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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. 2357

    Jesus was served by angels, and his spirit births children of God until they collectively become the bride of the Lamb. Heaven and earth will pass away at their glorious consummation.

    He didn't have a wife, and even if he did, the gospels would have simply said so.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Answer

      And Jesus rode his camel backwards...

      September 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      bride of the lamb ....hmmm....bestiality ? I thought that was a no no.
      OMG. So today first Jebus is married, and not they tell me he did sheep on the side.
      I can't take this.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • UD

      How do you know when something is make-believe? Easy. Sky Fairies and Magic

      Jack and the Beanstock, magic beans and golden eggs, etc.
      Jesus, walking on water, rising from the dead, angels that fly about, etc.
      Santa Claus, Reindeer that fly about, the chimney, etc.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Mary had a little lamb.

      ... with mint sauce and a nice Chianti.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Peter Grenader

      Speak English please. Your attempt at breading divinity into your dialog is confusing, if not cheap

      September 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  2. logic123

    Wait until Christians finally realize Mary was not a Virgin.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  3. sybaris

    No Jesus was not married to Mary but maybe to Marty

    http://according2g.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Gay-Jesus.jpg

    September 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Susie

      Scissor hands!

      September 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  4. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    I have spent a great deal of my professional life in the study of the Gnostic Gospels. As it turns out, the majority of “prophets” contributing to these scriptures was quite illiterate and most likely drew pictures to explain their wisdom.

    Needless to say, transcribing pictographs to verse was a tough task for the monks in those early centuries.

    Moreover, Jesus was the worst of the lot. This poor man could not even draw stick figures in the sand and apparently could not be trusted with anything sharp enough to draw with. As the story goes, Jesus would have to play a primitive form of "charades" while his scribes tried to guess his meaning.

    Most scholars agree that this is why these books were omitted from the Holy Bible.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      LIst those scholars. I'll wait.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      Certainly Tom Tom:

      Elaine Bagels; Lance S. Armstrong; Edwin Yamaguchi; Larry L. King and Tommy Walnuts

      September 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Cal B

      You spent most of your wife on the toilet thinking of ways to discredit others. The Gnostic writings were a hodge podge of theoretical writings based on the duality between the transcendent absolute spiritual reality and nonsense and don't even agree with each other. Where you getting this crap?

      September 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Don

      "were" quite illiterate, not "was". Doctor. roflmao

      September 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Looks like Tom, Tom forgot to put on her satire glasses tonight 😉

      September 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Clever, Dr. Johnson!

      September 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I'm still trying to get some comprehension of this phrase:

      You spent most of your wife on the toilet

      Not mocking – it's just funny.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Don

      Also, what so many you you "scholars" (rofl) seem to be missing is that there were MANY men named "Jesus" in Israel during the 1st century CE, and SEVERAL of them claimed to be The Christ.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      @Cal B

      You need to do your homework. In truth, the evidence would suggest that Judas, Mary, Jesus and others spent a great deal of there down town reflecting on the spiritual dichotomy of the soul vs. the physical and how that relates to the teachings of God.

      Why did they do this? Jesus was attracted to Buddhism and often rested his decisions on the non-bias imaginings of one who would make sacrifice in this life only to be reborn in the next.

      In short, Jesus was a Jew by birth, but not by practice. He taught his own flavor of Buddhism and his closest disciples, Judas and Mary for example, were quite sure he was a snake in a previous life.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      @Don

      You are quite wrong. The subject of the sentence is the singular "majority" so was is correct.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ahoy mateys

      Ring-a-ring-a-roses,
      A pocket full of poeses;
      Ashes! Ashes!
      We all fall down.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Duh

      I just search PHD Who Is. You're full of crap and are using three names from the same IP. Use FireFox developer, then click on your "name" and see your I.P. ....dumbazz

      September 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Peter Grenader

      Two words, first word.....

      Ahhhhhh....I gotta go with Tom on this one. I've heard this recently and while certainty far short of being a theologic scholar, it's contradictory IMHO. But you're not saying Jesus was illiterate, you're saying he was basically mute and that the ppl writing it down were capturing his gesturing with stick figures. If this is the case, the content of the new testament is pretty much up for grabs.

      Take anyone's quote from the new testament and translate it into drawings and then task someone to tell you what's been said. I dunno about this. If this is true, the new testament is a complete farce on every level. Not only in a theological sense, but historically, geographically and ideologically. It's one thing to throw in artistic license for the purpose of heightening someone's divine imprint, it's another thing to translate not standardized hieroglyphics.

