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April 10th, 2014
10:04 AM ET

Study: 'Jesus' wife' fragment not a fake

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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(CNN) - A team of scientists has concluded that a controversial scrap of papyrus that purportedly quotes Jesus referring to "my wife," is not a fake, according to the Harvard Theological Review.

"A wide range of scientific testing indicates that a papyrus fragment containing the words, 'Jesus said to them, my wife' is an ancient document, dating between the sixth to ninth centuries CE," Harvard Divinity School said in a statement.

Scientists tested the papyrus and the carbon ink, and analyzed the handwriting and grammar, according to Harvard.

Radiocarbon tests conducted at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology produced an origination date for the papyrus of 659-859 CE, according to Harvard. MIT also studied the chemical composition of the papyrus and patterns of oxidation.

Other scholars studied the carbon character of the ink and found that it matched samples of papyri from the first to eight century CE, according to Harvard.

"None of the testing has produced any evidence that the fragment is a modern fabrication or forgery," the divinity school said.

At least one scholar sharply disagrees, however, calling the papyrus scrap "patently fake."

Unveiled by Karen King, a Harvard Divinity School historian, in 2012, the scrap has sparked a heated debate over Christian history, archaeological accuracy and the role of women in the church.

The fragment, which is about the size of a business card, contains just 33 words, including: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …" and "she will be able to be my disciple." 

Though she dubbed the fragment, "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife," King said that the papyrus does not prove that Jesus was actually married - just that ancient Christians discussed the possibility.

"This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what the role claims of Jesus's marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family," King said.

Other Christians have suggested that Jesus may have been speaking metaphorically in the sentence fragments quoted in the papyrus. Some New Testament writers refer to the church as "the bride of Christ."

King and other scholars said they are equally intrigued by Jesus' mention of a female disciple.

"The main topic of the fragment is to affirm that women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus—a topic that was hotly debated in early Christianity as celibate virginity increasingly became highly valued," King said.

5 questions and answers about Jesus' 'wife'

The Harvard Theological Review also published on Thursday a sharp-worded rebuttal to King's hypothesis by Leo Depuydt, a professor of Egyptology at Brown University.

"I personally—and I am not sure whether I share this feeling with anyone—experience a certain incredulity pertaining to how something that is at first sight so patently fake could be so totally blown out of proportion," Depuydt writes.

Depuydt's criticism centers on the fact that the papyrus scrap contains a grammatical error in Coptic - one that mirrors a similar miscue in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.

The chances that two ancient works would have the same mistake are minuscule, the scholar said, strongly suggesting that the author of the"Jesus' wife" scrap copied from the Gospel of Thomas.

“As a forgery, it is bad to the point of being farcical or fobbish," Depuydt told the Boston Globe. "I don’t buy the argument that this is sophisticated. I think it could be done in an afternoon by an undergraduate student.”

The Vatican's newspaper has also called the papyrus fragment a fake. “Substantial reasons would lead us to conclude that the papyrus is actually a clumsy counterfeit," L'Osservatore Romano, said in an editorial in 2012. 

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

King and Harvard acknowledge that "nothing is known about the discovery of the fragment." King has said it was given to her by an unnamed donor. 

"All the known data about its origin and circulation need to be publicly disclosed and thus made available for scholarly discussionas is the norm in the handling of manuscripts. Is there some reason we cannot just be told?" Depuydt said.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • History • Jesus

soundoff (2,539 Responses)
  1. Tim

    Jesus was not married.

    If Jesus was married the Bible would have mentioned that fact.

    If there is one good thing that comes out this latest finding is that Jesus in fact existed. This essentially disproves claims by skeptics that Jesus never existed.

    April 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Written four centuries after Jesus' supposed death... yes, this fragment is 'definitive' proof... LOL

      April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • ifhorseshadgods

      So let me get this straight ... you accept this as proof of Jesus but it is not proof of his being married, even though both are mentioned in this writing. How convenient for you.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Wait...what?

      April 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • observer

      Tim,

      Brilliant!

      So you can trust it to prove that Jesus existed but NOT TRUST it about what it says.

