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My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)
September 21st, 2012
09:28 AM ET

My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

A few years ago I wrote a book about Jesus in the American imagination. What I learned along the way is that the American Jesus is a Gumby-like figure who can twist and turn in almost any direction.

Our Jesus has been black and white, gay and straight, a socialist and a capitalist, a pacifist and a warrior, a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klansman. Over the American centuries, he has stood not on some unchanging rock of ages but on the shifting sands of economic circumstances, political calculations and cultural trends.

Part Proteus, part Paul (who called himself "all things to all men"), he became during the Victorian period a sentimental Savior. During the Progressive era of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, he flexed his muscles and carried a big stick. During the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, he grew his hair long and strummed his guitar for peace.

Now, in an era in which Americans are debating who can marry and have sex with whom, we are given a Jesus who has given his body and soul in marriage, at least if we are to believe the scrap of ancient papyrus soon coming, via Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King and the Smithsonian Channel, to a television set near you.

“Jesus said, ‘My wife,'” this Coptic papyrus reads, and since King announced her finding at a Coptic studies conference in Rome on Tuesday, the world is trying to imagine not only what manner of man (and god) this might be, but what sort of woman he might have taken into his marriage bed.

As for the question everyone is asking — was Jesus married? — the only correct answer is that we do not know.

There are all sorts of reasons to be skeptical about this find. First, according to King it is owned by an anonymous dealer who is willing to give the fragment to Harvard, but only if it buys other parts of his collection.

Second, we don’t yet know anything about where this fragment was supposedly found or by whom, and the world of ancient Jewish and Christian manuscripts is replete with fakes and fakers.

Third, even if the papyrus is genuine, it points only to one author quoting Jesus as referring to his wife. Perhaps that author was simply trying to push the early Christian tradition away from a preference for celibacy over marriage.

Or perhaps the reference is to some symbolic or spiritual “wife,” rather than one of the flesh-and-blood type. (In the New Testament Jesus already refers to himself as the bridegroom.)

In the end, what intrigues me about this tiny fragment (it measures roughly 1.5-by-3 inches) is the huge hype. The original Belief Blog piece on this story has over 4,000 comments and counting. And a Smithsonian documentary is in the works for September 30.

Jesus may be one of the best attested figures in the ancient world, but we still know hardly anything about him. And because he is the key figure in the largest religion in the world, we are keen to fill in the blanks.

The Jewish tradition has a name for this: midrash, which refers to a way of storytelling that fills in the gaps. This is what Americans have been doing for centuries with Jesus. Not sure where he was during his “lost years” from the end of his childhood to the beginning of his ministry? Send him off to India. Not sure how he looked? Draw a painting or carve a statue.

What is going on here, as I see it, is a reluctance to say, “I don’t know.”

The truth of the matter is that we don’t know what Jesus looked like. We don’t know where he was or what he was doing when he turned 18. And we don’t know if he was ever married or divorced.

What we do know is that we live in a country besotted with Jesus and in an age obsessed with marriage and sexuality and the body, which is why this tiny papyrus is making such big waves.

As for me, I don’t much care what Jesus thought about marriage, or whether he engaged in it. I think we as a society tend to collapse religion far too readily into bedroom questions, as if Jesus came into the world to tell us with whom we should be having sex, and how.

I’m more interested in what Jesus has to say about wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor. And there is plenty in the available record to read and heed, "if only we have ears to hear."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Coptic • Jesus • Sexuality • United States

soundoff (2,026 Responses)
  1. Hugh Stone

    I am wondering if mama kindness has fed any hungry children lately, or visited anyone in a nursing home recently, or held the hand of someone who is dying of cancer. I wonder if the atheism she advocates has inspired her to do anything to make the world a more peaceful place. Has she welcomed any strangers lately or clothed the naked or visited anyone in prison?

    September 21, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Amniculi

      The wonderful thing about being an atheist is that we do all those out of kindness and the value we hold for humanity. We don't need religion to tell us that that is what we should be doing.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • William Demuth

      I prefer to undress the clothed, but to each his own.

      Charity is relative, but the idea the Christianity is charitable seems at best misleading.

      Christianity has flourished not by giving to the downtrodden, but by taking from them. They recruit in ghettos, prisons and third world slums, bilking BILLIONS of people with promises of life after death, and eternal happiness, and clubbing down those who might rebel with threats of eternal agonies in hell

      Your TV preachers are the masters of that dark art, wraping themselves in silk and gold stolen from the weak, the poor, the sick and the old. Jesus does need dollars, only con men and charlatans do.

      In fact sir, your faith is a glorified ponzi scheme at best, and at worst it is a crime against humanity.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bob

      Hugh, no, you can't pull that nonsense here. If your religion is e.g. Christianity, then you really should take a closer look at the evil that it demands of you, when the horrid Christian instruction manual contains choice bits like these:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      September 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Correlation is not Causation. YOU have not proven that religion is the source of good works. Good people do good things.
      Some religious people do good things. YOU get a reward for your good works. We atheists do not. I guess that makes atheists more genuinely altruistic, now, doesn't it.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • bspurloc

      and hence there is your religion demonizing ALL that do not believe as u....

      u do not believe as I believe therefore I doubt your wholesomeness.... hold on I have to bring another altar boy the priest...

      September 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Ryan

      Dear Blinded Souls of the Physical Realm, Your arrogance and pride leads you to attack Jesus and His followers. I was once a lost soul just like you. Full of negative emotions toward anyone who was a follower of Christ Jesus. But through the grace of God the Father, my spiritually blinded eyes were opened to the spiritual truths contained in the Bible. I pray that each of you will break free of the bondage of your prideful souls.

      September 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    Cults, sects and false churches always had false notions of Jesus Christ. Strictly speaking the Copts are a false church because they have wrong notions of the Jesus Christ.

    The correct doctrine about Jesus is that he had a perfect divine nature and a perfect human nature, even two separated wills, a divine one and a human one. In contrast the Copts (also called Monophysites) believe that Jesus had only one divine nature, and that he was only virtually a man.

    Hence, as the Copts have separated from the true Christian Church by their heresy concerning Christ, any statement of them is not authorized by the Holy Spirit which God has given the true Christian Church, and hence we should not believe the nonsense about the alleged marriage of Jesus Christ.

    The most authoritative docu-ment of the Christian Church is the New Testament (NT). Nowhere in the New Testament you can find a statement that Jesus had had a wife. It is not imagineable that an alleged wife of Jesus had nowhere been mentioned in the NT because even his mother Mary is mentioned, his father Joseph, even his physical brothers.

    Before the Copts discuss about a ridiculous statement they should finally acknowledge that Jesus Christ had two natures, a divine one, and a human one, perfectly united in the person of Jesus Christ but not mixed at all. I repeat that Jesus had even two wills which is a fact that can hardly be grasped by our reason because according to any logic any being can have only one will. However, Jesus had two wills, and the human will was always subordinated to the will of the eternal Son of God. This is the great marvel of Jesus that he was "in God" ever and ever, yet before he was born into this world by Mary the virgin. Hence, Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of a New Mankind in God which will always remain in God even in view of rejection, suffering and persecution by the old mankind which comes from the old Adam.

    Dear Copts, if you don't change your mind concerning the person of Jesus Christ, you cannot experience the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection, and at Judgement Day you will hardly come through, you will not come through.

