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Vatican newspaper calls fragment referring to Jesus' wife 'a fake'
The fragment is written in Coptic, a language used by some early Christians.
September 28th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

Vatican newspaper calls fragment referring to Jesus' wife 'a fake'

By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors

(CNN) - The Vatican on Friday appeared to push back on a recently publicized piece of papyrus that appears to show an early Christian referring to Jesus' wife, with its newspaper calling the fragment “a fake.”

“Substantial reasons would lead us to conclude that the papyrus is actually a clumsy counterfeit,” the Vatican’s  newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said in a Friday editorial by the newspaper’s editor.

“In other words, in any case it is a fake,” wrote L'Osservatore Romano editor-in-chief Gian Maria Vian.

The fragment referring to Jesus wife was written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians, and says in part, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ..."

The paper is generally thought to reflect the views of Vatican officials.

5 Questions and answers about Jesus’ “wife”

Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King announced the findings of the 1.5- by 3-inch honey-colored fragment earlier this month in Rome at the International Association for Coptic Studies.

King was quick to add this discovered text "does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married," she wrote in a draft of her analysis of the fragment set to appear in the January edition of Harvard Theological Review.

"This fragment, this new piece of papyrus evidence, does not prove that (Jesus) was married, nor does it prove that he was not married,” King said in a conference call with reporters earlier in the month. “The earliest reliable historical tradition is completely silent on that.

“So we're in the same position we were before it was found,” she continued. “We don't know if he was married or not."

In the accounts of Jesus' life in the Bible, there is no mention of his marital status, while the accounts do mention Jesus' mother, father and siblings.

Opinion: What fascination with Jesus’ “wife” tells us

The four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – tell the story of Jesus' birth and early childhood then skip to his short, three-year ministry before detailing his death and resurrection.

In its Friday editorial, the Vatican newspaper took aim at what it said was a media campaign to spread word of the papyrus despite questions about its authenticity.

“American media outlets had been alerted, a preventive press conference by Karen L. King held to prepare a global scoop which was immediately put into question by the experts,” the paper said.

- CNN"s Hada Messia contributed reporting from Rome

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Vatican

soundoff (2,552 Responses)
  1. Reality

    The RCC is basically fake so what else is new. – only for the new members of this blog:

    To wit:

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!
    -=-=-=-===================================================================

    September 30, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  2. RCC accountant

    To those, as Sam, who believe the Catholic church's donations rank high based on percentage directed towards the cause.Let's say Catholic church receives $500,000 from donations to help a specific needy cause. The first step is they file for grant money, our tax dollar and receive $300,000 (this is usual). Next, they post volunteers work at $15/ hr (this is acceptable even though no one is actually paid). They now file their expenses towards the cause to show the percentage of money spent towards the cause. They can now show expenses in detail and claim they have spent $450,000 for the cause. After all, they did have real expenses and this is what ranking agencies look at. Yet the reality is that it was mostly tax dollar and worker expense (no money actually paid to volunteers, just on paper). In the end, most the donation money was not spent on the cause, but the line item doesn't need to state that. It only shows the donations less the expenses. It now appears the Catholic church actually only kept 8% for themselves yet the cause is measured at $500,000 and the actual income was the donations + grant money + what they summed the volunteers work at $15/ hr. That's over $800,000 they took in for the cause plus free labor that is entered as a value. The Catholic church knows enough to make it look as if their management costs were a mere 8%, yet in reality they conned.

    September 30, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Abdullo

      so based on your calculations, which one is a better deal for the Churches? Claim HIM single or married for taxes?

      September 30, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Sam.

      As I asked you now several times, BACK THIS UP WITH SOMETHING. Just stating what you feel is not good enough.

      You really sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist.

      Here is a number of people and their biography how Catholic Charities have helped them:

      Catholic donations keep Vatican in the black
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1556586/Catholic-donations-keep-Vatican-in-the-black.html

      I also gave you their financial statements performed by LarsonAllen LLP. You never responded when I asked if they were a shill for the Catholic Church and they must be if performing an illegitimate financial statement for them.

