Testing of Papyrus That Refers To Jesus’s Wife Shows No Evidence Of Forgery

200px-NolimetangerecorregioIf you recall, there was a bit of a dust up 18 months ago when Harvard Professor Karen L. King released the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” that detailed the contents of the text of an ancient Egyptian papyrus referring to Jesus being married. A Vatican newspaper and other experts denounced it as a forgery but a new article in the respected Harvard Theological Review says that there is no evidence of a forgery after the application of various tests. King believes it was part of a debate over the role of women among early Christians.

One critic even suggested that the fragment contained a typo found in an online source — suggesting a poor effort at a forgery.

The original carbon-dating test by the University of Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory put the date at 400 to 200 years before the birth of Jesus. A second carbon-dating test by Noreen Tuross of Harvard and put a mean date of 741 A.D.

Columbia University researchers used a technique called micro-Raman spectroscopy to investigate the ink’s chemical composition and compared to the ink in many of the ancient papyri in Columbia’s collection.

However, carbon dating puts the papyrus around the eighth century in Egypt, which is 400 years later than King originally thought. A break down of the ink is consistent with those used by the ancient Egyptians. Since the papyrus is the size of a business card, conventional testing would have destroyed much of the historical piece. However, a new technique at Columbia allowed for a new dating.

kingkarenKing does not argue that this is proof that Jesus was married. Indeed, it is dated long after the gospels were written.

King has never argued that the fragment is evidence that Jesus was actually married. It would have been composed much later than the gospels of the New Testament, which are regarded as the earliest and most reliable sources on the historical Jesus and which are silent on that question.

10239Even with this test, Leo Depuydt, an Egyptologist at Brown University, insists that it is still a forgery and a modern-day cut-and-paste job with several glaring grammatical that no native speaker of Coptic would have written. He is quoted as saying “Nothing is going to change my mind, . . . “it is bad to the point of being farcical or fobbish.”

King believes the document may have been copied from earlier Greek text. King insists that the grammatical issues Depuydt raises are either errors of his own analysis or that similar grammatical constructions, including the same mistake as the apparent typo in the online Gospel of Thomas, exist in other Coptic texts.

In order for this to be a forgery, the creator had to find ink from the period and avoid telltale signs of modern creation on a microscopic level. Of course, none of this means that Jesus was married or that this fragment holds any determinative weight.

Of course, if Jesus were married, it would add to the call for priests to be able to marry in the Church. That will take however a bit more than a credit card sized piece of parchment.

Source: Boston Globe

91 thoughts on “Testing of Papyrus That Refers To Jesus’s Wife Shows No Evidence Of Forgery

  1. Sounds to me that the jury is still out on this one. And please tell me why it bothers people so much that priests are to remain celebate?

  2. Thank Dog that Jesus was married and now we can celebrate the notion that marriage is between a man and a woman and not a man and some crucifix. Religion is in the eye of the beholder. And those that behold are dumb schmucks who believe in fairy tales and pastors who fleece them daily.

  3. Sign of the last days with blood moons?

    2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
    2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
    2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
    2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
    2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
    2Ti 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
    2Ti 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  4. As a retired scientist I agree with you….
    I suspect the sample size given to the labs might play a role in the discrepancy, but a thousand year discrepancy is something that should be investigated by both labs.

  5. “History is written by the victors,” a quote that is often attributed to Churchill, in this case the victors are the church fathers several centuries after the presumed birth of Christ. As that age was just as misogynist as our own in many respects, all material regarding women’s history in the Church was and is still under attack today. Women in the first century after Christ experienced the patriarchal constraints as well as the freedoms of early Christian women and there is evidence of a movement toward greater social freedom for women throughout the Roman empire in the first century (http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/199641.pdf). Much needed revisionist history has been written by female and male biblical scholars in recent decades. No, there is still no proof that he was married, that is true, but rabbis–and Jesus was and is considered a rabbi by most scholars–were always married. In any event, we now know that a wide range of issues were contested by early Christian writers and the role of women was one of them. Well-known and respected female scholars, besides K.L. King and E. Pagels, include, among others: E. Schussler Fiorenza, R. Weems, P. Trible, J.A. Foote, Kwok Pui Lan, and C. Kirk Duggan.

  6. Very interesting post Jonathan. I always kinda discount such “findings” even though they add needed debate and analysis of the Christian faith. As a Christian, I pretty much subscribe to the belief that the final contents of the Holy Bible was delivered in divine fashion by the Creator. This is not to say that Jesus was or wasn’t married and in my mind it really doesn’t matter. Thanks for the post. Jeff Metz, http://www.thepoliticalspectator.org

  7. Nick,
    It’s a little more than a guess when done properly—perhaps an educated idea. Scientific instruments need calibration with Carbon-14 dating subject to many variables that need to be addressed. As an example: atmospheric testing of Nuclear Weapons during the 60s can lead to serious errors in Carbon Dating; however, this is a manageable situation with experienced scientists. There are also several other radioactive isotopic ratios that can be used in dating artifacts.