      Classic.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • observer

      The Bible never mentioned God’s wife, Asherah, either.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      • protious2003

        Well it does... but it mentions her as a tree or a post. Guess that's what happens when you go from polytheism to monotheism, and you need to rewrite the whole damn thing to get rid of alot of extra gods you don't like anymore.

        April 10, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Translation: You aren't interested in facts.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
    • reeync

      There are other gospels and books that were not included in the official Bible. The Catholic Bible, in fact, includes 12 books that the Protestant Bible removed. No doubt there are also ancient writings and gospels that have been lost over the centuries. Any of these might contain information that the church would not want the public to know about.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • doobzz

      LOL. Nice compartmentalizing.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • mk

      You are only proving that you believe only the parts that you want to believe.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
      • mk

        I amend that: You are only proving that you believe only the parts that they told you to believe.

        April 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Tim

      No extant doc.ument written within 150 years of Jesus’ death and resurrection depicts or even implies that He was married.

      In fact, all these writings about Jesus being married was written centuries later.

      April 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • speediejoe

      The article says that there is still debate about it being genuine. It is strange, where it seems seems some sources have high confidence it is genuine, others have high confidence of forgery. In any case, assuming it is genuine, I would agree that since it is dated very early first century that it gives good evidence for the existence of Jesus. But, I wouldn't call it unassailable. It is still possible the person who wrote it was writing what they themselves knew was a fictional story. The fragment doesn't give sufficient evidence. I'd agree it is of some value to proving Jesus existed, but, not conclusive I'd say.

      April 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • architectjohn

      I don't know that people didn't believe that Jesus was real, just whether or not he was divine. Jesus' divinity was debated. Even which gospels were to be included were debated. How can human debate on the gospels be divine? Also bibles differ in content and order of gospels. If the bible is so divine and accurate, why are there so many differences between catholic, protestant, and orthodox bibles? Which bible is correct? And who is to say it isn't complete. There were many gospels left out of the canonization of the bible.

      April 10, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • troutface29

      I don't recall the Bible mentioned Jesus took a dump but I'm pretty sure he did. Don't be blinded by thinking if something isn't in the Bible it can't be true. Remember, that holy book of scripture was recompiled and translated by several people many years after Christ's time.

      April 14, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
  2. vancouverron

    It says "Jesus said, 'take my wife...please!'"

    April 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      ...and it starts.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Bwahahahah!

      April 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
  3. thefinisher1

    Atheism belongs in the fiction section where it can be laughed at and ridiculed for how wrong it is. The truth you set you free atheists.

    April 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Shut up Meg...

      April 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • thefinisher1

        All will be ok. The truth will set you free. I'm here for you ^_^

        April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Shut up Haley....

          April 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Cause I can see that your beliefs have done wonders for you/

      April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • ifhorseshadgods

      Atheism is the only true freedom. The freedom to be a moral, loving, ethical & kind human being of your own freewill without the need to promise a heaven or threat of eternal punishment.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      tf1. "Edith, stifle it!"

      April 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • G to the T

        "Meat. Head. Dead from the neck up."

        April 11, 2014 at 10:59 am |
    • mmgrant73

      It is telling when someone does not try to add anything to the discussion but rather try to mock the side that they do not agree with. Furthermore, atheist do not have a particular dogmatic book that we follow (like christian with the bible) So what exactly are you going to put in the fiction section, our non-believe. I am confident that within a couple of generation the plague of religious will be regulated towards the mythology section with the other ancient Gods like Zeus

      April 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • protious2003

        Humanity is greater than religion.

        April 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  4. pandeist

    As predicted by the revolutionary evolutionary theological model of Pandeism, which supersedes all theistic thought. Blessings!!

    April 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Wait, are you saying that God exists in all things, including us, and that god does not have a consciousness anymore but is still visible in all things from French fries to physics? Are you trying to say that god worshipers are wasting their time because no one is out there watching and listening, that it appears god has abandoned us but in fact has simple become us and everything else is the universe? Is that what you are saying?

      April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • djangoboy

        Sounds good.

        April 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
      • pandeist

        That is precisely the proposition of Pandeism, indeed.

        April 29, 2014 at 1:28 am |
    • snuffleupagus

      Petersbedpan, forgot to take your meds today?