      September 30, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Sam

      So why is it that I should take your word over the LA times, Charity Navigator, BBB, Daily telegraph, LarsonAllen, Biz Journals, and Philanthropy?

      September 30, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • RCC accountant

      Sam. you assume you're dealing with an ethical organization. They have had years to figure out swindles and even have protection of their books from being exposed. The release what they want in a non-traceable format. Remember the mafia in this country? They are no different, so please keep it in their true perspective. It's not conspiracy, it pure deceit. That simple.

      September 30, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Sam

      I also assumed you were a formidable opponent. It's now apparent that you are just messing with me and don't actually believe what you say. If you did, you would have backed it up with some sort of evidence whatsoever and not just the conjecture that you keep spewing.

      September 30, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Sam

      I guess they also got I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV fooled as he said the following:
      "nobody is saying that Catholic Charities don't do good work. The only thing contested here is your faith that 90% of the money raised goes directly to helping people."

      September 30, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • sam

      Here you go. This should suit your beliefs well:

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ0JtJ6hIRw&w=640&h=360]

      September 30, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  3. charz

    So the Jesus' wife papyrus is a fraud, but the Shroud of Turin and the Virgin of Guadalupe aren't?

    September 30, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Reality

      Good point !!

      September 30, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Catholic church does not claim that the shroud of Turin is genuine.

      Many believers think it is and the church has not objection to it being used devotionally.

      September 30, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  4. stevecomptonart

    Wouldn't surprise me if it turned out to be a Gnostic text & not Christian. Most Gnostic cults were only superficially related to Christianity. I think it would be possible to argue that Gnosticism was a syncretic outgrowth of late antique paganism. Like the Koran, Gnostic texts included Jesus but saw him in a very different light than Christians.

    September 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      However all religions are cults.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  5. RCC accountant

    Chad,

    we set the standard of doing good as humans. We do it through laws and through educating one another. There is no greater means to understanding about good, than through people. Good people do good deeds and that includes atheists. Jesus had nothing to do with defining good and the Catholic Church clearly has little concept of it.

    ie condoms save lives, fireman save lives, doctors save lives, scientist save lives. That didn't come from religion – it came from man.

    September 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  6. Ivanka

    Yeshua Kadosh
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJX43l9-Qx0&w=640&h=360]

    Savior of Mankind

    September 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  7. Pantheist

    To believe that Jesus was married, based upon a papyrus writen 400 years after Jesus supposedly was crucified – requires a lot of faith . It requires that you believe Jesus actually walked on the earth – let alone walked on water...... I believe neither.

    September 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Sam

    RCC accountant,

    I am not sure where you're getting that info too. The church I belong to barely makes a profit on its school and church. They closed numerous buildings b/c they were losing money. If they church is out to only make money then why do so much of their charity giving go to the victims? I once had some silly non-religious charity call me and ask for a donation. When I asked how much the victims received, they said 50%. What's better a charity that gives the victims 90% or 50%?

    September 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      Profits go to the Vatican, called sum of diocese. More so is that today the church profits on the universities and hospitals they own. (Also on stocks as the Bank of America they own and got the money to do so through donations) Hospitals are a high profit making insti-tutions. You might consider that health care cost are high because hospital bills have been on a rise. It's not doctor bills that are the cause.

      BTW, if your church isn't profitable – they'll close it down.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Sam

      Where are you getting this from?

      I put "sum of diocese" in google and the only article I got about the church is one from Altoona.

      The hospitals in question are not run by the church but have a Catholic mission. They are not generally run by a local diocese. I'm sure some schools are closing due to lack of funds but it's not like they're breaking even and deciding to close down as they are not making money.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      RCC accountant

      September 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • Sam

      Do you have anything to back up what you're saying?