    Now don’t get me started on Climate Change ;) << Notice the smile. I have studied this for a couple of decades and unfortunately it is real. The only model that fits the data, which includes the rapidity of the change, is the emission of green-house gases.

  8. Having read all of what are now called The Lost Gospels, if this is authentic (time wise) it would fall into that category. It is probably (if authentic) part of Gnostic writings written several hundred years after the death of Jesus.

    There was a time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church when it was not uncommon for a priest to be married. There was also a time when the head of some nunneries was known as an Abbess and had the same powers as an Abbot, including the power to ordain priests. The history of the Roman Catholic Church is fascinating.

    As a sidenote it was the University of Arizona that first dated the Shroud of Turin and then backed away from the original dating. It is only fair to expose that i am a graduate of Arizona State University and hold great animus against the UofA.

  9. That booming sound you hear are heads exploading all over the bible belt. And the next sound will be the preachers counting the money coming in.

  10. Can’t we find anything with more teeth to speculate a bout? So who cares whether Jesus was married or not? The Bible is about what his purpose was in this life rather than what his home life was. I am sure if he were married most of you would be bored as it probably would be too tame for you. By the way, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And Noah took only one wife on board as I understand it. Also, those who want to prove the Bible wrong will always find something to drag up and try to dispute it. Oh yes, some of the apostles were married: Matthew 8: 14………. Mark 1: 29-39………….. 1st cor. 7: 5 ……… 1st Cor 9:5 ……………… 1st Peter 3. Read it for yourselves. If it was okay for the Apostles why wouldn’t it be okay for Jesus, he was fully man.

    I would hope that the Priests knew when they joined the priesthood that they were to remain celibate as it is the doctrine of the church they chose, and much of the doctrine is decided by the leaders of the Church. Many of the christian churches, Baptist, Methodist, and others have pastors that are married and we use the same Bible. Unbelievers will try till the end of time to dispel all that is in the Bible so go for it. Truth will win out and most cannot accept the truth. Jesus (married or not) is the Son of God.

    Jeff Metz: Thanks, I totally agree with you.

  11. A Brief History of Celibacy in the
    Catholic Church

    First Century
    Peter, the first pope, and the apostles that Jesus chose were, for the most part, married men. The New Testament implies that women presided at eucharistic meals in the early church.

    Second and Third Century
    Age of Gnosticism: light and spirit are good, darkness and material things are evil. A person cannot be married and be perfect. However, most priests were married.

    Fourth Century
    306-Council of Elvira, Spain, decree #43: a priest who sleeps with his wife the night before Mass will lose his job.
    325-Council of Nicea: decreed that after ordination a priest could not marry. Proclaimed the Nicene Creed.
    352-Council of Laodicea: women are not to be ordained. This suggests that before this time there was ordination of women.
    385-Pope Siricius left his wife in order to become pope. Decreed that priests may no longer sleep with their wives.

    Fifth Century
    401-St. Augustine wrote, “Nothing is so powerful in drawing the spirit of a man downwards as the caresses of a woman.”

    Sixth Century
    567-2nd Council of Tours: any cleric found in bed with his wife would be excommunicated for a year and reduced to the lay state.
    580-Pope Pelagius II: his policy was not to bother married priests as long as they did not hand over church property to wives or children.
    590-604-Pope Gregory “the Great” said that all sexual desire is sinful in itself (meaning that sexual desire is intrinsically evil?).

    Seventh Century
    France: documents show that the majority of priest were married.

    Eighth Century
    St. Boniface reported to the pope that in Germany almost no bishop or priest was celibate.

    Ninth Century
    836-Council of Aix-la-Chapelle openly admitted that abortions and infanticide took place in convents and monasteries to cover up activities of uncelibate clerics.
    St. Ulrich, a holy bishop, argued from scripture and common sense that the only way to purify the church from the worst excesses of celibacy was to permit priests to marry.

    Eleventh Century
    1045-

    Benedict IX dispensed himself from celibacy and resigned in order to marry.
    1074-Pope Gregory VII said anyone to be ordained must first pledge celibacy: ‘priests [must] first escape from the clutches of their wives.’
    1095-Pope Urban II had priests’ wives sold into slavery, children were abandoned.

    Twelfth Century
    1123-Pope Calistus II: First Lateran Council decreed that clerical marriages were invalid.
    1139-Pope Innocent II: Second Lateran Council confirmed the previous council’s decree.

    Fourteenth Century
    Bishop Pelagio complains that women are still ordained and hearing confessions

    Looks the Catholic Church was for it before they were against it?

    And the comedy that is religion goes on………………..

    “….Unbelievers will try till the end of time to dispel all that is in the Bible so go for it….”

    The fact is, believers will try ’til the end of time to use the Bible to justify the Bible and non-believers will continue to get a chuckle from these feeble attempts to try to create reality out of a fantasy. Believers don’t have to look very hard in the Bible to find the inconsistencies, ambiguities, out-right hatred and downright craziness, but they refuse to do so. But I will agree with this statement: “So who cares whether Jesus was married or not?”

