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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. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    This is an outstanding example of Coptic pigeon. Not unlike today's Hawaiian Islanders, The Coptic language was a mixed dialect making it seem "sloppy" to the untrained eye.

    The Gnostic gospels were indeed "scripture" far more so than the present form of the so called "Holy Bible". In fact, these scriptures tell the tale of Jesus the man. Married, a Buddhist, a nudist, a true renaissance man of his time.

    The Greek Phase: ανοιχ τή ο δο ιτ, simply means, "what time did you get in last night?” Loosely translated into today’s vernacular.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  2. HeavenSent Army

    Tired of the atheists spewing their hatred and lies? Join the HeavenSent Army today!

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

    Amen.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  3. Sy2502

    So what was the problem again? You Christians think marriage "soils" Jesus or something?

    September 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes – significantly. For those Christian faiths that believe in a holy trinity.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Finally see the Light

      Not in the slightest actually. He is fully human and fully God. If he was married, cool. I am sure he was the perfect husband. If this affects someones faith then their faith was weak in the first place.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Duh

      If Jesus was married then he might have actually had a penis that functioned that Christians now have to think about and imagine thrusting in and out of some sinful bride, creating a mudblood child who is no longer pure wizard...

      September 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "If he was married, cool. I am sure he was the perfect husband."

      Could he really pay the ransom if he hadn't been married? Adam was married, and it was Adam that he replaced by living a sinless life, but that seems less equal if Adam had to deal with a wife pressuring him to sin while Jesus got to stay single into his 30's just hanging out with his guy friends...

      September 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Len

      If you have this image of Jesus going around as God with a mission to walk to his death in order to atone for people's sins, then yes. Why would this God bother with something so human, and off mission, as marriage with a woman?

      September 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Also, did Adam sin after a mere 30 years and spend the rest of his 900 years as a sinner? Seem's like given more time maybe Jesus would have given in as Adam did....

      September 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  4. DD

    I don't care either.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. ceejay08

    What is important about Jesus is not the man but the franchise. Christianity was the first religion to offer eternal life to regular folks. While Jesus created it, Constantine, and a group of bishops, perfected it in 300 AD or so in order for it to become the official state religion of the Roman Empire.

    There are deep and insiteful ideas on how to build and maintain complex societies that evolved in Christianity. Many secular people would benefit from looking at it from that angle. After all, that is why Constantine did to it what he did.

    Yes, it is a fool's game to ruminate over whether or not Jesus was married, because that is not what makes Christianity relevant when looking at its place in human history and today.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  6. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    In the Jesus Gospel he discusses long journeys east of the desert where, "....there I encountered great wisdom and peace among the monks. They removed the sand from my sandals and blew upon my feet with flowered breath"

    He goes on to say that, "...we meditated together for many days, fasting but joyful in the divine and always mindful of odor."

    As a matter of fact as I pointed earlier, he brought these teachings to his 12 plus Mary and his parents saying, "...know me and know the many lives of the snake, the lizard, and the beasts of all previous lives. Mine is the journey of a God. Perfection can be found through self-sacrifice."

    This is well doc.u.mented but sadly, few too people understand that Jesus was no more a rabbi than me.
    He was a monk, and according to Timothy, an enthusiastic nudist. "...without concern nor bashfulness, the fullness of our Lord cannot be contained by his tunic."

    September 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Dr.

      Jesus is a fabrication, cobbled together from dead Gods.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      @William

      I am quoting the Gnostic Gospels. I am sure you are aware of the passage in Timothy that states, “…the ashes were as grains of sand. I have tasted his body.”