      Here you go the financials from BBB.org:
      http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/human-services/catholic-charities-usa-in-alexandria-va-1049/financial

      89% goes to fund raising and programs.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      Those aren't financials, they are summaries. They are meaningless and would never be accepted as financials by any accounting firm. You aren't getting it. The Catholic Church DOES NOT and WILL NOT produce financials. They are not held to the same standards as businesses, although they should be, considering the volumes of tax dollar they receives. Those summaries are the same as the example of Enron and their sales figures that really didn't exist.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Sam

      I keep asking this question w/o an answer. Why is Philanthropy ranking them so high if they're anywhere near as corrupt as you say they are?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      They rank them based on the numbers the catholic Church gives them. They do not audit books, that's fact. Remember what I stated about Enron? The RCC plays those same accounting games. Don't be fooled.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Sam

      If there is a question whether or not these books are crooked then why aren't organizations like philanthropy onto their game like you are? To me it looks like you cannot see through your atheist glassess. I know lots of great atheists and have no problem with them but the fact that you cannot give credit to where it is due is just sad.

      I found yet another organization that ranked Catholic Charities highly:
      http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2011/03/01/catholic-charities-ranks-among-top-1.html

      "Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston received its ninth consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

      “Only one percent of the charities we rate have received at least nine consecutive four-star evaluations, indicating that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and out performs most other charities in America,” Charity Navigator President and CEO Ken Berger said in a statement."

      So I guess Charity Navigator doesn't know what it is talking about too, right?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      You don't seem to get it, Chad. They are ranking them based on the numbers the Catholic Church gives them. You can post a thousand sites, that means virtually nothing. Doesn't substantiate anything. The Catholic church is a wealthy organization that made its capital on donations.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Sam

      It defeats the point in arguing w/ you if you refuse to answer my questions. Why are the oranization that are providing Catholic Charities w/ these high rankings not onto what you're saying. You really sound as bad as the 9/11 troofers.

      Here are the financial statements performed by a legitimate accounting firm:

      I guess LarsonAllen LLP is also a shill for the Catholic Church, right?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Sam.

      I posted the wrong financials.

      I cannot post the ones from the BBB on here for some reason but it is the 2nd one down on this google search.

      http://www.google.com/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=2009+catholic+charity+financials&oq=2009+catholic+charity+financials&gs_l=hp.3..33i29l3.1293.9477.0.9568.36.24.2.6.6.1.723.5731.2-4j5j3j2j1.15.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.BIb6H6UoHoM&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=7ac1025105c8f722&biw=1024&bih=644

      September 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Sam.

      "You don't seem to get it, Chad. They are ranking them based on the numbers the Catholic Church gives them."

      Not quite. Charity Navigator bases them on financials AND Accountability & Transparency.

      http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10656

      September 29, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      You're failing Sam. All the data is specifically gotten from the RCC and is limited data. It's a con.. nothing more. No conspiracy, just pure Vatican deceit.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Sam.

      I didn't expect to convice you. I brought forward all this information and you keep reiterating the same thing over and over w/o anything to back it up and then say that I am the one who is failing. Specify, why these financial statements were not acceptable?

      So yes or no: Is LarsonAllen LLP a shill for the Catholic Church? You must believe they are as they completed their audited financials for them.

      Even if you are correct (despite the fact you have not brought forward anything to prove so) I also proved that Charity Navigator didn't provide their rankings on financials alone. Why did you not respond to this?

      September 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Sam.

      Also if the Vatican is out to only make a profit, please advise why they done so much of it away?

      http://allafrica.com/stories/201203050202.html

      The Vatican posted budget deficit in 2009:
      http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/05/business/la-fi-mo-vatican-deficit-20120705

      I guess these are made up figures too, right?

      September 30, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Sam.

      Catholic donations keep Vatican in the black
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1556586/Catholic-donations-keep-Vatican-in-the-black.html

      September 30, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Sam.

      Here is a number of people and their biography how Catholic Charities have helped them.

      September 30, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  9. Last Day

    Vatican,

    SON OF MAN has already COME, as JESUS foretold,
    in the beginning of this most critical Third and Last DAY (=MILLENNIUM) now (John 6/27, 40)!

    So immediately give ear and listen to him now, and thus clearly and unmistakably see JESUS here again (Luke 13/35 = John 6/40) before it may be too late for you then (Matthew 7/21-23)!

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    There is only one GOD who created His book of Universe and His book of Religion
    based on this 19 coded, Symmetrical most Superb "Mathematical Language!"