  12. Wayne – after your long study of climate change aka global warming, what caused the Medieval Warming Period, in which temperatures were higher than they are now? And what caused The Little Ice Age, that we have just come out of? And what caused the droughts that caused the destruction of the Hohokam, Anasazis, Salados, etc in the Southwest USA? Surely your climate change aka global warming model can tell us. Enquiring minds want to know.

  13. rcampbell – there are two ways to look at this from my view.
    1) Jesus was a good Jewish boy who even at 37 should have been married and was, but the Gospels selected deal mostly with his Passion and ministry, not his early life.
    2) Jesus knows he is God and is going to be crucified and therefore does not want to leave a widow and fatherless children, so does not marry.

  14. J.T: …”grammatical issues Depuydt raises are either errors of his own analysis or that similar grammatical constructions, including the same mistake as the apparent typo in the online Gospel of Thomas, exist in other Coptic texts.”

    The spelling/syntax errors don’t prove a ‘forgery’ The majority of people of that era (even if one accepts the 741 A.D. date) couldn’t read or write. That was the purview of the scribes. We all know that without spell check (I forgot to include the sentence fragment at 1:55) many of us would have spelling errors throughout our posts not to mention syntactical errors eagerly pounced upon by the grammar trolls, So mistakes would be made. I would be much more skeptical if there were NO mistakes at all. All of that to say, who cares if Jesus was married or not?

  15. pay close attention to the WOMAN sitting next to yet away from jesus… it doesnt matter how they paint it that is not A MAN. then look at how peter is looking at that woman with hate in his eyes..

  16. Paul,

    First thanks for my daily dose of sarcasm, it goes so well with a morning cup of coffee. Ok, where was I, oh yes…..

    I’ll make it simple for you: In 2012 another scientist, James Powell, got disgusted with climate change deniers and took it upon himself to do a literature search of all peer reviewed anthropogenic climate change studies for the preceding 21 years. This would be a world wide review of all studies for earth’s current climate change since 1900, not just a select few. Why 21 years? I have no idea, the next time I see him I’ll ask.

    He found 13,950 such papers….let me repeat 13,950. That’s a lot. Of that 13,950 he found a total of 24 papers (that’s not a lot) disputing that man was the primary cause of global warming beginning around 1900.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/01/14/climate_change_another_study_shows_they_don_t_publish_actual_papers.html

    So yes, the only model that can explain the rapidity of climate change witnessed since 1900 is the emission of greenhouse gases. There are no other models, and the questions you posed are simply strawman arguments. You are unable to explain the rapid climate change occurring over the past 100 years so you resort to the time honored practice of changing the subject….

    Please address and/or explain the rapid climate change, global warming, since 1900. If you can find a reason to discount man’s activities then perhaps you can write a paper and raise the above figure of 24 by one.

    You’re welcome,
    Wayne

  17. I cannot explain the rapid change of temperature during the Medieval Warming Period and I am unable to explain the rapid decline in temperatures during The Little Ice Age.

    We know, thanks to the emails of Michael Mann that global warming advocates cut off access to peer reviewed journals for scholar/scientists who did not agree with them. Why Michael Mann kept his job is beyond me.

    Some reading for you from someone who knows more than I
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/10748667/The-game-is-up-for-climate-change-believers.html

  18. shakenmyhead – almost all art historians agree that it is St. John. He is universally painted as an effeminate youth.

  19. I agree with Paul Schulte that the papyrus was likely part of a gnostic gospel written a few hundred years after the death of Jesus. As for celibacy, Amy Alkon correctly notes the problem of inheritance of church property. One of the reasons for the 12th century celibacy mandate was to avoid that problem.

    Although there was a time when abbesses had a great deal of authority, including some sacramental authority (e.g., baptizing infants and hearing confessions), it did not include the power of ordination.

    Since clerical celibacy is a matter of canon law rather than dogma, it can be changed at any time. My belief is that the Church will eventually eliminate that requirement for diocesan clergy (i.e., parish priests), but that celibacy will remain mandatory for the teaching, missionary and contemplative orders.

    Theo provided a list of women scholars of early church history. Among those listed was Elaine Pagels. I met Prof. Pagels when she was still a graduate student at Harvard in the late ’60s. She is a brilliant scholar and writer. For those interested, I highly recommend her books “The Gnostic Gospels” and “Reading Judas.”

