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Newly revealed Coptic fragment has Jesus making reference to 'my wife'
September 18th, 2012
03:28 PM ET

Newly revealed Coptic fragment has Jesus making reference to 'my wife'

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - A newly revealed, centuries-old papyrus fragment suggests that some early Christians might have believed Jesus was married. The fragment, written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians, says in part, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ..."

Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King announced the findings of the 1 1/2- by 3-inch honey-colored fragment on Tuesday in Rome at the International Association for Coptic Studies.

King has been quick to add this discovered text "does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married," she wrote in a draft of her analysis of the fragment set to appear in the January edition of Harvard Theological Review. The divinity school has posted a draft of King's article to which AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University, contributed.

"This fragment, this new piece of papyrus evidence, does not prove that (Jesus) was married, nor does it prove that he was not married. 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 he was married or not," King said in a conference call with reporters.

"What I'm really quick to say is to cut off people who would say this is proof that Jesus was married because historically speaking, it's much too late to constitute historical evidence," she continued. "I'm not saying he was, I'm not saying he wasn't. I'm saying this doesn't help us with that question," she continued.

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In the accounts of Jesus' life in the Bible, there is no mention of his marital status, while the accounts do mention Jesus' mother, father and siblings. The four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - tell the story of Jesus' birth and early childhood then skip to his short, three-year ministry before detailing his death and resurrection.

The idea that Jesus was married is not a new one.

In other writings about the life of Jesus from antiquity suggest Jesus may have been married to Mary Magdalene, a disciple who was close to Jesus. Author Dan Brown also used the idea of Jesus being married as a jumping off point for the fictional novel "The Da Vinci Code." King dismissed that notion in her call with reporters.

“There’s no indication we have that Jesus was married,” said Darrell Bock, a senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. “One could say the text is silent on Jesus’ marital status is because there was nothing to say.”

Initial dating for the honey-colored fragment by the team of scholars puts the papyrus piece coming out of the middle of the second century.

King is referring to the fragment as the "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife" or "GosJesWife" as a short hand for reference, and noting that the abbreviation does not mean this scrap has the same historical weight as the canonical Gospels.

Biblical scholars often use the term gospel to refer to a genre of ancient writings featuring dialogue between Jesus and his disciples, King notes in her paper. The Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Judas are just a few of the ancient accounts about the life of Jesus that Christians do not consider canonical.

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At the conference, King said another professor suggested the fragment could have come from the text of a homily, or sermon, where the writer was using this phrase as a literary device. She told reporters that while she will consider that as a possibility, the fragment is “probably a gospel. Probably from the second century and most close to the Gospels of Mary, Thomas and Philip.”

Bock agreed with the notion that the text fragment shared similarities with those gospels, called the Gnostic Gospels, which were the writings of an early outlier sect of Christians. He said the text could be referring to a "gnostic rite of marriage that is a picture of the church and Jesus, not a real wife."

But he added, "it’s a small text with very little context. We don’t know what’s wrapped around it to know what it’s saying.”

Bock said it’s likely to be a gnostic text if it proves to be authentic. “The whole text needs vetting. She’s doing the right thing to release it and let scholars take a look at,” he said, adding “it’s a little bit like trying to analyze the game in the first quarter.”

“It’s a historical curiosity but doesn’t really tell us who Jesus was,” Bock said. “It’s one small speck of a text in a mountain of texts of about Jesus.”

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The owner of the fragment has been identified by King as a private collector who has asked to stay anonymous. The owner brought the fragment to Harvard have King examine it in December 2011.

King then brought it to the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. Roger Bagnall, the institute's director and an expert on papyrus, examined it and determined it to be authentic, Bangall confirmed to CNN.

Ariel Shisha-Halevy, professor of linguistics at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, who was asked to examine the authenticity, according to the draft of the article, told King via e-mail, “I believe - on the basis of language and grammar - the text is authentic. That is to say, all its grammatical ‘noteworthy’ features, separately or conjointly, do not warrant condemning it as forgery.”

Little is known about the origin of the text. Because both sides of the fragment have writing on them, King said it could have come out of a book rather than a scroll.