      April 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
  5. Concert in an Egg

    I read an article written by Dr. Donnel Johnson, a leading authority on the Gnostic Gospels, and he has shown that Jesus was in fact married but only as a cover for his gay lifestyle. The Gospel of Judas points out that the Lord had a rockin' body, which stands to reason since he was a day laborer.

    April 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • Akira

      Uh oh...lol...

      April 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • snuffleupagus

      Well he did hang out with only dudes... a bigger band than the Village People.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • mk

      Haven't you seen any of those Jesus movies? You find yourself praying for the part where the soldiers take his shirt off.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • Akira

        Bow chicka bow wow.

        April 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  6. aaaaa698085808

    >multiple hundreds of years after thing

    >accurate or reliable account of thing

    Pick one.

    April 10, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
    • ifhorseshadgods

      I have it on good authority that in 850 years I will be deemed a child of the goddess Soluna (goddess of the light in the darkness). I will be revered and worshipped. Might as well worship me now so you can go to the great infinite universal vastness of infinitely expanding space & time!

      April 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Why are you so obsessed with that thing?

      April 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
  7. Joeseph Eclaire

    So once again we have a person other then Jesus himself writing an account of things.
    And we all know that interpretation like beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the one doing the writing.

    But no doubt some will run with this b.s. and try to claim Jesus was a fabrication.
    I have little doubt a Jesus lived back then, my only question is was this Jesus truly the son of God or just a very good teacher.

    One thing I do firmly believe is that those on the opposite of religion are just as fraudulent.
    In other words you are both full of b.s.

    April 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I believe there was a radical Rabbi who called out the Jewish clergymen on their bureaucratic nonsense and who wanted to take God to the gentiles.
      I don't believe he was supernatural.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
      • colin31714

        Doc, there is a great set of lectures given by Bart Ehrman from UNC. They are called the "Historical Jesus" and Ehrman goes into great detail on what we really know of Jesus' life. 14 lectures in total from memory. Fascinating stuff. The Teaching Company publishes them.

        April 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
    • ddeevviinn

      " my only question is was this Jesus truly the Son of God or just a very good teacher."

      Yep, those are the two viable options.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Fictional character or delusional sheep molester also come to mind as options

        April 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Yes, absolutely, I have no doubt those are the options that would come to your mind.

          April 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          What a snappy little bitch retort... but fairly played...

          April 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      I don't believe anything in particular about Jesus. Wasn't there. But I suspect he is an amalgam of many of the ideas floating around at the time.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
      • djangoboy

        I suspect that there actually was a real person whose life and teaching became the basis for the Jesus stories, which were embellished with stories borrowed from other religions to magnify his importance and make him more recognizable to people from other traditions.

        April 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    • ifhorseshadgods

      I'd say this person we refer to as Jesus was not the son of a god since there is no reason to believe that. A good teacher, of his form of religion perhaps, don't know that he taught anything else to evaluate his actual teaching skills. But definitely he had the best PR people working on his legacy for hundreds of years after his death .. that much is certain.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
  8. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    Dating this piece to between the sixth to ninth centuries CE does not mean its content is true. False testimonies existed all along since the time Jesus Christ. Also, this piece would definitely be considered 'apocryphal.'

    Regarding the role of women in the church, I am a firm believer in that. We have the epitome of that in Jesus Christ appearing to women first and commissioning a women to deliver the news of His resurrection to all the Disciples. Accordingly, many Christians consider the first priest in church history to be a woman.

    Now, regarding Apostle Paul's notion on the role of women in the church, he was dealing with cultural constraints that would've prevented delivering the "Good News" of the Lord Jesus Christ if he confessed otherwise. Apostle Paul explained that in some of his Epistles.

    1 Corinthians 9:20-23
    "20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.;" (NASB)

    April 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • Doris

      "he was dealing with cultural constraints that would've prevented delivering"

      yes, all politicians have to deal with their constituencies..

      Of course Paul's ministry as divinely-inspired scripture comes from Peter 2, but OOPS,
      most NT scholars say that Peter did not author Peter 2......

      April 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
    • fintronics

      If you offend God he will kill you: "And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also." (Genesis 38:7-10)

      April 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        That god sure is a prick, huh?

        April 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • snuffleupagus

          Yeah, well spilling your seed can be a pr!ckly situation to be in, with a woman waiting, doncha know.