  20. This is iffy to prove my point, but worth reading. It is from the online Catholic Encyclopedia on abbesses

    But reference must be made to certain exceptional cases, where Abbesses have been permitted, by Apostolical concession and privilege, it is alleged, to exercise a most extraordinary power of jurisdiction. Thus, the Abbess of the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria la Real de las Huelgas , near Burgos, in Spain, was, by the terms of her official protocol, a “noble lady, the superior, prelate, and lawful administratrix in spirituals and temporals of the said royal abbey, and of all the contents, churches, and hermitages of its filiation, of the villages and places under its jurisdiction, seigniory, and vassalage, in virtue of Bulls and Apostolical concessions, with plenary jurisdiction, privative, quasi-episopal, nullius diacesis.” (Florez, “España sagada,” XXVII, Madrid 1772, col. 578.) By the favour of the king, she was, moreover, invested with almost royal prerogatives, and exercised an unlimited secular authority over more than fifty villages. Like the Lord Bishops, she held her own courts, in civil and criminal cases, granted letters dismissorial for ordination, and issued licenses authorizing priests, within the limits of her abbatial jurisdiction, to hear confessions, to preach, and to engage in the cure of souls. She was privileged also to confirm Abbesses, to impose censures, and to convoke synods. (“España sagrada,” XXVII, col. 581.) At a General Chapter of the Cistercians held in 1189, she was made Abbess General of the Order for the Kingdom of Leon and Castile, with the privilege of convoking annually a general chapter at Burgos. The Abbess of Las Huelgas retained her ancient prestige up to the time of the Council of Trent

  21. Paul,

    [………..”We know, thanks to the emails of Michael Mann that global warming advocates cut off access to peer reviewed journals for scholar/scientists who did not agree with them. Why Michael Mann kept his job is beyond me.

    Some reading for you from someone who knows more than I
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/10748667/The-game-is-up-for-climate-change-believers.html“]

    Your comment about Mann “cutting off access to peer reviewed journals” is bordering on delusional. How would that happen? It’s like me trying to cut off access to the New York Times. Peer reviewed articles are in the public domain and cannot be cut off on the whim of some scientist.

    I’m assuming by emails you are referring to the debunked cut and copy efforts of a computer hacker. This discredited effort has been refuted and shown to be false by a number of scientific review panels. Mann is currently involved with an on-going defamation lawsuit against the “National Review” for many false accusations made against him including this email issue.

    In the late 1990s Michael Mann co-authored a paper that contained the now infamous “hockey stick graph.” This publication rocked the fossil fuel industry by clearly demonstrating a link between the burning of fossil fuels and climate change. Those benefiting from the sale, distribution or export of fossil fuels could not, and cannot, attack the science so they went after the scientist. Mann was accused of lying, falsifying data and has even had his life, and those of his family, threatened. The author mentioned in my earlier post, James Powell, has also had his life threatened.

    The link you provided is confusing at best. Apparently the author is trying to say that since scientists cannot predict the future then the “game is up” for climate change believers. Another author unfamiliar with how science works, at least this time the author acknowledges his lack of scientific understanding.

    A scientific theory has to meet three criteria:

    1. Explain the observation under study.
    2. Make predictions that can be tested and verified.
    3. A scientific theory has to be falsifiable.

    If a scientific theory makes a prediction it is only accepted once it has been tested and verified. Science cannot predict the temperature in New York City on this day in 2050 but science has clearly made climate predictions over the past 30 years that have been tested and verified.

  22. Wayne – according to the emails of Michael Mann and his global warming associates, they made sure they controlled the journals where global warming articles were to be printed. Their people were on the editorial staff and were routinely turning down opposition papers.

    As for climate models, the computer models used by global warming advocates are unable to predict last year’s climate, much less this year or any year down the road.

    Here is an article on the fall of the infamous Hockey Stick
    http://a-sceptical-mind.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-hockey-stick

  23. It was thought for a long time that the Trojan War was a myth, but now were are pretty sure it occurred and where and roughly when. Atlantis was a myth but there is good evidence for at least one site that fits the bill. I could go on, but time does not permit. :)

  24. Paul,

    I’ve already discussed the email issue and won’t again go into that.

    You stated:

    “As for climate models, the computer models used by global warming advocates are unable to predict last year’s climate, much less this year or any year down the road.”

    This is an incorrect statement as the article from Scientific American demonstrates:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/

    Ok, now on to the last point which as a retired scientist (Analytical Chemist) really bothers me and one of many reasons I’m tired of dealing with climate deniers.

    The article you referenced from Sceptical Mind does not contain an author’s name—heck I couldn’t even find a date. Maybe the author’s name exists somewhere but I couldn’t find it, and if the person who wrote this article needs to remain anonymous then that sends up a huge red flag for me. It was then noticed that the comment section for this article is closed with no comments listed—another red flag. When the author’s name could not be found this article was dismissed as not worthy of my time. You will notice that the Scientific American article linked above clearly lists the date and author’s name at the beginning—standard procedure for legitimate publications.

    If you can provide the name of the person responsible for the article you referenced then I will be pleased to review it. Until then, I won’t waste my time.

  25. Hey, I just saw that Last Supper painting in person in Milan just a few weeks ago. Notice also the clear glasses, which did not exist in Christ’s day. DaVinci put a lot of stuff from his own time in that painting.

