I Guess I Can Get My Rosary Out of the Trash

I guess I can get my Rosary out of the trash and pull my statue of Our Lady down off the closet  shelf. 

It turns out that Jesus didn’t have a wife, after all. In fact, the “great find” which was supposed to “prove” that He had a wife isn’t a for-real artifact from the fourth century at all.

It was a year or two ago that somebody put a “special” on television revealing the location of Jesus’ grave. Not, mind you, the grave from which He rose from the dead, but the more ordinary kind of grave where when they put you there, you stay.

Then there are the annual was-Judas-a-misunderstood-revolutionary-who-was-just-trying-to-test-Jesus Easter specials. Let’s not forget the so-called historical Jesus Christmas shows which “prove” basically that Jesus never existed. We’ve got the Moses never lived Passover pageants and the Apostles hid Jesus’ body and then lied all the way to their own martyrdom Lenten fare.

I won’t even go into the was-Jesus’-real-father-a-Roman-soldier-on-leave extravaganzas that can pop up anytime of the year. Those are just too cute to talk about.

Every one of these goofball “scholarly” presentations has something in common with all the others: Each of them is conjecture presented as fact. Add to that their obvious agenda and I come to a question of my own:

Why in the name of ponzi schemes and intellectual shell games does anyone with half a brain pay attention to this tripe?

What would it matter if the piece of manuscript on which Jesus was supposed to have talked about his wife hadn’t been a fraud? Even the person who put it forward said that it was written four hundred years after the Resurrection. That’s the equivalent of me writing something about King James I on a piece of paper and then some idiot in the year 2800 coming across it and telling everyone that what I had written “proved” that say, King James I was ten feet tall and rode a unicorn to church.

If they believed that, they’d be stupid. The same way that people who get all excited about these supposed “proofs” concerning Christ the Lord are stupid.

We can’t stop people from making fools of themselves with this stuff. Their naked agenda to shake people’s faith appears to be irresistibly compelling to them. They just keep pumping it out, one shot across the bow of faith after another, and every time they do it, some silly sap somewhere takes them seriously.

But as for me, I think the next time this happens, I’m just going to switch the channel. That’s a lot easier than fishing my Rosary out of the trash and pulling my statue of Our Lady down off the closet shelf every few weeks.

  • http://www.newcovenantchristianministries.org Rev. Janice Robinson

    All I can say to that is, Amen.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ JessicaHof

    The idea that something from an heretic source in the 4th century tells us anything except that unorthodox sources have unorthodox ideas seems to be news to the MSM. Odd.

  • Bob Seidensticker

    “Why in the name of ponzi schemes and intellectual shell games does anyone with half a brain pay attention to this tripe?”

    Uh … because these are natural explanations that are far more plausible than the supernatural one? Or is this a trick question?

    And I didn’t follow your opening point. Is there new evidence that shows the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” to be a fraud or something? I hadn’t seen that.

    I just wrote my own reaction to the manuscript. As far as I’ve heard, it’s still considered a 4th-century document, but I could be out of the loop.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bob, see here, over at God and the Machine.

    • Fr Don Malin

      And you can bet this will show up again in a few years on the History Channel, or A & E or a PBS special.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Tom McDonald, over at God and the Machine, says that the Smithsonian ALREADY has one in the works!

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Good guess! Tom McDonald, over at God and the Machine, says that the Smithsonian ALREADY has one in the works.

  • Arkenaten

    People pay attention to this tripe in the same manner as they are prepared to part with hard earned Shekels for a book claiming the discovery of Noah’s Ark. Or why when Bagatti dug up a few oil lamps
    was the claim made that Nazareth had been found?
    Or when Ron Wyatt claimed he had found chariot wheels on the floor of the Red Sea that this was proof that Moses existed.
    I dunno, you tell me why?

  • FW Ken

    There were whole libraries written and lost by the various communities of Christians and Christian heretics over the centuries. Part of our problem is this notion that there was ever some unified Christian witness in a single organization, I.e., that there was an ideal time or place that was neat and tidy. In reality, people were entering and exiting the local churches individually and in groups from the beginning. Local churches went into and out of Communion with each other on a fairly regular basis. Bishops kept long lists of who they were and were not in Communion with. The real life of the Church had always been messy, and remains so today.

    The point is that even if this scrap of parchment is authentic, accurately translated, and turns out to be something more significant than a bit of local gossip about some guy named Jesus, so what?

  • http://1catholicsalmon.com clearlysalmon

    Rebecca, I didn’t read anything at about this ‘find’, because it’s utter tripe. I too wonder about those who do look into these ‘findings’ Perhaps we are disinterested because we are Christian?

  • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

    Part of the reason why these things happen is that the people who do them have no idea of the difference between scientific evidence and historical evidence. In science, finding a black swan is evidence that the theory that all swans are white is wrong. In history, other things being equal, it probably means that someone upset a pot of ink all over the poor creature. There is a thing called the lectio difficilior, which says that “difficult” readings of particular texts should not be discarded because they may contain material that does not suit a later consensus, but it does not apply here; this is not a lectio difficilior of an actual gospel, it’s a context-less fragment probably written when all the gospels had been in existence and widely read for three hundred solid years, and which can’t even be shown to belong to a Christian context. One suggestion springs to mind. According to Eusebius, during the great persecution of Diocletian and his successors, the government had fraudulent accounts of Jesus published to invalidate the known story. These fakes were widely discredited and none of them has been preserved. Could it be that we now have the first instance of a persecution fake? The time seems suitable.

    • Arkenaten

      Makes you wonder how much truth can be ascribed to Tacitus then, does it not, as this is the only known account of Nero’s supposed persecution.
      I’d rather put my money on Gibbons.

    • http://raymondjclements.wordpress.com Raymond Clements

      Well Said!

  • http://raymondjclements.wordpress.com Raymond Clements

    Dear Mrs Rebecca Hamilton,

    I am not a fan of Catholicism. However your posts and active role in abortion are to be applauded.
    You do not seem to be what I would call a normal Catholic. You have wisdom and spiritual understanding which is not common in Catholics at all. What is your opinion on being Born Again?
    I was sent the article about Jesus having a wife from an atheist who loves trying to yank my chain, but he and others all show their lack of basic Bible doctrine and the basic straightforward scriptures. They are always looking for bogey man in the bushes. I do not know why as they say they do not believe in a God and thus Jesus should not even feature on their radar. To say there is no God really means that you know everything to make this statement.
    Your Brother in Christ
    RaymondTheBrave
    PS Thanks for reading some of my posts a liking some of them.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Raymond. I am a grateful member of the Catholic Church. As for being born again, I think it is an absolute truth that as Christians we are all new creatures in Christ, i.e., born again.

  • Fabio P.Barbieri

    Now let’s see, how do I say this? Politely? Naaaah. This is both irrelevant and utterly groundless. First, what Tacitus writing at the beginning of the second century about events in 67AD has to do with a fourth- or fifth-century anonymous snippet is something you totally fail to explain. All the ancients may live at the same to you, but the difference between the widely-circulated account written by a man who was a consul and a senator within living memory of them (and thus had full access both to many eyewitnesses and to all the official records) in the 110s AD and some kind of obscure and unprovenanced snippet from 300 years later has, I assure you, some significance. There were plenty of people still alive who remembered Nero personally, and believe me, they would all read Tacitus’ work the minute it was written down, and give him their opinion. A false account of his crimes would not survive their scrutiny. Besides, there is absolutely no reason to doubt Tacitus’ account of the injustice done to people he despised; whereas Gibbon’s ugly and distorting prejudice against Christianity is, alas, a matter of record and still poisonously influential. To give one instance, Hypatia of Alexandria was indubitably a Christian herself, and so all his disastrously influential screed about rational Hellenic philosophy murdered by Christian superstition is so much nonsense. There are plenty of such instances. Don’t trust Gibbon.

    On the other hand, it is true that better and more recent historians have given reason to doubt the supposed persecution against Christians ascribed by later Christian sources to Domitian son of Vespasian.

    • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ The Ubiquitous

      Hypatia of Alexandria was indubitably a Christian herself

      Haven’t heard this claim. Source?

      • Arkenaten

        @Fabio
        If you say so.

      • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

        Source, myself, based on recent studies. Here is a review of one: http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1995/95.07.07.html . Note especially the two incredible sentences in the middle of the review: What is even more significant is the Christian affiliation of nearly all her attested or hypothetical students. This would suggest that quality education was still valued above the specific religious affiliation of the educator. Um, would it not rather suggest that the philosophy Hypatia taught was Christian? There is not in fact one shred of evidence that she was any kind of pagan, except for a late and unreliable Coptic martyrology. To the contrary, the best evidence shows her cooperating with Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria; being treated with reverence by Sinesius, even after he was made a Bishop; and significantly being ignored when Sinesius was trying to wiggle out of the appointment – as if he knew that the most prestigious and influential of all his acquaintances would tell him, go and do your duty to God. Her murder was the kind of gang-related horror to which Alexandria and Egypt in general had been prone for centuries, and proves less than nothing except that eighteenth-century rationalists like Gibbon and nineteenth-century Catholic haters like Kingsley had a common interest in saddling the historical Church with every obscure crime they could dig up.