    September 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      From the book of hindu Mithra ism, savior ism labeled as Christianity to hind, fool humanity, written by none other than hindu Magi's, criminal fortune tellers to make humanity their gentile, slaves. For more visit limitistruth,com.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      I liked Harry Potter better.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  10. Realist

    I find it insulting to our intelligence that we need some jesus to tell us right from wrong. Even more so that hypocritical religions are as capable as we are in doing good. Good people do good deeds while religions steal the good works of others and claim it as their own.

    Please don't insult us with religions silly beliefs, we are far superior to religiosn when it comes to doing good.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      Than do it your self hindu's, ignorant s, than to be falling apart at first moment.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Realist "I find it insulting to our intelligence that we need some jesus to tell us right from wrong."

      =>what a bizarre statement..

      without an absolute standard, this is no such thing as "right and wrong", only opinions.

      your statement is an oxymoron.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      Not true, Chad. Your mother learned to love and care for you because Jesus told her how to? Please understand humanity. We learn through experience and not Jesus. We are the standard.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @RCC accountant "We learn through experience and not Jesus. We are the standard."

      =>What you are describing is known as "Cultural Relativism", this notion that there is no absolute standard, rather we each define our own standard.

      It is a uniquely atheist notion, upon which the glorious empires of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were built.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      Really, cultural relativism – made up by atheists, not to mention every other society known to humans irrespective of their religious traditions?

      Give it a rest.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Dippy

      Actually his statement is quite true. Atheists treat others as well or better than bible babblers. Maybe some of you religious folks need help in that regard, but not atheists. There is a much lower proportion of atheists in prison than in the general population.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, relativism is certainly not uniquely atheistic. Churches continually change definitions of right and wrong as culture changes. In the past Baptists condemned both dancing and drinking, now these are not condemned. In the past the Catholic church considered evolution and heliocentrism heretical, now it does not. Divorce was once grounds for excommunication, now it is accepted. And that doesn't even begin to address all the crap in Exodus and Leviticus that is no longer considered right.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      At least with Chad's comments we are provided with an absolute standard for "factually incorrect."

      September 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer: is there such a thing as absolute truth?

      @Rufus "relativism is certainly not uniquely atheistic. Churches continually change definitions of right and wrong as culture changes..."
      @Chad "although human understanding of peripheral issues on truth may change (dancing, women wearing pants, etc..) truth(God) itself doesnt change. That's what makes it absolute.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      ...but just a minute ago you claimed it was uniquely atheist. Now you're saying that all humans do it. Which is it?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      One wonders, if God does not change, how does it act?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      I'm not going to debate relative morality with you, because we've already done that, but I'll happily answer your question:

      is there such a thing as absolute truth?

      No. There are facts and there are opinions. These are separate from 'truth'. There can be no monopoly on 'truth' and therefore no absolute 'truth'.

      The search for 'truth' belongs in the philosophy department. It is very interesting, but ultimately futile. The eternal verities remain elusive.

      So ... why not enjoy the life we have? Live well, be nice to each other and be remembered well. That's as close to 'truth' as we're going to get.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Chad

      relativism is uniquely atheistic, it is the view that we each define our own right and wrong

      absolutism requires some standard to exist external of human definition of right and wrong. The fact that we as humans mislabel some peripheral activities (like dancing) as wrong, doesnt change the fact that an absolute standard does exist.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      Chad, you're playing Russian roulette. Jesus and the Catholic Church had nothing to do with telling any of us how to live a good life. Do you forget, we are intelligent being? Good happened long before Jesus came on this planet. If anything, the religious have shown us through the 16th century, the inquisition, child abuse cover ups,, that they are the last group to tell anyone how to live a life of good.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "So ... why not enjoy the life we have? Live well, be nice to each other and be remembered well. That's as close to 'truth' as we're going to get"

      =>nothing wrong with enjoying life, treating people well, etc..

      But, what are you going to say to the God of Abraham when He asks you why you rejected the provision He made for you to be reconciled with Him (Jesus)?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Perhaps absolute standards do exist, but not compelling ones, and not ones set by God. They would be more in the way of most efficient actions and attitudes that the standards we do operate by tend to evolve toward.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @RCC accountant "Good happened long before Jesus came on this planet.