  26. Wayne, Isn’t this interesting! Yesterday my expertise on prisons, and today your scientific expertise. Thanks much for your informed comment. What is happening is a more diverse group of folks w/ real world knowledge are coming here. It makes for great discussions compared to the hot button threads that just go on interminably. We need both but for me, these are more interesting.

  27. David, I was impressed w/ the lengths taken to preserve The Last Supper. It was quite moving for me to see it up close and have it explained to me by a beautiful Italian woman.

  28. Wayne – I do not deny climate exists. That would just be silly. I live in Arizona. We know climate. :)
    The author of the article you refuse to read uses the nom de plume A Sceptical Mind, just as you use the nom de plume Wayne. I do not see what your problem is. You remain anonymous, he remains anonymous. On this blog alone we have at least four people whose nom de plume contains anon. So?

    You are upset because there is not a comment section. My local newspaper, does not allow comments on most of its articles and those it does you have to sign in with your Facebook account. This would leave you out, since you comment anonymously. Me, I am good to go.

    I don’t know what an analytical chemist does, but I should think since you have spent many years studying global warming, you can defeat the science of an anonymous author. He does list his sources and links to their works so it should not be hard.

    Whether you review it or not makes no personal difference to me, but it will impact what I think of you as a researcher.

    This article has an author and calls into question the climate models used in 2007.
    archnews.osu.edu/archive/anttemps.htm

    There is a habit of some people on here trying to shut down debate by attacking the messenger. I hope you are not one of those.

  29. Jesus also had brothers and sisters, something that some denominations try to erase, wanting Mary to remain a virgin her whole life. Who cares?

  30. maxcat06 – not to put too fine a point it, technically it is about a putative wife for Jesus. Wayne made the first blanket statement on climate change and I responded.

    The Roman Catholic Church cares that Mary remained a virgin her whole life. There are a lot of Catholics out there that care. :)

  31. Schulte: Yeah, the Catholics really want her not to have married and so do I but really, married or not, Jesus was fully man. I must say, this conversation has truly enlightened me……………………..All these researchers who seem to know all. I have never considered myself wise but I do know that the Bible classifies the man who thinks he is wise as only a fool who is full of himself. Heck, don’t ask me the Book, chapter and verse as at present, I don’t have time to look it up. It is in there and I believe my Bible. If anyone doubts it, get out your STRONG’S CONCORDANCE and look it up.

    OH yes, Global warming is a myth

  32. Paul, Funny you ask. Someone in our group asked her about that maybe being Mary Magdalene. The guide said she does not believe that. The guide was apologetic about Judas being the darkest person. She said dark just meant dark hearted. I just chuckled to myself, why doesn’t she just say, Leonardo was not a racist. The fact that the chapel had been bombed during WW2 and survived is interesting.

  33. Nick – I am sure she explained to you that the fresco started falling apart almost immediately after he finished it. And it was the monks who put the door in afterwards. :)

  34. Paul,

    ……”Wayne made the first blanket statement on climate change and I responded.”

    No I didn’t. I first commented on how I would enjoy the philosophical discussion about Jesus having a wife. I then responded about the 1,000 year discrepancy in Carbon-14 Dating.

    While I certainly did comment on climate change I did not bring up the subject.

  35. Islam believes in the virgin birth and does not mention a husband. So by default they probably believe she remained a virgin. However, they see Jesus the same as Adam. God created Adam out of nothing and Jesus was created out of nothing. Other than being a prophet, Jesus has not special standing.

  36. Wayne – this is you at 12:16pm

    Nick,
    It’s a little more than a guess when done properly—perhaps an educated idea. Scientific instruments need calibration with Carbon-14 dating subject to many variables that need to be addressed. As an example: atmospheric testing of Nuclear Weapons during the 60s can lead to serious errors in Carbon Dating; however, this is a manageable situation with experienced scientists. There are also several other radioactive isotopic ratios that can be used in dating artifacts.

    Now don’t get me started on Climate Change ;) << Notice the smile. I have studied this for a couple of decades and unfortunately it is real. The only model that fits the data, which includes the rapidity of the change, is the emission of green-house gases.

    Yeppers, you brought it up. :)

  37. Well, let’s say Jesus was shacking up with some broad and claiming he was married. It could not have been legitimate unless the he and the chick had a state-issued license, right?

    I mean a couple of dudes can get some religious freak to babble some mumbo jumbo and then proclaim them to be married. But, that’s not legit because the state didn’t issue a piece of paper saying it’s legit.

    So, until a valid marriage license – not some photocopy – is produced by the Pope or some other high holy roller, we can safely say that Jesus was just banging some chick that was crashing at his crib.

    That would mean sanctimonious gay guys wearing fancy collars would have a good excuse to not get married to chicks, leaving them more opportunity to diddle choir boys for kicks. Because, after all, if Jesus was really married, legit and everythin, religious babes would be twerking their stuff at the priests trying to get hooked up on a permanent basis. Then they’d find out that these priests ain’t even interested in that action unless they might be bi.

