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September 19th, 2012
06:05 PM ET

5 questions and answers about Jesus' 'wife'

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN's Belief Blog
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(CNN) - Since the news broke Tuesday about a scrap of papyrus containing the line in Coptic, "Jesus said, 'My wife..' " questions have rocketed across the world about what this means.

We put many of the big questions to leading scholars, pastors and people in the pews to find the answers.

1. Why is this just surfacing now?

The papyrus fragment is thought by Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King to be from the 4th century but could be a copy of an early gospel from the 2nd century. King said a dealer, who wishes to remain anonymous, brought the fragment to her to be translated and analyzed in 2011. The New York Times reported the dealer hopes to give the fragment to Harvard if they buy a large portion of his collection.

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On Tuesday, King presented her findings on the fragment to a conference on Coptic texts held in Rome once every four years.

In some ways, texts like this are not uncommon.

Elaine Pagels, a professor from Princeton University who is an expert on gnostic writings such as this one, noted to CNN, "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."

King posits it may have come from a complete gospel she and her research partners have dubbed "the Gospel of Jesus' Wife." If that were true, Pagels said "that could make the fragment much more valuable if it were part of a gospel, but we don’t know that.”

2. How do they know this isn't a fake?

Authenticating documents is equal parts art and science. What researchers are trying to rule out is if this is a modern forgery. To do that, they look at a variety of aspects, including the age of the paper, the chemical composition of the ink and text itself. The authentication won't confirm whether the text is true but only whether the physical item is true to the time frame researchers think it is.

The document was examined by 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, he confirmed to CNN. Ariel Shisha-Halevy, professor of linguistics at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, was asked to examine the authenticity, according to King. Shisha-Halevy said that based on the language and grammar, it was authentic.

Chemical tests on the ink are pending, King noted in a draft of her work set to be published in January in a peer reviewed journal.

Some experts in the field, including Pagels, suggest the fragment contains too little to be faked, suggesting that a forger would have included much more in the document to try and raise the value.

“We have to have more information about the fragment," said Douglas A. Campbell, an associate professor of New Testament at Duke Divinity School. He points to recent history when discoveries turned out to be fakes. “The academic community has been badly burned,” he said, adding that there is still much to be learned about the provenance of the document, "the history of where it came from and how they got it.”

“The anonymous donor thing is very problematic,” he said.

3. Does this prove Jesus was really married?

Short answer: No.

King herself was quick to point out in interviews that this piece of papyrus does not prove that Jesus was married. "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.

The early consensus of other scholars we spoke to about this agree this document does not prove Jesus was married.

"Let's not neglect the fact this was written 300 years after Jesus' death," Hellen Mardaga, an assistant professor of New Testament at The Catholic University of America, told CNN. Mardaga says "the text may be real and not a forgery, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in with the Gospels.”

There is nothing in the Gospel accounts in the Bible and the earliest Christian tradition that speaks to Jesus being married.

"This is an aberration; this is something totally outside of any biblical tradition," said Jerry Pattengale, the executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, which helps oversee one of the largest private collections of biblical antiquities.

"We know that tradition, or anything passed down, has a huge story to tell and there is a lot that can be learned from tradition that is linked to history. There is just no solid tradition for Jesus being married, so this is certainly an aberration and an important find," he said.

4. Would Jesus being married change Christianity?

Yes. Probably. But we'll never know for sure (see above).

Without getting too into the weeds theologically, it raises lots of interesting questions about how Jesus lived on Earth and what is not known about his life. For married couples, it also adds a healthy doses of mirth to the idea of being married to someone fully human and fully God, as the Christian creeds say Jesus was.

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"Had Jesus had a wife, I have no doubt he would would have treated her with the same dignity, respect and affection with which he treated his female disciples like Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany and Martha," Christian author Rachel Held Evans said when we asked her about this.

"Though I confess I think it would be a little unfair for a woman to be married to God incarnate. Kinda makes it tough to win an argument," she joked. "On the plus side, he turns water into wine ... which would be nice!"

5. So can Catholic priests get married now ?

This discovery brought the issue of Catholic clergy and celibacy to the forefront and got a lot of people wondering whether this would prompt the church to shift on this issue.

“At the time this (fragment) was written, we had a married clergy," pointed out Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

Reese said this discovery won't change Catholic teaching on the marital status of Catholic clergy.
"It has nothing to do with whether we have a married clergy or not. For the first thousand years, we had a married clergy. For the last thousand years, we’ve had a celibate clergy."

The celibacy requirement is based on church law, not doctrine, which is the core, unchanging beliefs of the faith. "The church can change this rule whenever it decides to change the law," he said.

