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My Take: There’s no such thing as the Bible and never has been
February 22nd, 2011
06:00 AM ET

My Take: There’s no such thing as the Bible and never has been

Editors note: Timothy Beal is the author of "The Rise and Fall of the Bible: The Unexpected History of an Accidental Book." He is a Florence Harkness Professor of Religion at Case Western Reserve University.

By Timothy Beal, Special to CNN

When things get messy, when the ground drops out from under us, we conjure myths of pristine and happy origins.

Unemployed, we might find ourselves longing for that former job as though it had been ideal, a time of complete self-fulfillment, forgetting how we dragged ourselves there some mornings, hoping for something better to come up.

In the middle of an ugly divorce, we might find ourselves longing for the early years of the relationship as though that had been our time in Eden, forgetting the stresses of money, unreliable used cars, in-laws and learning to live together.

These Edenic myths are illusions whose power lies not in their real presence but in their expression of what we really, really wish were true. But they also have the power to remove us from full, mindful living in the present, which is messy, unstable and insecure.

And that’s the stuff that opens us up to others, making us vulnerable to the real-life risks of relationship.

So too with the life of faith. We may long for an original, solid rock, a foundation that will not falter in the storm. For many, that rock is the Bible. But that, too, is an illusion.

Ronald Reagan once said that if he were shipwrecked on a desert island and could have only one book to read for the rest of his life, it would be the Bible.

I wish someone would’ve asked, which one? Which version? Protestant? Jewish? Catholic? Orthodox? Syriac? Each has a different table of contents.

The Jewish one obviously doesn’t include the New Testament, but it also has a different order, beginning with the Torah, considered the core of scriptures, then the Nevi’im, or “prophets,” then the Ketuvim, or “writings.”

The Catholic Bible includes all of the Protestant Bible plus seven additional books, known as the Apocrypha, as well as significantly different versions of and additions to the books of Esther and Daniel.

Different Orthodox Bibles (Greek, Ethiopian, Slavonic, etc.) include those plus other apocryphal books as well as a collection of poems known as the Book of Odes. So does the traditional Syriac Bible, but it does not include Revelation and four other New Testament books found in other canons.

And which translation would he bring? There are dozens available, and they vary widely in both style and theology. Many of the most popular ones today are highly interpretive “meaning-driven” versions in which translators don’t translate word-for-word but instead write what they believe conveys the equivalent meaning of larger blocks of text.

So “my cup runneth over” might become “you blow me away.” Or a passage buried in Leviticus that prohibits a man from lying with another man as though with a woman (other no-no’s in this list include adultery, sex with a woman on her period, and marrying a divorcee or a brother’s widow) becomes a universal ban on homosexuality. Put two translations side-by-side, and you may find yourself hard pressed to know if they’re even translating the same passage.

And which edition would he bring? A good old-fashioned floppy black leather one? Or a niche-market edition like "The Golfer’s Bible," loaded with full-color pictures and “inspirational messages teed up to reach the golfer’s heart.”

Then again, depending on the terrain and climate of his island, "The Waterproof Bible: Sportsman’s Edition" might be a more practical choice. How about one of the many Manga Bibles on the market? Or a Biblezine, a Bible in magazine form filled with jump-off-the-page callouts and graphic features on balancing work and play, shopping, healthy eating, and finding love? Or one of the thousands of study Bibles loaded with notes and commentaries telling you what it means according this or that (usually conservative) viewpoint?

These various Bibles are not only different in physical form, but their value-adding content is also values-adding, steering readers toward theological, moral, and political views.

You get the point.

There is no “the Bible,” no book that is the one and only Bible. There are lots and lots of Bibles. They come in many different physical and digital forms with a great variety of content – different canons, translations, notes, commentaries, pictures, and so on.

Don’t believe me? Next time you’re in a big box bookstore, check out its huge Bible section, or just type “Bible” in the search box of an online store, and prepare to be overwhelmed. The Bible business sells more than 6,000 different products for over $800 million a year – all sold as “the Bible.” It’s a flood of biblical proportions.

“Hold up!” some will say. “Stop the madness! We’ve got to save the Bible! We’ve got to get back its original, pure, unadulterated Word, before there’s no turning back the tide.” An understandable response to this alarming scene of biblical liquidation.

In my new book, "The Rise and Fall of the Bible," I say, OK, let’s try that. What we discover is even more surprising than all the diversity of Bibles on the market today. Here’s the thing: Not only is there no such thing as the Bible now; there never has been.