      =>the fact that you talk about "good" as if you and I have a common understanding of what that is, indicates that subconsciously you are appealing to the existence of a universally understood right and wrong.

      and

      God (and Jesus), were "here" before the formation of the universe

      September 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      So, humans mislabel "peripheral" issues, but it is atheistic to admit that they do. Very confusing.

      Further, despite the human capability change their perception of what is right and what is wrong, you claim that it is a fact that there is an absolute truth. How do you know? Why are you uniquely able to discern what is truly true when others can't?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Perhaps perfect good reveals itself to Chad through his personal relationship with God.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Chad likes to jump from some god makes the rules to individuals (atheists) make the rules, skipping over society and duly elected governing bodies make rules in democracies. And then he makes assertion about supernatural beings which he has never shown to actually exist. In other words, Chad only has opinions and no absolute truths.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      you asked me: "But, what are you going to say to the God of Abraham when He asks you why you rejected the provision He made for you to be reconciled with Him (Jesus)?

      I'm really not worried. I don't believe the God of Abraham is in any way "real" except in the imaginations of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus "So, humans mislabel "peripheral" issues, but it is atheistic to admit that they do. Very confusing."
      @Chad "not really, stated again: the difference is that absolutists believe there exists an absolute standard, relativist dont.

      @Rufus "you claim that it is a fact that there is an absolute truth. How do you know? Why are you uniquely able to discern what is truly true when others can't?"
      @Chad "I dont claim to be able to uniquely discern what is true or not true, I claim to know that there is an absolute standard of truth that the God of Abraham determines.

      you need to get your arms around the term "absolute truth", by definition if means a truth independent of my ability to define or discern it. It is true regardless of my opinion on it.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Oh, I can wrap my mind around the concept, but I'm not sure you can. If it is independent of your ability to discern it, how can you claim to know it exists? How are you not only discerning it, but also claiming to know it as a fact, despite having admitted that humans regularly misunderstand?

      September 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Some people believe that the truths of logic and mathematics are absolute. That they are discovered, not constructed. Chad's absolute truths may not be anything more than that. Ideals of morality, ethics etc. may be entirely describable by Game Theory, say. Our best efforts to live by these absolute truths may be no more remarkable than our efforts to find the best way to avoid traffic in the morning.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      And by the way, "Cultural Relativism" does not mean that we each define our own terms of right and wrong. It means that cultural norms of right and wrong guide what we believe as individuals.

      You know, just like the differences between the Levant of Leviticus and the United States of today – in Leviticus, burning a sheep whole in your backyard and smearing the blood all over your clothes and your tent is just being a good person – in the modern US, not so much.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus "If it is independent of your ability to discern it, how can you claim to know it exists?
      @Chad "The God of Abraham exists, He is truth"

      @Rufus "I How are you not only discerning it, but also claiming to know it as a fact, despite having admitted that humans regularly misunderstand?"
      @Chad "again, you still havent quite got a handle on what "absolute truth" means, you also missed the part where I said that it exists independent of my(or any human for that matter) ability to define or discern it..

      you're falling into the same trap you always fall into, attempting to criticize something that you arent familiar with.. do some reading on relativism vs absolutism..

      September 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Tom Tom, just curious – are you in the social sciences?

      September 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Rufus-

      No, my area is on the mathematics side of molecular genetics. Social sciences are interesting though when the mathematics is well-applied.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Rufus "If it is independent of your ability to discern it, how can you claim to know it exists?
      Chad "Because it exists"

      Rufus "How are you not only discerning it, but also claiming to know it as a fact, despite having admitted that humans regularly misunderstand?"
      Chad "again, you still havent quite got a handle on what "absolute truth" means, It means it exists because it does, (whether I am capable of knowing that or not).

      Chad "you're falling into the same trap you always fall into, attempting to criticize something that you arent familiar with.. do some reading on relativism vs absolutism."
      Rufus: Classic Chadism! "You disagree with me, therefore you have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not really clear enough on it myself to be able to explain it in my own words, so you should really do some reading (or, I could cut and paste something from Wikipedia).

