Lion of the Blogosphere

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

Harvard University reports that a papyrus fragment known as the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife (because it mentions Jesus’ wife) is authentically old, dating to the 8th century A.D., but is probably a copy of a much older gospel.

What does this demonstrate? That there were a lot of gospels written, and many disagree with the four official gospels, which are probably no more true than any of the unofficial ones. I continue to believe that Jesus was not an historical person, but a myth believed by early Christians who wrote many divergent gospels based on those myths.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 10, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Posted in Religion

29 Responses

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  1. You continue to make the foolish argument that Jesus was not a historical person. Even an atheist should have no problem seeing that Jesus was a historical person, even if he was not divine.

    The thing is, every single religion or religious movement from ancient to modern times, and there are many, many examples, had a real person at the middle of its founding.

    Even something obviously fabricated before our eyes, such as Scientology, had a dude in the middle of it for people to congeal around.

    Did the early Christians get themselves eaten by lions because they were just that loyal to a conspiracy with no center? Even mobsters have the Godfather, who is not a made-up person.

    Dan

    April 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    • Interestingly, the Godfather’s moral codes and culture are completely fabricated. Mobsters then started copying it.

      As far as Jesus is concerned, I don’t see a problem with him being married, and there isn’t anything in the four gospels of the NT that preclude him from being married. It simply isn’t mentioned.

      When people say that this is probably copied from a much older manuscript, they are basically saying “I don’t know, but this is what I’d like to be true.”

      Half Canadian

      April 10, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      • The mob was already a shadow of itself by the time the Godfather was released.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        April 10, 2014 at 7:35 PM

  2. I used to think the same way, but after first researching about Paul, who I assume made it up, since his writings pre-date the others, I realized he was arguing against a group already established – the Gnostics, which made me question how two groups could have formed so rapidly, especially if Paul just pulled it all out of thin air, or Jewish eschaton mythologies. So after further reading (mostly books by Bart Ehrman) and in particular his “Did Jesus Exist” book, I have to say I am now reasonably convinced of a historical Joshua-bar-Joseph. The other stuff – ummmm – no. Dr. Ehrman is a new testament scholar, and an agnostic, so I greatly value his opinions on the matter.

    Being an agnostic/atheistic (i.e. not a militant atheist – I respect those who believe. I think it’s a biological or evolutionary psych mechanism to protect ourselves from the damaging effects of nihilism (a.k.a reality).

    Long time lurker, first time commenter

    Jack Cade

    April 10, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    • Nihilism is only a problem to people who have no hobbies. Everybody needs a couple projects to keep them engaged and allow them to “level up” in relation to themselves and their peers. For anybody who has that, life remains interesting and inspiring, and such doesn’t require any belief in anything in particular. Obviously, hedonism is unsustainable, as people max out on sensory pleasure, which leads to boredom followed by self-destructive behavior. No god is required to fix this problem though. Just pick up a couple of hobbies.

      anon666

      April 10, 2014 at 9:42 PM

  3. I’m not religious nor was I brought up in the christian faith – I do believe Jesus was a historical person whose stories were highly embellished to serve as underpinnings for the faith.

    uatu

    April 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

  4. The real question is: why does this professor want it to be true?

    ASF

    April 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

  5. The Book of Yenta

    peterike

    April 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM

  6. The thesis that the Catholic Church is only the first level of initiation into a Mystery Cult centered around Jesus is an interesting one. The Gnostics were the practicing the next stages, so the theory goes.

    At the Catholic stage, the religion is full of magic. Magic water, magic smoke, magicians calling down the spirit of God into holy objects which have healing powers etc. The Novice, baptism of water, is taught to take everyhing literally. Jesus really walked on water, rose from the dead etc. Words have power.

    The Adept, baptism of fire, leans that the teachings should not be taken literally. Literalism helps to inspire belief and compels the novice to learn more. Of course, it also helps the dull, the uneducated or children to follow beneficial teachings. However, the adept should use them as study aides to guide himself towards enlightenment and dig out the true meanings behind the parables.

    The third level of initiation supposedly taught that an enlightened Master can form his own morality based on his deep understanding of the meaning of it all with the goal being to achieve spiritual immortality, like Jesus/Osiris.