    What would be really freaky is if Jesus was actually married to some dude that was a crossdresser and all the Pharisees just thought the guy was just a really butch chick.

  38. Okay, Blanton say hello to Satan for me and tell him to sizzle you real good.

    Schulte: Correction: God created man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. Also,who gives a rats petutie what Islam believes, I believe in Christ and he is more than a Prophet , besides Islam believes in Mohammed who was supposed to be some kind of prophet for them.. If you believe Christ is nothing more than a prophet, then I hope you enjoy your time with Blanton. when he goes to tell Satan hello. He for mocking Christ and you as a non believer. Maybe you can fire up the old Lazy Boy and try to escape before you sizzle. Couldn’t resist that one.

  39. skeptic – I was just commenting on what Islam believed about Jesus and Mary. Personally, I am agnostic.

    Blanton – I am agnostic and I am offended by what you have written. I am offended on behalf of all Christians. You owe them an apology. A big apology.

  40. In Genesis you will find two different creation narratives:

    1. Eve created from Adam’s Rib.
    2. Adam and Eve created at the same time.

    A. Man was created before animals.
    B. Man was created after animals.

    For me these are not significant differences; however I do believe in the Big Bang Theory of creation. Which by the way was first proposed by a Belgian Catholic Priest, Georges Lemaitre, who at one time was a graduate student of Astronomy at Cambridge. This idea of a Big Bang was first rejected by mainstream scientists as it was believed at the time that we lived in a static universe. It wasn’t until Edwin Hubble discovered that not only are distant galaxies moving away from us, but actually accelerating, that the idea of a Big Bang was re-examined and finally accepted.

  41. In a hundred years it might be possible for man to review this blog and perhaps indulge in commenting on our various views on God and religion. It might be that a nuclear war comes along and wipes out mankind. Or perhaps the planet will veer off course and collide with something. I am betting though that in a hundred years mankind, if alive, will laugh and make fun of those who believe in our time that there is a God, a Hereafter, Heaven, Hell, and all that apCray about Gospel and Holy this and that. I may be wrong. But I think that science and open minds will prevail over time.

  42. As is written in the Bible, the man who thinks he is wise is but a fool, No doubt the nuclear war will come and mankind will be wiped out but those who believe in the Son of God will live forever. Science is a product of mankind and like everything else made by mankind or theorized has been proven but a folly in time or perished.

  43. Skeptic

    So in your view climate change, for which there is a huge body of scientific research and evidence supported by nearly every scientist around the world is a myth while you believe in a deity for which there isn’t a shred of scientific evidence and then use the Bible and it’s plethora of ambiguities, contradictions, mythical notions to support that belief?

    The idea that Zeus and other Greek gods coupled with humans and begat Demi-gods is universally regarded as mythology while the very foundation of Christianity is based on accepting as fact that an invisible being ravaged and impregnated a teenage virgin. Wow! One can only marvel at the ability of the human brain to hold these opposing views simultaneously.

  44. Nick Spinelli

    … The fact that the chapel had been bombed during WW2 and survived is interesting.
    =============
    Sometimes the bombadier was bombed and sometimes Catholic.

  45. Rcampbell:

    Such big long scientific words, gee golly gosh, it has been years since I was required to use such “scientific language” call me a lay person or just a dummy or whatever you wish, I have studied the Bible though and my favorite subjects in college was religion and philosophy. I also have studied the “Gods” as you refer to them (Zeus, and the other Greek mythological gods) and they were proven to be just that…… Mythological gods! Nice to read about and educate oneself on man’s foolishness. ” God”, on the other hand, the father of Jesus is no invisible being, he is an entity. You speak of Zeus, mythical gods that do not exist in reality, they are just that “myths”. Socrates was the first to dare to dispel that notion. As for Mary, the mother of Jesus being impregnated by an invisible being, it was not a being or a myth, call it what you may. It was God’s spirit preceded by an angel to tell her God’s plans. a living God created a miracle in her.

    Of all your myths, God is not one of them as there are thousands of churches today that seem to believe in that mythological being as you so call Him. It seems that of all the myths as you call them, the Bible is the only book that has lingered for thousands of years and still has followers. Show me a scientific proven fact that has outlasted that. If you call my belief in the Bible and the virgin birth as one of just a woman being revenged by an invisible being, you are sadly mistaken my friend. Whether you are atheist, agnostic, muslin, or just plain heathen, I prefer to believe that there is more to life than what man can give us. Look around you, is not the world in a hell of a mess and we have MAN and all his theories and philosophers and of course the politicians to thank for that.

    Oh yes, It is truly amazing what the human brain can do I agree with you on that point. It is much too complicated to have developed from a single cell. What you call a plethora of ambiguities in the Bible is because you do not read it or understand it. Reading it is not necessarily understanding. Try it again with your eyes open. As I said before and is said in the Bible and I paraphrase, the man who thinks he is wise is but a fool who is full of himself. Have a good day. I enjoy a good conversation.