"Just like most of the earliest papyri of the New Testament and other literary and documentary papyri, a fragment this damaged could have come from an ancient garbage heap," the King says building on prior research by Luijendijk.

King writes "the importance of the 'Gospel of Jesus’ Wife' lies in supplying a new voice within the diverse chorus of early Christian traditions about Jesus that documents that some Christians depicted Jesus as married."

The Smithsonian Channel also announced Monday that it will air a special on King's findings on September 30.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (4,539 Responses)
  1. realbuckyball

    The Secret Gospel of mark has Jeebus cavorting with a guy, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Gospel_of_Mark ,
    and the present Gospel of Mark has a faint remnant of that in Mark 14: 51-52

    September 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  2. larry hill

    The person who wrote this, was referring to (my wife) as the church Jesus was married to the religion He set.up. just like every pope representive of Him since. That is why every Catholic priest is not married to another human being. He is married to the church His wife is the church. It takes 24/7 dedication to the church,

    September 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Episcopal priests do just fine, AND if they convert, the RC's let them stay married, AND if Episcopals are married they are allowed to become priests, in the Roman church. So much for the 24/7 theory. What, you never went to Catholic school ?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • money not morals

      Larry, many priests and Popes have had human wives and children or mistresses with children. Many other priests help themselves to little boys or each other and the church administration turns a blind eye. The fact is that people are strongly driven to shag and those who don't are constantly thinking about it rather than theological subjects.

      Priests and other clergy are prohibited from shagging since the middle ages when someone was smart enough to figure out that the property of priests with no heirs goes entirely to the church. It's about money, not morals.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      sorry larry but the rest of the text disgarees with your reading of it...

      Mary is worthy of it.....jesus said to them, 'my wife'....she will be able to be my disciple...let the wicked people swell up....as for me, i swell with her in order to....

      seems pretty certain he is talking about a wife and not some church.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      sounds like he's having se'x with her..."swelling up" ????

      September 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  3. acom

    Text with Jesus making a reference to "my wife" doesn't help with the question of whether he was married? Who's running this study, Bill Clinton?

    September 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • ME II

      from the article:

      "'What I'm really quick to say is to cut off people who would say this is proof that Jesus was married because historically speaking, it's much too late to consti[]tute historical evidence,' she continued. 'I'm not saying he was, I'm not saying he wasn't. I'm saying this doesn't help us with that question,' she continued."

      September 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  4. Conrad

    What would be more interesting is discussion of Jesus' OLDER brother! Sort of blows all that virgin birth stuff out of the water. Oh, and wait, didn't Horus pull off most of Jesus' stunts almost two thousand years earlier? Sorry to sound inflammatory–I have no problem with Jesus' message; there is nothing wrong about it. But the blind, dogmatic allegiance and fanatical devotion to the deity manufactured by the church after his death is what is anathema. I agree with that bumper sticker: "Jesus called; he wants his religion back!"

    September 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It does. Christians are so fond of using Josephus. In Chapter 20 of Josephus he talks about "James, the brother of Jesus". So much for Mary being a virgin.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Chance

      I believe you guys are missing the point. The idea is that Mary was impregnated with Jesus supernaturally. She had other kids and was no longer virgin. It's a mute point.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • parthenogenesis

      Wow, you guys are idiots. "Virgin birth" means conception took place without insemination by a male. It didn't matter whether Mary had been with men before. The scientific term for this is parthenogenesis and no, it doesn't happen in mammals the way it was described in the Bible. The closest thing to that today is in vitro fertilization followed by implantation. Parthenogenesis and resurrection simply don't happen in our species. Get over it people.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Do you have any idea how many mythical messiah figures were also said to be born of a virgin ?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  5. Christ is Single and ready to save

    It's funny how two words that probably is Jesus refering to the bride (something completly different) makes you think you have unraveled a faith spread through centuries. You people try so hard to get one shred of information that could disprove Christianity. Well all i hafta say is my God is alive, single, and my savior. It's funny how in a country that cries for freedom to all we rip appart those who call on the name of Christ.