      This passage is thought to have been incorrectly translated into the last supper myth.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  7. bostontola

    Prothero lost credibility with me. This topic is generating huge response and it looks like he is only trying to latch on. he added nothing thoughtful.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  8. 1 Eyed Jackanapes

    My cousin was married to Jesus and they had three beautiful children. Unfortunately you know the rest of the story. He died.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well, I didn't know Jeebus other than the gig heplayed in Washington Square Park, but I can assure you of one thing

      Mary was no virgin 🙂

      September 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  9. Sly

    My lifetime of research indicates that Barry Bonds was a direct descendant of Jesus ... If you look closely at the scripture above you'll see 'Barry Barry Barry' on line 3.

    Us Giants fans already knew this, but it is nice to have visual proof.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • OTOH

      Sly,

      Ah, but, as with a bunch of things in that book, you can find a contradictory proclamation:

      "And now I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart.” Nahum 1:13

      Nevertheless, Go Giants!

      September 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • blaz102003

      Roll Tide

      September 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Sly

      Augghh... anything but burst my Bonds.

      If Braun can play, how come Barry can't? We could use him in left – he'll hit better than Blanco when he's 60.

      Speaking of Jesus – I remember when he played RF for the Giants in the 60's. Couldn't hit.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  10. Colin

    All four gospels suffer from the same fundamental flaw as this parchment. The extent to which they accurately reflect the life of Jesus is a matter of sheer speculation.

    The oldest complete manuscript of the gospels we have is the Codex Sinaiticus, which dates from about 350 AD. About 320 yeasr after Christ died. To put that in perspective, 320 years ago was 1692. About a century before the USA was a country.

    From that point back, we only have partial manuscripts, the most complete of which is Codex Vaticanus, dating from around 300 AD. Before that, the fragments get worse, until the oldest of all, P52, which was discovered in an Egyptian trash heap in, is nothing more than a credit card sized piece of papyrus with a small piece of John Chapter 18 on it.

    This is one reason why it is pretty impossible to know exactly what Christ said or did with any degree of confidence or specificity. When you add to this the fact that the 4 original cannonical gospels (whatever they might have said) were written between 40-60 years after Christ died and the fact that all 4 authors clearly wrote with a strong religious bias, it gets to the point where virtually the entire life of Jesus becomes quite speculative – unless of course one assumes some kind of supernatural force was guiding the authors' hands.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Chad

      Colin confesses that Jesus is the Christ. He is blessed. Matthew 16:17

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

      Chad
      How does
      "Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 16:17)

      possibly refer to Colin?

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

      Ha Chad....nice try.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Deception in the early church, and those who admitted it, and had access to the gospel texts.
      (Legal standard : liar in one, liar in all).

      "I will only mention the Apostle Paul. ... He, then, if anyone, ought to be calumniated; we should speak thus to him: ‘The proofs which you have used against the Jews and against other heretics bear a different meaning in their own contexts to that which they bear in your Epistles. Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus.

      "We see passages taken captive by your pen and pressed into service to win you a victory, which in volumes from which they are taken have no controversial bearing at all ... the line so often adopted by strong men in controversy – of justifying the means by the result."

      – St. Jerome, Epistle to Pammachus (xlviii, 13; N&PNF. vi, 72-73)

      Was Saint Paul an unabashed liar? From this verse in Romans it would appear so:

      "For if the truth of God hath more abounded by my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also adjudged a sinner?" – St. Paul, Romans 3.7.

      However in context Paul is actually censuring other Christians who say "Let us do evil, that good may come" (that is, from God's judgement). But like Paul we can "take the passage captive" to make a point.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Luminaries of Deception

      Jerome is not alone in his candor. Bishop Eusebius, the official propagandist for Constantine, ent'itles the 32nd Chapter of his 12th Book of Evangelical Preparation
      "How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived."

      Eusebius is notoriously the author of a great many falsehoods – but then he does warn us in his infamous history:

      "We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity."

      – Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 8, chapter 2.

      Clement of Alexandria was one of the earliest of the Church Fathers to draw a distinction between "mere human truth" and the higher truth of faith:

      "Not all true things are the truth, nor should that truth which merely seems true according to human opinions be preferred to the true truth, that according to the faith."

