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Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says
May 13th, 2011
11:47 AM ET

Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.

“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul - says in the Bible's 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.

There’s one just one problem - Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.

“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:

* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.

* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.

* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.

Were Jesus’ disciples ‘illiterate peasants?'

Ehrman’s book, like many of his previous ones, is already generating backlash. Ben Witherington, a New Testament scholar, has written a lengthy online critique of “Forged.”

Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”

All of the New Testament books, with the exception of 2 Peter, can be traced back to a very small group of literate Christians, some of whom were eyewitnesses to the lives of Jesus and Paul, Witherington says.

“Forged” also underestimates the considerable role scribes played in transcribing documents during the earliest days of Christianity, Witherington  says.

Even if Paul didn’t write the second book of Timothy, he would have dictated it to a scribe for posterity, he says.

“When you have a trusted colleague or co-worker who knows the mind of Paul, there was no problem in antiquity with that trusted co-worker hearing Paul’s last testimony in prison,” he says. “This is not forgery. This is the last will and testament of someone who is dying.”

Ehrman doesn’t confine his critique to Paul’s letters. He challenges the authenticity of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. He says that none were written by Jesus' disciplies, citing two reasons.

He says none of the earliest gospels revealed the names of its authors, and that their current names were later added by scribes.

Ehrman also says that two of Jesus’ original disciples, John and Peter, could not have written the books attributed to them in the New Testament because they were illiterate.

“According to Acts 4:13, both Peter and his companion John, also a fisherman, were agrammatoi, a Greek word that literally means ‘unlettered,’ that is, ‘illiterate,’ ’’ he writes.

Will the real Paul stand up?

Ehrman reserves most of his scrutiny for the writings of Paul, which make up the bulk of the New Testament. He says that only about half of the New Testament letters attributed to Paul - 7 of 13 - were actually written by him.

Paul's remaining books are forgeries, Ehrman says. His proof: inconsistencies in the language, choice of words and blatant contradiction in doctrine.

For example, Ehrman says the book of Ephesians doesn’t conform to Paul’s distinctive Greek writing style. He says Paul wrote in short, pointed sentences while Ephesians is full of long Greek sentences (the opening sentence of thanksgiving in Ephesians unfurls a sentence that winds through 12 verses, he says).

“There’s nothing wrong with extremely long sentences in Greek; it just isn’t the way Paul wrote. It’s like Mark Twain and William Faulkner; they both wrote correctly, but you would never mistake the one for the other,” Ehrman writes.

The scholar also points to a famous passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul is recorded as saying that women should be “silent” in churches and that “if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”

Only three chapters earlier, in the same book, Paul is urging women who pray and prophesy in church to cover their heads with veils, Ehrman says: “If they were allowed to speak in chapter 11, how could they be told not to speak in chapter 14?”

Why people forged

Forgers often did their work because they were trying to settle early church disputes, Ehrman says. The early church was embroiled in conflict - people argued over the treatment of women,  leadership and relations between masters and slaves, he says.

“There was competition among different groups of Christians about what to believe and each of these groups wanted to  have authority to back up their views,” he says. “If you were a nobody, you wouldn’t sign your own name to your treatise. You would sign Peter or John.”

So people claiming to be Peter and John - and all sorts of people who claimed to know Jesus - went into publishing overdrive. Ehrman estimates that there were about 100 forgeries created in the name of Jesus’ inner-circle during the first four centuries of the church.

Witherington concedes that fabrications and forgeries floated around the earliest Christian communities.

But he doesn’t accept the notion that Peter, for example, could not have been literate because he was a fisherman.

“Fisherman had to do business. Guess what? That involves writing, contracts and signed documents,” he said in an interview.

Witherington says people will gravitate toward Ehrman’s work because the media loves sensationalism.

“We live in a Jesus-haunted culture that’s biblically illiterate,” he says. “Almost anything can pass for historical information… A book liked ‘Forged’ can unsettle people who have no third or fourth opinions to draw upon.”

Ehrman, of course, has another point of view.

“Forged” will help people accept something that it took him a long time to accept, says the author, a former fundamentalist who is now an agnostic.

The New Testament wasn’t written by the finger of God, he says - it has human fingerprints all over its pages.