    The early Catholics wiped out the other branches and decided which gospels would be accepted as truth. The catechism was carefully designed to stamp out all evidence of the Gnostic heresy. Everything was to be taken literally and the only way to achieve eternal life for the soul was through working with middlemen, the priests and bishops.

    Jesus may be a compound figure formed from messianic Osiris/Horus/Dionysus/Mithras etc. and some Essenes rebel who made a play to be King of the Jews, bashed the Temple money lenders, had a wife, and was crucified for his troubles.

    Ulick McGee

    April 10, 2014 at 2:23 PM

  7. Actually, the belief that Jesus had a “secret wife” has been quite common in Catholic circles at various times in history, especially during the Middle ages. Even Martin Luther wrote that he gave credence to some of the gnostic-type accounts of Jesus having a wife.

    Camlost

    April 10, 2014 at 3:45 PM

  8. Actually, the test merely proves that the physical papyrus is old (lots of blank papyrus survives from antiquity). It proves nothing about the text that’s written on it, which is clearly fraudulent.

    Keyser Söze

    April 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    • “Clearly fraudlent” –> Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

      O'Nonymous

      April 11, 2014 at 7:02 AM

  9. OK Lion I’m confused. You believe Jesus had a wife, but not that Jesus existed.

    Mike Street Station

    April 10, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    • Where did I write that I believed that Jesus had a wife?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      April 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    • Jesus never existed. And his wife’s name was Stacey.

      peterike

      April 10, 2014 at 6:49 PM

  10. I think it likely Jesus was an actual, historical figure. If so then it’s likely he would have married. Most people do.

    destructure

    April 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

  11. What’s your opinion of the Prophet Mohammed?

    Bottledwater

    April 10, 2014 at 5:49 PM

  12. which are probably no more true than any of the unofficial ones.

    what a troll. the gospel of john is crap, but the synopotic gospels are infinitely better than any of the others. read them. it’s obvious.

    btw, forming the possessive of any singular noun ending in s with s’, ancient name or not, is american and prole.

    jorge videla

    April 10, 2014 at 6:29 PM

  13. Was this papyrus a romance novel of its day written by some housewife?

    The Undiscovered Jew

    April 10, 2014 at 7:36 PM

  14. I believe Atwill has the most plausible scenario for the origin of the jesus myth–read his book CAESAR’S MESSIAH.

    unperson192

    April 10, 2014 at 9:54 PM

  15. The odd thing is that the four canonical gospels probably are the earliest and more accurate accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings. Including John. The various non-canonical gospels generally are dated later and, if anything, are more fantastic.

    The four don’t mention a wife, but it could be because she was not thought important enough to mention. They mention very little about Jesus before the last three years of his life.

    Ed

    April 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

  16. Gnosticism is the oldest of the Christian heresies. It’s main fallacy is doing what Eric Voegelin called “immanentizing the eschaton.”

    map

    April 10, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    • How can you talk about “immanentizing the eschaton” without talking about the Olivet discourse? “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away” until “all the tribes of the earth … see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24). Is it, then, that Jesus was a heretic?

      Greg Pandatshang

      April 11, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      • Carp! I only just realized that I’ve misunderstood what “immanentizing the eschaton”. Please disregard and ignore.

        Greg Pandatshang

        April 11, 2014 at 6:26 PM

  17. Your conclusion is mildly overstated. Mark has a special status because it appears to be the oldest of the known Gospels. Matthew and Luke are based primarily on Mark, which means they have some early elements. John is a whole ‘nother matter.

    That said, I suspect Mark had earlier sources that we don’t have access to. Clearly, many early works didn’t survive to the present; most notably including the Q document which was a secondary source for Matthew and Luke. The early heresiologists mention various gospels that we don’t have copies of. The large fragment of the Gospel of Peter that we do have might contain elements that are older than Mark (Peter per se is clearly a patchwork from different sources, including the canonical gospels and others that are otherwise unknown).

    The obscure texts that we do have access to tend to come from Egypt, for a coupla few reasons, in particular the dry climate. They don’t necessarily represent a random cross-section of what people in the ancient world were reading.

    Greg Pandatshang

    April 11, 2014 at 6:18 PM

  18. Dan Brown was right!

    Glengarry

    April 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM


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