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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. Magic

    Christfollower,

    "But it takes believing with your heart."

    Do you mean thinking about something that makes your heart flutter, skip a beat or pound extra heavily? I think you are talking about physical responses to mental stimuli... emotions.

    I have had people tell me that they just "knew in their heart" all sorts of things that were not true.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Christfollower

      Emotions are part of it, Magic. Coming to faith in Christ takes realizing you need something beyond what you can provide for yourself, or can be provided by others, or money, or any other created thing. A poverty of spirit. Mourning over your own limitations. That is a feeling of sadness/emptiness. And then joy comes when that need is filled by Jesus. So yes, the Christian life is full of joy. But it can also be full of sadness and suffering, even through the ultimate joy of knowing you are with Christ for eternity. We are all still sinners here on an earth that is given over to sin. That is why faith gives us hope, and access God, the one source of love, and that brings joy, even through suffering. This info can all be found in a" non-existent" Bible!
      But I also think that science is a Christian's best friend. The more we learn the more we realize how little we actually know. Mere specs of consciousness in an enormous universe far too complex to grasp from the context of our limited human brains. Attempts to explain away God will only show how little we know. And if one says, "But we are still learning so much, we'll know more in the future," isn't that faith? I'd rather have faith in a God who's Bible has stood the test of time and scientific attack over the last 2,000 years!

      February 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  2. mrprincipal03

    Has there been a study regarding the size box people put God in? Religion, demographic, bible used, etc.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  3. Christfollower

    I almost posted a lengthy comment on the historical reliability of the Bible, and how easy it is to track which writings are the inspired Word of God and which ones are not, that the answers are there just waiting for someone to honestly look for them. I also almost commented on how it is very easy to read this article and agree with what the author says because he is a college professor, and because it makes those who reject God's attempts to woo them to Himself feel better, and so be swayed from the reality that God did allow His Word to travel down the centuries unharmed despite countless attempts by satan to muddy the waters.

    But I didn't, because in the end it takes faith. Not blind faith. I have very good reasons why I have faith in Jesus Christ that stand up to challenges made by His enemies and those who have fallen for his lies. But it takes believing with your heart. The brain cannot believe what it does not see, and believes very little of what it does see. But the heart is capable of responding to God's cry,
    "When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.'" Psalm 27:8

    February 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  4. Dr. Noel

    I love the shameless shilling of books, passed off as "opinion". There's no such thing as "opinion" it's simply propaganda with a dollar value attached to it.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  5. Iluvthe80s

    I graduated from CWRU. I always meant to take a class in religion. Based on this article, I'm pretty glad I didn't. I won't even try to point the non-scholarly approach this scholar took in deciding the bible isn't real. I won't point out how the original languages (Aramaic, Greek) always provide an opportunity to ascertain the true thought of the writer. I won't point out how Jesus himself didn't say, I'm a good guy. He said I am the Word and have been with the father from the beginning; Thus in discounting the bible is you are discounting Jesus as well. We can argue until he cows come home about doctrine and interpretation, etc. But 3 facts are without dispute:
    1. No one can can disprove the personal experience that millions and millions of people like Don, like myself, have had with God.
    2. To experience God you have to have faith at a minimum that He exists and will reveal himself to you. The faith to trust him comes later. (Heb. 11:6)
    3. Someone's lack of believe in heaven, hell or God's judgment will not stop those events from transpiring if indeed, they are real. It would be a horrible thing to die, find yourself facing God and have no grounds to avoid spending eternity separated from Him.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • FudgeMonkey

      "hell or God's judgment will not stop those events from transpiring if indeed, they are real."

      Sounds like your faith is not what you think it is. If you believe they are...why do you day "if"?

      February 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Joe

      Just checked the whole article. Nowhere does the author say the bible isn't real. Nor does he say that Jesus isn't real, that God isn't real, or that faith in Jesus is not meaningful or real. He says that there is no "one" bible. You are incorrect in thinking that we have access to the original inspired (Greek and Aramaic) words of much of the bible's authors. In some cases, our Greek sources are even translations that have then been translated back to Greek to be "closer" to the original. Perhaps you should have taken that religion class; you have a lot more to learn about bible history than you think you do, and also you might have learned to contribute to a discussion instead of simply attacking something you misperceive as attacking your faith.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  6. michael

    I think I will go buy a durable Waterproof Bible on their website: WaterproofBible.com