There is no pure original, no Adam from which all Bibles have descended. During the time of Jesus, there were many different versions of Scriptures in circulation, and no central publishing house or religious authority to standardize the process.

Same with the early Christian movement. Indeed, it wasn’t until the 4th century that there was even an official canon of Christian Scriptures. Even then, moreover, there were lots of unofficial varieties. The “story of the Book” is a fascinating one, with many surprising turns, but the upshot is that the further we go back in history, the more biblical variety we discover. “That old time religion” is an illusion.

For many of us, it’s more than a little disconcerting to realize that there’s no pristine original Bible to recover, that it’s messy and plural all the way back to the beginning. But is it not also a very familiar feeling?

Trying to save the Bible by recovering the Adam of all Bibles is as futile as trying to save the marriage by recovering the Eden of married life. There’s no such thing, so there’s no going back. Our desire for a pure, unadulterated, original Bible, “in the beginning,” is an illusion that shields and distracts us from the real, unstable, often terrifyingly ambiguous relationship with another that is the life of faith.

Life is crazy uncertain, so it’s understandable that many of us want religion and especially the Bible to offer deliverance from it. But it doesn’t. It’s not a rock but a river, not a book of answers but a library of questions. When we take it seriously, and soberly, it calls us deeper into the wilderness – away from the sunny shoreline of the island and toward the uncharted interior.

That wilderness, like the ones in which the Israelites wandered and Jesus was tested, can be a place of danger and disorientation, but also of renewal and reawakening.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Timothy Beal.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Judaism • Opinion

soundoff (1,016 Responses)
  1. sammyboy

    Why do we believe that George Washington was our first President? Why do we believe that President Lincoln was assassinated? Why do we believe that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs? How can you believe all these things when you haven't seen it? You believe because you were taught that way. You believe because you want to believe.

    But why is it so hard for hypocrites like yourselves so adament to believe about Bible, God and Devil and ressurection of Jesus Christ? You always say prove this and that? How can you believe about Washington being our first President? Just because you read it on History books? Is that proof enough for you? If so, why is it so hard to believe about God and Bible when Bible is just like a book as well?

    Just believe. There are thousands of events and person that we cannot prove that existed. That also includes God and the Bible. I dont have a proof that Jesus walked the earth. I dont have a proof that there is Heaven and hell. However, I choose to believe.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Ravennwings

      We believe those things because there are multiple, independent accounts, studies, research reports, data collections, etc etc corroborating those stories. As opposed to just one book (albeit with many versions) proclaiming itself as truth. OF COURSE it's going to proclaim itself as truth, why would its authors write it and then say "But none of this is true, so disregard this book."? The difference is that there is very, very little independent evidence to corroborate the more mystical claims of the Bible.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Godless

      Are you f*&%ing serious? Did you seriously just compare believing in George Washington to believing in god? Jesus Christ, you people amaze me sometimes.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Magic

      There are also quite a few myths and legends surrounding George Washington, such as the cherry tree/cannot tell a lie one and the wooden teeth, and throwing a dollar across the Potomac. He lived a short enough time ago that these can be debunked, but the old timey myths and legends took root somehow and were perpetuated.

      "The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a person only tells them with all his might."—Mark Twain

      February 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • NL

      Magic-
      And just think about the tall tales that were told about Davy Crockett and Elvis while they were still alive!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
  2. jefe

    Um, there certainly is such a thing as a Bible. I have one on my shelf at home. I like it a lot. Does the exact translation matter that much? 99.9% of the versions this author lists are very similar in content and spirit. The Great Gatsby has been translated into 100 languanges – does that mean the book doesn't exist? My personal preference is the King James version because I am familiar with it and find it to be poetic and beautiful. But if you prefer the Golfer's Bible, that's fine. They contain the same message and the same – yes – answers.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  3. vel

    in that the "bible" is no more than a human creation, just like all supposed "holy books", it is a flawed book that occasionally has some good advice in it. It is a texual Rorshach test that reveals what the person reading it is truly like, with their hates and desires always reflected by what they cherry pick as what God "really" meant.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  4. Richard McCarthy

    @Eric G. The reason I am a former fundamentalist is pretty much summarized in my post. I just no longer buy into the "fear factor" of religion – especially the Abrahamic ones.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  5. Dan

    My opinion of Case Western just dropped a notch. This guy's a professor? of Religion?? He clearly hasn't studied the subject of the Canon very carefully. Pretty pathetic. (But, as long as as you bash Judaism, Christianity, the Torah and/or the Bible, you can get published and get tenure.)