      So Chad, in sum. You agree that people commonly misunderstand right and wrong even though they are basing their understandings on the Bible; however, you know for a fact that there is an absolute right and wrong, and you know it based on the Bible. Can you really not see the problem here?

      September 29, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Tom Tom, cool. I'm toward the social science end of things, but incorporate evolutionary ecology (basically microeconomic models). A mathematics colleague and I are currently working on optimal foraging models of Pleistocene hunter-gatherers. (I hope the math qualifies as well applied!)

      September 29, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Rufus-

      That sounds interesting and challenging. Apart from my "real" job I maintain a hobby of developing heuristic algorithms and expert systems that apply principles from evolutionary biology to "evolve" solutions to problems that are difficult to address by other means. It's hard to imagine why people insist that principles of evolution don't work in life when I see them work splendidly in other information systems.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus " You agree that people commonly misunderstand right and wrong even though they are basing their understandings on the Bible.
      @Chad "Commonly? no
      on things such as whether of not women should wear pants? Yes

      ======
      @Rufus "however, you know for a fact that there is an absolute right and wrong, and you know it based on the Bible"
      @Chad "not exatly, I know it for a fact because I know for a fact that God exists, and He IS truth.
      misinterpreting the bible is mans failing, not Gods.

      September 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  11. Sam

    If the Catholic Church no longer exists then there goes all their charities. 14 Catholic Charities made the Philanthropy list of the top charities. This includes Catholic Charities at number 10!!!! St. Jude was number 14!!!!!

    September 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The Catholic Church gives no money to anything. PEOPLE give money to charities. What you're implying is, that without a reward, people wouldn't give. You people are might selfish. Atheists give with no reward. I guess they are better people.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Realist

      catholic charities is paid for by tax dollars. Yes, grant money. The vatican will not spend their own money, look at their vast wealth. they could solve world hunger but instead they prefer greed.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Sam

      People make up the Catholic Church and they do indeed give their money away to these great charities. I NEVER said that people won't give their money w/o a reward. I have collected the offerings given by church goes for many noble causes and they give as much as in the thousands for one service w/o obtaining anything in return. Also, 90 cents on the dollar go to directly to programs and services!!! For those who don't know much about charities, that is excellent!!!!

      September 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      here's the deal.. If you remember the tsunami, the catholic church raised nearly a billion dollars – 1/3went to the vatican, 1/3 to the diocese raising funds and 1/3 to the victims. Both the victims and the donors taken advantage of by this organization.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      only they viciously protect their charity empire, its also the reason why the church is so against socialism the last thing the want is t compete with the state

      September 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Sam

      @Realist

      PFFFFFT.

      The Vatican DOES indeed donate money to charities. A simple google search found this out to be true. Here is one link:
      http://www.georgiabulletin.org/world/2010/01/26/WORLD-3/

      September 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      Another point for you Sam. From the inside, the Catholic Church will do nothing unless there's profit in it. If Catholic Charities, or any other charity they own, isn't profitable, they will close it down just as fast as they close schools, churches and hospitals that no longer produce profits. The people who claim they are Catholic are just fooling themselves. They are simply customers of the Vatican's business. These people who claim they are Catholic do not vote for pope or bishop and have no say in the laws. I might also add that it took me quite some time to finally realize their made up laws are perfectly silly.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Daniel

      realbuckybal, If what you posted were true, why bother posting your intentions, then,follow it up with an insult for what reason? To make yourself feel superior? Better? Worthy? etc? Since you do not know how to refrain from bragging, Jesus teaches you how to stay stay humble. Then again, atheists assume you are born knowing all this.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Sam

      Where did you find that info out, RCC accountant? I cant find that anywhere online.