    Adam, the first man, failed totally, and with Jesus God made a new start, the beginning of a New Mankind, the Christian Church. Adam forsake God without reason, he did not appreciate God's friendship and marvelous presence, thr presence of abounding life, in contrast Jesus remained in God despite infinite suffering facing the crucifixion in the Garden Gethsemane where he as a man asked God if he could be spared from the crucifixion but it was the will of the Father AND the eternal Son (Jesus' divine nature) that he had to die for the mankind. By his obedience Jesus proved that he was indeed in God irrevocably. Jesus was a new man which was "in God" irrevocably.

    Every Christian who wants come through Judgement Day has to remain in God every day. As we became believers and were baptized we got no free ticket for heaven but we will be judged by Jesus Christ according to our real works which we have accomplished in this real world. Through faith and baptism we only received the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection, and it is up to us to use this power every day, and to love God and our neighbour.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    The New Testament is the legitimate consti-tution of the Christian Church because it was drafted in the Early Church which is the genuine Church of Jesus Christ. No contemporary of Jesus, the Apostles and the early believers ever wrote a refutation of the NT, at least such a crap did not survive, because all stories of the NT had been true, and a false refutation (if ever drafted) found no reception by the society of the Roman Empire (everybody knew that the stroies were true, because they could ask relatives in Palestine, Greece, Syria, Egypt, etc. who confirmed the truth of the stories), and as the alleged refutation found no reception nobody bought copies of it, and hence no copies came down to us.

    September 21, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Pete

      The only problem is Adam never existed, and Jesus may or may not have existed but he was certainly not the son of god.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Catalin

      The New Testament is The Word of God, and gives as enough information about the Son of God wich is Jesus Christ.
      If we are willing to obey God, we don't need something else. And don't forget what Jesus said: "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14/6

      September 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Amniculi

      "I know the Bible is true because the Bible says so." Yay circular reasoning!

      September 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Len

      Catalin
      Why do you believe that the New Testament is The Word of God? Just a "feeling", right?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Well said, Jill. Makes as much sense as anything Bronze Age worshipers say.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Just a John

      @Rainer
      Cults, isn't your lot a cult. How do you describe your confessing offshoot of christianity?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  3. Renso

    What is the next piece of papyrus going to reveal, that Jesus had 7 children? Give me a break.1000 year from now someone is going to find a piece of an article saying Obama was a God, the anointed one. Will that be a revelation?

    September 21, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  4. Reality

    Until "professor" Stevie P comes clean about his own religious beliefs, his opinion about Jesus et al means squat.

    September 21, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Len

      Why does he have to choose sides before you decide whether or not he's worth listening too? Sorta supports the idea that you aren't really interested in the arguments, or even the truth itself.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Reality

      With respect to the truth:

      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, married or not, preacher/magic man would do or say?

      September 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    @Amniculi

    Of course, Jesus Christ is a peson of the Holy Trinity, God the Son. When the people saw Jesus, they saw God.

    September 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Amniculi

      When the people saw Jesus they were seeing things, because Jesus is IMAGINARY.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Len

      Why "Of course" Rainer? What proof have you?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • bspurloc

      when the ignorant peasants saw a person called jesus, they saw a man and nothing else....
      when mysterious magic happened they saw mysterious magic....
      try the same thing today where the peasants are far less ignorant than they were 2000 years ago and the magician would get robbed.....

      September 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  6. William Demuth

    Please!

    The dude was Gay as Liberace.

    The rejected gospels make it QUITE clear, and even a glance thru the currently prefered Bible sets of all sort of GAYDAR alerts.

    Married? I DON'T THINK SO!!!!

    Next your'e gonna try and tell us his mother was a virgin!!!

    September 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  7. MennoKnight

    "I’m more interested in what Jesus has to say about wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor."

    The synoptic gospels (Mark, Luke, and Matthew) were all written during the lifetime of numerous eye witnesses.
    Mark was written by the scribe John Mark who wrote down Peter's memories of Jesus' ministry years. Mark was written 15-25 years after Jesus' ministry.
    Luke was a trained Roman historian who researched the life of Jesus and interviewed numerous eye witnesses, including Mary, the mother of Jesus. He wrote both Luke and Acts as one work. And from acts 17 on he narrates in the first person because he becomes part of the story. He wrote while Paul was in prison awaiting trial before Nero. That places this book about 33-35 years after Jesus.
    Matthew (also known as Levi) was also an eye witness. He wrote some time shortly after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. That places his writings around 35 -40 years after Jesus.
    The book of John was written down by John the Elder of Ephesus who was the scribe of John the Disciple. This was written in the 90's before John the disciple died of old age. John the disciple was the only disciple to not be executed.
    If were a church leader and the only living disciple were still alive in your church would you not want to write down his memories of what happened during the ministry of Jesus? That was when both the book of John and Revelation were both written. This happened about 60 years after Jesus.

    This fragment was written about 150 after Jesus. I could care less what it says other than giving light on some of the teachings that some early Christian heresies taught at the time.
    This is not new. This is simply the same thing being rehashed over and over again, being sold to the uneducated.

    September 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      You drank the Kool-aid. No they were not written that early. That's the believers talking to believers. NOT the historians conclusions. That's essentially circular.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The gospels are faith docu'ments, written by believers, who already believed, to remind themselves what they already believed, for use IN CHURCH services. THAT is not history, in any way, shape or form.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcPiUGGd25s

      September 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  8. Topher

    "As for me, I don’t much care what Jesus thought about marriage, or whether he engaged in it."

    Why don't you care? Once again I think this shows exactly the bias portrayed by CNN to let a "religion scholar" continue to write these columns but not divulge his personal beliefs. Mr Prothero, c'mon, admit it. You don't believe in Christ. It's OK. It's not like we haven't figured it out anyway by your posts.

    "I think we as a society tend to collapse religion far too readily into bedroom questions, as if Jesus came into the world to tell us with whom we should be having se.x, and how."

    It might not have been His main priority when He came here, but He did tell us about these things, so again, why don't you care?

    "I’m more interested in what Jesus has to say about wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor. And there is plenty in the available record to read and heed, "if only we have ears to hear."

    Again, not His main purpose. What does anything Jesus said about "wealth and poverty" have to do with where your soul will spend eternity? Isn't that more important?

    September 21, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      He has admitted in the Aurora articles he is not a believer. And you pejorative "religion scholar" is BS. A "religion scholar" in no way has to be a believer to be a good religion scholar. Most of my professors were/are atheists or agnostics. .

      September 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Huebert

      @Topher

      If it was somehow proven that Jesus was married, how would that effect your perception of Jesus?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Topher

      I don't care if he doesn't believe and is a scholar. (Well, that's not quite true. I worry about where he'll spend eternity.) I'm just saying if you're going to be a writer of a religious blog you should be up front about where you stand. It should be right up at the top ... "Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor. Though he is well versed in many religious views, he is himself not a believer."

      September 21, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Topher

      Hi, Huebert, how's it going?

      Whether or not he had a wife, as far as I can tell, has no bearing on the Gospel.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Christ had very little to say on the subject of s.ex.
      In Matthew 19:9, he tells you that divorced people who have relations are committing adultery,
      Matthew 5:27-28, He says that just thinking about adultery is as sinful as doing to deed.
      In John 4:16-18, he pretty well calls a woman a wh/ore for being married multiple times.
      John 8:1-11 lets us know that Christ is against killing adulterers.
      That's it, that's all.

