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Response to SarahM32 (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:43 PM

4. Even if the Fragment is Genuine,

you can't really derive any useful historical information from a 3rd-century document like this.

Unlike a lot of people here, I absolutely think that Jesus existed. But the biographies in the Gospels are largely made up from existing stories. That's why people say Jesus was only a story based on Mithra, Dionysis, Appolinius, and other ancient religious figures. Even one of the eariest Church fathers, Justin Martyr, was shocked to learn of those parallels and opined that Satan must have inspired the earlier stories.

Jesus was seen mostly as a heavenly figure by Gnostics, who made up all kinds of stories about him. They were probably intended as symbolic. Even if they were intended as history, the writers would probably have had less material to work with than you and me.

The best indications that Jesus didn't have a wife are (1) that his brother James didn't and (2) that whenever the Gospels discuss Jesus and his relatives, every family member is mentioned except a wife. It is an argument from absence, but it is still striking.

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