      @Sam Yaza
      Is that why 90 cents on the dollar of Catholic Charities go to programs and services? I can understand if someone has some beef with the Church but give the organization its due.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      Daniel,

      Man does know right from wrong, Jesus had nothing to do with anything but the church leveraging off stories about him they selectively picked to ultimately create an agenda. How does m,an know right from wrong? Love. Yes, it's love. A mother loves he child and wants nothing to happen to that child, we learn empathy. This is much like if you were to break a bone and you later witnessed someone else who experiences the same. You would know how unpleasant it felt. It's thinking as yours that has allowed the Catholic Church to escape the crimes against children. However, had you been one of those children, assuming you are a reasonably intelligent person, you'd know their crimes needed punishment. On the other hand, you accept what the Catholic Church tells you and you promote the deflections as; others did it too, it wan't so bad, it was only a few.. While the real victims know it was a cover up by the church and many of those who abused are now bishops and cardinals. They also know the volumes of abuse and the demand for cover ups. It's people as you who cause more harm to those children abused by denying them the truth and supporting the church over them.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Sam

      RCC Accountant,
      I am not sure where you're getting that info too. The church I belong to barely makes a profit on its school and church. They closed numerous buildings b/c they were losing money. If they church is out to only make money then why do so much of their charity giving go to the victims? I once had some silly non-religious charity call me and ask for a donation. When I asked how much the victims received, they said 50%. What's better a charity that gives the victims 90% or 50%?

      September 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • RCC accountant

      Sam, Do you remember Enron? Enron borrowed money against future sales. They then declared those loans on the profit side making it look as if sales where great. They didn't get exposed because of that issue since it was an accounting tool. The officers were in trouble because they lied to employees about the companies profit and employees invested much of their income while the officers were selling off their shares. See how accounting works? BTW, you'll never see the Catholic Church's financials because they can hide those, and they do. Please do not make statements on what you don't know. Here's one for you. You know the volunteer work? Those who don't get paid? That gets factored in at $15/hr. Imagine how they can play with that. 90%, no way..

      September 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Sam

      You sound like a conspiracy theorist.

      If the Catholic Charities are so horrible, why were they ranked so highly by philanthropy?

      How do you know what financial statements I have and have not seen or been aware of?

      Here you go the financials from BBB.org:
      http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/human-services/catholic-charities-usa-in-alexandria-va-1049/financial

      89% goes to fund raising and programs.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Daniel,
      Good people do good things. A dead guy from 2000 years ago, who's father was a serial killer, and required his son to die to make himself feel good, teaches me nothing. The comment was simply made to point out the flaw in Sam's argument, which he now agrees was pointless.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Sam

      St. Jude and Catholic Charties meet the BBB stardards for credible charities. Check their website if you think I'm lying.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Sam,

      nobody is saying that Catholic Charities don't do good work. The only thing contested here is your faith that 90% of the money raised goes directly to helping people.

      I don't profess to know, but 90% sounds a bit naïve to me.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Sam

      Here you go:
      http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/human-services/catholic-charities-usa-in-alexandria-va-1049/financial

      According to the BBB, 89% go to programs and fundraising.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • End Religion

      One scam helping another...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo8kfV9kONw&w=640&h=360]

      September 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Sam

      @End Religion

      So the BBB and philanthropy are doing the bidding of the Church? If thats what you're saying then it sounds like what spews out of the 9-11 troofers mouths.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • FYI

      From St. Jude Hospital's web site:

      "We are not a Catholic hospital, nor are we affiliated with any religious organization. Our founder, Danny Thomas, was Catholic, and St. Jude was his patron Saint."

      http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=eb00ef5d00670110VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD&cpse xtcurrchannel=1
      (delete the space in se x in URL)

      September 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Sam.

      Thanks for the info, FYI. I did verify though that Catholic Charities are affiliated w/ the church.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  12. Len

    The Gospels mention three Passovers happening during Jesus' ministry; that doesn't necessarily mean that it was three whole years long. It could have started close to the first Passover and be closer to two years long.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Look sweetie. The gospels can't even agree on the day he died on, with respect to the Passover. Whey would they get the years right ?