“I’m not saying people should throw it out or it’s not theologically fruitful,” Ehrman says. “I’m saying that by realizing it contains so many forgeries, it shows that it’s a very human book, down to the fact that some authors lied about who they were.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Culture wars • Faith

soundoff (2,204 Responses)
  1. Artist

    Alright people today is Friday, this means slap or kick a christian day.
    .
    Okay got a joke for you. There was this christian and lion and the christian says to the lion, "My god is going to protect me against you." The lion eats the christian and says, "Now you can ask him why he didn't"

    May 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Love that game. Leave the Christians without big guns and it will be lions 1000 christians zero and still zero god.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  2. Rev. Rick

    In refuting "Forged", Witherington states, “We live in a Jesus-haunted culture that’s biblically illiterate,” he says. “Almost anything can pass for historical information… A book liked ‘Forged’ can unsettle people who have no third or fourth opinions to draw upon.”

    Well, Mr. Witherington, that's the whole problem with religious texts in the first place. When it comes to the Bible or the Quran, there is NO third of fourth options to draw on! We either have to believe it, or go to hell. Not very good corroboration.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Rev Rick... you got a point there...

      May 13, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  3. Buster Bloodvessel

    There are plenty of people today willing to lie in God's service: death panels, Kenyan birth certificates, WMDs, heck, it's all for Jesus so it's all good. You betcha, winky-wink.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  4. Hell

    God's dialogue creating Eden: God: "Let me create a paradise for those I love". "I will put a tree of evil in the garden". "Of course they will disobey me I can see it!". "I know everything, remember you ninny"! "I'll tell them they had free will and blew it, lol"
    To me that sounds like entrapment, not free will. The whole story doesn't make sense...

    May 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Artist

      It makes perfect sense, god likes to watch and he is a sick twisted pervert.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Sadistic and oppressive also work well for the creation mythology of the bible. god punished Adam and Eve for eating one stinkin' apple. And it was an apple of knowledge – god wanted them to remain stupid. Ignorance is bliss, I guess that's the lesson, and that's what most major Christian religions seem to value.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • jay shelley

      Jesus walks into a hotel, hands the manager 3 nails and asks, "Could you put me up for the night?"

      June 2, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  5. HeavenSent

    There are so many unbelievers here, it makes me so sad. I pray in Jesus' name for you all. I get down on my knees before him, and open my mouth to accept his love. His hot, hot steaming love.
    Amen.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Artist

      Wow! lol However I do think HeavenSent would go down in a hearbeat to please her jesus.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Hell

      OMG thats wrong, funny but wrong lol

      May 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Artist

      In castanza voice, "I know, I know I am going to hell"

      May 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      It amazes me how low you non-believers go. You hate so much that I write His truth that you steal my handle to write your nonsense, then you all answer the phony heavensent's posts.

      LOL. Beyond ridiculous.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Heavensent, they aren't stealing your handle. They are attributing their texts to you Bible-style. You should be complimented. In 100 years everyone will think they were you.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Theo

      "It amazes me how low you non-believers go. You hate so much that I write His truth that you steal my handle to write your nonsense, then you all answer the phony heavensent's posts."

      You're not writing anything but your own personal babblings....

      May 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Wait, I thought I was the real HeavenSent. Am I you or are you me?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      She's the real heavensent. And she is too. And he is.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Xuxun

      HeavenSent: You will be praying for a long, long time. First, pray there is help somewhere out there. Meanwhile, careful not to get steamburned!

      May 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  6. LessaCatera

    Cindy: So you're saying that the only reason I should believe in your God is because I will "burn in in hell for an eternity" if I don't? What the heck is that? Sounds like a threat to me! Do it my way or burn! No thank you. We all die. Every last one of us. Animals, plants, humans; every living thing faces death. It's as much a part of life as birth. Accept that this is all you get – this one little life – and live it.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  7. real life

    Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Stevie7

      If you're catholic, there's nothing symbolic about your cannibalism

      May 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Here we go again. Starting the arguments of the non-believers from the beginning. Don't you folks ever read previous articles before you loose this battle again?

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • P

      Sounds like you got yourself one heck of a musical there!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I loose a lot of fa-rts.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • jay shelley

      Jesus of Nazareth walks into a hotel, hands the manager 3 nails and asks, "Can you put me up for the night?"