    September 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • OhPlease

      What a stupid comment. How would Jesus being married 'disprove' Christianity. You talk a big talk about your faith but it's pretty obvious that your faith is weak. You really should take some time of reflection to understand why your faith is so weak. Truth will always set you free. This is a legitimate question that has not been answered. Why do you fear it so much?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Phil

      The Catholic Church does not say Jesus is single or married. Since the Gospels did not say either way, how can we?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • A. L.

      In reply to oh please, actually Christ was the second Adam. He was completely perfect, God in the flesh, and he was put here for one purpose which was to be the word of God. Being perfect, as Adam was before the fall of man, he would not have lusted, or had any reason to be married.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      A.L. There's some footing for your point. Here is where I disagree: lust is not nor should it be the driving motivation for marriage. Love is. Love in all it's context, including eros, agape, filial love. Marriage of those dimensions dwarfs a relationship based on lust

      September 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • oh really

      A.L., the book of Genesis details how Adam and Eve banged regularly just like the rest of the animals. One Eve gained the knowledge (and the birth of Catholic guilt), they simply became a bit more discrete about it. Adam was a lustful guy and if you ever decide to read the story of Lilith (go to the Talmud for this or the internet for that matter), they had quite a good time going at it. Lilith dumped Adam because Adam always wanted to be on top. "Perfect" and "abstinent" do not co-segregate.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • A. L.

      Oh please, you might want to read the book of Genesis again, because it doesnt say that they "banged" until after they had sinned. As I said before, Jesus was sin free, so your comparison makes no sense.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • DUH

      It's funny how in a country that cries for freedom to all we rip appart those who call on the name of Christ.

      Um, that "freedom" gives us the right to......rip apart.
      Sorry you got ripped, see a doctor.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  6. A. L.

    It's ironic to me how people that don't believe in Christianity hate having the views of christianity pushed on them, but are so quick to not only push atheism on others, but also to make fun of people who do believe, and make fun of Christianity as a whole. How hard is it to respect others beliefs, especially when you want respect for your own.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • richunix

      A.L it is not so much that, but more to do with the Christian, trying to say GODS/DEMONS etc... are real.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @A.L.,
      A few things
      – Atheism is not a belief, it is a lack of belief
      – There are more disbelievers of Christianity than just Atheists
      – Some Atheists only debate/disparage Christianity when/where it encroaches on their own lives, e.g. science class creationism, stem cell research, gay marriage, religion in politics, etc. Remove those and many Atheists wouldn't be heard from again.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Madtown

      That could be because christians can be very vocal in voicing their opinion that their preferred flavor of man-made religion is superior to all others, and is the "correct" one endorsed by God.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • A. L.

      Lets be hypthetical for a minute. lets say that your right, and I'm wrong, when I die there's no harm no foul, I'll turn to dirt, and my being a Christian won't have hurt anyone. On the contrary, If I'm right, and your wrong, and God does exist, hell is hot, and your screwed. Have a blessed day.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • dudeuloose

      to ME II, if we remove religion from all that is in society, what would you have left? Your logic would suggest that we remove everything that you cannot prove. All theories would have to go(big bang), all teaching of evolution must go as there is no proof. You see we all believe in something(even athiests) whether its science or something bigger.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • What IF

      A. L.:

      "Lets be hypthetical for a minute. lets say that your right, and I'm wrong, when I die there's no harm no foul, I'll turn to dirt, and my being a Christian won't have hurt anyone. On the contrary, If I'm right, and your wrong, and God does exist, hell is hot, and your screwed."

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century (where have you been?)

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • ME II

      @A.L.,
      In addition to you wasting your entire life on a fantasy, which is enough of a reason, it is also not an either-or situation. What if Islam is correct? or Zoroastrianism? or Hindu? Are you prepared to be tortured by someone else's god for eternity?

      @dudeuloose,
      "Your logic would suggest that we remove everything that you cannot prove."
      I did not say that. What I said was to remove all encroachment on other's lives by religion, e.g. science class creationism, bans on stem cell research, etc. If you choose to believe, that is your business, but laws should have a better reason than, "my god says so."