      September 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  13. LYSOL MOTOROLA

    Give some thought to the motives behind those who bash the CHurch and expose themselves as bigots. One suspects, based on past behavior, the arrogance of the message and fever of the hatred, that they really are missing the fact that the Church does not condemn gays. It merely condemns their behavior.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  14. LYSOL MOTOROLA

    What strikes me is how little it takes to bring out a rabid bigotry in so many people, who probably consider themselves to be educated liberal minded moderns. Perhaps they should consider whether what ever particular brand of ideolgy that they subscribe to will still be around 2,000 years from now. Regardless of whether it is "true", and in spite of the serious errors, past andf present, made by people in the name of the Church, the basic tenets are so sound and beneficial they7 have produced profound benefits and have persisted for twenty centuries.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  15. Sam

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h63HhdR2KM&w=640&h=360]

    September 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      You are kidding right. Thanks for the joke. The best one I've seen in a long time. LMFAO.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Sam

      Glad you enjoyed it.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  16. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    I don't meen to be one of the atheist doosh bags who laughs and makes fun of Christians.

    I want to open a real dialogue to understand your beliefs and how you arrived at such a differnt place than me.

    If you are willing, Christians, please answer the first question. (again, this is legit, I want to understand you)

    1. Who first told you that the Bible was the truth and the word of God, and why?

    September 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      1. God, because it is his will that we all believe.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      hindu Jew, criminal self centered, con man did it and forced upon public with sword and, did it in from hind of poor gentle's salves with high speed plunger.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • hinduMithraism Christianity baseofhindufilthyracism.

      Robert Brown---Do it yourself and lay it on GOD, truth absolute, way of hindu Jew's, criminal self centered, conman to hind fool humanity.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      circular logic

      September 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Athy

      No one. I have always avoided such people.

      September 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
  17. AvdBerg AvdBerg

    Sorry for my rantings; the devils made me post those long winded rants; damn Lucipher !

    September 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • AvdBerg AvdBerg

      and I can't pray myself out of this
      if you see what I mean
      for it is written Hosea 1:34
      when the sun wipes out the moon ( amos 3:78)
      or is it the other way around ( ??? )
      damn it again !!!!!!!

      September 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      ehh, did i do something,.....damn it people stop blaming me for things you do... or things god does

      September 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  18. Bob

    You Catholic bashers probably want the Church to no longer exist, right?

    September 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Correct. You are very astute.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Sam

      Well, if the Catholic Church no longer exists then there goes all their charities. 14 Catholic Charities made the Philanthropy list of the top charities. This includes Catholic Charities at number 10!!!! St. Jude was number 14!!!!!

      How dare St. Jude charity help children with cancer?

      You all LOSE!!!!

      September 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Sam,
      Not all Catholics are as stupid as you. If the church were not there, they are good enough, and smart enough to figure that out. Don't sell yourselves so short.

      September 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • FYI

      FYI

      From St. Jude Hospital's web site :

      "We are not a Catholic hospital, nor are we affiliated with any religious organization. Our founder, Danny Thomas, was Catholic, and St. Jude was his patron Saint."

      http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=eb00ef5d00670110VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD&cpse xtcurrchannel=1
      (delete the space in se x in URL)

      September 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Sam.

      Care to clarify that statement, Realbuckyball? Funny how you decide to insult me rather to actually debating the conversation.

      September 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  19. 24 Hour Crisis Center

    Yo b1tch, I gots me the double wide WITH a patio that is fenced in with chicken wire. AND the feral cats live UNDER my trailer, NOT inside. Hah.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • 24 Hour Crisis Center

      Oh dam yo Heavenly Trailer Park Trash, I med up me post yo. Sorry beeotch.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  20. slip n' slide

    The vatican calls the papyrus a fake, well they have been perpetuating a fake religion for about 2k years, so we are about even.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Bob

      That is so mean!

      September 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You atheists preach the lies of satan, aka the devil who is the serpent. Keep believing in the lies of the talmud and see where you end up. I have to pee in my 7-11 cup because my toilet has been clogged for years. I hope you enjoy the personal worm that will feed of your fat drippings for eternity.

      Amen.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      So you completely discount recorded history, yet instantly believe an unsubstantiated piece of papyrus as long as it goes against beliefs accepted by billions? Never went to college and flunked every science course in High School (assuming you made it that far) did you?

      September 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      There is no recorded history to support the claims of the RCC and Pope-a-Dope. The number of members a cult has in no way gives the cult or its delusional members any credibility.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.