    February 22, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Ravennwings

      ...Wow, what a phenomenal rebuttal. Care to go into detail? I'm hooked. What, with how you refute a scholar's carefully outlined reasoning with a mere dismissal and no reasoning of your own, and all. Clearly yours is the superior intellect.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  6. Scott

    Just wait long enough and all will find out.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • NL

      Not really. If we atheists are right then all the damage that you believers cause will not be held to your account after you are dead, and you know it. No accountability is part of Pascal's Wager, right?

      It's kinda like believing that if you fart as you exit a room either you will get away with it scott free, or you will meet some guy in the next room who will hand you a dollar for stinking up the place.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  7. Eric

    The wonderful world of science debunked this book as fiction a long time ago. Why are people still holding on to this story?

    February 22, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • CaleinLanett

      IIs that why we made that baking soda volcano in 2nd grade?

      February 22, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Q

      @CaleinLanett – You must be referring to "Intelligent Carbonation"!

      February 23, 2011 at 2:22 am |
  8. morpunkt

    God cannot be proved, nor disproved.
    The powers that be provide us to have the free agency to find out all truth, for those who honestly seek for it.
    This is possible, if one has a willing and humble heart in looking at all faiths.
    But one must be humble.
    I don't believe the author is. But just skeptical. And God allows that too.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  9. morpunkt

    Everyone believes in something.
    Just what then does he believe?
    Where does he think he comes from?
    Why does he think he exists?
    And where does he think he's going?
    Everybody believes something.
    Let's scrutinize his core thought constructs of his world.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  10. gerald

    While we don't have the original manuscripts we do have strong evidence that the words passed on are authentic. We can see quotes of scriptures in the Early Church Fathers, Dead Sea Scrolls and other places that match what we have today within 1%. Different translations don't mean errors. There are multiple valid ways of translating that capture some of what the text is saying. No translation is perfect in that it can capture all of what is said. But one can translate the word agape or philleo in greek to love and it is not incorrect. Some of the meaning is lost though as the original gave distinctions of the kind of love..

    February 22, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • NL

      What studies do you base this on? Face it, until about 100 AD there was no standard 'scripture' for Jews, and none for Christians until far later. Different groups had different versions of their favorite books. Jesus and Paul may not have read the same versions, or ever all the same books, and Christian views of OT prophesy are unreliable at the base level.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  11. Jay

    It's about time American media paid attention to the glaring facts of the nonsense of religion.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  12. Richard McCarthy

    As a former fundamentalist Christian, I understand exactly where Mr. Beal is coming from. For centuries, "The Bible" has been held up a the divinely inspired word of God. And I still believe that it is, but in spite of someone being divinely inspired to write scripture, those who wrote it were also humans. Humans have egos. Ego influences how we perceive and interpret the world around us. So, while the Bible (almost anyone's) is useful as a spiritual guide, it is not infallible and it should never be taken literally. Humanity is stuck in a stodgy and outdated theology simply because of fear. Don't believe it? Listen to any fundamentalist preacher who warns unsaved souls what will happen to them if they are not "saved". Have you personally known anyone who has gone to hell? Or even heaven? (Except in Bible stories of course). Our heaven and our hell are right here and right now. God loves us right here and right now, and God could care less about your religion, much less your denomination.

    February 22, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Eric G.

      Interesting take Richard. Why are you a "former fundamentalist Christian"? I would appreciate your insight.

      February 22, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • Dan

      Richard, do you personally know anyone who's died, and hasn't gone to either heaven or hell? Not a very solid logical formation. Jesus taught lessons about the afterlife, and unless you can prove Him wrong in any other topic, I'll continue to believe Him on that one, too. It's called credibility. He's got it, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe those preachers are adamant about heaven & hell because they (like me) believe such places exist.

      And, I respectfully disagree about God not caring about our "religion." He bet His life on it. I'd say the stakes were pretty high, in His book. (puns intended)

      February 22, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • R. Rickson

      Well said, the spirituality is all around us...maybe the Bible has been interpeted, filtered and changed to meet the times but the core meanings have truth. Good vs. bad- we as a society or an individual can survive with good behaviour and suffer with bad behaviour. Lets remember the native American Indians before they were taught Christianity learned as a society to behave with morals and ethics to survive and live within mother natures means...what am I saying? We have choices- mental, spiritual and physical- almost all bibles agree that we must choose good over bad- good survives over the long run. This article seemed like the author was a bit confused about the "trees" and didn't see the "forest" as a bigger picture.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Michael

      God doesn't care about our religion, but he does care about our worship. Unfortunately too many christians believe that participating in religion is acceptable worship. We are to worship in spirit and truth, always.