      The only thing Christ had to say on the matter of s/ex is that adultery is bad.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      "spending eternity" shows us that you STILL don't get the difference between "eternal" as "endless" vs "timeless". When are you going to go take a class or two ?
      "spending eternity" means those in heaven are subject to time. If that is true, GOD is subject to time.
      Sheesh.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      Don't forget he said marriage is between a man and a woman. Regardless, what's your point?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      I assume you're using Christ's little chat with the Pharisees as your evidence of the Divine definition of marriage.
      The men to whom Jesus spoke did not define marriage as one man with one woman for life.
      When Jesus cites Genesis 2:24, by no means did Jesus or Jewish men understand Genesis 2:24 as prohibiting polygamy.
      We know one man with one woman for life is not God's ironclad rule for all marriages because scripture makes exceptions for other situations like polygamy and divorce because of fornication.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Topher, accordng to the Bible we have quite a few options.
      ...........
      Where exactly does the Bible say that ?
      It also says :
      ■Marriage consists of one man and one or more than one woman (Gen 4:19, 4:23, 26:34, 28:9, 29:26-30, 30:26, 31:17, 32:22, 36:2, 36:10, 37:2, Ex. 21:10, Judges 8:30, 1 Sam 1:2, 25:43, 27:3, 30:5, 30:18, 2 Sam 2:2, 3:2-5, 1 Chron 3:1-3, 4:5, 8:8, 14:3, 2 Chron 11:21, 13:21, 24:3).

      ■Nothing prevents a man from taking on concubines or se'xual slaves in addition to the wife or wives he may already have (Gen 25:6, Judges 8:31, 2 Sam 5:13, 1 Kings 11:3, 1 Chron 3:9, 2 Chron 11:21, Dan 5:2-3).

      ■A man might choose any woman he wants for his wife (Gen 6:2, Deut 21:11), provided only that she is not already another man’s wife (Lev 18:14-16, Deut. 22:30) or a relative (Lev 18:11, 20:17, Lev 20:14, Lev 18:18). The concept of a woman giving her consent to being married is not in the Bible.

      ■If a woman cannot be proven to be a virgin at the time of marriage, she shall be stoned to death (Deut 22:13-21).

      ■A ra'p"ist must marry his victim (Ex. 22:16, Deut. 22:28-29), unless she was already a fiancé, in which case he should be put to death if he ra'p'ed her in the country, but both of them killed if he ra'p'ed her in town (Deut. 22:23-27).

      ■If a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow (Gen 38:6-10, Deut 25:5-10, Mark 12:19, Luke 20:28).

      ■Women must marry the man of their father’s choosing (Gen. 24:4, Josh.15:16-17, Judges 1:12-13, 12:9, 21:1, 1 Sam 17:25, 18:19, 1 Kings 2:21, 1 Chron 2:35, Jer 29:6, Dan 11:17).

      ■Women are the property of their fathers until married and the property of their husbands thereafter (Ex. 20:17, 22:17, Deut. 22:24, Mat 22:25).

      ■The value of a woman might be approximately seven years’ work (Gen 29:14-30).

      ■Inter-faith marriages are prohibited (Gen 24:3, 28:1, 28:6, Num 25:1-9, Ezra 9:12, Neh 10:30, 2 Cor 6:14).

      ■Divorce is forbidden (Deut 22:19, Matt 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:9-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2, 1 Cor 7:10-11, 7:39).

      ■It is better to not get married at all—although marriage is not a sin (Matt 19:10, I Cor 7:1, 7:27-28, 7:32-34, 7:38).

      So you do have quite a few options there, darlin.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Topher

      Yeah? So? The Bible has a lot to say on marriage. So back to the original question, why shouldn't we care, as Mr. Prothero has said?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • MennoKnight

      llɐq ʎʞɔnq
      For Christians the New Testament is the standard that we set our lives by. You mention the Old Testament numerous and that is not the standard that we live by.
      The Old Testament is background leading up to Jesus.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Amniculi

      But...is the WHOLE Bible the "Word of God"? Who are you to pick and choose which words of God to follow? Blasphemy!

      September 21, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Becuase what Christ did with His naughty bits in His private life has no bearing on His message of peace, charity and humility.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Matthew 5:18
      I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

      Are you saying EVERYTHING is accomplished, and Jesus is back ? Where is he ?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      Amniculi
      Not heresy, but Anabaptist.
      This is simple theological truth that has been taught for over 500 years. This is the basis for denominations like the Mennonites, Baptists, Quakers, and many others.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Amniculi

      "Theological truth" is an oxymoron.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Topher

      A lot of the Old Testament rules were under the old covenant. When Christ came, a new covenant was made. Thus, the laws that were for those people at that time (in the OT) are no longer in play, such as what kinds of clothes to wear and what to eat. Same goes for the priestly laws as Christ is now our high priest. That's also why we no longer have to sacrifice animals. The ultimate sacrifice was made when God died for us so that we can be forgiven. This is very clear in the Bible. However, the 10 Commandments (or Mosaic Law or The Law) is still in play.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      Yes, Jesus preached peace, charity and humility. But those were not His main message. That was that all are sinners and deserve Hell. He, God, came as a sacrifice (or "as a ransom for many" as He said). That means His death was payment for your fine that you have accrued against God. And that if you repent and trust in Him, that you will be forgiven and will go to Heaven when you die.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "When Christ came, a new covenant was made. ...However, the 10 Commandments (or Mosaic Law or The Law) is still in play."
      Where exactly is this stated?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Topher

      Seriously? The new covenant is all over the NT and even in the Old. Do you prefer full quotes or are chapter and verse good enough?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Even so, that just makes God an even bigger a55hole for changing his mind after murdering millions of people. Also, there goes any arguments against gays and gay marriage too. So is it or is it not the true word of God?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Topher

      Amniculi

      God didn't change His mind. The whole Old Testament was pointing at the coming Messiah and described in amazing detail what was going to happen. Nothing on gay marriage has changed. Jesus even said it was between a man and a woman. And yes, it is ALL the word of God.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Topher

      Hi Toph...

      I have been reading the discussion thread, and I'm still not sure why you would care if Jesus ended up being married or not ?

      If... he does somehow get (proven) to turn out to have been married, would that put an *asterisk* next to what you believe he accomplished ?

      How would that really, in the over all scheme of things... would that make a difference in his allegedly saving mankind, etc... ?

      Peace...

      September 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Topher,
      You drank too much Kool-aid. ALL the Olt Testament was NOT looking for a Messiah.
      1. For most of the history the history, until the Exile, and the Roman occupation, messianic figures were unnecessary.
      2. A very small percent of the population wanted the kingdom restored.
      3. There was no Bible until 550-575, and it was not a central organizing factor in Hebrew life, as it is today.
      4. There were amny messiah figures.

      You really need a class in the Bible.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Face it. Jesus blew it. An omniscient and omnipotent god leaves such an ambiguous, easily disputed, mis-written, mistranslated, misinterpreted, misunderstood and misused trail of junk as evidence? Over 2,000 years of PR, and still 2/3rds of the World does not believe it is true.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      There was no Bible until 550-575...... and the stories of the bable came from other religions created thousands of years prior....kind of discredits the Jews amgical god.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Topher

      The Messiah was mentioned as early as Genesis chapter 3, so that blows your whole last statement out of the water. Keep reading the atheist handbook and being wrong all you want. Perhaps you should read the Bible and take a class yourself and know what you are denying.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      If you had a shred of knowledge, you would know that Genesis was assembled by Judean priests in 550-575.
      Do you have ANY idea how many conservative Baptist PhD scripture signed onto that ? Shall I make you a list ?
      I would pay for your tuition for a Bible class.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      sorry, should say "scripture scholars".