For Reese, the Coptic papyrus fragment does not hold great weight for the future of the Catholic clergy.

"This is a nice academic footnote, but beyond that, it is not going to be all that important," he said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (1,438 Responses)
  1. realbuckyball

    So CNN, where is Scott Ca ? Where are all his videos ? Where is
    Marvelous Mittens and his Miraculous Magical Underwear. ?
    I see the Repubtard Mormons got to you people.
    So much for freedom of speech.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @bucky,

      still going strong until around 3:00am EDT this morning. Perhaps they had some living to do today?

      September 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      We've been in touch. He'll be back.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • I wonder

      How about LinCA - haven't seen her in ages... and David Johnson, he should be here in election season?!

      September 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  2. rexdogcanadien

    Who really cares about the marital status of the man called Jesus. He never said that he was the son of God. He was creative. He was humble. He was spiritual. He was compassionate. He loved all of humanity. (the rich and the poor). He was son of a woman and a man. He never raised the dead of walked on water. He understood human nature. He has been used as front man by religion. He heaped scorn on the business of religion whose sole purpose is to create wealth through monism.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  3. Black Peter

    The Vatican has tons of scriptures that have not gone public. This is very well known. The Bible, Old and New Testament is made up of only publicized portions which is said to be about 10 to 15% of the scriptures that have been approved for by the Jewish and Vatican community. The rest is hidden and preserved safely, supposedly but who knows. Its just like what the government does, they want to control the information that goes public. They don't want the public to know the truth. Hey, everyone likes the icing on the cake more than the cake itself right.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Len

      What is true is that only about 1/4 of the books popular amongst the many different versions of Christianity around in those early years were accepted by the Roman Church, and they only accepted them because they matched their already established theology. So, it was never the case that the Bible established theology, but quite the opposite. Ideally then, it was Catholic tradition, that very thing that evangelicals say the Bible trumps, that put the Bible together in the first place. Ironic, isn't it?

      September 20, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  4. Atheism is a learning disability.

    But don't give up, help is on the way!

    September 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • oops

      Atheists can't read your post or the Bible then

      September 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • 2357

      Oh they can read alright. You just have to misspell it just right for them

      September 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • oops^2

      2357: I read both your posts and the Bible and couldn't tell: which parts were mispelled? Have that on my desk in the morning.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is a learning disability.", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Len

      More like atheism is a indoctrination disability. 🙂

      September 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Len

      No, make that an indoctrination failure. The religious indoctrination just didn't stick. Sorry, but you just can't force yourself to believe something you know can't be true.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Wes Scott

      I am a college graduate with a double engineering degree in electrical engineering and aviation electrical engineering. I earned an FCC First Class (now called a General) Radiotelephone Operator's License (it allows me to modify and certify radio frequency transmitters like radio and television stations) with a radar endorsement. I obtained certificates in microcomputer systems technology and video broadcast engineering. I probably far better understand the Bible, both in literal terms and in the historical context in which it was written. And, I am an atheist.

      Your comments are ludicrous and lacking in any validity. To the contrary, it takes a mental midget to believe in sky fairies that derived from ancient mythology.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • sam stone

      Get back on your knees, b1tch

      September 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      "To the contrary, it takes a mental midget to believe in sky fairies that derived from ancient mythology."
      .
      lol you just described majority of X-tians.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  5. 2357

    Earth is round, but they say the universe is a flat projection.
    Death is not the end. Travel time and space forever with glorious Jesus. He IS the way to more and more life. It's no wonder the oldest living organisms are trees. The tree of life is no myth. Desire faith, ask for it from the good Father. He is a rewarder of those who seek him, and faith is the gift.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • proof

      Show me where the Bible says the Earth is round

      September 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • they

      where did we say that?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • 2357

      "It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers."
      There are more, a few actually.
      You know, you can word search the Bible now. Try it some time before you make rash conclusions. You might even learn an SAT word or two!

      September 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • huh

      where's 'above' if the earth is a sphere?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      2357

      "It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers."

      That would put him at around 2,000 ft up (or less).... hmmmm, just like it would be for some guy looking down at the townsfolk from the nearest hill above that area in Judea (or wherever) - how special!
      -and-
      A "circle" is not a sphere (Hebrews had a word for that... did not use it there).

      September 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • 2357

      Above is always heaven, of course. The lake of fire is probably a sphere too. Don't end up in there, its HOT.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • probably?