      "all teaching of evolution must go as there is no proof"
      First, science doesn't deal in "proof", except mathematics and logic.
      Second, there is pleanty of evidence to support evolution and no evidence that contradicts it.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Madtown

      On the contrary, If I'm right, and your wrong, and God does exist, hell is hot, and your screwed. Have a blessed day
      --------
      LOL!!!! Absurd "logic" that has been debunked many times over. As What If said, what if the religious traditions you practice are actually the incorrect ones? By your own reasoning, you'll then be screwed. Besides, I never said anything about God "not existing". I believe God exists. But, I also believe man-made religions, all of them, do not have all the answers, because these are things we CAN'T know. I'm not the least bit worried about "hell", no such place exists. God would certainly NOT send anyone there for using gifts he provided.........using one's brain and intellect to THINK and evaluate.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • A. L.

      I guess when it all comes down to it, you all claim that there is no proof of the Christian God, but myself, and every other Christian completely disagree with you on that matter. I can in turn say that there is absolutely no proof of the big bang. My belief in God doesn't stem from a desire to cover my butt in eternity, It comes from the proof of God that I've seen in my own life, and that is enough for me.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • ME II

      "I can in turn say that there is absolutely no proof of the big bang."
      While science doesn't deal in "proof", there is evidence to support the big bang model, e.g. Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • A. L.

      Only time will tell.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • ME II

      @A. L.
      "Only time will tell."
      Great, just don't try to speak for it.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "A. L. – Lets be hypthetical for a minute. lets say that your right, and I'm wrong, when I die there's no harm no foul, I'll turn to dirt, and my being a Christian won't have hurt anyone. On the contrary, If I'm right, and your wrong, and God does exist, hell is hot, and your screwed. Have a blessed day."

      And like most believers, who try to use this as an argument, you left out another option....there is a god but he isnt the one you have been worshipping and you are just as screwed as the rest of us. Tell you what, edge your bets and worship all of them to be safe.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Madtown

      My belief in God doesn't stem from a desire to cover my butt in eternity, It comes from the proof of God that I've seen in my own life
      --------
      Fine, believe in God. I do as well. But, why christianity? You don't need religion to believe in God. Religion only puts a name to the idea of God, and each culture has their own version. That's how religions developed in the first place, culturally. If you were born to a different portion of the world than you were, you'd have a different concept of God because you'd have been exposed to different ideals as a child. If these ideals didn't align with christianity, would you be following the "wrong" ideals?! No, impossible. There's no "1 right" religion. If there was, all people on earth would have the same chance to know it, and an equal chance to follow it.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • DUH

      Nothing ironic at all.
      If you stopped pushing christianity on people, people wouldnt have to
      respond to it.
      An action creates a reaction.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  7. AE Pucc

    New meaning to "Children of God", Please come forward, you know who you are!!!!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  8. Believer

    The Bible is clear that Jesus has a wife. Jesus' Bride is the Church.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Show us EXACTLY where the Bible says that.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Matt

      The bible anything but clear about anything.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Eph 5:22-33

      September 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Paul never heard Jesus say anything. He was not an eyewitness. Fail.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  9. Butters

    Christianity, the preferred religion for arrogant hicks .

    September 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Rob

      If this is your criteria then you must be the chief priest Hick. Or perhaps Grand Poobah suits you better.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • OhPlease

      Why does other people's faith or lack of scare you so much? Live your life, leave other people alone and shut up. No one cares about your hate. Atheists are the most hateful people I know, you somehow think that you are better than others because you "know" in your tiny mind that God doesn't exist. Prove it.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • ME II

      @OhPlease,
      "Why does other people's faith or lack of scare you so much?"
      I'm not saying it does, but recent events in the Middle East would be plenty of reason.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  10. Waheed Ahmad

    Jesus' humanity is undeniable. Whatever else he may be, he was human for sure. He had to breath air; had to eat food; had to drink water; had to attend to natures calls; and he bled when injured. So, if he did get married, this would be one more act of living like a human. What matters most is that he set a certain example of behaviour that needs to be emulated. What also matters is that he spoke words of extreme wisdom that need to be listened to. The debate whether he did or did not marry should be properly relegated to the realm of historical research.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  11. Deadlift

    JESUS WAS RIPPED!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  12. Tom

    This is as close as you are going to get to Jesus and a wife.

    Rev 19:7
    7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.KJV

    Rev 21:9
    9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." NASU

    Just thought I'd throw in a little allegory.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • DUH

      the marriage of the Lamb
      wife of the lamb........