      September 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Topher

      llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Those dates are ridiculous. Genesis was written between 1145-1405 BC.

      I'd love to see the list of people who signed onto it. I'm betting there's a whole lot of heretics on there.

      "I would pay for your tuition for a Bible class."

      Seriously? Because I'm in the application process to do that right now. I'd totally take you up on that. 🙂

      September 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Seriously? The new covenant is all over the NT and even in the Old. Do you prefer full quotes or are chapter and verse good enough?"
      Was that directed at me?
      Yes, seriously. Where does it state that the new covenant replaces the old except for the 10 Commandments?

      September 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "Yes, seriously. Where does it state that the new covenant replaces the old except for the 10 Commandments?"

      If you want a line that says it as cleanly as that, there isn't one. But it's pretty obvious. The Commandments are moral laws. They are still in play as Jesus tells the rich young man in Matthew 19 to keep the Commandments and then goes through them with him. Foods, for instance, are now OK to eat as Peter was told he can eat anything he wants to in Acts and in Matthew 15, Jesus said it is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, but what comes out of the mouth. A lot of that stuff was only for those people at that time in the OT. And as I stated earlier, as far as the priestly laws are concerned, Jesus is now our high priest under the new covenant.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      llɐq ʎʞɔnq
      Then explain to me how the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) showed up on silver scrolls dating from the late 700's BC (uncovered by Gabriel Barkay in 1979) if the Old Testament was not written before then?
      Was the Old Testament redacted at certain times throughout history to make it understandable to the people who were reading it? Yes! The first redaction took place most likely during the time of King Solomon (920BC). A second redaction under Hezekiah (720 BC), a third under Josiah (620 BC) where hundreds, perhaps thousands of copies were made and sent around Judea to the be read. And then again another redaction during the conquest and captivity (520 BC) and then finally under the final redaction which happened under the Maccabees around 200 BC when the Septuagint was made.

      The redaction did not change the essence of the scripture. It changed the grammar so that it was understandable to the current culture around them.
      The same thing happens today with modern translations.
      If you read a King James Bible and then you read a New Living Bible they read very grammatically differently but they say theologically the exact same thing.
      The same thing applies to the Old Testament redactions.
      Grammar changes, the word of God does not.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    Cult, sects and false churches always had false notions of Jesus Christ. Strictly speaking the Copts are a false church because they have wrong notions of the Jesus Christ.

    The correct doctrine about Jesus is that he had a perfect divine nature and a perfect human nature, even two separated wills, a divine one and a human one. In contrast the Copts (also called Monophysites) believe that Jesus had only one divine nature, and that he was only virtually a man.

    Hence, as the Copts have separated from the true Christian Church by their heresy concerning Christ, any statement of them is not authorized by the Holy Spirit which God has given the true Christian Church, and hence we should not believe the nonsense about the alleged marriage of Jesus Christ.

    The most authoritative docu-ment of the Christian Church is the New Testament (NT). Nowhere in the New Testament you can find a statement that Jesus had had a wife. It is not imagineable that an alleged wife of Jesus had nowhere been mentioned in the NT because even his mother Mary is mentioned, his father Joseph, even his physical brothers.

    Before the Copts discuss about a ridiculous statement they should finally acknowledge that Jesus Christ had two natures, a divine one, and a human one, perfectly united in the person of Jesus Christ but not mixed at all. I repeat that Jesus had even two wills which is a fact that can hardly be grasped by our reason because according to any logic any being can have only one will. However, Jesus had two wills, and the human will was always subordinated to the will of the eternal Son of God. This is the great marvel of Jesus that he was "in God" ever and ever, yet before he was born into this world by Mary the virgin. Hence, Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of a New Mankind in God which will always remain in God even in view of rejection, suffering and persecution by the old mankind which comes from the old Adam.

    Dear Copts, if you don't change your mind concerning the person of Jesus Christ, you cannot experience the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection, and at Judgement Day you will hardly come through, you will not come through.

    Adam, the first man, failed totally, and with Jesus God made a new start, the beginning of a New Mankind, the Christian Church. Adam forsake God without reason, he did not appreciate God's friendship and marvelous presence, thr presence of abounding life, in contrast Jesus remained in God despite infinite suffering facing the crucifixion in the Garden Gethsemane where he as a man asked God if he could be spared from the crucifixion but it was the will of the Father AND the eternal Son (Jesus' divine nature) that he had to die for the mankind. By his obedience Jesus proved that he was indeed in God irrevocably. Jesus was a new man which was "in God" irrevocably.

    Every Christian who wants come through Judgement Day has to remain in God every day. As we became believers and were baptized we got no free ticket for heaven but we will be judged by Jesus Christ according to our real works which we have accomplished in this real world. Through faith and baptism we only received the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection, and it is up to us to use this power every day, and to love God and our neighbour.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    September 21, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Huebert

      @Rainer

      How do you know that it is the Copts who have the wrong view of Jesus, and not you yourself who hold the mistaken view?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Hey Rainer, I've been waiting for you. Why did you never tell us Bonhoeffer was an atheist ?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Amniculi

      And you know your version of Christianity is the "true" one how, exactly? Another thing – according to the basic tenets of your religion Jesus was a trinity, not binary as you say. Last, and most importantly, Jesus is a FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Huebert

      My view is according to the New Testament which is the most authoritative docu-ment of the Christian Church. Any doctrine must fit together with the doctrine of the New Testament which contains the genuine teachings of Jesus and the Apostles (messengers of Christ).

      September 21, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Huebert

      @Rainer

      How do you know that the NT is the ultimate authority on Jesus?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Amniculi

      And you know these teachings are genuine how? Because the Bible says so? That's circular reasoning, my friend. Invalid.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Hi Buck',

      since when do you suffer from delusions? (I hope you can take a joke.)

      September 21, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Be right back, Rainer. I have proof.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Huebert

      The NT emerged in the Early Church which had been founded by Jesus Christ himself. The believers of the Early Church did know the right service and doctrine not only by a docu-ment like the NT but by real experience: The Apostles lived together with Jesus, listened to his teachings, saw his behaviour, and the ancient believers listened to the teachings of the Apostles, and saw their behaviour. All this was finally recorded in the NT. Today nobody lives who knew Jesus or the Apostles personally, and hence we depend on the NT with its accounts.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      I love jokes !! 🙂

      Ok. Here we go.

      1. He believed that "god is teaching us that we must live as men who can get along very well without him. "The god who is with us is the god who forsakes us." Bonhoeffer also believed that the concept of God as a "supreme Being, absolute in power and goodness," was a "spurious conception of transcendence," and that "god as a working hypothesis in morals, politics, and science ... should be dropped, or as far as possible eliminated" (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, pp. 122, 164, 360).

      2. He believed that mankind had become of age and no longer needed religion, which was only a deceptive garment of true faith; he suggested the need for a "religionless Christianity." To Bonhoeffer, "the Christian is identified not by his beliefs, but by actions, by his participation in the suffering of god in the life of the world" (Letters and Papers from Prison, S.C.M. Press edition, Great Britain: Fontana Books, 1953, p. 163).

