinized, does not mean they will not eventually be so." You only see one side of the equation, which makes you very ignorant.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Brian Smith

      You might think of Aristotle as the father of science, but I don't think that there is much doubt that the study of science preceded Aristotle.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  19. Live4Him

    @lifelonghockeyfan: Do you have trouble communitcation with respect? It is disrespectful to project your thoughts upon another. I'm not arguing "God of the Gaps". Rather, I'm looking at ALL the evidence – including that which undermines the atheist view.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • .

      " including that which undermines the atheist view."

      You have to tell this lie since you can't prove any of them wrong. Nice try idiot.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • PHILLIPE

      One does not prove a negative. There is obligation to prove that there is no God. There simply are no facts to support it. It is the believer who makes the positive claim and thus THEY are the ones must provide convincing proof. Imagine having to go to court and proving that you DID NOT commit the murder. The only way to prevent your sentencing depended upon it. This is not the way that the courts, and science, work. You gather the facts over extensive review and examination, and testing, and then if the facts point to an explanation, i.e., conclusion, you are tried, as a theory is tested. Believers is God, JUST BELIEVE. Might as well be 9 years old and believe in the tooth fairy. It's about as relevant as God is.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  20. The Genius

    All scientists who don't believe in God are willfully arrogant. For thousand years, they have failed to explain where human beings ,matter, energy and time came from. Where did the big bang come from ? Who created the big bang? Anything that exists has a creator period.

    January 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • cw

      And anyone that claims that God is the answer to all those questions is both willfully arrogant and ignorant.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @CW – OR better informed. For example, how do scientists explain the survival of dino DNA / soft tissue when they acknowledge that DNA will breakdown within 10,000 years in a temperate environment (where the dinos were found)? This fact certainly impies that the milions and billions of years is doubtful.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Funny, I keep hearing the jeopardy theme in my head

      January 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Sorry CW, but every time the Bible and science have disagreed, then irrefutable evidence was found, the Bible was proven right and science wrong each time. Further, the number and percentage of professional scientists who are also practicing Christians grows significantly every year – now well over 50%.
      Try Evidence That Demands A Verdict and The Case For Christ – then let's see who's willfully ignorant, and who's well informed.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Apparently this "genius" is troubled by people who are willing to look for real, honest answers instead of taking the lazy way out and saying "god did it". Some people simply aren't honest or brave enough to say "I don't know."

      January 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      That's funny Tallulah, I just made the same argument below for why you haven't found Jesus. It's because you aren't willing to go find Him.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'TheTruth – Sorry CW, but every time the Bible and science have disagreed, then irrefutable evidence was found, the Bible was proven right and science wrong each time. '

      such as? do please provide us evidence of these events.

      January 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'For example, how do scientists explain the survival of dino DNA / soft tissue when they acknowledge that DNA will breakdown within 10,000 years in a temperate environment (where the dinos were found)? '

      what dino dna did they find?

      January 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, Bill, I was a christian. Then I considered what I believed and why I believed.

      I considered the source material and the context in which it was created. Then I considered the very obvious contradictions between what the bible says and what history shows. I could find no evidence for your god, nor could I find anyone else who had found indisputable proof of your god. Or any god.

      Should indisputable proof for your god or any god someday surface, I would believe. But until such time, I cannot believe in any supernatural being for which there is no evidence.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I understand Tallulah. But Jesus didn't say "Study the evidence until you are convinced" He said "Pick up your cross and follow me."

      January 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      In other words, obey or else.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, no undegraded dinosaur dna has been found. There has been some ancient dna found in insects preserved in amber.

      I think somebody confused Jurassic Park for real life.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm sorry, Bill. I don't let fictional characters tell me what to do. I am an adult. I can think for myself. You ought to give it a try.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • weber

      "But on the night Jesus was betrayed he didn’t say 'this is my body broken for you'…UNDERSTAND this in remembrance of me…. he didn’t say ACCEPT this or DEFEND this or BOUNDARY this in remembrance of me he just said do this in remembrance of me."

      January 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/dinosaur-dna#.UOdSmKylPFw

      cedar, I was unaware of this and haven't verified it but here is a source I found using something called google

      January 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • weber

      To me Jesus doesn't bring a threat.

      He brings a promise.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes Tallulah, in some circles it's called predisposition

      January 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      They didn't find DNA. They did find soft tissue, but the DNA was degraded. They sequenced proteins and found they were similar to chickens. Not the same thing.

      So Bill, you're predisposed to believe in fictional characters? I'm sorry. It must be a rough life.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Bill Deacon

      http://discovermagazine.com/2006/apr/dinosaur-dna#.UOdSmKylPFw

      cedar, I was unaware of this and haven't verified it but here is a source I found using something called google'

      yeah that google thing also says how they didnt find dna and to date have never found dino dna.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • SamIAm

      Where did God come from?

      January 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @weber

      The doctrine of hell is not in the OT, only in the New. Jesus brings the believe or else burn for eternity. Before that it was believe or my god's gonna fuck you up.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • weber

      Jesus points to a God who is larger than my wisdom. Larger than your wisdom. And I don't downsize him with petty pieties of those who would contain him by their own limited knowledge and experience.

      God is not a Christian. I am. But I trust he has a plan for all of his creation, and that doesn't mean those who believe different than me will go to hell.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No Tallulah, predisposition means the same thing as confirmation bias. It means you want to believe , or disbelieve something so you only seek as much information as you need to prove what you already wanted to. Your effort to become a Christina was, by your own description, an intellectual pursuit. That path is always doomed to failure in spiritual matters. I'm trying to tell you that if you are sincerely, the path lies through obedience. If you are not sincere, you'll just scoff at that though, I get it.

      January 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • The Genius

      The bible does not condone laziness. instead it preaches against laziness. Scientists have discovered everything yet the they cannot raise the dead. If a person dies, then that is the end of science. Christianity has demonstrated over and over that the dead can be raised by God.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @weber

      Nice cop-out

      @The Genius

      Only if you already accept the bible as true. I do not, and have heard of absolutely no verified miraculous resurrections.

      January 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No, Bill. What I said was that I was a christian until I did the research. Once I actually learned about what I thought I believed, I couldn't believe it anymore. You christians have very poor reading comprehension. Maybe that's why you believe the bible.

      January 5, 2013 at 3:42 am |
    • tallulah13

      You said this, Bill:
      "Your effort to become a Christina was, by your own description, an intellectual pursuit. That path is always doomed to failure in spiritual matters. I'm trying to tell you that if you are sincerely, the path lies through obedience."

      That's just stupid. What exactly is gained in dismissing logic and common sense? Why in the world should I obey something that hasn't been shown to be anything but a work of fiction? You may get a happy feeling from believing in a fairy tale, but lies, even pretty lies, have no value to me, and empty threats do not frighten me. I suspect that you are not willing to look for proof for yourself, because you are afraid of what you will not find.

      January 5, 2013 at 4:02 am |
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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.