      – Clement (quoted by M. Smith, Clement of Alexandria, p446)

      John Chrysostom, 5th century theologian and erstwhile bishop of Constantinople, is another:

      "Do you see the advantage of deceit? ...

      For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind ...

      And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived."

      – Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      "Golden Mouth' John is notable for his extensive commentaries on the Bible which emphasized a literal understanding of the stories; the style popular at Alexandria until then was to acknowledge an allegorical meaning of the text.

      Thus eminent ‘believers’ added falsehood to the beliefs of later generations. ‘For the best of reasons’ they ‘clarified’ obscure points, conjured up characters to speak dialogue that could have been said, invented scenarios that could have happened, borrowed extensively from a wider culture. And this all before they became the custodians of power and had real reasons for lies, inventions and counterfeits. As we shall see, god’s immutable laws became as flexible as putty.

      The 5th and 6th centuries was the 'golden age' of Christian forgery. In a moment of shocking candour, the Manichean bishop (and opponent of Augustine) Faustus said:

      "Many things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches of our Lord which, though put forth under his name, agree not with his faith; especially since – as already it has been often proved – these things were written not by Christ, nor [by] his apostles, but a long while after their as'sumption, by I know not what sort of half Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord or on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they maliciously pretended that they had written their lies and conceits according to them."

      In the ferocious battle for adherents, the propagandists sought to outdo each other at every turn. One example: by the 5th century, four very different endings existed to Mark's gospel. Codex Bobiensis ends Mark at verse 16:8, without any post-crucifixion appearances; it lacks both the 'short conclusion' (of Jesus sending followers to 'east and west') or the 'long conclusion' – the fabulous post-death apparitions, where Jesus promises his disciples that they will be immune to snake bites and poison.

      Once the Church had grabbed mastery of much of Europe and the middle-east, its forgery engine went into overdrive.

      'The Church forgery mill did not limit itself to mere writings but for centuries cranked out thousands of phony "relics" of its "Lord," "Apostles" and "Saints" … There were at least 26 'authentic' burial shrouds scattered throughout the abbeys of Europe, of which the Shroud of Turin is just one … At one point, a number of churches claimed the one foreskin of Jesus, and there were enough splinters of the "True Cross" that Calvin said the amount of wood would make "a full load for a good ship." '

      – Acharya S, The Christ Conspiracy.

      Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), the tireless zealot for papal authority – he was the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) – even wrote:

      "We should always be disposed to believe that which appears to us to be white is really black, if the hierarchy of the church so decides."

      The Reformation may have swept away some abuses perpetrated by the priesthood but lying was not one of them. Martin Luther, in private correspondence, argued:

      "What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church ... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them."

      – Martin Luther (Cited by his secretary, in a letter in Max Lenz, ed., Briefwechsel Landgraf Phillips des Grossmüthigen von Hessen mit Bucer, vol. I.)

      September 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      The Donation of Constantine – 'Without doubt a forgery...' Catholic Encyclopedia
      A two-part docu'ment purporting to be from the first Christian emperor to Pope Sylvester I (314-35). In the 'Confessio' Constantine thanks Sylvester for his Christian instruction and baptism (and consequent cure of leprosy!) In his 'Donatio' Constantine confers on the pope and his successors primacy over all other bishops, including the eastern patriarchs, senatorial privileges for the clergy, imperial palaces and regalia, Rome itself and the western empire!!

      In truth, this monstrous 8th century forgery (peppered with anachronisms) was almost certainly written by the future Pope Paul I (757-67) while his equally ambitious brother Stephen II (752-57) sat on the papal throne.

      The False Decretals (aka Pseudo-Isidorian Forgeries) – A riot of more than a hundred fake letters and decrees attributed to pontiffs from 1st century Clement (88-97) to 7th century Gregory I (590-604). Now attributed either to 'Isodore Mercator', a supposed 9th century master forger and papal aide, or to a group of Gallic forgers trading on the name and reputation of Isodore of Seville. Like the Donation, the Decretals conferred rights and privileges on the papacy.