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

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

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

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

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

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

      9. He was a prominent figure in the early ecu'menical movement, as evidenced through his associations with the "World Alliance for International Friendship" (a forerunner of the apostate World Council of Churches [WCC]), Union Theological Seminary, and Visser 't Hooft (who later became the first General Secretary of the WCC) (Testimony to Freedom, pp. 22, 212, 568). Bonhoeffer also reached out to Roman Catholics, prefiguring the broader ecu'menism that blossomed after Vatican II in the mid-1960s.

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

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

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

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

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

      Rainer....you call THAT a Christian believer ???

      September 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      There is not one shred of evidence for the Historical Jesus. He is a myth.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      You miss the point of the above article: F!

      September 21, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      And the point is ?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Rainer

      The NT emerged from the council of Nicaea in 325 AD. The bishops met and decided which books should go into the NT and which ones were heresy . So how do you know that these bishops didn't throw out the wrong books?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      And the vote was not unanimous. They DISAGREED on what was to be kept, and what was thrown out.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  10. llɐq ʎʞɔnq

    Third, even if the papyrus is genuine, it points only to one author quoting Jesus as referring to his wife. Perhaps that author was simply trying to push the early Christian tradition away from a preference for celibacy over marriage.

    Or perhaps the reference is to some symbolic or spiritual “wife,” rather than one of the flesh-and-blood type. (In the New Testament Jesus already refers to himself as the bridegroom.)

    No Steve.
    1. The Coptic Gnostics all thought Jebus was married, so it fits nicely, and this is NOT the only text saying he was married or had an intimate relationship, with a woman, (or a man..as in The Secret Gospel of Mark).
    2. Jesus NEVER referred to himself as a bridegroom. Revelation was written much later, by a non-eyewitness, probably by someone under the influence of herbal hallucinogens.
    3. The divine feminine FAR predated this. Yahweh, and many deities had a wife.

    September 21, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Amniculi

      This is like arguing whether or not Legolas from Lord of the Rings was married or not. Dude was thousands of years old, so he most likely was. But it never says in the books because him being married or not doesn't advance the story. Ultimately it doesn't matter because Legolas, like Jesus, is a fictional character.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Rynomite

      Legolas married Gimli and they sailed into the West together!

      September 21, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  11. Irrational Exuberance

    You started off well. The Jesus Christians talk about reflects the current morals they desire, or the ones they wish to impose on others. This is of course because the doctrines of a trinity mean you have a god who embraces ki.lling babies during his treatment of the Canaanites and then preaches to turn the other cheek, while beating the he.ll out of people in the temple.
    Their god is all things to all men because it isn't a single enti.ty, but an amalgamation of stories written by a great variety of people for a great variety of purposes.
    Some were spurring their followers on to war with promises of divine protection and victory (unless the enemy had iron chariots), while others were preaching tolerance, and let's not forget those who were simply copying other writers before them, but removing some of the stagecraft (magic words and spit go missing from Mark to Matthew).
    So you have a Jesus saying obey all of the law, and at the same time saying don't adhere to punishing people for violating the law. Even though punishing people is part of the law he said to follow.
    So we get to just how wrong you are. Was Jesus ever married, yes, because Jesus was a myth, and myths get re-written and change all the time. You want a married Jesus myth, have it. You don't want one, you can have that to. But don't delude yourself into thinking the bible was ever a reliable instrument to say did the Jesus described in it *really* live.

    Because this:
    "Jesus may be one of the best attested figures in the ancient world"
    is complete and utter BS and has been debunked so many times as to not be worth repeating. Not those who disagree, but those who simply reject evidence which contradicts their faith; a faith which is supported by inconsistent evidence (e.g. contradictions between Mark and Matthew for the same events), and some of which are known forgeries (e.g. the last 12 verses of Mark); there is no point in repeating the evidence.
    They have made up their minds; don't confuse them with the facts.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Topher

      "Because this: "Jesus may be one of the best attested figures in the ancient world" is complete and utter BS and has been debunked so many times as to not be worth repeating."

      Umm .... WHAT exactly has been debunked?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Amniculi

      Umm...that "Jesus may be one of the best attested figures in the ancient world".

      September 21, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Topher

      You mean attested like this?

      Here's a look at the time gap between the original and first surviving copies of some very important books that give us information on important historical figures ...
      Bible: 25 years
      Homer: 500
      Demosthenes: 1400
      Herodotus: 1400
      Plato: 1200
      Tacitus: 1000
      Caesar: 1000
      Pliny: 750
      Now, here's a look at how many of those manuscript copies we have ....
      New Testament: 5686
      Homer: 643
      Demosthenes: 200
      Herodotus: 8
      Plato:7
      Tacitus: 20
      Caesar:10
      Pliny: 7
      Yet we put more faith we know what happened in the Gallic Wars than what happened in the NT.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Amniculi

      Sources, Topher. Where are your sources?

      September 21, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Topher

      Google it. That stuff is common knowledge to scholars and historians.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      The earliest manuscript of the New Testament is a small papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John (18:31-33 on the front; 18:37-38 on the back), and it has been dated to about 125 AD.

      I'm not sure how you come to the 25 year conclusion.
      The papyrus fragment mentioned, which was recently discovered, is the earliest bit of tangible evidence.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Tropher is correct, this stuff is common knowledge in any first year archaeology class.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Doc Vestibule
      All reputable New Testament scholars agree that the sayings and teachings of Jesus are early 1st century (pre-temple destruction) teachings. While we only have fragments of books from the early 2nd century, the writing style and use of words is clearly mid first century.
      Our earliest copies of Homer's Iliad are from 600 years after the original So 50 year is VERY close to the original copies.
      (We also have fragments of Matthew that could be as early as 80 AD but these are not absolutely proven).

      September 21, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Topher

      You are talking about the John Rylands fragment. It's dated to 117-138 AD, though some think it is even earlier. But there were also nine fragments found along with the Dead Sea Scrolls that are dated to around 50-70 AD.

      Interesting note on the Rylands frangment of John, that it was found in Egypt, but was probably written in Asia Minor ... which would show that John's gospel was copied and how far it had already spread by the second century.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Amniculi

      "Common knowledge" is ok for stuff like saying "fire hot". However, if you are going to have an intelligent discussion and cite dates and time periods, you need to cite your sources as well. This should be "common knowledge" for any first year archaeology student.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Rynomite

      "Yet we put more faith we know what happened in the Gallic Wars than what happened in the NT."

      For many reasons we actually know Caesar existed and fought battles:
      1. He had likenesses of himself created in his lifetime (both busts and coins) that have survived. Jebus? Um. No.
      2. Caesar wrote about HIMSELF as things were occuring. Jebus? Never wrote. We have Hearsay testimony of others 80 years later.
      3. Caesar had contemporary witnesses who also recorded his deeds and happenings: Cicero, Sallust, Nepos, Catullus, Pollio,Virgil, Ovid. Jebus? NO Contemporaries.
      4. Archaelogical Evidence exists both in Roman and on various battlefields for Caesar? Jebus? Empty Tomb? heh

      September 21, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Amniculi

      Thank you, Ryno. I was getting to that but now I don't have to.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • MennoKnight

      Rynomite,
      Secular Perspective of Jesus: Roman Historians
      1. Thallus (52AD)

      2. Pliny the Younger (61-113AD)

      3. Suetonius (69-140AD)

      4. Tacitus (56-120AD)

      5. Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD)

      Others:
      Jewish Historians
      Josephus (37-101AD)

      Jewish Talmud

      What we learn from these ancient secular historians:
      Jesus was born and lived in Palestine. He was born, supposedly, to a virgin and had an earthly father who was a carpenter. He was a teacher who taught that by repentance and belief, all followers would become brothers and sisters. He led the Jews away from their beliefs.
      He was a wise man who claimed to be God and the Messiah. He had unusual magical powers and performed miraculous deeds. He healed the lame. He accurately predicted the future. He was persecuted by the Jews for what he said, betrayed by Judas. He was beaten with rods, forced to drink vinegar and wear a crown of thorns and crucified on the eve of the Passover.
      His crucifixion occurred under the direction of Pontius Pilate, during the time of Tiberius. On the day of his crucifixion, the sky grew dark and there was an earthquake. Afterward, he was buried in a tomb and the tomb was later found to be empty. He appeared to his disciples resurrected from the grave and showed them his wounds.
      These disciples then told others that Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven. Jesus' disciples and followers upheld a high moral code. One of them was named Matthew. The disciples were also persecuted for their faith but were martyred without changing their stories.

