Sheesh. As when my dad starting singing My Humps, I'd never have made the "Jesus Phone" joke if I knew that pasty anchor folk on CNBC would start using it. "Can the iPhone live up to the hype?"
Yes, but I'm afraid the Jesus Phone reference MUST DIE....after another week or two.

Here's the post where it was originally used. It was in December 2006, before the iPhone was unveiled at Macworld 2007. And it was in a post about the Pope asking folks if they needed a savior in the day of the Internet, not about the iPhone itself:

The Origins of the Jesus Phone Terminology

The Pope warned all Gizmodo readers this past Christmas morning with a rhetorical line of questioning.

Is a Saviour needed by a humanity which has invented interactive communication, which navigates in the virtual ocean of the Internet and, thanks to the most advanced modern communications technologies, has now made the Earth, our great common home, a global village?

Of course we still need a Savior. Hopefully, our shepherd, Steve Jobs, will unveil Apple-Cellphone-Thingy, the true Jesus Phone—or jPhone—in two weeks, at the Macworld Keynote. It shall lift the hunger and disease you speak of from the land, as it will cure the rabid state of mind infecting Mac fanboys like yours truly.

So, we're all on the same page, your Pope-ness.

[Here's the original post. Thanks Ray Wert for the Video.]