      What the phuck where these people on ?

      September 19, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  13. Lunch

    In the bible, it refers to the church being his bride. So this could be in reference to that.

    And the author researcher states it doesn't prove anything, just the headline and the press brought that up.

    Regardless, if I were in another country right now, I'd be protesting at the US embassy for supposed blasphemy against my God. Since I'm in Indiana, I think I'll write this off as a poor attempt by CNN to make something controversial out of Prof King's research and go have some lunch.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • cedar rapids

      Mary is worthy of it.....jesus said to them, 'my wife'....she will be able to be my disciple...let the wicked people swell up....as for me, i swell with her in order to....

      seems pretty certain he is talking about a wife and not some church.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      Mary is worthy of it.....jesus said to them, 'my wife'....she will be able to be my disciple...let the wicked people swell up....as for me, i dwell with her in order to....

      seems pretty certain he is talking about a wife and not some church.

      September 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  14. joobs

    yawn – pointless discussion about nonsense. aren't there real mysteries and problems in the world, or is this really the best we've got? and anyway, how could jesus be married when he never even really existed? so gays can't get married, but make believe people can?

    September 19, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Aware

      You poor thing.....what a dull life your must have....one without feeling, passion or belief

      September 19, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  15. Jesus Christ

    All this confusion is why I worship a rock under by bed. I can see my god, where is yours?

    September 19, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Anthony

      Can you see a black hole? Does that mean they don't exist because you can't see them?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Well, as the (supposedly) great Christian theologian/martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer said "the god who is with us, is the god who forsakes us", (Letters and Paper form Prison). (He turned into an atheist).

      September 19, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • realbuckyball

      Anthony,
      You can detect a black hole. No god has ever been detected.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Anthony

      realbuckyball- He didn't say detect, he said see. Astrologists detect black holes because of the effect they have on the universe around them. I mean no offense, but if you can't detect God's effect on your life and our world and universe then maybe you should open your heart and mind just a little. Just a suggestion.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      I am sorry let me clarify. I can detect my rock god, can you detect yours?

      September 19, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Anthony

      JC (lol you're a funny guy)- I sure can, with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Jesus Christ

      realbuckyball What is my name? You should have start not by staying "he said..." instead say "jesus said..."

      September 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The POINT is there is no evidence for any god. And you "self righteous" "open your heart" crap is just that. So your god wants me to *say* I believe, even if I don't ? A dumb god, ya got there, if she doesn't know the difference.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Anthony

      Bucky- Science can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. I didn't say I wanted you to believe, you're free to do with your life as you please. I'm not at all threatened by your beliefs so I hope you're not threatened by mine.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Chance

      @Anthony spelled it out clear "yes" he can detect God's influence in his life.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Your perception of, and your NEED for your god is a psychological phenomenon, well docu'mented by Psychology. Your beliefs are perfectly explainable, and are interesting, and not threatening. Sad, but not threatening.
      The standard of "no proof" means you also must accept, if you are consistent, that there is a 1957 Chevy orbiting Pluto.
      This is why you believe in gods : (also check out Dr. Steven Pinker's work at Harvard).
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JILvK_fLTuY&w=640&h=360]
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMmvu9eMrg&w=640&h=360]

      September 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMmvu9eMrg&w=640&h=360]

      September 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      What he "thinks" he can detect is not reliable, and proof of nothing. Delusions/mis-percetions are common.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • A. L.

      realbuckyball, you BELIEVE this Dr. Steven Pinkler. And you act like us Christians are the only ones gullable enough to believe what we read/hear.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      AL
      Fallacy of the False Analogy. Sorry. Try harder.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      For Bonhoeffer, the term “religion” meant a false substiitute for true faith, so “religionless Christianity” meant true Christianity. Bonhoeffer saw that the people in Germany who called themselves Christians were mostly not genuine Christians. They were just churchgoers, going through the motions. But they weren’t deeply committed disciples of Jesus Christ. So when the evil of the Nazis came, they were utterly unprepared and just floated along with the red-and-black tide.

      bucky, stop lying about Bonhoffer.