      This is all from outside the Bible.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Topher

      Rynomite

      "1. He had likenesses of himself created in his lifetime (both busts and coins) that have survived. Jebus? Um. No."

      Yes, Jesus had no likenesses created. But name for me one historical figure who has had more influence on the world than Jesus Christ.

      "2. Caesar wrote about HIMSELF as things were occuring. Jebus? Never wrote. We have Hearsay testimony of others 80 years later."

      Not quite that much later. Revelation was around 60 years after Christ's death (though it was about the future, not Christ's time on earth) but some, as I stated before, was much earlier. And these books were all written by eyewitnesses or were histories compiled using eyewitnesses. You only claim they're hearsay because that would make the texts more reliable than you are comfortable with.

      "3. Caesar had contemporary witnesses who also recorded his deeds and happenings: Cicero, Sallust, Nepos, Catullus, Pollio,Virgil, Ovid. Jebus? NO Contemporaries."

      Again, all the books in the Bible were written by eyewitnesses or with eyewitnesses. There were thousands who would have seen Jesus speak and perform miracles and even 500 at once who saw Him after He rose from the grave. And if you don't like those (as I'm sure you won't) then there's at least 10 secular sources who mention Jesus within 150 years of His life.

      4. Archaelogical Evidence exists both in Roman and on various battlefields for Caesar? Jebus? Empty Tomb? heh

      The Bible is 100 percent historically accurate. Not one piece of archeological evidence has ever proven a single thing wrong in it. Not a king, not a city, not an event has been proven innaccurate.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Again, all written years after his supposed life and death. Do you not know the meaning of "contemporary"?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Rynomite

      MennoKnight – That was an excellent list of NON CONTEMPORARY SOURCES.

      Once again. Hearsay is not evidence. Suetonius retelling a story he heard about some jewish rabble that was excecuted is not the same as Cicero discussing a man he KNEW.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      Amniculi,
      Most of what is written about all the great historical figures was after they were gone.
      For instance much more is written by Hitler after the fall of the 3rd Reich than during. So does that make it inaccurate?
      We have eye witnesses writing between 15 – 60 years after the facts. One is a trained Roman Historian who is part of the story (Luke).
      And that leads me to my challenge to you. Study the book of Luke/Acts. Read it. It is the most brilliant book of History in the Bible.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      And people have written about seeing people fly, dragons etc...shall we believe them as well?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Rationalize it all you want, that doesn't change the fact that there is no reliable evidence supporting the existence of a historical Jesus. Luke is one person. Hitler was known personally by hundreds of people and any histories after that, as with most historical figures, can be supported with primary source material from multiple contemporaries. Jesus just does not have this type of vetting.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Pete

      Topher while indiviudal books of the bible existed prior to the Council of Nicea, the bible itself did not exist until then as it was at the Council of Nicea in 325 CE that they decided what books to put in the Bible. So just to clear things up for you the bible did not exist until about 300 years after the death of Jesus.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Topher

      Pete

      True, the compilation into one book came later, but the individual books were all floating around between the growing church.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Rynomite

      "The Bible is 100 percent historically accurate. Not one piece of archeological evidence has ever proven a single thing wrong in it. Not a king, not a city, not an event has been proven innaccurate."

      *sigh* I'm not sure why I bother commenting on this site. I see statements like the one above that are so insanely ludicrous that I know there is no point to further discussion. I don't honestly care if someone is Xtian, Muslim, or whatever, but I find it frustrating when they cannot except basic science and facts.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      "Jesus just does not have this type of vetting."
      .
      Jesus and his magical acts has the same credibility as other mythical figures

      September 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Topher

      Then what historical fact in the Bible is wrong?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      The Bible is 100 percent historically accurate. Not one piece of archeological evidence has ever proven a single thing wrong in it. Not a king, not a city, not an event has been proven innaccurate.
      .
      And the writings of the Greek Gods is historically accurate and NOT ONE PIECE OF ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE HAS EVER PROVEN A SINGLE THING WRONG. So do you have a point?????? Because the one you are making has no validity like your god or any other god created by men and "written" by men.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Topher

      Hi Toph...

      I have been reading the discussion thread, and I'm still not sure why you would care if Jesus ended up being married or not ?

      If he does somehow get proven to turn out to have been married, would that put an *asterisk* next to what you believe he accomplished ?

      How would that really, in the over all scheme of things... would that make a difference in his allegedly saving mankind, etc... ?

      Peace...

      September 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Topher, you're 100% wrong. Luke says he was born when Herod was king and Quirinius was governor. Herod was DEAD when Quirinius became governor.

      All the historical references reference Christians, not Jesus, and they were NOT eyewitnesses. ALL the natural historians who recorded every other earthquake, missed the death one, and the resurrection one.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Amniculi

      "Then what historical fact in the Bible is wrong?"

      That Jesus existed.
      That the Earth was created by God in 7 days ~6000 years ago.
      That Noah was able to collect two of every species on the planet on to a single vessel.
      That the world was destroyed by flood.
      That Moses parted the Red Sea.
      That snakes can talk.

      Shall I go on?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Topher

      Hi, therealpeace2all. How are you?

      As I stated elsewhere on this message board, as far as I know Christ being married has nothing to do with Him accomplishing His goal. So I'm not sure it mattered at all.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      Then what historical fact in the Bible is wrong?
      .
      You do not make sense Topher or you are confused as to using the right words. A historical fact is a question of validity or no validity. Are there references to real places in the Bible? You betcha. There are references to real places in fictional books. Do you have a point? Reference to real palces do not give validity to magical acts and gods. To do so would require.....wait for it...wait for ...FAITH....Book of Mormon makes refernce to North America......shall we believe in magic plates?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Topher

      Amniculi

      Just because you don't believe those things are true doesn't mean you have proof against it.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Christianity is a mental disease- FACT

      Topher

      Amniculi

      Just because you don't believe those things are true doesn't mean you have proof against it.
      .
      Funny my little niece who believes in Unicorns told me the same thing. Hey you are the one attempting to defend your magical god..... provide your proof. I am still waiting on the Unicorn crowd to provide theirs.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Pete

      Serioulsy, am I supposed to be impressed becuase the people who wrote the bible knew the names of the cites/kingdoms that were located around where they lived? Becuase I am not very impressed by this. It is like saying Harry Potter must actually exist becuase London is mentioned in the books.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      It is like saying Harry Potter must actually exist becuase London is mentioned in the books.
      .
      BINGO....I call that Topher Logic

      September 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Perhaps it would help if people abandon the idea of the Resurrection. Then the most important attribute of Jesus would be that he is dead and so has nothing more to say. Perhaps we could go on to admit that he is largely forgotten and that we only know, at best, what people said that he said or did. Then we might realize that we cannot know where he would have stood on present-day issues and will stop appealing to his authority.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Amniculi

      But without the zombie aspect Jesus would be much less interesting...