      A similar collection, the 'Dionysiana', was named for a 6th century monk 'Dennis the Little' (Dionysius Exiguus), inventor of the BC -AD dating system. Dionysius provided the papacy with Latin translation of the canons the Eastern Church. This ripe collection included fifty canons from the very Apostles themselves.

      'Thundering Legion' Decree of Marcus Aurelius – In this fabricated letter from the emperor to the Senate, Marcus is said to have forbidden persecution of Christians because, in a battle with the Quadi in 174, prayers from Christian soldiers brought on a thunderstorm which rescued the Romans from thirst and dispersed the barbarian opponents. The emperor is said to have accorded the Twelfth Legion the suffix fulminata or fulminea, that is, 'thundering.' Tertullian (c.160 – c.230), north African theologian, made up this nonsense; the twelfth legion had had the suffix legio fulminata from the time of Augustus. The stoic Marcus Aurelius had nothing but contempt for the Christians.

      'Letters' of Emperor Antoninus Pius to the Greeks – More fakery, this time from the pen of 4th century Bishop Eusebius (Ecclesiastic History, IV, 13). He has the pious 2nd century pagan forbid 'tumults against the Christians.'

      The Clementines – These fancies, twenty books of 'curious religious romance' (Catholic Encyclopedia), masquerade as the work of 1st century pontiff Clement I. Written in the 4th century, their purpose was to bolster Rome's claim to be the primary see: here we have the 'Epistle of Clement to James' which originated the notion that St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      to nail it down....the NT is biased bs..not about truth or fact, rather bias writers of a cult

      September 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I don't think Jesus is entirely myth. It seems likely from the various writings that have surfaced that speak of him that he was a real person dedicated to reform and simplification of the Judaism of his time. Unfortunately he ran afoul of the established religious authorities and was martyred. The various Messianic cults took over from there and the rest, as they say, is imaginary.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Tom

      We live in a world where most people believe Paul Bunyan was real, and we are evenly split on King Arthurs existence.

      While I feel Christ is a total fabrication, basicaly a FrankenGod built from dead Gods, it is feasible and actual man may have existed, but rest assured the reality would be ZERO percent similar to the literature or dogma.

      Plus, if one considers the perception of even recent non existant beings like Spiperman or Captain Kirk, it becomes quite apparent that each generation reinvents him almost entirely.

      Christ would be no different. He would be defined by the market, and designed to appeal to the greatest number of customers.

      Thats why he is shown with fair skin and blue eyes and a feminine build to Europeans, rather than looking like a Palestinian.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Len

      Tom
      We can know for certain that L. Ron Hubbard existed, but that's a far cry from having to accept his religious writings as being in any way truthful, or grounded in reality.

      People do, however, which is testament enough to the human capacity towards self-delusion.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Think of Jesus as a complex number: Yeshua the radical eccentric rabbi is the real part and Christ is the imaginary part.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  12. CEL1

    Organized religion has NO relationship to what Jesus taught and his words and actions are supposed to be THE guiding princioles for people to follow if we are to call ourselves Christians. Organized religion is like big business, it's all about the money baby, it's all about the money.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post is a form of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      September 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Len

      Ah, but how liberal is all this "Relationship, not Religion" stuff? Can you safely discount the claims that Jesus was anything more than a man without organized religious authority kicking you back into line? Biblical literalism is as organized a religious movement as any other so you are deluded if you think that you are freeing yourself from human corruptions with this.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Harald

    I agree, who cares whether or not he was married. Even more, we don't even know for sure if he even existed and if he did exist he was just one regular guy who lived about 2000 yrs ago. Again, why should we care about that ?
    Better deal with our current lives than worry what happened a few thousand years ago.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      I worry more about 2547 years ago.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  14. Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

    time for Jesus dance

    September 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  15. caesarbc

    Maybe if you say it enough... it will become truth. Kind of like Republican tactics.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  16. anna lee

    ┌∩┐(◣🔴◢)┌∩┐ The delusional goal is that Jesus was a Virgin, a blond Haired- Blue eyed, White guy that just happened to be from AFRICA , lol lo lol lol lol lol

    September 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Sunflower

      Good points!!