      September 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Bonhoeffer was an atheist. Christians cannot accept that fact.
      1. He believed that "God is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without Him. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us." Bonhoeffer also believed that the concept of God as a "supreme Being, absolute in power and goodness," was a "spurious conception of transcendence," and that "God as a working hypothesis in morals, politics, and science ... should be dropped, or as far as possible eliminated" (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, pp. 122, 164, 360).

      2. He believed that mankind had become of age and no longer needed religion, which was only a deceptive garment of true faith; he suggested the need for a "religionless Christianity." To Bonhoeffer, "the Christian is identified not by his beliefs, but by actions. (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, p. 163). Thus, Bonhoeffer's final writings have given impulse to Marxist theologians sponsoring "liberation theology" and to others wishing to promote a worldly social gospel.

      3. He refused to discuss the origin of Christ, His relationship to the Father, His two natures, or even the relationship of the two natures. Bonhoeffer was adamant in his belief that it was impossible to know the objective truth about the real essence of Christ's being-nature (Christ the Center, pp. 30, 88, 100-101).

      4. He questioned the Virgin Birth, and in reality denied it (The Cost of Discipleship, p. 215).

      5. He denied the deity of Christ; he advocated that "Jesus Christ Today" is not a real person and being, but a "corporate presence" (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 75-76; Christ the Center, p. 58).

      6. He denied the sinlessness of Christ's human nature and further questioned the sinlessness of His earthly behavior (Christ the Center, pp. 108-109).

      7. He believed that Christ exists in three "revelatory forms" - as Word, as sacrament, and as church. From as'serting that Christ is the church, he followed that all persons in the church are identical with Christ (Christ the Center, p. 58; The Cost of Discipleship, p. 217). This amounts to pantheism!

      8. He believed that Christianity is not exclusive, i.e., that Christ is not the only way to God (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 55-56).

      9. He was a practical evolutionist (No Rusty Swords, p. 143), and believed that the book of Genesis was scientifically naive and full of myths (Creation and Fall: A Theological Interpretation of Genesis 1-3).

      10. He adhered to neo-orthodox theology and terminology concerning salvation (Testimony to Freedom, p. 130), was a sacramentalist (Life Together, p. 122; The Way to Freedom, pp. 115, 153), believed in regenerational infant baptism (Letters and Papers from Prison, Macmillan, pp. 142-143) as well as adult baptismal regeneration (The Way to Freedom, p. 151), equated church membership with salvation (The Way to Freedom, p. 93), and denied a personal/individualistic salvation (Letters and Papers from Prison, Macmillan, p. 156).

      11. He placed little or no value on the Old Testament –"... the faith of the Old Testament is not a religion of salvation" (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, p. 112).

      12. He denied the verbal-plenary inspiration of Scripture, believing that the Bible was only a "witness" to the Word of God and becomes the Word of God only when it "speaks" to an individual; otherwise, it was simply the word of man/men (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 9, 104; Sanctorum Communio, p. 161). To Bonhoeffer, the Bible was meant "to be expounded as a witness, not as a book of wisdom, a teaching book, a book of eternal truth" (No Rusty Swords, p. 118). He also believed in the value of higher criticism/historical criticism, which is a denial of the inerrancy and authenticity of the Bible (Christ the Center, pp. 73-74).

      13. He had no faith in the physical resurrection of Christ. Bonhoeffer believed the "historicity" of the Resurrection was in "the realm of ambiguity," and that it was one of the "mythological" elements of Christianity that "must be interpreted in such a way as not to make religion a pre-condition of faith." He also believed that "Belief in the Resurrection is not the solution of the problem of death," and that such things as miracles and the ascension of Christ were "mythological conceptions" as well (Christ the Center, p. 112; Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, pp. 93-94, 110).

      THAT is no Christian believer.

      September 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  16. Reload

    "Jesus said to them, My wife" was just a fragment of what he said. What he actually said was "Take my wife - please take her". Centuries later Rodney Dangerfield stole the line.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Eric G

      That was a Youngman joke.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • weezer

      Um...Henny Youngman, not Rodney. Nice try, though.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Davis

      Thanks for the belly laugh, Reload!!!

      September 19, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Reload

      Yea, I couldn't remember who said the line. But you get my gist anyway, right?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  17. Sebastien.