      June 2, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  8. TROLL NOTICE

    Please don't feed the trolls (e.g. Heav en sent)

    May 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Theo

      That's because you can't come up with a good argument to this article, so you become the very thing you are condemning. LOL!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Reubin Kincaid

      Feeding the trolls is part of the fun. Let's face it: this forum is the intellectual equivalent of roller derby. Most of the fun is in the bashing.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, boo hoo. The moderators won't let me post what Jesus named you.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Here, troll; eat THIS::::::::>

      May 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  9. Hell

    Cindy, Jesus preached forgivness of sin. Forgive our trespassers but then said belive in me or you don't get to the father. Isn't that a mixed message? Sounds to me like God is saying do as I say not as I do...

    May 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Artist

      Actually one of the dudes writing the bible said this. The bible has zero integrity. lol

      May 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      You non-believers are an odd bunch. You hate the Bible and Jesus so much, yet you spend your every waking hour posting about Him.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Crrodriguez

      We dont hate jesus, because he never existed nor the bible, it would be as stupid as hating harry potter or the lord of the rings, what we usually do hate though is what jesus's followers do with his supposed teachings.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Us non-believers kind of like the first amendment, but don't like it when religious influences try to dumb down our public schools by attempting to introduce creationism into science classes. Also, I don't think a non-believer has ever shown up on my door and given me pamphlets on how some all-loving, all-powerful god is going to sit by and watch me suffer for all of eternity if I don't subscribe to their EXACT beliefs.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      "yet you spend your every waking hour posting about Him." Would you prefer it if we picketed funerals? Crazy troll. If you nuts didn't keep getting laws passed to enforce what your book says, we'd never notice you. Suppose I got a law passed that made you have to pretend to believe in Harry Potter?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Frogist

      @HeavenSent & crrodriguez: I think it is absolutely possible to "hate Jesus" if you are a non-believer and don't think he existed. I think it's easier as a matter of fact. You can hate Darth vader or Voldemort or any number of fictional creations because you know what you have read or heard about them is bad. Emotion isn't always tied to reality. You can feel happy when you think about Santa even though no one can prove he is real. You can fear airplanes even though you know they are safe. It is understandable to dislike something that appears to go against what you care. But liking or disliking something doesn't make something really exist or not.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      I hate Illinois Nazis.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • jay shelley

      The joke goes, Jesus walks into a hotel, hands the manager 3 nails and asks, "Can you put me up for the night?"

      June 3, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  10. The Bobinator

    How could they consider this over the top and forged? Preposterous!

    Matthew 27:52-53
    The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Artist

      That really happened because a guy that knew a guy that knew one of the guys that hung out with jesus said so.
      .
      Can you find any better entertainment other than what the Romans used to do with them. You are worth yoru weight in gold christians when it comes to laughter. Skitzs back then and even today....god will save me...*SQUA SH*

      May 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Bibinator

      Yes, and there was also a 3 day eclipse. No one noticed either of these events, outside of the Gospel. Hmmm....

      Cheers!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Owl Stretching Time

      Zombie party!!!!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  11. Kent

    Re: “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”

    The Bible itself is one of those "outrageous things" that way too many people believe in.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Kent, and I suppose you are going to lie and say you've read the Bible over and over again to come to your babble conclusion.

      Heard it before by different non-believers handles.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Are you going to lie and say you've read FORGED all the way through? And the Koran? Is it really necessary to become an expert on something that you think is BS in order to say it's BS? I HAVE read the Bible, and I think it's BS, but I haven't written an annotated concordance explaining where I disagree with it. Why should I? I haven't heard Britney's CD all the way through, but I didn't like what I heard. And where in the Bible does it advise you to resort to ad hominem attacks when you feel threatened?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  12. john316

    Mr. Witherington in his critique, says the most important sentence of all..... "Gullible Travels" the willingness of people to believe the most outrageous things....of course, I assumed he was talking about the Bible......

