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Posts tagged ‘Glenn Peoples’

New Evidence Suggests that Someone Wrote “Jesus” and “Wife” on the same bit of papyrus in the 4th century

Glenn’s got this one covered. I’ll pull out a few quotes.

In a statement released by Harvard University, Professor Karen King says “Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married, even though no reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim,” This appears to be a strange reversal of duty. If anyone wishes to claim that there was a woman who was married to Jesus, surely it is they who would need to provide “reliable historical evidence exists to support that claim.” What is more, the fact that all the biographical material written about Jesus, right up to this scrap in the fourth century, no not include references to him having a wife is a significant fact. Given the reverence shown in many parts of the Christian world, even from an early time, to the mother of Jesus, the natural expectation we should have is that if Jesus had been married, his wife would have been singled out as an especially important person. But the reality is that none of the accounts of the life of Jesus that we have even make reference to such a person existing – until this snippet appeared, dating from the fourth century.

The Gnostic heresy is pretty well documented, so the fact that there’s a bit of papyrus from thte 4th century is one big yawn.

The Huffington Post (no surprises there) called the discovery “shocking,” although who is actually shocked is anyone’s guess. Massaging the notion that Jesus being married is a fairly common suggestion, it throws this wee gem into the mix: “The life of historical Jesus is often a matter of controversy, and this is not the first time it’s been proposed that Jesus was married. Most recently, Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code” depicted Jesus as being married to Mary Magdalene.” That may not be the best way to make the claim sound more plausible (but there’s at least a chance the Huff’s writers and editors aren’t aware of that).


But wait, here’s a chance for the media to attack the big, bad Roman Catholic Church.

“Angered” is hardly the word (perhaps the writer is attempting to connect dots to the angry protests over an anti-Islamic film happening as I write this). The film was more of a laughing-stock among early church historians and New Testament scholars. But notice that the idea that Jesus was not married is here presented as the position represented by the Catholic Church. The fact is, quire regardless of church affiliation, Jesus being married is simply not a view taken seriously across the spectrum of New Testament scholars – and churches for that matter. It’s a cute attempt to imply that it’s the Catholic Church in one corner and the rest of us in the other, but such is not reality.

I think some Christians were angered by the The Da Vinci Code, but that is hardly worth writing home about. The movie presented easily verifiable lies about the christian faith, it’s hardly news that some people would be angered by that. But there were (of course) no riots or ambassadors being dragged through the streets and killed.

Update: In case you hadn’t heard, the fragment has now been declared absolutely fake since it contains an error that only occurs in a PDF(yes, really!) of the so-called “Gospel of Thomas”.

Mark Regnerus

Good article by Glenn Peoples on a study that found same-sex partners did not make the best parents.

Glenn examines some of the criticism of the author.

Look through the list of factors that David Sessions (the author of the above article). These are listed as things that Gays and Lesbians should be alarmed by when seeing this study:

  • The research project was led by a person who engages in “attention grabbing” research
  • This man’s findings sometimes agree with what social conservatives think about the sexual revolution.
  • This man was once a professor at a Christian College
  • This man wrote a cover story in a Christian magazine, saying that Christians should encourage marriage at a young age.
  • This man wrote an article claiming that the sexual revolution has had some negative consequences for women.
  • This man’s latest research (the study on same-sex parenting) was funded by groups that are not socially liberal, but socially conservative instead.

Quite a modest set of charges when dealing with this sort of thing. Which of course suggests strongly that the guy is sound, but leans conservative in his convictions.

Oh, and if you think those things are legitimate reasons to ignore research, then I feel very sorry for you.

Glenn then points out that the study is far from a slam dunk anyway. It seems that the offence just may be (and this is my opinion) that it wasn’t a ringing endorsement.

So there you have it. It’s not the bombshell revelation-to-end-all-revelations study that settles every argument that some might have hoped for, and it’s not the atrocious omg-I-can’t-believe-anyone-would-publish-this piece of trash that some are claiming it to be. What the appearance of this study has done, however, is to again allow the ugly side of intellectual policing to rear its head. Some things just shouldn’t be allowed to be said, so when they are, they must be shouted down by any disreputable means necessary.

Have a read and make your own mind up. As I write, there’s two comments – the first a vicious attack on Glenn for his “hateful” criticism, which is of course completely ironic as the second comment says.

I goggled Mark Regnerus (he’s the guy who did the study) and found this article. It is the sort of response that liberals should be making, but starts by noting the response that liberals have been making.

Mark Regnerus is a hateful bigot. He’s an ultra-conservative with links to Opus Dei. His new research paper on same-sex parenting is “intentionally misleading” and “seeks to disparage lesbian and gay parents.” His “so-called study doesn’t match 30 years of scientific research that shows overwhelmingly that children raised by parents who are LGBT do equally as well.” His “junk science” and “pseudo-scientific misinformation,” pitted against statements from the American Psychological Association and “every major child welfare organization,” deserve no coverage or credence.

That’s what four of the nation’s leading gay-rights groups—the Human Rights Campaign, the Family Equality Council, Freedom to Marry, and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation —declared in a joint statement this week. Flanked by a mob of bloggers, they’re out to attack Regnerus’ motives, destroy his credibility, and banish his study from the scientific record. Even Slate contributor E.J. Graff says “Slate‘s editors should be ashamed” for publishing Regnerus’ “dangerous propaganda.”

Nice people, aren’t they?

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