    People who actually believe that the bible says everything about Jesus should be reminded that there are huge gaps of time in his life, from childhood to his ministry, plenty of time to get married. Anyone can believe in the bible is the word of god, that is their right, but the fact that there is a ton of information missing from his life opens the door wide open that he could have been married. Remember back then women did not have an important significance in biblcal scriptures. I am sure they were by habit excluded from historical records, I am certain there were many inflencial women no one ever heard about, omitted by history. The writers of the bible no doubt, even if Jesus was married, would not have mentioned anything about his wife. In the end, his being married would not take away from his message and his purpose. The real issue here is the reliability of the bible as a historical record, the gaps in time should leave the door wide open for additional information about Jesus' personal life, not included in the original scriptures.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      From The Infancy Gospel Of Thomas.

      Bringing life to a dried fish (this is only present in later texts)
      (First group) 3 Miracles – Breathes life into birds fashioned from clay, curses a boy, who then becomes a corpse, curses a boy who falls dead and his parents become blind
      Attempt to teach Jesus which fails, with Jesus doing the teaching
      3 Miracles – Reverses his earlier acts, resurrects a friend who fell from a roof, heals a man who chopped his foot with an axe [1]

      (Second group) 3 Miracles – Carries water on cloth, produces a feast from a single grain, stretches a beam of wood to help his father finish constructing a bed
      Attempts to teach Jesus, which fail, with Jesus doing the teaching
      3 Miracles – Heals James from snake poison, resurrects a child who died of illness, resurrects a man who died in a construction accident

      Incident in the temple paralleling Luke

      It is also seen in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas that from the age of five years old until the age of twelve, the young Jesus had killed at least three people, two children and one adult teacher. They were not brought back to life.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Ooooh Hammer,

      That sounds just like a Twilight Zone episode that I watched:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Good_Life_%28The_Twilight_Zone%29

      September 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  18. Ken

    You could take in in the context of the wife, or 'bride' being Jesus' people... whether you believe it to be the church, or the people of Jerusalem. Jesus, to me, was a very poetic speaker and his meaning to words such as wife probably mean something different than our current understanding of our wife at home. (or at work) Not starting a war on women here.
    #Demsaredumb

    September 19, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  19. Anthony

    Too many people try to confuse fact with truth. Even the synoptic gospels having differences in them because they were passed verbally passed on for decades before they were written down. But the message from Jesus in all them is clear: Love God, love each other and above all, mercy.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Anthony

      *sorry for the typos

      September 19, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Ken

      Love is actually "the most important of these" but totally agree with what you're saying.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Lisa

      The blood liable remark is a small detail, but ended up being hugely important in history, so the little differences really do matter a lot.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Anthony

      Lisa- Who do they matter a lot to is the question? To God or to humans?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  20. Primewonk

    Where did Jesus get his Y chromosome?

    Additionally, there are numerous ERV's that exist only on the Y chromosome. Did the Y chromosome Jesus had have these ERV's? If so, how did they get there.

    And, was Jesus's chromosome 2 a fusion of simian chromosomes 2a and 2b?

    September 19, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Primewonk
      The Y chromosome came from the Magic Invisible Holy Ghost Semen.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • ME II

      @Primewonk,
      Wouldn't that be "Magic Invisible Holy [Space] Ghost Semen" for the Mormons?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      Copper in thier blood.
      All of the Royal families have it.
      That, to them means they rule the rest of us.
      It is thier destiny.
      All of the Royal families can be traced back to ancient Judea.
      When the 12 tribes of Isreal departed.
      One tribe went to sea.
      Eventually arriving in Norway.
      The Vikings then travelled to Iceland, Scotland, England, North America.
      Over thousands of years the vikings intermarried with other
      members of other tribes as the ruling aristocracy of many kingdoms.

      Royal families with jewish/viking blood now rule :

      Netherlands
      England
      Spain
      Greece
      Denmark
      Norway
      Sweden
      and many other countries.
      Most of the royals no longer rule outright (as in control of nations)
      But through power, money and influence control behind the scenes,
      including oil, banks, realestate, and world trade and shipping.

      These are your masters.

      September 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.