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. Peteyroo

    Who cares if a mythological figure was married or not? Is Santa Claus married? Does the Tooth Fairy have a husband? And how about Tinker Bell?

    September 20, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • LOL

      I've never understood the naive Santa Claus and Easter Bunny statements some atheists banter endlessly about. Did Mommy and Daddy really break you're heart that much when they told you they had just been pretending to let you have fun? After all, what Holy Books were written 1000s of years ago about them? Do they have churches? Has anyone died for belief in them? Seriously, perhaps atheists are the ones who need to grow up and get over the trauma of finding out that their parents were trying to give them a fun childhood.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • OTOH

      "what Holy Books were written 1000s of years ago about them? Do they have churches? Has anyone died for belief in them?"

      No.... and that's precisely the point. Rational people learn that these imaginary characters are fantasies. Believers, otoh, think that theirs are real, without a shred of verified evidence. That they died/die for these fantasies is tragic.

      September 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  2. Jeyrey

    Don't forget that Jesus was a Jew and he was more than likely married and had tons of kids, like stars in the sky and sand on the beach. he probably had no clue that millions of people would profess him as a god and create a new religion based on his life! Jews, Mulsims, and Christian are all based from the same teachings which makes all the religious wars to follow even more idiotic. Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammed are all looking down at us thinking what a bunch of idiots for not listening to what we were really saying.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  3. Bill

    I'm more interested in who his real dad was...as in biological father.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Al

      That would make a great Maury show.

      "Joseph, you are NOT the father.'

      "Akeem (next door neighbor), you ARE the father."

      September 20, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • labrat

      It's kind of hard to have a father when you are the Alpha and Omega and yet as the second person of the trinity, God the Father is Jesus father. How does this work? I have no idea. It's impossible to understand an infinite being from a finite mindset. Some things you have to take on faith.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Abinadi

      This is easy.

      16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (New Testament, John, Chapter 3)

      Do I have to explain begotten to anyone or did your daddy already explain that?

      September 20, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Abinadi

      You know, people, at the time these scriptures were written all this stuff was perfectly clear. It was 2000 years of apostacy and uninspired leadership form men like Pope John XII who muddied things up.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Some things you have to take on faith"
      In other words, don't think about it. Don't ask questions. Voluntarily suspend critical thinking and just acceptt that it maaaaagic.
      What is more likely: An ancient Jewish woman lied about her vir/ginity in order to avoid being stoned to death by her neighbours, or a Cosmic Invisible Holy Ghost Penis impregnated her with the Son of God.
      Occam's razor says what?

      September 20, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • labrat

      "Some things you have to take on faith" meaning some things are beyond your scope of understanding. If you trust what you can understand from a given source then you can trust the things beyond your understanding from the same source.

      September 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  4. Argle Bargle

    Of course Jesus had a wife. That's why he spent so much time hanging around with his buddies.
    "Jesus! Why don't you get a real job so I can have some nice clothes? And this table you made wobbles!"
    "Jesus, can't you do anything right?"
    "Jesus, you mixed a red sock in with the white! Now you'll have to wear pink underwear!"
    "Jesus, get off your (small donkey) and walk like an adult!"
    "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"
    No wonder he chose to be crucified!

    September 20, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  5. Livelystone

    Jesus also referred to his followers as being his family.

    In addition to that, for Jesus to have literally married a purely human person would have made him as guilty as the sons of God who married the daughters of men back in the book of Genesis.

    People who come up with outlandish statements such as this woman has about Jesus have a wife, need to spend at least a little time studying the Scriptures to prevent making a fool of themselves and others who subscribe to their conspiracy theories.


    September 20, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "need to spend at least a little time studying the Scriptures to prevent making a fool of themselves and others who subscribe to their conspiracy theories."

      Funny, Doug. Maybe you need to spend some time researching the history of your religion. When you do you will find those scriptures you refer to are nothing more than words written by a bunch of men over a long period of time, then edited by more men to fit their agenda of power, money and to convert more pagans to christianity. God wrote nothing in that book, men did.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Pam O'Leary

      Livelystone, Karen King has not "come up with outlandish statements" about Jesus having a wife. Karen King is offering an academic opinion on a fragment of Coptic text which may indicate that someone in the 4th C believed Jesus had a wife.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  6. Mark

    First thought comes to my mind is the thought that all Christians believe Jesus was fully man and fully god. I'm sorry, I'm a devout Christian and I have heard it said a million times. But I challenge anyone in the world to show me one passage where Jesus claimed he was God. In all the versus I read, he referred to God as his Father in Heaven; and that he asked God to perform the miracles through him as Noah and all the other chosen few had the privillege to do. Even the Lord's Prayer isn't dedicated to him or through him.