          April 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  9. Operation Plumbbob

    Skipping the whole "is Jesus a myth or a historical fact" debate entirely... I don't know why this is such a heated issue for Christians. Nowhere in the 'accepted' Bible (any given edition) does it say that Jesus or his apostles were celibate or single, or that anyone following Christ had to be.

    Why wouldn't the men have families? Back then families were the key to staying alive. Why wouldn't Jesus take a wife? He was probably swimming in babes who were following him around. Spiritual leaders tend to attract women as well as men to their cause. God said "Be fruitful and multiply". Nowhere do the religious texts say "Everyone but my son can be fruitful and multiply". If anything it makes sense that a figure like Jesus, who was all about letting the children come unto him, would be trying to have some of his own. Set a good example and all that.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • mk

      "I don't know why this is such a heated issue for Christians."

      Because then they would have to re-instate women as actual people capable of being leaders, or at least something other than doormats.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
      • kevinite

        From Merriam-Webster

        dis·ci·ple noun \di-ˈsī-pəl\
        : someone who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of a famous person

        : one of a group of 12 men who were sent out to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ

        Full Definition of DISCIPLE

        1
        : one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: as
        a : one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ's followers according to the Gospel accounts
        b : a convinced adherent of a school or individual
        2
        capitalized : a member of the Disciples of Christ founded in the United States in 1809 that holds the Bible alone to be the rule of faith and practice, usually baptizes by immersion, and has a congregational polity.

        The term "disciple" also includes any follower or believer. To say that women becoming disciples means that they automatically became priests is rather jumping the gun here.

        April 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • kevinite

          Also, where is it that you have to be a priest in order to spread the word?

          April 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • mk

          "To say that women becoming disciples means that they automatically became priests is rather jumping the gun here."

          True. If they were treated as insignificant in the bible, they certainly shouldn't be given any recognition now. Or ever.

          April 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • kevinite

          MK,

          What makes you think that if women didn't become priests automatically means that women would never receive recognition?

          April 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • mk

          Let me rephrase that then:

          If they were treated as insignificant in the bible, they certainly shouldn't be given any leadership roles now. Or ever.

          April 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • kevinite

          mk,

          Let me rephrase it,

          What makes you think that women not becoming priests automatically means that women in the Bible were insignificant?

          April 10, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • kevinite

          11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

          (1 Corinthians 11:11 KJV)

          April 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • mk

          Sounds like the quote you posted puts men and women on equal ground. What is the reason then that women weren't/aren't priests?

          April 10, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • kevinite

          Frankly, I don't know why women are not in the priesthood? In fact from what I have observed it seems like women could actually be better serving priests than men. Perhaps that could be reason why the priesthood was given specifically to men. It sure would make it easier for men to become deadbeats and not have to bother about doing priesthood service, because the women could so readily handle it.

          April 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • kevinite

          I need to make a correction regarding my last comment about women implying in the present tense in all Christian churches when I meant to say it was about women in Biblical times and in current churches who do not have women serving as priests.

          April 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • mk

          Can you imagine what could get done with those nuns in charge? They don't mind getting their holy hands dirty.

          April 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • G to the T

          I think you are confusing it's original usage (the original 12 that walked with Jesus) and the modern, common usage (any follower of a particular teacher).

          This is why translation/interpretation is so much fun!

          April 12, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • igaftr

          kevin
          "Frankly, I don't know why women are not in the priesthood?"
          Corinthians 14:34-35.
          Pretty straight forward.

          April 13, 2014 at 9:44 am |
      • skyrider7

        PRECISELY! You've hit the nail on the head – Catholicism (which evolved from the Bible) is a function of controlling people through persuasions that allude to divinity. If people looked at the Bible and what has emanated from it today, the motivation(s) behind it would be clear. The aim of the Bible was to subjugate women and to psychologically corral people by labeling them sinners in need of forgiveness – which ultimately gave the "written word of God" authority over them. This created masses of people who submissively followed without resistance or without questioning the authority. Interesting that we don't see even ONE PERSON on here questioning why: 1) the Vatican has its own BANKING SYSTEM and; 2) why the Vatican is a SOVEREIGN NATION with autonomy. Those two factors alone are the writing on the wall to be regarded, if anyone wants to discuss writing, whether in a book or implied. The fact that the Catholic Church still takes up collections at every single church, at every mass, even though it has abundant wealth, is proof enough that its primary interest in continuing this myth is financially driven.