      There goes Christianity....

      September 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  5. Marianne

    This is nothing new to me. Back in the late 90s, my archeology teacher had a friend working on the translation of the dead sea scroll, she was working on the Gospel of Mary (which is thought to be Mary Magdalene) at University Laval. If my memory servesme well, this Mary was Jesus's wife and they had a son. In some other Gospels, there was 17 aposteles instead of 12, the five other being women (Virgin Mary, John's mother and Magdalene were among these).

    This comes from what is named the New Testament apocrypha, texts early Christians discarded as unreliable or downright fake. It won't change a thing for Chatolics or Orthodoxes as some early saints discredited them already. But for the rest, they'll have to decided for themselves if these books are early Christanity fanfiction or genuine sacred texts.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Cal B

      Oh please. The gospel of Mary has been proven to be a hoax even by Jewish scholars who don't even believe in Jesus as the Savior. Save your B S

      September 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Christian 'fan fiction' – funny!

      There's an awful lot of that.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Marianne

      @ Cal B

      A modern hoax or an antic hoax? If the later, that's exactly what I was saying, fan fiction by early Christans. If the former, maybe my archeology teacher was having a laught at our expend. *sigh*

      Anyway, if the line didn't make it to the bible, it is of lesser cannon value, so it doesn't change anything.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  6. Lois of Longren

    The "gnostic' gospel of Thomas is a false gospel. As to the papyrus recently found, and the comment that the authentic gospels do not mention whether Jesus had a wife.....the question must be asked : If Jesus were not married, why would the subject of whether he was married or not even come up in the gospels. Obviously, it wasn't mentioned because he wasn't married. If he didn't have a wife, why would they mention marriage at all?

    September 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      It was not a "false gospel" to the community who wrote and believed it. It was not voted into the canon, but that was more about politics than anything else. You know nothing about Biblical scholarship.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Cal B

      The subject never came up in the Gospels. Furthermore the Dead Sea scrolls were found in 1946 and 1947 which match the identical Old Testament predicting the coming of Christ word for word. Nice try.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Bible

      September 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      1. The "prophesy" of the Old Testament has nothing to do with telling the future. It's about direction form gods to people of THEIR OWN time. You know nothing about what "prophesy" really is.
      2. The Old Testament was first written in 550-575 BCE, and the Dead Sea scrolls began about 400 BCE THAT is ONLY 100 years, or so later. The interval of transmission proves nothing.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      And there were many changes in the texts. The myth that there were none, is a lie.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  7. Earl

    In Behalf of Maestro Erano Martin Evangelista of http://www.thename.ph
    May President Barack Obama unite all peoples of the world to call on the One true Name of God-whom we should call LORD GOD ISRAEL
    18 Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”.
    Daniel 9:18-19 (NIV).

    And in 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (NIV)

    12 the Lord appeared to him at night and said:
    “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
    13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

    The people of God are called Israel.

    If the city and the people of God are called Israel, and the city and the People of Israel bear and are called by the Name of God, (Dan.9:18-19 & 2 Chr.7:12-14), what is the Name of God?

    The Name of God is ISRAEL ! Our God is LORD GOD ISRAEL!

    Regarding the disastrous events, calamities, economic crises and conflicts happening around the world, Why do such events happen now- What was God's decree before?
    Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (NIV)
    26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
    Maestro Evangelista says that the reasons the disasters, wars, famine and other calamities that happened and experiencing at present is that we never obeyed the commandments of God and never knew His Great Name. To end the curse in the world, we should seek and know His Great Name and call out the Name. By doing this we can be called by God as His people and have peace and prosperity.

    Is it true that we are experiencing God's wrath at present because we do not call on His true name? In Jeremiah 10:25
    25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you,on the peoples who do not call on your name. For they have devoured Jacob;they have devoured him completely and destroyed his homeland.
    Regarding the disasters and wars in our generation, who has the right to ask salvation from God?
    The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
    Psalm 9:9-10 (NIV).
    God will not forsake those who will call on His Great Name!
    May you know more of God's True name in the Bible and why He gave it first to Jacob and His message for our time in http://www.thename.ph.
    Disastrous events will continue to happen all over the world, for the people to realize that the world is cursed. These will only stop when they accept and acknowledge the true Name of God .
    If the American people truly embodies the motto: IN GOD WE TRUST- then they should trust and call on the real and only Name of God- who we should call LORD GOD ISRAEL

    September 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Answer

      Garbage.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Stuff it.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Quid Malmborg in Plano TX

      tl;dr

      September 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • UD

      I am sorry, I think I just puked in my mouth a little...