      September 21, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  13. Chad

    Our Jesus has been black and white, ga y and straight, a socialist and a capitalist, a pacifist and a warrior, a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klansman. Over the American centuries, he has stood not on some unchanging rock of ages but on the shifting sands of economic circ umstances, political calculations and cultural trends

    =>you are of course referring NOT to the historical Jesus, rather what people want Jesus to be.

    I’m more interested in what Jesus has to say about wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor. And there is plenty in the available record to read and heed, "if only we have ears to hear."
    => you SHOULD be interested in what Jesus actually says.

    Prothero, you do the same thing, you make a 'Jesus' in the shape of who you want Him to be.

    novel idea: why not look into who He actually is? Why not look into what He actually said? Why do you keep moulding Him into the shape you want Him to be? The ACTUAL Jesus is unchanging.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Amniculi

      Jesus is a mythological figure, no different than Hercules or Zeus or Thor. As a historical figure he most likely never existed.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Huebert

      @Chad

      Jesus goes from a carpenter to a leader of a religious movement within one book of the bible. How can you say that he is unchanging?

      September 21, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Historical Jesus?

      You mean like historical Paul Bunyun?

      September 21, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The fascinating thing is no matter what the controversy, Jesus is always at the center of it, inviting, counseling, redeeming, wonderful.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Amniculi

      Bill, Jesus doesn't do any of those things because Jesus is a figment of your imagination.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Don't think so. Sorry you can't see it. Someone posted that atheism is a learning disability as a kind of insult I think. I happen to agree that it is a disability but I don't think it's anything to be rude about. For whatever reason, pride, stubbornness, attachment to sin, lack of spiritual sight, there are just people who won't see or hear.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Amniculi

      Ok, Bill. You keep your delusions and superst.itions and I'll keep my "disability". I wonder if I can sponge off of the government for that...

      September 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Amniculi, @Blessed are the Cheesemakers: "Jesus is a mythological figure"
      @Chad "I confess I dont understand the "thinking" behind the Jesus deniers.

      I'm curious, why do you think that people that investigate history for a living (atheists and theists alike dont forget), are virtually all in agreeement that Jesus was indeed a real person?

      Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and see the theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[5][6][7][8][9][10] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[11][12] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[13][14][15] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.[16][17][18][19][20] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal assent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert "Jesus goes from a carpenter to a leader of a religious movement within one book of the bible. How can you say that he is unchanging?"

      @Chad "Jesus was conceived miracuously, demonstrated wisdom beyond his years at an early age, spent ~3 years preaching the Kingdom of Heaven had arrived and convicting us of our sinfullness. Died and was resurrected.

      where exactly do you see a change in character or mission?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Amniculi

      You're going to quote Wikipedia at us? Well done! You know that can be edited by anyone, right?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Amniculi "You're going to quote Wikipedia at us? Well done! You know that can be edited by anyone, right?"

      =>so, you're going with the "its all a great big conspiracy" theory..

      ok

      September 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Amniculi

      And which conspiracy would that be? All I'm saying is that Wikipedia is not a reliable source.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If believers are guilty of circular reasoning (they can be) Atheists are guilty of the corollary of that. They demand verifiable historical evidence (as opposed to searching it out themselves) then when it is presented they deny the integrity, validity or standing of the source. It highlights the saying "For those who understand no proof is needed. For those who do not, none is possible." Or as the Master said "Let he who has eyes to and ears to hear, do so."

      September 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      The question remains; without evidence, without argument, without promise, as Jesus asked Peter "Who do you say I am?"

      September 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "Someone posted that atheism is a learning disability... I happen to agree that it is a disability ..."
      How exactly does "atheism" disable learning?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      Historical Jesus
      .
      Based on?????????????????????????????????????????

      September 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Chad

      @Amniculi "And which conspiracy would that be? All I'm saying is that Wikipedia is not a reliable source."

      =>if you find wiki objectionable, just go to the original sources..
      Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and see the theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[5][6][7][8][9][10] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[11][12] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[13][14][15] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.[16][17][18][19][20] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal assent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.

      ^ a b c In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
      ^ a b c Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states that modern scholarship views the theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted.
      ^ a b Michael Grant states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
      ^ a b The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".
      ^ a b James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
      ^ a b Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
      ^ a b c d e f Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129
      ^ a b c The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114
      ^ Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
      ^ a b The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303

      September 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • OTOH

      Bill Deacon,
      "For those who understand no proof is needed. For those who do not, none is possible."

      - An omniscient "God" would know *precisely* what proof is acceptable to each and every one of us individually.

      - An omnipotent "God" would be able to provide it.

      - An all-loving and all-just "God" would do so.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @OTOH "An all-loving and all-just "God" would do so."

      =>you were correct up until the last one... "would do so"
      God will not violate our free will, you can choose to reject Him and He will allow that.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Amniculi

      Chad, I looked up every single one of the authors that you posted and all of them, excluding Michael Grant, are confirmed Christian apologists. That means bias. there was not a singular secular author on that list. Try again.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @Amniculi "I looked up every single one of the authors that you posted and all of them, excluding Michael Grant, are confirmed Christian apologists. That means bias. there was not a singular secular author on that list. Try again."

      =>you sure didnt look very hard..
      for example:

      Ehrman is an agnostic, and an outspoken critic of the resurrection.

      Ehrman became an Evangelical Christian as a teen. In his books, he recounts his youthful enthusiasm as a born-again, fundamentalist Christian, certain that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from all error.[2] His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and to textual criticism. His graduate studies, however, eventually convinced him that one ought to acknowledge the contradictions in the biblical manuscripts rather than attempt to harmonize or reconcile discrepancies. He remained a liberal Christian for fifteen years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.[2]

      September 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • OTOH

      Chad,

      "God will not violate our free will, you can choose to reject Him and He will allow that."

      Punished for eternity because we couldn't, in good conscience, believe this superst'ition and fantasy?

      September 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Amniculi

      The terms "Christian apologist" and "agnostic" are not mutually exclusive. And again, you are quoting Wikipedia, which, as we have already discussed, is not a reliable source.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Amniculi

      your logic is poor to say the least 🙂

      About nine or ten years ago I came to realize that I simply no longer believed the Christian message. A large part of my movement away from the faith was driven by my concern for suffering. I simply no longer could hold to the view—which I took to be essential to Christian faith—that God was active in the world, that he answered prayer, that he intervened on behalf of his faithful, that he brought salvation in the past and that in the future, eventually in the coming eschaton, he would set to rights all that was wrong, that he would vindicate his name and his people and bring in a good kingdom (either at our deaths or here on earth in a future utopian existence). Bart Ehrman

      http://blog.beliefnet.com/blogalogue/2008/04/why-suffering-is-gods-problem.html

      ===========
      Ehrman is NOT A CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST

      Christian apologetics is the defense of the Christian faith through logical arguments

      September 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @Amniculi "The terms "Christian apologist" and "agnostic" are not mutually exclusive"

      LOL
      man.. the lengths you guys go to avoid looking at the truth..