    I think Jesus would condemn everyone wanting to worship him. He said to worship God. Worshipping him is Idolizing him which is a big no no according to God's laws. Idolitry is a sin.

    Jesus said he was the sacrificial lamb. In the old testimate, when an Isrealite needed to talk to God he would be required to sacrifice a lamb without blemishes. If the lamb even had one blemish, God would strike down the person. Jesus is that sacrifice enabling all of us to talk to God without fear of being struck down. That is all. The only thing I ever remember Jesus asking us to do is simply remember his sacrifice. That doesn't mean raise him to status equal to God, that's blasphemy, plain and simple.

    Jesus was a man, born of a human woman. Sin is not passed down from father to son. Never read that in the bible. It says that all children inherrit their sin. If we do not inherrit the sin from the mother, then all mothers are sinless. But that would mean Eve didn't commit the first sin, which we all know is opposite to what the Bible says.

    Man and Woman are sinners. Anyone born of man or woman inherrits the sin. That included Jesus. Jesus became free of sin because of his baptism. He remained sinless because he never committed another sin after being baptized. We, on the other hand, committed plenty after our one baptism thus remain sinners. This is why Jesus was sinless and we are not. Nothing about it is complicated or supernatural. Jesus was a straightforward and honest person.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Mark

      And that is why you need to accept Jesus, so that you can talk with God without being struck down. Those who try to talk to God directly without purifying themselves through a sacrifice will be condemned by God. That is why it is important to accept Jesus as the sacrifice and use his sacrifice so you can get a closer relationship with God without fear of being condemned.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Will

      Merk, you may be Christian but you must not be a Catholic. Jesus was born without sin because his mother Mary was born without sin. Have you ever heard of the Immaculate Conception? That is when Mary was conceived in her mother womb, she was conceived without sin so that when Jesus was born, he would be born without sin

      But getting back to the reason I am posting, this article is suggesting Jesus was married. Well, let's just run out to the streets and start murduring the blasphemists and burning buildings for such a statement... Well, at least that what the muslims do..

      September 20, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Peteyroo

      I accept unicorns and leprechauns, but I draw the line there. No Jesus.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  7. IslandAtheist

    I still think he's gay.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Yvon

      You make me sick, to you all people are gay or should be – no agenda there right! One day you will know and hope he has mercy on you.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:11 am |
  8. cobe

    many times in the Bible there is a reference to the God's relationship with his Church (Body of Christ) described as relationship between groom and bride,
    If Jesus (God incarnate) said to the apostoles(his earliest church ) "my wife" , that means He is most likely calling them to imitate this kind of relationship toward the Church, best known to men as the relationship between bride and groom : as one flesh, love, sacrifice, even to death.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Wow. That must've been a tough relationship to consummate

      September 20, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Peteyroo

      The Bible is nonsense.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  9. Martin

    The real truth is that Jesus' wife was huge and ugly as sin so he kept telling all his friends that he was single and that she was just a friend,

    September 20, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  10. TTBoy

    "dealer hopes to give the fragment to Harvard if they buy a large portion of his collection." And that's really the whole bit, dontcha think? M-o-n-e-y.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:37 am |
  11. millennium3

    Our concern should never be "Was Jesus single or married?"
    Our one and only concern should always be "Was Jesus really a true Prophet of a real GOD?"

    Yes, he was!

    How can we know it?

    Through the "Language of perfect Symmetry and ultimate Mathematics" that is present in this Universe and also in the Word of God in an exact parallel manner!
    You can clearly and unmistakably witness it here now:


    September 20, 2012 at 7:31 am |
    • Primewonk

      More ignorant fundiot nuttery.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Nonsense! God doesn't exist; therefore, he can't have a son whether it's Jesus or Bob.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • LOL

      Do atheists think that if they state God does not exist enough that it will become true? Are they too dumb to know they can't prove a negative to anyone, much less to themselves? A more rational and reasonable point of view is agnosticism, religion supplies the missing morality.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  12. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man (married or not) would do or say?