      September 19, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  8. Bootyfunk

    people are confused. i'm pretty sure jesus was just a fitness instructor. have you seen his abs? they're HAWT. he was teaching a form of babylonian P90X.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  9. Gazork

    As a Sociologist I read comments such as the above to study human reaction. Although, few comments hold much validity. But, occasionally I am impressed such as UD,s comment, 9/19/2012, 7:37 pm. Well thought out.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • mendacitysux

      That pseudoscience designed to justify money spent on four years of college to prolong partying.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • UD

      @Gazork

      Thank you. Unlike "Seeker" who said after a diatribe with no substance, "You too my friend will change your view as you open up to possibilities beyond your current understanding. There is wisdom suggsting that our senses actually limit our ability to comprehend."

      I would say to Seeker that I will not change my view. I went through the stage you are in when I was 13. Been there done that. You think a science loving mind is not aware of the human limitations of perception?

      Keep at it, maybe you will get somewhere eventually.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Duh

      I wouldn't brag about being a Sociologist. That's one step down from Basket Weaving and two steps down from "Political Science".

      September 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  10. Fairy Tale

    Just another chapter in the greatest fairy tale of all.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Harry Potter?

      September 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Fairy Tale

      I think Harry Potter is more believable.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  11. Bootyfunk

    was the Easter Bunny married?

    please discuss.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Impossible. That would make the bun-bun carnal.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • mendacitysux

      Did get knocked up by a rooster

      September 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ahoy mateys,

      What do you get if you pour hot water down the a rabbit hole?

      Hot cross bunnies!

      September 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      No jelly beans for you, next year.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Haha to not a GOPer.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • from De Odorizer

      Santa Clause: how come so many people refer to Mrs Santa Clause then? There is no passport or written statement of her, yet many think that Mr Santa has help from Missus Santa...?

      September 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  12. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    there is no virgin GAWD. visit my blog http://www.wifeofPBUH.com/blog.html and click on Aisha to lear truth.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      there is no division champion GAWD. visit the nfl at http://www.nfl.com and click on Patriots to lear truth.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  13. Roberto

    Dear Dr. Bart Ehrman,

    What's your take on this? I've followed your writings through the years. My feeling is that men back in 'those days' probably had several wives. Probably wasn't limited to 'Gentiles'. Especially the later arising of the Muslim faith. However, the name 'Jesus' was a fairly common name in and around Palestine and that region (reference, also, the Latin population many centuries later.) Just wondering. Don't know if you follow the commentary on CNN (wouldn't be surprised if you didn't–lots of mindless crap).

    September 19, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  14. Chad

    1) Jesus was silent about ho mo se x uality. Paul was not
    2) Paul was celibate. Jesus was not
    3) Jesus saw women as equals. Paul did not

    One of these men had a problem and the other one was the Son of God.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      where did jesus say to treat women as equals?

      September 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Or they were gay lovers.

      Also, if Jesus wasn't celibate, surely there would be millions of baby Yahwehs running about the place today.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • mama kindless

      True.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • UD

      So Paul and Jesus are standing by the pee bush peeing when.....

      September 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Well I think of Jesus as an ordinary man, but he did seem to treat others, based on what little is written, as you said.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i find that people rarely know what jesus said - they just know what the priest tells them he said.

      here's jesus telling slaves to obey their masters:
      Luke 12:37-38
      37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
      38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

      doesn't seem that loving and compassionate to me. you would think jesus would tell masters to release their slaves, that owning another human being is among the worst evil man can inflict on man - but instead, jesus tells slaves they better listen to their masters if they want to please god. yes, jesus said some great things about love, but he also said some pretty heinous things he's never held accountable for.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      From the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas :
      111 Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, 2and
      whoever is living from the living one will not see death." 3Does not Jesus say,
      "Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy"?
      112 Jesus said, "Damn the flesh that depends on the soul. 2Damn the soul
      that depends on the flesh."
      113 His disciples said to him, "When will the (Father's) imperial rule come?"
      2"It will not come by watching for it. 3 It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look,
      there!' 'Rather, the Father's imperial rule is spread out upon the earth, and
      people don't see it."
      114 Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't
      deserve life."
      2 Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may
      become a living spirit resembling you males. 3For every female who makes
      herself male will enter the domain of Heaven."