  46. Your logic is somewhat amusing and flawed: You claim that all of the other Gods, such as Zeus, are mythological figures; however, the God you believe in isn’t. And you offer up as proof the thousands of Christian Churches in the world. This is a guess but I’m betting there are far more Buddhist Temples in the world than Christian Churches.

    ……”the Bible is the only book that has lingered for thousands of years and still has followers. Show me a scientific proven fact that has outlasted that.”

    Science doesn’t prove anything, theories are accepted until replaced by a better one or one that works better. However, the concept of an atom has been around far longer than the Bible….starting around 5th to 4th Century BCE. This was also about the time when the principles of Geometry were becoming formalized into written documents. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates began his practice of medicine at ~~ about the time the Old Testament was being written. So there are science and mathematical ideas, still practiced today, that are far older than the Bible.

  47. Wayne – I think you are wrong on the number of churches vs. temples, however I am with you on the rest of your statement.

  48. Paul,

    Could be, I was just thinking of all the Buddhist temples there must be in China and other areas of Asia. I didn’t do a search before posting that comment…

  49. I am a heathen. There are more non Christians in the world population than Christians. Does that mean that they are in the right and in the know? But all of them believe in gods and goddess and holy this and taboo that. Except the heathens. Some heathens even believe in Science. When I fly planes I always look for angels sitting on clouds but all I see now a days is Microsoft on clouds. When I watch Sunday morning television and see all of these bold practicing Christians praising the Lord. I agree. Praise the Lard on Sunday. And Crisco on Monday.

  50. It looks as if I have offended the censorship in some inexplicable manner. I’ve twice tried to post a very general comment on the pride taken in the small community church we belong to. Nothing scandalous, no reference to a specific religion, no derogatory comments about anyone or anything, nothing negative about religion, only a general discussion of how my Church helps others. This blog will not allow my comment to be posted…it would be nice to find out why??
    Will this posting make it? We’ll see in a few seconds.

  51. Hey that posting made it. Let me try the first paragraph of my unposted comments to see if that will be acceptable to the censors.

    Musings on Religion:

    While I believe in evolution of all life and the development of our universe from a primordial singularity that does not prevent me from attending a small Christian Church in our little community.

    Will the preceding paragraph make it?

  52. Wayne wrote:
    ===========
    In Genesis you will find two different creation narratives:

    1. Eve created from Adam’s Rib.
    2. Adam and Eve created at the same time.

    A. Man was created before animals.
    B. Man was created after animals.

    For me these are not significant differences
    =================

    As a church attending unbeliever, it should not be that hard for you to recognize that the first account is the chronological account. This is understood by noticing its emphasis upon time. The second account is the philosophical account representing the blueprint of the architect. It explains the how and why aspects. (I noticed that you reversed the ordering of the narrative events that you selected.)

    If we accept the first narrative as chronological, it becomes really interesting to compare day 5 and day 6. If some kind of evolutionary process was the method used by the Creator to develop species, then reptiles would have evolved from birds rather than the common scientific assumption that birds evolved from reptiles.

  53. Wayne wrote: “Could be, I was just thinking of all the Buddhist temples there must be in China and other areas of Asia. I didn’t do a search before posting that comment…”

    I have travelled to China and other Asian countries, and my sense is that Buddhist temples number in the thousands compared to millions of churches. Note that I am not counting the makeshift “temples” that some erect at the doorsteps of their home or in their living room.

  54. Skeptic wrote: “It seems that of all the myths as you call them, the Bible is the only book that has lingered for thousands of years and still has followers.”

    Skeptic does have a point here. No other book has survived such intense scrutiny nor produced as many admirers as the Bible has. Despite losing popularity in recent times, it is still the most printed book in history. That alone should make it required reading for every scholar.

  55. David,
    Thank you for the first hand information, I should have checked before posting my comment. I’ve done a fair share of traveling but have never made it to China, it must be an interesting country with an obvious wealth of history.

  56. David wrote:

    ………….”it should not be that hard for you to recognize that the first account is the chronological account. This is understood by noticing its emphasis upon time. The second account is the philosophical account representing the blueprint of the architect.”

    No it is not terribly difficult to understand the differences in the two accounts. Your interpretation might apply if the entire book of Genesis was written by one author in a well defined period of time. However, I’ve always attributed the different creation narratives as the writings of more than one author in notably different time periods based upon accounts passed down from one generation to another.

  57. Most Biblical scholars accept that there were 4 human authors involved in
    Genesis. It is thought that during the Babylonian Captivity while the Jews were in two widely separate groups, two sets of stories grew up. When the Captivity ended, rather than deciding which was the better story, the Jews used both and added a redactor to connect the stories. There is one section of Genesis, cannot remember which, that was written by a fourth person.

    There are two accounts of the flood as well.