    May 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      He's just another con hiding behind Jesus' robe selling his time and books to the masses. Another dime a dozen that has no eyes to see, nor ears to hear. If the guy was legit, he'd make his won way in life instead of hanging on Jesus' coat tails to make a buck.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Theo

      Keep telling yourself that Heavensent it's the only way you won't have to face reality.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • HeavenSect

      Oh well, turns out he's a noted Biblical scholar who spends his days reading the Bible and can recite from it in six languages, and this isn't his first book. Well, he may be well-respected and an expert in the field, but I still think I am smarter than he is because I believe I am always right and he is a doody head so there.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I want to buck Jesus.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Cindy

    Never knew that the common belief in the world is no God, no wonder it is in the shape that it is in. I will pray for you all, one day you will understand that God does exist and then it will be too late for you. Although I realize that people with hardened hearts and narrow minds will never really understand or come to know God, it reallly bothers me. Would you rather risk the chance, of which you say that it doesn't exist, burning in hell for an eternity. What if God does actually exist...think on that for a while!

    May 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Natalie

      Actually, I think the majority of people on the earth believe in some Divine being, although the number of agnostics and atheists have grown in recent years.

      The disagreements always seem to be over who that Divine being is, what he/she/it expects of us and how we behave in regards to it.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Artist

      Cindy

      ..... Would you rather risk the chance, of which you say that it doesn't exist, burning in hell for an eternity. What if God does actually exist...think on that for a while!
      ------
      First you have no faith....second you are letting fear dictate your path. THINK for yourself once in your life. You might be surprised what you find.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Cindy, listen to artist. He can't save your soul either.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Natalie

      On a more personal note, I've weighed it out and refuse to live my life in fear of what may or may not come after I die.

      I much prefer to live my life well, make my time count. Anything that comes after is beyond what I can control today.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Crrodriguez

      Oh. Pascal's Wager again ? *facepalm* , We have heard that non-sense over and over again, repeating a lie hundreds of times does not make it true, or moral.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • JohnR

      Ahura Mazda is going to smite you on judgment day, Cindy! Oh boy, are you in for some eternal misery ...

      May 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  14. Natalie

    When I started studying the history of the Bible, how it came to be what it is today, I was forced to face the reality that everything I believed, the faith that I clung to and preached and thrust at others was based on...maybe not flat out lies, but certainly nothing resembling truth.

    It was a big step in relinquishing my Christian faith.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Wow, now Natalie follows the baloney of man.

      Good grief Lucy.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Theo

      "Wow, now Natalie follows the baloney of man."

      Actually Heavensent you are the one following the baloney of man from 2000 years ago!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Artist

      HeavenSent who wrote your bible? No assumptions please. Interesting how you remark about baloney of man.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Natalie

      Not a big fan of bologna. I prefer steak. Rare and bloody.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I only bop the baloney of God, not man.

      Amen..

      May 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Artist, how many times do I have to write this answer that you constantly ignore? Why don't you go back through the last 5 articles to read my same reply?

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Theo

      "Artist, how many times do I have to write this answer that you constantly ignore? Why don't you go back through the last 5 articles to read my same reply?"

      That basically means you're clueless.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Artist

      HeavenSent

      Artist, how many times do I have to write this answer that you constantly ignore? Why don't you go back through the last 5 articles to read my same reply?

      Amen.
      ------------
      Sorry don't have time to scroll through thousands of replies to find yours. Post it now while this one is fresh, I might see it.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Finally Free

      Natalie, I'm right there with you. I've been a staunch fundamentalist for all of my adult life until I finally allowed myself to look at the practical side of the Bible that I wouldn't let myself see before. Suddenly just accepting on faith something that clearly contradicted known principles of the physical universe seemed completely unpalatable. Oddly enough, once I allowed myself to see one inconsistency, I found them everywhere, in nearly every book of the Bible. I am now free from that weight and have never felt more free in my whole adult life. People talk about their faith changing their life, and that may be true for them, but my life changed for the better when I stepped off of that merry-go-round and let myself breathe (and think.)

      May 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  15. jjheinis

    I believe the mainline Christian churches (e.g. Orthodox, Roman Catholic,and Anglican/Episcopal) would find little to dispute about this because they regard the scripture as working in conjunction with tradition. However, more fundamentalist Christian churches would have problems. Bart Ehrman, although a Biblical scholar, originally came to study the scriptures through fundamentalist christianity. This, of course, regards the Bible as inerrant which, is totally in contradiction to the history of the Bible and the various Councils which led to the decision as to which Books of the Bible are canonical and which ones are not.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Artist

      It is amazing how people actually think the bible is the pure word of god. Mind baffling as to their faith in man.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Regardless of the truth, it is the Word of God. Repent and accept it as the Truth.
      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Owl Stretching Time

      "Regardless of the truth, it is the Word of God." Hilarious!!! Idoes not matter that it is not true, it is the word of God so you must believe it. Perfect explanation of Christianity, HeavenSent! You are a gem!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Theo

      "Regardless of the truth, it is the Word of God."