    Cheers!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Rob

    Interesting article and as a Christian that believes the inspired words of God, I have some question as what you should believe in. The message of the Bible is and always has been the same 'Canon' message. Those that put the different Greek and Hebrew writings together took them as the same message. Correct you are, in that there isn't a book that was dropped out of heaven into the Garden of Eden. However, the message remains the same thoughout the 'canon', that we call the Bible. We are sinners, everyone. Jesus Christ came to provide the redemption of our sins and we have a message (the Gospel – Good News) that we are to share with everyone. Obey God and let him work out the details. He has a plan. It's you and me, to spread the Good News.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      I agree. Firstly, he shouldn't even include the Jews in this question of "the Bible" as they don't call it that and would be insulted to be included. They don't use The Bible. The Bible must include the New Testament and the Old Testament. Then, you have the variables that either include the Apocrypha, etc, or leave them out. But what is essential in all those versions is the GOSPEL, or the story and message of Jesus Christ. The rest is individual upbringings, beliefs, decisions based on studying the origins and histories of those books. But all Christians agree in the validity of Christ. That is what makes a Christian. The author is not seeing the forest for the trees, so to speak.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Joe

      Are you sure you know what God's plan is for me? The bible says that different people will have different roles in the body of Christ. You are spouting a particularly evangelical interpretation, but as I just pointed out, and could point out further, it is not exactly consistent with the bible itself. This illustrates the point of this article, that there are different versions of the bible, different interpretations of it, and careful study requires we be aware of this. However, I certainly see that major themes, such as obedience to God and salvation through the holy Sacrifice, are present throughout the bible. I suspect the author of this article does as well.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Thank You...

    I can't help but notice that the non-christians are doing the attacking and trying to plant the seeds of doubt, but it's the Christians who are taking the oppurtunity to try and witness now that we finally have that chance. The Holy Bible – John 3:18 "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    February 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Culture Bearer

      Why would God, in the middle of civilization, create a "deal breaker" by sending part of himself to earth and requiring that, from then on, everyone must believe that person was actually the son of God? If you don't believe that, you can never be good enough to go to heaven. No matter what, believe that or the deal's off. It just seems like a weird game or something.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  9. MJB

    People can choose to believe whatever they want. As long as you are not hurting anyone or thing its your business.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Vikram

      Thats a logically inconsistent statement. You are hurting me by saying that, so should you stop saying that?
      The fact is that Truth is dangerous. It does not change based on what you or I believe about it. for example E=MC2 is true whether you believe it or not or whether it hurts some one or not.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  10. The_Mick

    When we kids were in 1950s-60s Catholic elementary school religion classes we would ask questions like: "Why would God select one group of people as his "chosen people" if he wanted everyone to worship Him?" "Why didn't God choose and Abraham among the Chinese, Aborigines, American Indians, etc. so they'd know about Him? "If God is all loving and life on earth prepares us for the afterlife, why does God let day-old babies die in Earthquakes?" "Why does God let awful people get away with killing and cheating live to old ages, but afflicts people who lead faultless lives with painful diseases and early deaths?" Etc. Etc.

    The standard answer was, "We can't understand the wisdom of God."

    Personally, I think we can understand that much. Like Benjamin Franklin -and most of the other founding fathers Texas is lying to their schoolchildren about- I think that if there is a supreme being, he's so far beyond us he couldn't care less if we pray to him or not.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Magic

      The_Mick,

      "The standard answer was, "We can't understand the wisdom of God."

      Yep... but in the very next breath, they'd say that they know exactly what "God" wants, needs, loves, hates, rewards. punishes, etc.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      just because the Catholics of the 50s in your school didn't have the answers to any of those questions, doesn't mean they don't exist. That isn't the standard answer given by Christians who actively study their Bibles, and seek understanding in it's truths

      February 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  11. pretty toney

    dont let this guy lead you to the gates of hell.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Jason Andrews

      Good response. I was thinking the same thing.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Confused

      Could you, then, tell us which Bible is the correct one to follow?

      February 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Seth

      Did the author say something incorrect that you would like to point out, or do you simply dislike the idea of what he had to say?

      February 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Questions

      First off, I don't believe the gates of hell exist. If I did, as you do, then yes being led astray from your faith is the path there. However, since there has never been any evidence that hell does in fact exist, besides the book that claims its existence as punishment for not having faith, I'm not too worried about it. I believe you should question your faith if you truly believe that your faith is based in reality. Because this is the reality of the history of the bible, the basis, the rock, the foundation, and the very word of god that has led so many to the gates of heaven; it's a book that has no singular definitive edition. If you say it's whichever book is the one that speaks to you, then I could ask does that hold for any book that I feel speaks to me even if "the bible" isn't on the cover?