      That ain't no equality.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bootyfunk

      Didn't you know? It's something bad in the bible, therefore it magically becomes allegory or out of context until it can be spun into something good.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Joe

      Where did you get the idea that Paul was celibate? He speaks of his wife in his letters!

      September 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Some scholars also think the "thorn in is flesh" was ho'mose'xuality.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ahoy there Chad, you carbuncular swabbie,

      "2) Paul was celibate. Jesus was not"

      So matey, am I to imagine you mean Jesus and John "the beloved" hooked up?

      (Salty argot care of 9/19 "talk like a pirate day" a holy day of obligation for Pastafarians, R'amen)

      September 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • mama kindless

      Well I forgot about those passages, Booty. It does make me wonder. But I don't pay him much mind. But Paul I think was more dangerous because of how his writings allowed the early churches to make themselves all high and mighty and controlling and free from blame. It was so easy for them to do that with all the weird crap in those epistles. I don't buy any of it though.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Chad

      @Joe "Where did you get the idea that Paul was celibate? He speaks of his wife in his letters!"

      =>You're probably thinking of Peter. Read 1 Cor 7.

      @I'm not a GOPer "So matey, am I to imagine you mean Jesus and John "the beloved" hooked up?"

      =>What else could you conclude about Jesus and the disciple whom Jesus loved?

      September 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      =>What else could you conclude about Jesus and the disciple whom Jesus loved?

      OK, just checking. No argument from me.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Chad

      TomTomTheOtherOne!!

      shame on you, impersonating me again?

      GOPer: you should have known better than to think I would say such a thing... TTTOO is just having some fun..

      September 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      Well I was certainly nonplussed. I guess he got me.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Chad

      perhaps he'll tire of it...

      September 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  15. HeavenSent Blog

    Hello and welcome to the HeavenSent blog. This is YOUR opportunity to voice your HeavenSent opinions!

    Please frame your posts to best preach to Atheists about the dangers of a Godless life-style.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq6FsOCdadI&feature=player_embedded

    Here are some suggested key words to get you started:

    Hey-Zues
    Personal worm that feeds off them, is never quenched, for eternity
    Believing the lies of satan that they will be collectively mini-gods
    Do as the atheists do in this country to ensure the USA goes belly up
    Too blind to see His truth whether I write it in street language or scripture form
    Jesus told us to send r-apists and murderers back to Him

    September 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  16. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Few 100% true Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here on CNN blogs are posted by closet atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most atheists are uneducated... No atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are atheists/agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    † † Our Prayers goes to atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator † †

    PS! the USA is a † nation and will always be. You know it's true and stop being ignorant and arrogant!
    (Take a look at our federal/state holidays, 99% of our presidents, blue laws in parts of the nation, name of some cities/counties/streets, the majority of people, some laws, calendar, culture, etc.)
    http://rightremedy.org/tracts/7

    ¦There is only one God and it is to Him that you pray. All others pray to false gods and idols. Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist are all lost unless they know Jesus as their Lord & Savior.¦
    ///

    September 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      looks like someone got over the wall at the asylum again...

      now let us slip this nice 'jacket' back on you.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • fredd

      That means you agree with Hitler you idiot. As a Hindu I say Hitler hated and killed jews and so do you. Guess what your lord and savior was Jewish, but the apostle's weren't.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Jason

      Atheism is not a religion. Everyone is an Atheist. Christians are atheists about Zues, and Jews are Atheists about Jesus.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      everyone is born an atheist; no one believes in god until their parents indoctrinate them into their particular cult.

      christians are only 1 god away from being atheists. ask yourself why you don't believe in zues, ra or odin - now apply that to yahweh.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @USA is a † nation

      Avast there ye calumnious scurvy dog! Once more spreading ye villainous falsehoods to the four winds.

      Back at it with the EvangelCo® Tact-o-matic pastoral post paster™ I see. "Just set it and forget it" and it regurgitates the same excrement over and over again.

      (Salty argot care of 9/19 "talk like a pirate day")

      September 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops, typo: "tract-o-matic"

      This crap is anything but "tactful"!

      September 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, ">>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>", but your assertions regarding atheism 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 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      You pray to atheists ? Shouldn't you be praying to god ?