    September 20, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  13. Stephen Daugherty

    While I wouldn't exactly be running for the doors if conclusive evidence proved Jesus was married, I think anytime somebody only lets you see one scrap, while promising to sell you the rest if you agree on that one part, you're being too credulous. Full disclosure, folks. Don't get conned.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • Peteyroo

      Who cares? Jesus never existed, so who cares whether he had a mythical wife? Does anyone care if the Tooth Fairy has a husband?

      September 20, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Reality

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  14. tom

    Might there have been another person named "Jesus"? How do we know this scrap was referring to THE Jesus?

    September 20, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • Armchair Scholar

      Because THE Jesus is the only one we know of who had his name abbreviated with a Christian abbreviation known as a nomen sacrum, or sacred name. This manuscript uses a nomen sacrum for his name.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • tom

      scholar, you say he's the only one WE KNOW OF. Might there not be others that we don't know of?

      September 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  15. Skipper

    Isn't mythology fun!?

    September 20, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Gilligan

      It sure is, Skipper!
      Are you ever gonna lose weight?
      The boat drags bottom when you're aboard.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  16. laststonecarver

    Consider this:
    God in his (really his??) infinite wisdom, after creating the whole universe and all living creatures, rested, and then after a while decided to create a child, who would grow up to become a teacher, who would be horribly mutilated, and killed, so that all sin would be forgiven, which it is not, one at least has the indelible mark, per satan...
    As opposed to:
    God has a child who teaches everyone to live in peace forever, completely makes war, and famine and pestilence, and strife ,and disease obsolete, and all creatures live in harmony, without the constant bickering and drivel associative.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      What would life be without strife?

      September 20, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • laststonecarver

      Who needs strife, when you can become part of the godhood, and spend all your time creating and smoting...

      September 20, 2012 at 7:26 am |
  17. danita

    This crap was written in English. Go to he.. with this story. All we don't know by now don't think we will ever know.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:01 am |
  18. WASP

    i love how religious people are willing to accept the dead sea scrolls written by an outcast group of the christian sect, yet are willing so adamently to fight against new information that would make their "jesus-god" a human with human desires and emotions.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • FreeToLive

      You are presuming that Jesus didnt have human desires and emotions. The bible clearly states that Jesus was tempted, cried, got angry, and experienced many other emotions that we experience, as he was fully human and fully God. Furthermore, the bible makes reference in the old and new testament to "the bride" or "wife", which is a reference to His church or His people/believers.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • RR

      the Dead Sea Scrolls were written by a Jewish group, not Christians. there are no references to Christians things in them.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • LOL

      Before you go generalizing, WASP, get your facts straight. I am a Christian, and I have no reasons to believe it is a forgery. If the ink tests come back questionable, then I'll reconsider. What is strange about it? We don't know it's provinance (not province as the author of the CNN article put it) other than Egypt. It came from an unidentified private collection, which is not necessarily a good thing, especially without a detailed provinance. It is strange that King decided to release this to the press in draft form before releasing it in a peer reviewed article. King is a member of the infamously discredited Jesus Seminar which enjoys the media limelight for their views on Jesus, one of their goals being to intentionally seek it out. King is pushing a second century date rather than simply stating that the manuscript is dated to the fourth century, confusing people as to how old it really is. Finally, this is little different from the many, many other Gnostic texts of the fourth century found in Egypt.

      So there. This Christian is more informed than you, WASP.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Anonymous

      The reason Christians are so unable to accept this change is because, again, there is no concrete proof what this bit of information was really talking about. Secondly, Christianity has been the way it is for thousands of years, if there is any chance they can stick with what they know, they will. This is not a bad thing.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  19. Greg C.

    I am amazed by looking at the responses to this article, how many people care to comment but their only research is based on a fiction novel, wishful thinking, or their desire to attack to very notion that Christ existed. If you want to know who he is, who his bride is and who his children are, go read the Bible. This fragment doesn't prove anything and conveniently seems to stir up controversy when there really isn't controversy on who the person of Jesus Christ really is.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • LOL

      Yep, many of the atheists understand less about this discovery than the Christians.

      September 20, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  20. Kebos

    Did Jesus have a dog? Did he go to the market? Did he ever have a toothache? Did he learn mathematics? Wow, tell me more.

    Just a man whose legacy, assuming he existed at all, has been over-inflated with the passage of time.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:50 am |
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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.