        April 13, 2014 at 9:34 am |
    • groginohio

      Because the "christians" need a reason to keep women subservient and obedient. Facts never have anything to do with any mythology.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
    • toleranceofall

      I agree. I have always been really surprised that Jesus wasn't married. In Jewish culture at the time, it would have been perfectly acceptable and outright weird had he not been.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • G to the T

        One explanation I've heard is that Jesus was part of an apocalyptic branch of Judaism known as the Essene. It's certainly possible that if they thought the end of the world was nigh, "earthly concerns" like procreation, etc. could be shunned.

        That all being said, he just as easily could have been married and Paul's Church (also believing the end was nigh) ignored/revised stories the indicated/intimated that he was as it was inconvenient to what they already believed.

        April 12, 2014 at 9:22 am |
  10. abcontador

    What they really meant to say is that the paper is indeed old - doesnt mean any more than that. I still have yet to find a christian who can tell me why I should believe the Bible is real ... waiting

    April 10, 2014 at 11:59 am |
    • fintronics

      They will tell you the bible is real because the bible says it's real....

      April 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  11. colin31714

    Not a fake, but still not very probative of whether Jesus had a wife. Tests dated the fragment to between the Sixth and Ninth Centuries, and the language used suggested that the original composition was in the second half of the Second Century. That is to say, the fragment is a Middle Ages copy of an original Second Century manuscript.

    The likelihood that it would accurately record events in Jesus' life is very small. In fact, putting aside all the religious and magical nonsense, it is a historical fact that we know very little of Jesus' life, except in the broadest terms.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • michaellocher

      All of which is fairly self-evident, let alone mentioned in the article.

      That said, considering there are dozens of gospels and chronicles roughly contemporary with those which actually made the NT "cut," it's fair to safe we've never gotten the whole picture on this piece of history/folklore.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
      • michaellocher

        (err, that's fair to SAY)

        April 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
    • Akira

      Maybe it's Jesus fan-fic.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        I am a bible fan fic enthusiast myself.

        April 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • Akira

          I noticed...

          April 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Concert in an Egg

    I am just glad the papyrus doesn't mention Hitler or "truthfollower01" would be all over this article.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • Doris

      lol – yes he would...

      April 10, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • fintronics

        psssst.... whatever you do, don't mention casual chain!

        April 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
  13. igaftr

    OK... I got thinking about this...now Jesus is allegedly a man, but he is also god. The Jewish people used to worship god AND gods wife.
    Then along comes Jesus, who was now allegedly married, so he is a bigamist, one wife in heaven and one on earth?

    April 10, 2014 at 11:55 am |
  14. volsince69

    Surprised that others are surprised. Much is written about Jesus' bride in the NT (His Church). Is it so far fetched that He be speaking to others in a future tense? Seems to me He did it quite often. And remember, much of His life is not recorded in the Bible as stated by John at the end of his gospel. Regarding His bride, see...

    Revelation 19:7-9, Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelation 21:2, John 3:29 or just Google it to find many others.

    What's perplexing is that this is news, much less controversial news.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Doris

      Hey – why not? I mean the early Christian apologists like Justin Martyr have Satan performing plagiarism backward in time, so why not? lol

      April 10, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • johnbiggscr

      You want to try to claim the mention of his wife was talking about the church huh? ok, then.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  15. Doris

    In related news archaeologists continue their search for divorce papyri.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Concert in an Egg

      They will never find it. It was only a separation. Then he rose from the dead.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
  16. Concert in an Egg

    The way I see it, Jesus may or may not have had a wife. I know this is highly controversial (a man being married or not being married) but I am putting it out there.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Theo Phileo

      Well, two thoughts here.
      First, the Bible doesn't mention that Jesus had a wife.
      Second, according to Genesis, woman was created to be an Ezur Kenegdo for man, that is literally, a "helper who will contend against him, for his benefit." (There's a whole sermon in that phrase) But that is to say, did Jesus (as God) have any itch that needed scratching? Was there any need in Jesus that needed to be filled by sinful man?