      February 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  13. doctore0

    Religion is "Supernatural" "Nigerian" scam; It's like an email from the past.
    HELL-0
    This is from the desk of Gawd, I have this paradise I want you to be a part of; You only need to follow dogma X, go to war in the name of Gawd, give $ to my agents.
    Payout after death.
    Ugga Bugga
    Gawd

    February 22, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Eric G.

      Well, that was just rude. You big meanie.

      February 22, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • doctore0

      @Eric G.
      I wasn't being rude at all, just telling the truth about religion, religion is accepted scam.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • NL

      doctore0-
      They say that you can't cheat an honest man. Heaven, like the bate in any scam, is just too good to be true, and how much does the greed to live on after death play in a person accepting Christ?

      February 22, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  14. Duh

    I hope every professor at Case Western doesn't teach such obvious stuff. I guess there's no need for grade inflation when the subject matter is common sense.

    February 22, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  15. Eric G.

    Missing from the article is the most profound point about the different versions of the Bible. No version of the bible proves that it is correct. No version of the bible provides verifiable evidence that it's referenced God even exists. The only constant contained in all reglious texts is claims of absolute knowledge without supporting verifiable evidence. The rest is myth and fiction until proven otherwise.

    February 22, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • Irony

      Old and tired argument. Atheists love throwing words like "myth", "fairy tales", and other denigrations. The word "faith" never seems to fit in their debate. Some people are tied to only that which can be proven using existing evidence, old facts, and other people's knowledge. Others are free to imagine a greater universe than the one that can be seen with their own eyes or through the eyes of others. If you want to limit yourself within the confines of laboratory technology, then I feel sorry for you, and will continue to pray for you.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • NL

      Irony-
      "Others are free to imagine a greater universe than the one that can be seen with their own eyes or through the eyes of others."
      'Imagine' being the operative word, but imagining something doesn't make it real, does it?

      "The word "faith" never seems to fit in their debate."
      'Faith' is believing in something contrary to what the evidence suggests. Atheists, therefore, have confidence in what the evidence suggests.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Irony

      NL, faith is belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. It's not defined as "contrary" to existing evidence. Just because you imagine a different definition of a word, it doesn't make it true.

      No evidence exists that there is no God, so faith iin God is not contrary to any evidence. And just because there is no evidence of the existence of God doesn't prove there is no God. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. 500 years ago there was no evidence of DNA.

      February 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • NL

      Irony-
      "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
      No, but I find it to be an excellent reason to be skeptical of something, don't you? There is, for example, no evidence existing that Baal, or any other god mentioned in the bible or elsewhere, doesn't actually exist either, but you probably don't worry about offending them for the same reason that I don't, absence of evidence. We do have ample evidence that humans like to create beings out of our imagination, and construct elaborate mythologies where these characters play out the same moral dilemmas that we find difficult to articulate for ourselves. An average Christian has no difficulty judging 99.99% of gods as mythological creations that never actually existed. Atheists just extend that general rule to all gods, so as not to play favorites. Face it, if you want to play the "absence of evidence" card then you have to accept that ANYTHING at all is possible and, while the idea of vegetarian vampires may be appealing to some, it's just not something we can include in any actual definition reality.

      God is said to interact in the real world, affect people's lives, and even bend the laws of physics in making miracles. The actual evidence suggests otherwise. There being no detectable miracles is not merely an absence of evidence. If God routinely operated in such a fashion we would have hard evidence of that, yes?

      "500 years ago there was no evidence of DNA."
      Poor analogy. 500 years ago people would have been completely justifiable in not believing in DNA because there was no evidence for it whatsoever. Had the bible, or some other ancient writing, described the double helix in some detail then you may have a case for having faith, but it doesn't.

      February 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  16. The Messenger

    In the hour in which we live, the steady decline in doctrinal integrity and crass denial of biblical morality standards appear to strikingly parallel what the Holy Spirit foretold concerning the state of the apostate church world in the final days of this age.