      Christian Apologist: "a person who makes a defense [of Christianity] in speech or writing of a belief, idea, etc."
      agnostic: a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience. Synonyms: disbeliever, nonbeliever, unbeliever; doubter, skeptic, secularist, empiricist; heathen, heretic, infidel, pagan.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Christian apologetics is the failed defense of the christian faith through fallacies and idiocy.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  14. Amniculi

    You said it. Jesus is just like Gumby. A fictional character, malleable and able to be shaped into any form to suit a purpose. Grow up, people. Leave these Bronze Age mythologies behind.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  15. Bo

    There is nothing in the Bible that specifically makes it impossible for Jesus to have been married. But whether He was or was not, it makes no difference. It would not nor could it possibly have any effect on His divinity. Someone told me once that He wasn't because the Bible says he lived a life without sin. That arguement is ludicrous as marraige is not a sin as evidenced that the Bible encourages people to get married, and unless God is in the business of commanding people to sin, then the "without sin" arguement is rendered invalid.

    I am a firm believed in Jesus and His divinity. But I don't know if He was married or not and it doesn't change anything either way.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Just sayin

      Bo, I got some swampland. Real nice. Good price. Wanna look see? I believe you can drain it and clean up the gators real nice and build some homes there for the next big stormie to take out.

      Ain't believin a b!tch huh.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  16. Andy

    Yes, we do know that Jesus was not married.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  17. Andy

    Another stupid post from CNN which reflects that they know nothing about Jesus and Christianity.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  18. jamest297

    Where is the christian OUTRAGE for this defamation of christ and the attempts to re-write the facts? Can you imagine anyone as gay as jeebus being married?

    September 21, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Christians are typically not outraged whenever there is a chance to discuss Jesus, even in the face of outright ignorance.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Just sayin

      There is mainly only ignorance about Jesus. It's hard to know anything for sure at all about a guy who lived that long ago and we've got only old parchement about the guy and 50th hand stories from like a game of telephone. God's gotta be fine with us having doubts, or else he's just an unrealstic jerkoff.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  19. AvdBerg

    Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and neither is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

    The Jesus figure portrayed by Stephen Prothero is not the real Christ. His books and articles are a mere heresy. We invite you to read the article ‘Boston University – School of Theology and Stonehill College’, where he is a so-called religion scholar.

    Also, are those that are referred to as ‘Christians’ by the media really the followers of Jesus Christ or do they follow after a false Christ (Matthew 24:24) and why is there so much division amongst religions? Please read on.

    The above mentioned article is a good example how distorted things have become in society with the media industry as the main culprit.

    The local media, including CNN, Fox and your local TV stations and newspapers are a very important element of social and political behavior, as society is shaped by what it sees, hears and reads and it is conditioned by the events that influence the mind of every person. You reap what you sow.

    To allow anyone to be directed by public opinion is dangerous because most public opinion is the view of the media. If the media does not like something, their bias taints information getting to the public, and this forms public opinion. Public opinion is never based on research and facts. The public uses the media for its sole source of information and for this reason social behavior will continue to deteriorate and wax worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).

    For a better understanding of the role of the media we invite you to read the articles ‘Influence of the Media’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    The media does not provide accurate information on ‘Religion’ as it continues to ignore the truth and the history of deceptions (John 14:17). They only report how they want you to hear things. They have created the big chasm that now exists without offering any solutions.

    Consider the truth about Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Evangelicals and Christianity and all other religions and ask yourself the following question.

    Are so-called Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Israelites and Evangelicals and all those that call themselves ‘Christians’ followers of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God, or do they follow after an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8)?

    For a better understanding of the history of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Christianity, and Judaism and its spread throughout the world, we invite you to read the articles ‘The Mystery Babylon’, ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’, ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’ and ‘Clash of Civilizations’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s faith does not stand in the teachings of Christ but rather in an image of the spirit and the god of this world and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8).

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency of the USA, we invite you to read the articles ‘Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot’ and ‘Barack Obama – President of the United States of America’, listed on our website.

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 21, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • mama kindless

      Revelation? Everyone knows whoever wrote that mess was high as a kite. St. John, the Opium Addict, evidently.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Joe

      Just click report abuse on AvdBerg spamming us with links to his pathetic website. CNN mods will get to him eventually.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      1.He came to fulfill the law.
      2. Called Christ, " the "Anointed One."
      3. Born of the virgin on December 25th
      4. in a cave / manger,
      5. with his birth announced by a star
      6. and attended by three wise men.
      7. earthly father named Joseph.
      8. age 12 he was a child teacher in the Temple
      9. at 30 he was baptized, having disappeared for 18 years.
      10. in the Jordan,
      11. by "Anup the Baptizer," who was beheaded. (Anup translates to John.)
      12. He performed miracles, exorcised demons,
      13. raised from the dead.
      14. Walked on water
      15. was betrayed by Typhon,
      16. crucified between two thieves
      17. Buried in a tomb from which he
      18. arose on the third day (19th Athyr) and was resurrected.

      and who was this person ???

      That's right.

      Osiris.

      (Do you have any idea what the probability computes to that they would be that similar, and NOT the same deity ?)

      September 21, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Amniculi

      ^^^

      September 21, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • TROLL ALERT

      This poster is a TROLL on this site so when you see them post, just ignore it. They are proven liars and only want to sell their book to support their cult plus their website also full of lies. Don't bother visiting their site, click the report abuse link to get rid of this TROLL!

      September 21, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • AvdBerg

      TROLL ALERT

      But the natural man (like yourself) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:15).

      For this reason our message remains the same: Ye must repent and turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18).

      But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor 2:15).

      September 21, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • midwest rail

      ^ ^ ^ ^ advertising thief.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • MennoKnight

      llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Your information comes from Gerald Massey, British poet from the late 1800's. Gerald was proven to have fabricated his translation on the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
      Just because Dan Brown wrote it does not mean it is true.

      If you do not believe me please go to Wikipedia and read about Gerald Massey.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Massey

      September 21, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Ok try Mithra. Who cares. Jeebus was a myth.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen048.html

      September 21, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • MennoKnight

      llɐq ʎʞɔnq
      Look up the sources of your links. Their source is Gerald Massey. Massey was a fraud.

      September 21, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Massey was an amateur, I do not dispute that. YOU have not said WHY he was a fraud, or EXACTLY he was incorrect about. It's called "deflection". Craig taught you well, I must say.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      llɐq ʎʞɔnq
      Massey was an amateur, I do not dispute that. YOU have not said WHY he was a fraud, or EXACTLY he was incorrect about. It's called "deflection". Craig taught you well, I must say.

      On Gerald Massey I quote:
      W. Ward Gasque conducted a world-wide poll of twenty Egyptologists – including Professor Kenneth Kitchen of the University of Liverpool and Ron Leprohan, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Toronto – in Canada, US, UK, Australia, Germany, and Austria to verify if there was any academic support for these claims. The scholars were unanimous in dismissing them.

      Massey fabricated his translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. This "translation is still used by many people today because they do not bother to look into the facts of what the Egyptian Book of the Dead really says.

      Massey "taught" himself to read and translate Egyptian Hieroglyphs without a high school education.
      Great source to draw material from isn't it?
      My hope is to point you in the right direction academically. No University uses Massey.

      And who is Craig?

      September 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lLiRr_mT24

      September 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      Craig,

      I think he was asking for specifics. Do you know specifically?

      September 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  20. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't?) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god (something you know nothing about), fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 21, 2012 at 9:32 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.