      February 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Culture Bearer

      Fear of an imaginary hell is what keeps many churches going, and collection plates full. But I can't believe in an all powerful God who must use fear as the primary tactic for making people do good.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Madtown

      "pretty toney
      dont let this guy lead you to the gates of hell."
      ---–
      This guy, and this article, will lead you to the gates of truth and the gates of greater understanding. Of course, people like you will always conveniently ignore anything factual that gets in the way of your personal opinion.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Joe

      This reply brings up an interesting point. Older texts do not speak of a literal "hell", this has been brought in by traditions and translations. Some perfectly Christian religions rely on older texts and focus on hope for salvation through Jesus leading to heaven and the eternal presence of God. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT. Different versions of the bible lead to completely different mindsets; focus on fear of "eternal fire in hell" versus focus on hope for eternal glory. Does it make sense for faith to be based on the words in the bible in front of you; or God, prayer, and study?

      February 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  12. Vikram Pimplekar

    Its not very surprising that that Author does not present a single fact against the authenticity of the Bible or its message. How the Bible came to gether is a fascinating story in itself (Interested readers may want to read 'From God to Us' by Dr. Norman Geisler or ' A brief introduction to the Bible by the same Author). The Author has some pre-conceived notion of what faith / religion might by and then he uses that to interpret what the Bible is saying.
    Bible simply means the book. Just because there are a variety of translations, does not necessarily mean that there is a difference in the message conveyed. Just because there are lots of fake currency notes does not necessarily mean the true one does not exist. Lots of fake currency notes just mean lots of fake currency notes, it has no bearing on the authentic currency note.
    There is one single message in the Bible and considering that the first book in the Bible was written around 1400 BC and the last around 100 AD, this is a fascinating fact. The message is this, there is something wrong with us human beings, the Bible calls it Sin. Once it establishes how Sin entered the world, the rest of the book is an unfolding plan of redemption of how God is deeply involved in the world and loves the world enough to come down as a human and die. We can deny /reject / ridicule this storyline as much as we want, however that does not change the truth that the Bible is Authentic and has a very relevant message for you and me. Just ask Voltaire....

    February 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Culture Bearer

      What? God loved us enough to come to the world as a human and die? That makes no sense. I know it's what you believe, and lots of others as well, but it really makes no sense. I know, I can't possibly understand God.... But it makes no sense. And, by the way, most Bibles don't teach that at all!

      February 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • FudgeMonkey

      You believe it to be the truth. that is the best that you can say. You offer no proof that it IS not more than he offers proof that it isn't. And you don't seem to have grasped that he was not discrediting the Bible, he was pointing out that it has many versions, all of which mean something to somebody. Know it all, condescrending, evangelicals, really make Christiany unappealing to us heathens. Believe and say you believe. But don't be intelectually dishonest, and proclaim your beliefs to be truth, when they are just your beliefs.

      February 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Frank

    Great "think piece." Contains a lot of food for thought. Most of us, believers or non-believers, have never approaced the Bible in the way Prof. Beal does. He obviously takes his spirituality seriously - maybe some others of us should do the same. Thanks!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  14. TheTruth

    The "correct" book would be the one that The Holy Spirit speaks to you thru. It's obvious from reading these posts that not everybody comprehends on the same level, that is probably why there are different translations of The Holy Bible.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Melissa

      So the "correct" book is the on that is in best agreement with the voices in your head?

      February 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • TheTruth

      Some of you are paving your own way to Hell – you don't need my help getting there.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Face

      As long as you aren't where I'm at, I'll be happy!!

      The path to heaven is apparently paved with crusade's bodies, faith, interpretation, prejudice, sacrifices, burnings and ignorance involving biology, and science in general....

      Way to go!! ;P

      February 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Madtown

      And yet, the ultra-evangelical are always so quick to tell you that their way, their book, is the ONLY way to eternal salvation!

      You can't have it both ways. If different books speak differently to different people, then quit telling us that your book is the only way. Believe what you believe, be humble and allow others to do the same.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  15. TheTruth

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  16. Melissa

    Many people have tried arguing these same points, but the Bible thumpers are too lost in their delusions to be reasoned with.

    February 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  17. Solex

    The real litmus test for proving whether the "Bible" is the one and only holy book cannot be accomplished because religion is a LEARNED function.

    If you took someone who was isolated from the rest of the world, maybe one of those tribes in Indonesia that have never seen a white man, and put them in a room with all of the established holy books like the Torah, Koran, Bible, and translated them into his language; could he pick the "Correct" one. The answer is no of course. He would have no frame of reference.

    Whether there is one version of the bible or a million makes no difference. The only sociological reason for religion is that like minded people congregate. The book they read is incidental.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Rob

      Well-said, Solex. I think you're right, though I don't discount the possibility that we're hard-wired for a "theory of mind" or even for religion itself. The folks in evolutionary psychology are starting to put together some interesting hypotheses about why religious belief tends to carry through most human societies. At the very least, Donald Brown and other anthropologists have established that religion is a human universal - present in every culture in the history of humankind. That would seem to evidence that we could have some deep-seeded psychological need for religious worldviews.