      April 10, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Well, two thoughts here.

        1. I was being sarcastic.
        2. Duh.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Christian theologians tend to stipulate that Christ was both fully human and fully God (though to me, the two are mutually exclusive...) but if He was indeed fully human, that means that He was subject to all the same va/garies that each of us meat machine users must endure, including se.xual urges.
        Did Christ mast.urb.ate and/or have wet dreams?

        April 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Jesus was fully human, which meant he dwelt within a body that required food, air, and so on, but He was without a sinful nature, which meant that He was not able to violate the character or moral law of God.

          April 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • mk

          Why does god consider s@x or having s@xual feelings immoral? Didn't he invent the process?

          April 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • joey3467

          Got it, Jesus was only part human.

          April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • mk

          Maybe he's like a centaur where the top half was human and then when you get to his nether regions, he's like a god?

          April 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Most adolescent boy experience nocturnal emissions.
          Is that "sinful" even if they're aren't consciously controlling it?
          One must assume that Jesus went through a normal puberty – or does God's voice not crack?

          April 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • djangoboy

          Did he shyt? And if so, was it immaculate?

          April 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
      • mk

        Two more things:
        1. When you say that the bible did not mention that Jesus had a wife, is that the version of the bible after the men-leaders decided to demote women to dirt and took any mention of women out of the stories? (You have to admit, there is way less talk of women than men in the NT, unless they were sinners of course.)
        2. Are you supposing that Jesus did not have a libido?

        April 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
      • Akira

        So Jesus, a man, was born without any of the...urges...humans are born with?

        April 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
      • G to the T

        Se.x within marriage is not sinful though, you seem to be implying that being married is a sinful endeavor...?

        April 12, 2014 at 9:27 am |
  17. tynkyrbelle

    "The scrap does not prove Jeebus had a wife, or..."

    ...even EXISTED AT ALL OUTSIDE OF SOMEONE'S IMAGINATION.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:46 am |
    • jb109

      Well said! And equally true about every other belief we have, yet we continue to have beliefs.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
    • jefnvk

      Regardless of your religious belief, it is a very widely held fact that a man named Jesus existed and was put to death. Whether you choose to believe he was a god, is another matter.

      April 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • djangoboy

        It is very widely held. Fact, perhaps. Perhaps not. The evidence outside of the Bible is sketchy at best.

        April 10, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  18. lunchbreaker

    Anyone else find it a bit ironic that Christians are saying you can't trust 1000 year old writings about Jesus?

    April 10, 2014 at 11:44 am |
    • abcontador

      yes, so laughable (like a lot of what they do)

      April 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
    • 40seven

      Anyone else find it a bit tiring that aheists use every chance they get to discredit people of faith, Christian or otherwise? What do you think is going to happen? Christian's are going to read your post and suddenly have this massive epiphany: "Holy Cow! He's right!!! What was I thinking??

      April 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        No, we realize no 'true-believer' Christian is smart enough to have such an epiphany, in fact I doubt most Christians would even know what that word means... but we DO like reminding you that not everyone believes in your nonsense.

        April 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • speediejoe

        Actually, it does happen. Not every time, of course, but it does. And, sometimes our questions just "plant seeds" as Christians like to say, and that over time, the Christian starts to realize his (former) Christian beliefs were silly.

        April 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          yes...to those Christians who are not well read in the Bible and has not really studied it....

          April 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • G to the T

          "yes...to those Christians who are not well read in the Bible and has not really studied it...."

          That's odd Kermit, I had the exact opposite experience.

          April 12, 2014 at 9:31 am |
  19. Concert in an Egg

    This is 100% maybe true.

    April 10, 2014 at 11:37 am |
  20. Theo Phileo

    2nd to 4th centuries... DUH! Of course it's real. It's called Gnosticism. Paul spoke against this in Colossians. And actually, the Bible talks about the start of this movement in Acts 8:9-24, so this find doesn't come as a suprise to any student of the Bible. Paul’s epistles to Timothy contain refutations of “false doctrine and myths” (1 Timothy 1:3-5). The importance placed here, as in most NT scripture, is to uphold the truth since through such knowledge God hopes for “all men” to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Paul’s letters to the Corinthians have much to say regarding false teachers (2 Corinthians 11:4), “spiritualists” (pneumatikos—1 Corinthians 2:14-15; 15:44-46) and their gnosis. They warn against the “wisdom of the wise” and their “hollow and deceptive philosophy” (1 Corinthians 1:19; 2:5, Colossians 2:1-10; 2:8). The book of Jude also contains scripture exhorting believers to seek the true faith (Jude 3).