    As we soberly begin to personally peer into the Word of
    God and look at the church world in this hour, we may
    discover “seducing spirits” working insidiously and feverishly, utilizing “doctrines of devils,” to distort and tear down the true image and holy purpose of the living God revealed in Holy Writ. The image, nature, and will of the eternal God is what the enemy seeks to pervert, in the hearts of all humanity, namely among the saints of the most High (1 Tim. 4:1-6). His aim with these “damnable heresies” is to get men to worship at the altar of false gods, namely the altar of self-love as Lucifer did (Ex. 20:3-4; Isa. 14:12-15; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Pet. 2:1-3). Unrepentant and un-sanctified human agents have unwittingly (in many cases) answered the call of evil, as “deceitful workers.” (Phil. 3:1-3, 17-19) These doctors of deception have enlisted themselves due to self-service and self-will (in many cases), and work in our very midst as undercover emissaries of the evil one, cleverly teaching such things as are contrary to Holy Scripture and thereby leading mult-itudes astray. Many are unknowingly being taught by those whom the Holy Spirit warned us, “lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph. 4:14)

    “For many (not a few) deceivers are entered
    into the world, who confess not that Jesus
    Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver
    and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we
    lose not those things which we have wrought,
    but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever
    transgresseth, and abideth not (does not remain)
    in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that
    abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the
    Father and the Son.” 2 John 7-9

    Doesn’t God’s Word tell us that Satan has come down
    with great wrath upon the inhabitants of the earth in this late hour, knowing his time is very short? (Rev. 12:9-12)

    February 22, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • NL

      Perhaps Satan's greatest trick was to convince so many to take the bible as their primary guide to life, leaving them open to reading their own biased judgments in it?

      February 22, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  17. NL

    This really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

    February 22, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  18. gerald

    How is this in the belief section. There should be a disbelief section. Nothing is more obvious than original sin. This guy likes to point his finger at the sins of others. I'll bet he does some nasty deeds. Pedo priests have nothing to do with the truth of the bible. They only provide strong evidence that no matter what we believe we are weak and need God. The Catholic Church didn't make up the trinity. Jesus preached it and he was hardly illiterate.

    February 22, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Chris

      I bet you've never read the bible, either, for it is obvious you didn't read this article. How very Christian of you to make snap judgments without knowing the whole story.

      February 22, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • gerald

      Sorry, I read reality's post as part of the article. I have read the whole Bible and I have read the article now.

      February 22, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Sybaris

      You have absolutley no way of knowing the literacy of this Jesus person. He never wrote anything and there is no way to verify what is written of him. The gospels were written decades after the Jesus person was allegedly crucified and not written by eyewitnesses.

      February 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • gerald

      He showed he had great knowledge of the scriptures. You don't have to write to be literate. The Jews marveled at his understanding of the scriptures.

      February 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • gerald

      I should add, they called him rabbi, which means teacher.

      February 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Sorry Gerald. Your Jesus person didn't show anything, the people that wrote about him only showed that they could make up a script and even then they don't corroborate each other. Again, you have no way of verifying that what is written in the gospels is what your Jesus allegedly said.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • gerald

      No way of knowing washington crossed the delaware. No way of knowing George Bush Junior succeeded Bill Clinton as president either I guess. Throw all historic texts out the window. Very silly.

      February 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  19. Reality

    Hmmm?? Said topic is old news!!! This has been noted countless of times over the last 200 years.

    A synopsis yet one more time:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizz-azz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "fil-icider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedo-ph-iliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    3. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adu-lterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    February 22, 2011 at 7:16 am |
    • Chris

      tl;dr

      Dude is spamming this everywhere.

      February 22, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • gerald

      Red Herrings and straw men.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  20. Muneef

    Al-E-Imran sura 03:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Alif. Lam. Mim. (1) Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. (2) He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel. (3) Aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion of right and wrong. Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong). (4).

    February 22, 2011 at 6:45 am |
    • Muneef

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      Wait they for naught else than that Allah should come unto them in the shadows of the clouds with the angels? Then the case would be already judged. All cases go back to Allah (for judgment). (210).

      February 22, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Face

      @muneef
      What you want to do next time you are in public is try to bite your ear, while holding your forearm about stomach high, while preaching, then repeat... ;P

      February 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Muneef

      Faceless..

      Al-Hajj sura 22: 
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Have they not travelled in the land, and have they hearts wherewith to feel and ears wherewith to hear? For indeed it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts, which are within the bosoms, that grow blind. (46).

      February 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Muneef

      History repeats it self as told 1400 years ago;

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them. (99) Is it ever so that when they make a covenant a party of them set it aside? The truth is, most of them believe not. (100) And when there cometh unto them a messenger from Allah, confirming that which they possess, a party of those who have received the Scripture fling the Scripture of Allah behind their backs as if they knew not, (101).

      February 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Lord Charles

      Stop....Islam is just as ridculous as christians...gheeze

      February 23, 2011 at 2:12 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.