        • Arkenaten

          Had a bad day, Fabio? )

          • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

            I take it you have no answer? in that case, a suggestion. It is very unwise to draw attention to your own lack of answer by attempting snide little remarks on your opponent’s mood, or any other irrelevant issue. If you can’t answer a point, keep silent.

        • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ The Ubiquitous

          In as much as anything’s a slam dunk about Hypatia, maybe, but nothing’s a slam dunk about Hypatia, right? I mean, she’s pretty obscure, and from a period when obscurity clouds most folks who should be better known than at-best admired philosophers in chaotic Alexandria.

          • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

            No, I don’t think it is obscure. Hypatia looms large in the life of the best-attested Christian leader. Unfortunately, there used to be a website with his whole works translated into English, which seems to have vanished, and I lost the downloads I’d made from it. But I can tell you this with certainty, that if we did not have the story of her murder – and the late Coptic slanders – to complicate matters, there would be little doubt as to Hypatia’s views. Sinesius was her prize student, introduced to the royal court; and conversely, he found the (genuinely pagan) Academy of Athens, where remarkable philosophers such as Marinus and Proclus taught, hollow and dead compared with her philosophy. Now what was the philosophy that Sinesius preached? When trying to wiggle out of the unwelcome appointment to Bishop, he said that he was out of sympathy with Christian teaching on three points: ” For my own part, I can never persuade myself that the soul is of more recent origin than the body. Never would I admit that the world and the parts which make it must perish. This resurrection, which is an object of common belief, is nothing for me but a sacred and mysterious allegory”. These are serious issues. But bear in mind that Sinesius had an excellent reason to exaggerate any difference he may have had with church teaching – he was trying to dodge the terrible responsibility of being a Bishop – and that therefore he has certainly played any such issue as high as he can; and then think what he leaves out – what Sinesius, by implication, accepts (and was to treat magnificently in his sermons)! The Trinity, Creation in the sense of the dependency of all things existing on the will of God, the Fall, the Devil, Hell, the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord, Judgment and eternal life. There are bishops in the Church today who believe less of the Creed than Sinesius said he did when he was trying to prove himself unsuited to be a bishop. And his other argument against being one? That he wasn’t good enough for “such a high and divine priesthood”. Does this sound like a pagan to you? As it happens, Sinesius turned out to be an excellent bishop, honest, courageous, a leader of his people in trouble, and an amazing preacher and poet. THIS was the philosopher whom the philosophy of Hypatia had wrought. And while he still addressed her as “THE philosopher” when he was a Bishop, as a reverent student would to a great teacher, there is one occasion in which he seems to deliberately avoid her attention and does nothing, but nothing, to connect with her: and that is when he is trying to avoid the episcopate. That, I should say, speaks by itself, especially in that if he took his philosophical objections seriously, he would certainly run them by THE philosopher, the woman who had taught him. If he did not, and if he did not seek her vastly influential help – the help that had got him to the imperial court in distant Constantinople! – in this central crisis of his life, there can be only one reason: he knew that she would dismantle his objections in three seconds flat, and that she would tell him to go, take up his Cross and do his duty. For heaven’s sake, what could be clearer? That recent research has proved that nearly every traceable student of Hypatia is a Christian only confirms the point. And another matter. Hypatia, as a pagan philosopher, cuts a pretty strange figure. Her obstinate, and even rather cruel (she got rid of a besotted suitor in a somewhat unpleasant manner, by showing him her tampons) insistence on virginity was not a virtue pagan philosophy recognized, and even though Plato is said to have had a few female students, a female head of a philosophical school had never happened before, and never would again, because Greek civilization was quite fantastically misogynistic – pretty much as bad as Islam without the promise of Paradise. On the other hand, this opinionated, philosophical, consecrated virgin who inspires awe and admiration in her followers and fury in her opponents sounds exactly like a Christian type – St.Catherine of Siena or St.Theresa of Spain, to quote the two most famous. I have written a note here -http://fpb.livejournal.com/368548.html – about the effect of monasticism on the status of women, to show that this is not a random event.

          • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ The Ubiquitous

            While you have the preponderance of the evidence, it is all suggestive rather than explicit evidence. Other than to say this, I am not qualified to disagree.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              I have ALL the evidence. The so-called Jesus was married manuscript has none. It is a fraud.

          • Fabio P.Barbieri

            I’ll accept the preponderance of the evidence.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              !!

    • Arkenaten

      I mustn”t trust Gibbon, yet you expect me to trust you, a Christian?
      Smile….okay, I’ll trust you, then.

      • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ The Ubiquitous

        Reasons for not trusting Gibbon go far beyond his mere paradigm. It goes to his manner of his writing — propogandic polemics, explicitly exaggerating when not outright fabricating.

        • Arkenaten

          While Gibbon’s writing might be considered suspect in some areas, his take on the supposed Christian persecutions under Nero is very insightful. And if we are going to pull Gibbon to shreds then why not any Christian/Theological historian? They surely, would have much greater motivation to ensure the ‘end justifies the means’, wouldn’t you say?
          We can begin with Eusebius for a kick-off….
          Furthermore, Tacitus is the only historian of his day/era to have made any mention of Nero’s persecution; and even his account is not contemporary. This is somewhat unusual considering the severity of the ‘fire’, and in light of a belief among certain latter day historians that Tacitus might very well have suffered interpolation in a similar manner as did Josephus, Testemonium Flavius then I am inclined to be very sceptical regarding anything concerning Christian claims or claimed by Christians as ‘gospel. And in context of this post, anything that might allude to Jesus or ancient Christians in general.
          But, we are all entitled to an opinion, I guess.

          • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

            The issues with the Testimonium Flavianum (to give it its correct name) are well known and universally accepted – hardly one scholar thinks that it was written as it came to us, and the only question is whether it is a rewriting of a more negative description or an outright insertion. On the other hand, this is the first I hear of any reputable scholar doubting Tacitus. Only an idiot would compare the Testimonium Flavianum, which drips with admiration for Jesus to the point where it as good as declares its own fraudulency, with the Tacitean story, in which the Christians are described as monsters hated by the whole human race, and while Tacitus seems to disapprove of their unjust punishment, he also implies that they were more deserving victims than anyone else. It is flagrant to anyone with an ear for how people speak and write (that excludes Gibbon) that this cannot be the work of the same kind of interloper who wrote or rewrote the Testimonium. The notion is ridiculous, and the arguments you mention are no arguments at all. Who ever said that every historian is bound to describe every event in his period? Tacitus only dedicates a few words to the murder of the Christians, and his is the most detailed account of the period we have; there is no reason at all for Suetonius or Cassius Dio to speak of something so fleeting, and, in their eyes, far less significant than the charges of incest and Nero’s antics on the stage and at the Olympics. The Neronian persecution is clearly – if without names – alluded to in the Letter of Clement, which is even earlier than Tacitus, and probably also in Revelation – if the “two witnesses” who are murdered by the Beast (admittedly Nero) in his own capital city are in fact Peter and Paul, as I think likely. But then you are not willing to listen to any argument that involves Christian witness – an unreasonable and thoroughly stupid attitude, and one that would disqualify any serious scholar and indeed anyone who wanted to do more than assert a supposed right to have a (stupid) opinion.

          • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ The Ubiquitous

            It is not a question of motivation but action.

            (Christians as Christians, for their part, also have a very strong motivation to tell the truth. Materialists as materialists are only concerned with winning. However, there are Christians in name who are sinners or materialists, and there are inconsistent materialists, but this is completely a side issue.)

  • Arkenaten

    % Fabio.
    Only fair I think…..
    For those who are not familiar with the allusion Fabio mentions in reference to Clement it is the word “calamities” found in a sentence about problems Christians are having. And although Clement makes no mention of a Roman Emperor in this piece, neither Diocletian let alone Nero, the assumption, based on the plural, is that he is referring to these.

    For the sake of the gist of this post, and of respect for Rebecca’s and her request to stay on topic I’ll call it quits for now, Fabio, otherwise I’ll be debating the merits of historians like Bassus, or the Nicene Creed or even the supposed Divinity of Jesus, God forbid!
    Oh, and thank you, Fabio for the correction about Josephus work, it was indeed the Testicular Flavianum.
    Good show!

    • http://fpb.livejournal.com/ Fabio P.Barbieri

      Allow me to inform anyone who might be misled by this nonsense that Clement explicitly mentioned the deaths of Peter and Paul due to “jealousy”. I suggest you bother reading the original texts rather than whatever tendentious and ill-informed atheist propaganda gave you that piece of nonsense. As for your sorry attempt at being funny, first you show that you know no Latin, then you get vulgar about it. Is this intended to convince anyone of anything?

  • Ted Seeber

    Warning: The internet is forever. Especially with cloud storage. Your legacy will now be claiming that King James was ten feet tall and rode a unicorn to church.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      :-)

  • http://theraineyview.wordpress.com Serena

    LOL, imagine thinking King James I rode a unicorn to church. That was King James II. King James I rode a Manticore.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Now THAT would be a ride! (If he wasn’t devoured, of course.)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X