      September 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You should pray for the ability to write a coherent sentence, you illiterate dolt.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Thomas

      The bible is always right? HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! Spoken like an utter m0r0n.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • from De Odorizer

      Learn proper English, perhaps?
      Spelling, grammar, singular and plural designations?
      There is a really good remedy against mouth-diarrhea: mix half a pound of gipsum powder with some water, drink, until throat swells shut.
      There is a lovely treatment for certain incurable maniacs who hate the world: two water glasses of bourbon, half a bottle of valium. Self administered. Fixes everything. Amen.

      September 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  17. Jason

    If you do some research into the demography of Judea from the first BCE to first CE, polygamy was common. Elites had several wives and many more concubines. Itinerant landless males were more often not married. So just from a demography standpoint the canonical Christian Bible implication that Jesus and most of his disciples were unmarried fits the demographics of the time. Moreover, most scholars note the Judaa was full of messianic self denial groups at the time, with tens of thousands of adherents, such as the Essenes and similar groups who bear very close philosophies with Jesus and his followers were avowedly celibate.
    Also, along with undiscovered texts that maybe accurate there are obviously undiscovered texts that are fanciful, forgeries, or simply full of error. The synoptic texts which were written very close to the time of Jesus' direct followers lifetimes mention no wife. This newly :"discovered" text withe "wife" was not written in 50CE, it was written hundreds of years later.
    Lastly, experts on ancient Coptic are challenging the claim that the word used for wife only means that. Because the Harvard research is wrong in presenting it can only mean that, there is no separate word in ancient coptic for "bride" used for the church or followers and in fact the text presented could simply be a poor translation of one of the several passages in the Christian bible which already refer to the bride as a metaphor and not literally.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    did jesus have a wife is about as relevant as asking if hercules had a wife. both mythological figures.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Jason

      You are confusing possible legend around or accrued onto a person with non existence. Moses, Abraham, King Arther, Agamemnon, Achilles, King David, King Arthur Confucius, Buddha all probably existed, it is just that in many cases "legends" whether imagined appended from earlier or later persons may have been combined to create the archetype we now know.
      There was a study that showed something like 95% of the descendants of World War Two veterans thought their veteran ancestor saw combat in the War when only a small fraction did. So even in modern times, with modern historiography, the fact is people pile onto their ancestors heroic or larger than life exaggerations within a very very short time. It doesnt mean the people didn't exist.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actually, it does mean they likely didn't exist.

      "Abraham, King Arther, Agamemnon, Achilles, King David, King Arthur Confucius, Buddha all probably existed, it is just that in many cases "legends" whether imagined appended from earlier or later persons may have been combined to create the archetype we now know."

      there is no good evidence to believe any of the people you named existed. myths/folklore often doesn't have a real person to start the myth. and by the time the myth is done, if all the story has in common with the person is the name - does that mean that person actually existed? when the story is really about 'magic' things the person did, then the original person becomes unimportant.

      also, jesus' story was told before. look up mitra, osirus/horus, dinoysus... they tell a very similar story to jesus'. so how can jesus' story be true when his story was told by other names centuries before he was born? and if you keep going back, is there a real person? it wouldn't matter, because the person of the myth never existed. you can say hercules probably existed, but why would you think so? half son of a sky-god (sounds familiar), hercules strangled snakes in his crib, completed all sorts of inhuman feats - would it really have mattered if some baby somewhere were named hercules? he never did the things attributed to him, so the mythological hercules did not exist.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Don't know about all the others. I can prove that Moses and Abraham did not exist, at least so far as they are presented in the Bible.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  19. Progress is Certain

    @Dyl

    A snot-nosed kid like you should be very happy indeed that I am sitting on the fence looking out for you and your parents. I am sure they are left-wing liberals pumping you fuel of enema juice so you can get all bound down, but do you know what they are really doing? Taking a fist full of downs with a warm beer so they can forget you exist while they sqander your college education on sushi and donations to the tree huggers association and finance poor children everywhere in the world except right in their own house. You won't even be able to afford a one room appartment in slap-out Oklahoma by the time you get your AA in nothing at Junior College and start your career working at Six Flags selling glow sticks without being able to even count change and all of your hard earned pennies will go to getting giant holes cut in your ears so you can stick wood plugs in there to gross out all the people who will never hire you because you have made yourself too grotesque for anyone to look at except the night janitor at Best Buy who has a face tattoo.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  20. burybrutal

    If you want an informed Christian response to this, a friend of mine responded to this hype here: http://www.walkingchristian.com/2012/09/18/jesus-wife/.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • UD

      If you want an informed response to this, don't ask a Christian.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      My friend works as a steward at Fenway Park, it doesn't make him Ted Williams.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:30 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.