    April 10, 2014 at 11:35 am |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Theo, are your ears itching?

      April 10, 2014 at 11:43 am |
    • revbro

      Paul himself should be considered the false prophet. A self proclaimed "Apostle" who duped others by warning them about people who might be trying to dupe them.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      • Vic

        http://carm.org/paul-authority

        April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • tynkyrbelle

      Paul never met Jesus, and never EVER actually quotes anything Jesus ever said.

      He's just as fictional as Jesus was.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        Actually, Peul DID meet Jesus, in His risen form, Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          *Paul*

          April 10, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Maybe he met someone on the road to D-town or maybe he didn't. Maybe it was a zombie or maybe it was someone claiming to be Jesus' ghost or perhaps it was just a dude that made a convenient plot point. Lots of freaky stuff happened on that road man.

          April 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • revbro

          So Saul, who later calls himself Paul, says that he saw Jesus on the road.. in a vision... yeah, that is all the proof I need. Joseph Smith had the same experience so I am positive you consider him an Apostle too.

          April 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • djangoboy

          Paul has a "vision" of the risen Christ. That hardly qualifies as a meeting. And somehow as a result of this one vision, Paul suddenly became the world's greatest expert on Jesus, surpassing (in his own mind) those who actually KNEW Jesus and walked and talked with him. Like, you know, Peter and James (his brother), the mainstays of the Jerusalem Church.

          Paul was a fraud. IMHO.

          April 10, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          bad answer..Paul did nOT have a vision....other people do NOT experience the vision...yes..those withhim did nOT see Jesus..but they saw something..and they heard something...visions can only be experienced by ONE person..sorry..argument flies out the window

          April 11, 2014 at 1:50 am |
      • 40seven

        Agreed. He's as fictional as Hitler. Never understood why people make up stories about characters in history who obviously never existed. The writings of Shakespeare, for example, have already been proven to be fabrications of several English playwrights who collaborated on this elaborate hoax. Jesus? Without hard evidence, his existence is a myth.

        April 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • revbro

          There is a big difference between calling him a fictional character and calling his story fictional. Your little sarcastic remark fails to recognize that. Was there a character named Jesus who lived a different life? Yes, there probably was. Did that character actually do all the things attributed to him? That is a question of faith. I know George Washington lived and ruled, I thought for many years that he cut down a cherry tree as a kid.. but I found out that was a myth... I know that he claimed to say "I can not tell a lie." which is a really cool saying, but I doubt he actually said it.

          April 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • jb109

          I'm not sure that I follow. A myth meaning it's not true? If there's no hard evidence to support a belief, then the belief is not true? Doesn't that require that we're omniscient? I find for myself, if I'm willing to look at the unsubstantiated beliefs and illogic I use to construct my own beliefs, it helps me understand how other people arrive at their (wacky?) beliefs.

          April 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • joey3467

          There is no hard evidence that Bigfoot doesn't exist so I ask you, do you believe in Bigfoot? I say you shouldn't believe in things until they are proven true. This is why I don't believe in aliens that have kidnapped people, Bigfoot, or any gods.

          April 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
      • jb109

        Oh cool, you have beliefs too. Sounds like your beliefs seem true to you, and other people's beliefs seem imaginary. I wonder if it's like that for other people too? Feel free to imagine a belief about it.

        April 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • Vic

        http://carm.org/paul-authority

        April 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Akira

          Vic, I don't want to be mean, but CARM is another Christian Apologetics site...confirmation bias..

          April 10, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
    • michaellocher

      What convenient internal logic.

      Because the gospels seem to "predict" that un-truths will be spread about Jesus and believers, you're justified in dismissing anything which contradicts the particular chronicles of the traditional testaments as false, or the work of insidious agitators.

      Yawn.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:55 am |
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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.