      You mean you're not sure? How would you go about finding evidence?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:55 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! –

      September 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Veritas

      So pray for some imagination

      September 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • @Jesus

      Magical how did you instantly composed that long reply

      September 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL, DUDE".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  7. Haseeb

    In Islam, we already believed Jesus was married. He already did this as a Sunnah:
    Qur'an 57:28 "Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious."
    Qur'an 13:39 "And, indeed, We sent Messengers before thee, and We gave them wives and children. And it is not possible for a Messenger to bring a Sign save by the command of Allah. For every term there is a divine decree."
    In fact, it was possible, though not necessary, that Jesus had more than one wife according to the Islamic faith.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      Which way does a muslim turn when she's looking for East on a trip to mars?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      You'll have to wait for the next fragment to turn up.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Curiousity

      ... has found no Muslims on Mars. Done.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  8. Kate

    I think Jesus was married. He had a Jewish mother. What good Jewish mother doesn't make sure her beloved son has found himself a wife before he's 30?

    September 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • you win

      fine... he was gay! we admit it! are you happy now?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Good Jewish mother

      he broke my heart! And such a nice looking boy.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • IrishinToronto

      and she believes he's god and he believes she's a virgin

      September 21, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  9. Conrad

    "his female disciples." If I remember correctly, Jesus never acknowledged the women who accompanied him and his official male disciples. Seems even the Son of God could not break the pattern patriarchal societies in vogue at the time–and which still hold sway today.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      Gen 3:16 is easy to remember. Think John 3:16.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  10. HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

    Note to single men:Stay away from Russian brides. When you come home after a long day at the office, having fought the epic Darwinian struggle of slaying your fellow workers, and you ask your love to please make you a sandwich this will be the reply, 'Make it yourself and help me with this diaper, you lazy lout!'

    September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • OneTruth

      If you're old enough to work, you're old enough to change your own diaper.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  11. Gregg

    It doesn't make any difference to me whether Jesus was married nor does it change what I believe. We obviously don't know the full story on Jesus' young adult life. It's somewhat irrelevant. What matters is the honor and good works of the man and trying in some way to emulate his life.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ron

      Luke 1:1-4 , 1 Whereas many have undertaken to compile a statement of the facts that are given full credence among us, 2 just as those who from [the] beginning became eyewitnesses and attendants of the message delivered these to us, 3 I resolved also, because I have traced all things from the start with accuracy, to write them in logical order to you, most excellent The·oph′i·lus, 4 that you may know fully the certainty of the things that you have been taught orally.
      If accuracy is important to LUKE, should i not be to us ? -Romans10:2,3 . 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God; but not according to accurate knowledge; 3 for, because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  12. LaLaLisa

    ...lots of bible verses refer to the church as the bride of Christ. Bride.....Wife. Someone got far too excited and tried to make these words synonymous. They're not.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Evangelical Rule of Thumb

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

      If a Bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally.

      If a Bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical or metaphorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Evangelical Rule of Thumb

      p.s. If this scrap was telling about some newly discovered 'miracle' that Jesus performed, Evangs would most likely be drooling with pleasure.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  13. Matthew

    There are a lot of false doctrines about Jesus, even coming up after his death as the Apostle Paul mentions. However, interestingly it never mentions Jesus being single or unmarried. It doesn't even mention Peter's married until one verse that describes his wife. Paul has a whole section of his writing describing why he chose to stay single in order to stay closer to God (which is probably where the Catholics get the idea to not marry but Paul said it wasn't a requirement, more of a personal preference on his part because you can be tempted to love a wife and children more than God). However, I guess it is entirely plausible that Jesus was married and it really doesn't change anything in the Gospel.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • tom

      Show me in the New Testament where Jesus said that he is equivalent to God? This is another "fact" like the trinity, that was invented by the Catholic church. If Jesus though he was God then why would he say on the cross "forgive them father, they know not what they do"?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Veritas

      Surely if it was god's plan all along they didn't need forgiveness.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • 2357

      I and the Father are one.
      He who has seen me, has seen the Father.
      Before Abraham was, I Am.
      I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
      Father, glorify me now with the glory that I had with You before the foundation of the world.
      Ill give you more verses when i get home to my pc.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • @2357

      ...but give us the abridged "begats" please. And please, please, do the one where Elijah orders all those horsie's legs cut off... I love that one!

      September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • 2357

      Never mind Matthew. Look them up yourself, it's better that way. Too many pigs here. Man, what a cesspool of blasphemy this " Belief Blog" turns out to be. Full of noxious fumes, it's just ready for combustion. CNN should rename it to "Baal's Logs"

      September 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • the rest of us

      @2357
      We're passing the hat to buy you a one-way ticket to Tehran by way of Benghazi. You'll be much happier; they know to handle blaspheming flatulent pigs over there.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  14. Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

    What's white, creamy, and squirts across the sky?