      September 21, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Looking at Clouds

      anna lee:
      ┌∩┐(◣🔴◢)┌∩┐

      Mosques surrounding an angel hostage? Middle finger salutes to a bowling ball in the lane? OR...?

      September 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  17. 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.

    So many copies of the New Testament which were made in the ancient world were handed down to us, that means have survived.

    The New Testament must have been very widespread in the antiquity.

    The New Testament must have found a very great reception by the Roman society otherwise nobody had made so many copies, and otherwise it had not been possible to sell so many copies.

    Only true stories are kept by the mankind in such a way like the New Testament.

    As far as I know the NT is the best transmitted scripture of antiquity at all.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Read "Introduction to the New Testament" by Harvardprofessor Helmut Koester (he still alive).

      September 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • WASP

      @rain: be so kind to explain how it is that you can ouste the coptics as heretics, but accept the recluses that wrote the dead sea scrolls as truth?
      truth i find it kind of interesting that christians thousands of years after events have long fell to myth; know exactly who was what at that time period............and without fail mind you. all you christians seem to always know exactly what god, jesus and the holy ghost always meant in the bible or intended to do through actions. don't you find that kindof......hmmmmm convientent?

      September 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Sunflower

      Whoa..... you're downright scary.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm sure you know that the New Testament did not come into being all at once. Also, that as it did come into being a lot of editorial work was done concerning what should be included and what should be left out. Then there were some additions, like the Johnnine Comma which conveniently supported the new idea of the triune God when it started to emerge. I would say the New Testament evolved as a document rather that was "transmitted" as you say.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • j

      I agree with most of what you say, but to the point where you say adam failed totally? That statement could not be more false, adam did fail in the fact that he took the frut, but what other fact did he fail? Adam loved god, always, you have god in your life, do you always make the right decision? They ate the fruit, they became mortal and in turn were able to expierence life, the good the bad, all of the ups and downs we have. The ability to choose! The ability to create life. If adam does not partake of the fruit there is no need for jesus no need for someone to fix our errors. Adam is and ever will be one of the greatest men to have ever walked the earth.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Will

      I can appreciate your passion here. I don't accept your argument that if Jesus was married it would be mentioned, however. that is not a conclusion one can draw when 18 years of his life (from the temple to age 30 was it?) are completely missing. One could extrapolate using the same logic that you do that some tidbits at the very least would be included.

      Regardless, there are a bunch of holes in this discussion that I could logically attack, but it comes down to what you believe in, and there are a lot of soldiers that died so that you could believe in whatever you want.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  18. barfly

    who cares about religion, period ? only herd mentality morons

    September 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Gospel Mt 9:9-13
      As Jesus passed by,
      he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
      He said to him, "Follow me."
      And he got up and followed him.
      While he was at table in his house,
      many tax collectors and sinners came
      and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
      The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
      "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
      He heard this and said,
      "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
      Go and learn the meaning of the words,
      I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
      I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."

      September 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Thanks for reminding us. He said "come follow me", not "come worship me".

      September 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Well worshiping is easier.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Christianity and Islam is a mental disease- FACT

      Gospel Mt 9:9-13?????? And this is matters why??????????

      September 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  19. josh rogen

    so now Obama can claim a direct link to Jesus

    September 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  20. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well,
    The Jury is STILL out on Organized Religion. Live and be happy!

    September 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Ray,

      I thought the jury returned a "guilty" version on organized religion long ago.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
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About this blog

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