      But that's just an hypothesis. Who knows.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Culture Bearer

      I don't think it's a matter of like-minded people congregating. Rather, we congregate with the people who taught us what to believe. Most of us are given a religion by our parents; we don't pick. I was raised in a Christian church, Baptist to be exact. My questions and skepticism were not at all welcome. Eventually I moved from that religion, but most are afraid to–afraid they'll go to hell if they doubt that Jesus is the actual son of God (because that's what they were taught). I know we could believe all things Jewish if we'd been raised to do so, or all things Muslim if we'd been raised to do so, and so on.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  18. Cruzader

    Very well said!

    February 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  19. Truth

    And this is why he teaches religion at Case Western Reserve University.

    You should read 'I don't have enough faith to be an athiest".

    February 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Face

      @Truth
      Rofl the book by the banana man or was that frank turek?

      Sry but you'll have to demonstrate evidence for a THEIST god before you argue for a DEIST god....

      Theist God=ALMOST impossible, blind faith leading the way
      Deist God=WAY more possible, creator, but doesn't want anything, or cannot/will-not interact, or knows about us, OR care about us
      Agnostic=the safe route, better to make this universe as good as possible before dying
      Atheist=same thing, but a strong dislike for faith pushers!

      FYI agnostic meaning not knowable (DON'T PICK A SIDE, YET!!)

      February 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  20. Don Baltzley

    I had an experience with my creator that I cannot discount. It was life changing and it is impossibe to truly convey the depth of that experience in my humanity. In this experience I came to know who my creator is and it is the Christ spoken of in the Bible. After this experience the Bible was no longer just a book written by man but it has become the Living Word expressed divinely in my life. It has brought revelation, knowledge and understanding to a world that is sliding deeper into chaos and depravity. The words uttered within it's Holy pages have come to pass and will continue to come to pass until time shall be no more. I am thankful that the Creator of all living things heard my cry and revealed Himself to me and is leading me day to day with the promise of His return to a home whose builder and maker is God.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Gwen

      Boy you must be somebody special to have our creator reveal himself to you!!!! Lucky you, or were you just having
      a Pipe Dream!!!!

      February 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • catadmin

      Thank you Don for telling your story.

      I too agree with everything you've said. I was told the 'way' after dieing March 1975 Flu; age:20. No one knew anything about NDEs at that time. Today is the first time I've ever said anything about it in public. I use to think like the others earlier. I thought that people who were not well educated were lead by their noses into nonsense by believing in God. Only after that day in March did I realise I was wrong. I also found that all religions are correct. All roads lead back to one.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • JustSayin

      Then ya die, and wake up as a tree....and realize, "Damn."

      February 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Justin

      Your words seem very sincere Don and I appreciate you sharing your faith. But as the artilcle points out...how do you reconcile the differences in each of "the word". How does your experience with the creator relate to someone else who has had the same but with a different version. How does the world or even just Christianity find what our Creator truly wants when we are continuously guided or misguided by men who "write" what they "think" God wants us to follow?

      February 22, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Jack

      It's called Schizophrenia and you really should see a doctor about it.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Confused

      That's all well and good, but it raises the question... Which Bible are you talking about?

      February 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      hey thanks to the author of the article, for informing Christians of something they already know. There are many versions of the Bible? you shocked me. In fact, Bibles even come with explanations to the various versions, the origins of the individual books of the Bible, the authors of those books, when they were written, even the controversies surrounding the origins etc etc. We are not so uninformed as you would like to believe.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tiffani

      Don, Thank you for having the courage to share your thoughts, feelings and beliefs after reading this article. The author here certainly has a right to his opinion, and so do you. I would never discount or diminish anyone else's right to choose or fail to choose any religious belief over another, and I think its very sad that so many people think its okay to be churlish and disrespectful to you for posting your beliefs. No matter what the author's sentiment was, I too believe strongly in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I believe that many great writers, inspired by His Spirit and teaching, wrote the Bible and that Word is the foundation of my faith. I am a physical being with a soul and a spirit and one can not and should not be exalted over the other. I dont run to God or the Bible in times of fear or sadness, I choose to follow these teachings in every season of my life. If you do as well, I pray faith be strengthened, if you do not, I respect your right to disagree, but not to disparage me.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bluto

      Gee, Don, are you sure someone didn't slip some LSD into your lemonade? I dreamed once that aliens took me for a ride in their spaceship, which was exactly like the ones on the kiddy ride at the county fair(I was five). I didn't go start a religion because of it, or claim it was true because I dreamed it. You had a mystic experience, same as thousands of Muslims and Jews have. You are now a prophet.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Dee Smith

      Amen and amen.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Joe

      Go Don! Never be afraid to reveal how God works in your life.

      February 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
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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.