  58. It’s interesting to see how denying the existence of the Christian Judeo God as the bible describes him is met with anger at what appears to be a reaction to a perceived insult. I’ve heard Christians complain that non Christians treat them as if they are less intelligent or perhaps irrational. I don’t understand why it should be a surprise to Christians that there are those who simply don’t have faith and don’t feel they a lacking if they don’t have faith in an invisible God. I don’t take it personally when a Christian thinks I’m wrong about my ideas regarding a Creator or an afterlife. Having grown up in a fundamentalist evangelical church there is an imperative to spread the gospel and turn the unbelievers into converts, but nothing has ever pushed me further away from those people with that missionary zeal, than the overbearing methods and in your face evangelicalism. Why not dispense with the “sizzling” in hell type statements and don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t believe in the God of your choice, or no God at all. “Live and let live” became my words to live by after my stint in a Fundamentalist church, I’ve never regretted leaving.

  59. I share your thoughts. It doesn’t take a PhD degree to understand that our personal religion is usually that of our parents. Yes, later on as one develops critical thinking skills religious affiliations may be abandoned or changed.

    The Evangelicals you mentioned would be equally ardent supporters of another religion if born into a different culture. As our world shrinks our minds expand enabling one to see the commonality in different religions while also giving one an opportunity to challenge the belief in an unseen God.

    In my efforts to post a comment yesterday, that for some reason was censored, I mentioned how I enjoy the social fellowship in a small Christian Church in our little community. We are involved in many charitable events that bring a positive change in peoples lives—all this without mentioning the word God or discussing any religious concepts. It’s just people helping people, or displaying a sense of humanity toward our fellow man.

    Now I’m wondering if this post will be censored….???

  60. Wayne,
    Nobody is censoring you. Dr. Turley does delete three kinds of comments. Those that “out” somebody, and personal (ad hominem) attacks that are content-free other than the personal attack. Comments that endorse calls to violence have been deleted from time to time.

    The filter is set to block a few specific profane words: Slang term for sexual intercourse, synonym for anus, reference to illegitimate birth, and one or two others.

    On the other hand, the spam filter service, Akismet, is set to “extra grumpy.” Anyone who posts comments regularly, including the weekend contributors and Professor Turley himself, have had comments snagged by Akismet. I just checked and see the spam filter has not been emptied for the past several days. At the time I write this, there are 21,664 comments in the spam filter. That is 1,084 pages of spam that has come in since about last Monday. It is so bad that if somebody does not rescue a comment within about thirty seconds of it disappearing into the filter, finding it is a lost cause.

  61. Wayne – the spam monster ate one of mine today and I don’t know if Charlton happened to rescue it. :) If you report it someone will usually try to rescue it for you. The spam monster is apolitical.
    If you hit the forbidden words – it will tell you that your comment is being moderated. You will never see it again. Just kiss that puppy goodbye. :)

  62. Wayne wrote: “It doesn’t take a PhD degree to understand that our personal religion is usually that of our parents.”

    That’s an interesting comment. I know many people who do not embrace the religion of their parents. As an example from this forum, it sounds like Annie left the religion of her parents without regret. I have pretty much done the same.

    It is interesting that I am a believer who does not attend church or embrace any religion, but you are an unbeliever who attends church and embraces Christianity as a means of helping people in the community.

    The parental culture certainly does have an influence, but many people do buck it. Here’s an interesting report by USA Today:

    “Seven in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 — both evangelical and mainline — who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23, according to the survey by LifeWay Research. And 34% of those said they had not returned, even sporadically, by age 30. That means about one in four Protestant young people have left the church.”

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20070807/d_churchdropout07.art.htm

  63. Thank you for the explanation. My comment was a positive comment about the charitable work our local church does in the community. Other than identify the church as Christian no denomination was used and I never brought up any other religion by name or inference. As a Deacon of our church I am very proud of our various outreach programs helping those in long-term care facilities and visiting terminally ill patients. I can assure you no profanity of any kind was used.

    On a very rare occasion, very rare ;) I have been known to make a ‘biting’ comment or two but only when I’m grumpy. These grumpy type comments have never been removed and I was quite surprised to have a nice positive general comment about a church’s community involvement removed.

    Anyway, over the past several posts I’ve covered all the points in the removed comment so all is well.

    Wayne

  64. Yes that is what I said; however, I should have been more specific about the ages of the family members that were referenced. I went on to say that as we develop more sophisticated thinking skills many find that their family’s religion does not meet their goals or expectations.

    Children up to a certain age are certainly not given parental options of what church to attend. Parents who attend church take their children and that’s typically the religion with which one identifies at an early page. Then as adults, or even earlier, many do as you mentioned: they leave the church of their parents.

    When living in San Francisco I attended Glide Memorial Church primarily because of their community involvement, not for the spirituality. And I only lived three blocks away. ;)

    I attend church primarily for the social engagements, fellowship, and just being around dedicated people who are genuine in helping those in need. When in school, a class in comparative religion was taken that proved to be very interesting and has carried over to my current life. The pastor of our church explores and explains the historical meaning of words or phrases in their original language…he presents a sermon almost as if it is a college lecture which to me is very interesting. If he was a fire and brimstone type guy I would not be attending.

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