    THE COMING OF THE LORD!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  15. Reality

    Married or unmarried, it will not change the following:

    Only for new members of this blog:

    The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (References used are available upon request.)

    September 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • JDog

      So......do remind me why his followers then found it necissary to run around the Roman empire proclaiming his resurection and getting themselves crucified/stoned/eaten by lions? Just saying. usually when people get crucified, their followers run for the hills, not into Rome

      September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Len

      JDog
      Why do any cult members end up killing themselves? The Kool Aid is very compelling to a lot of people, going all the way back.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  16. Joe

    5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW PAPYRUS ARTIFACT

    IT'S FAKED OBVIOUSLY
    IT'S AMATEURISH
    SOME RICH DUDE HAS GOT TO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS
    YOU CAN BUY YOUR OWN ON ANY STREET IN THE MIDDLE EAST
    CNN IS WACKED FOR REPORTING THIS

    September 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Lisa

      You got proof?

      September 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • karl

      oh ok so you examined it? troll..... and also an idiot.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • JDog

      Let me just throw this out there: given that people now love to insult Jesus, and a pretty significant percentage of people in our society are actually Christian, don't you think it is very likely that people insulted and said false things about Jesus 100 years after his death? Just cuz its old and says something about Jesus doesn't mean its true. There were liars then, there are liars now.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Huebert

      @JDog

      For several hundred years after his death the ONLY people talking and writing about Jesus were his followers. This is partially why their is some debate about weather or not he actually existed.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • GUYS!

      Joe wrote it in CAPS! $hut up already.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • OneTruth

      JDog. Like the bible then?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Len

      JDog
      "Just cuz its old and says something about Jesus doesn't mean its true. There were liars then, there are liars now."

      Applies to the whole of the New Testament too, right? Standard Christian beliefs could also just be lies.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  17. Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

    Being Jesus was gay, I would question him being married. He liked to spend too much time with 12 men.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Deeter

      I think one of the reasons he had 12 guys with him was so he could form a Jewish minyan to give religious sanction to his heresies. Plus, he was probably gay, or Paul was and made everything up on his own anyway. Hard to tell even with old scraps of toilet paper.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Matthew

      You insulted my religion so I am going to go blow your house up... just kidding. However, it is sad that you want to mock Christianity that way, it is your right in this nation and I cherish the right to freedom of speech.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • @Matthew

      so what's your point?

      September 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      Matthew

      You insulted my religion so I am going to go blow your house up... just kidding. However, it is sad that you want to mock Christianity that way, it is your right in this nation and I cherish the right to freedom of speech.
      .
      Sadness has no bearing on my opinion. However I can appreciate your opinion.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  18. Bible just a theory

    What was JESUS doing in the TWENTY YEARS between his Bar Mitzvah at 13 until the year before his crucifixion? A failed carpenter? Getting tired of making tables and chairs? NOBODY KNOWS, which is a strong indication that most of the Gospel accounts were written by people who were minimally knowledeable about Jesus' life. One thing is fairly certain: He was estranged from his family, since his father is not mentioned in the Gospel after his boyhood. And, it was his mother who claimed the body, rather than Joseph, which tends to suggest that Joseph was either dead (which the Gospels would not have been reluctant to report) or Joseph strongly DISAPPROVED of his son's rebellion against the Jewish authorities, which is more likely. To avoid addressing this awkward fact, the Gospels simply write Joseph out of the story.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Matthew

      Joseph was most likely dead because Mary went everywhere a lone and Jesus' family appeared with brothers, etc. and his father was never around. Also the Bible is real positive about Joseph and indicates he loved Jesus. Finally, men didn't live long back in that time so it is reasonable to think that Joseph died in his 30s or 40s by disease or some other cause.

      September 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  19. niblick

    Mr and Mrs Jesus - it's better this way.

    And maybe it won't be too long before we see the Holy See install a popette.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  20. labandme

    So all this time you pedophile priests coulda been getting some at home?

    September 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not unless the age of consent is lowered. Pedophilia is not a substiitute for relations with age appropriate partners. It is a psycho-saxual preference just like hetero and h0m0saxuality.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Really?

      It's all that Sax and Violins on TV.........

      September 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Ryan M.

      So, let me get this straight- if someone has a disorder where they are attracted to children, the way to solve that problem is to give them an adult wife? Odd.

      September 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes Ryan Haven't you heard. It cures gayeness too!

      September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • out of the closet

      Glad it helped you Bill

      September 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
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About this blog

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.