      The truth is being revealed it's bogus.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Crrodriguez

      It is not the word of god, because god doesnt exist, it is a fantasy book, written by primitive ignorant bigots just like HeavenSent.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Of course you must believe it – what are you mad???? The bible is the truth, and the truth is the bible. It says so – right there in the BIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I'VE GOT ME MIND ON ME BIBLE AND ME BIBLE ON ME MIND

      -Amen

      May 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  16. BG

    http://www.pacificfreepress.com/news/1/8722-lying-in-the-name-of-christianity-a-review-of-forged.html

    Good. No problems here. Now, CNN, do you have the balls to publish an article on...

    "The Imperfections of the Koran"

    Hmmmm? Well, Do you?

    May 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • BeucephalusLives

      Hear him! Hear him!

      May 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • Eric

      f __ you and the horse you rode in on.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • ChajiMogo

      BG – why don't you try to do a scholarly research on the Koran and find the inconsistencies? Maybe then CNN will headline it on their site!

      May 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • BG

      @ ChajiMogo

      Me? Unnecessary and redundant, as it's already been done.

      Let's see CNN interview the likes of Spencer, Hirsi Ali, Sultan, and scores of others who have shot holes in the sieve-like logic of the "perfect" Koran.

      Then let's see them write an article here or anywhere else.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  17. Harry Hippobottomus

    Did you know that of all the thousands of extant Bibles from before the 13th century, not a one of them has the "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" story? It's a scribal addition by some monk. Made up and added.

    Did you know that there is a note from the head of a monastery from about the same time ordering his scribe monks to stop alterring the Bible with their own views?

    May 13, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Artist

      But it is the word of gawd!!!!!! *crying*

      May 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      gawd warks in mysterious sways

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I work in psychotic ways.

      Amen..

      May 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent is burden with OCD along with narcissism.

      WOW. LOL.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony HeavenSent #6 you keep stealing my name and attributing your lies to me! Just like they did in the new testament. Wait, wait... i didn't say that!

      Amen

      May 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Artist

      To all the phoney HeavenSents, go to hell. The real one is a true gift from god. A heaven sent to all my friends. They love me and I love that they love me. They love to touch me and tell me this. I love that they love to touch me. In return I touch them like a touch from Heaven.
      Amen...

      May 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Artist

      Sorry couldn't resist, had to try acting like he lol

      May 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I know to not underestimate a non-believer. You have no shame. You go lower each and every time.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Artist

      HeavenSent

      I know to not underestimate a non-believer. You have no shame. You go lower each and every time.

      Amen.

      ----–
      Seems my creation has taken on a life of its own. Sometimes I have a hard time trying to see which ones are your posts.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  18. Stevie7

    This would be the problem with believing that a book is true because the book told you so – independent and rational thoughts flies out the window.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • HeavenSent

      One basket [had] very good figs, [even] like the figs [that are] first ripe: and the other basket [had] very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

      Jeremiah 24:2

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I find much that it done in the name of religion to be rather "naughty" figs. Though I wasn't aware that figs had a sense of morality and could be naughty, but what do I know? Do the naughty figs get lumps of pesticide from fig Santa?

      May 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Stevie7, it's just another Truth of Jesus' that tells us that you non- believers are going to fry if you don't repent, ask Him for forgiveness and sin no more.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Theo

      "Truth of Jesus' that tells us that you non- believers are going to fry if you don't repent, ask Him for forgiveness and sin no more."

      The truth is Jesus didn't write the scriptures, nor did Paul, Mark, John or Luke! You have to admit though it's a great work of fiction.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Theo, I'm just shaking my head.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Hitler (a catholic) and god would have a lot in common, both wanting to fry humans without sufficient cause.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I ate too many figs.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • It Could Happen

      @HeavenSent: "Theo, I'm just shaking my head."

      Keep shaking that head, HS - maybe some of those loose screws will realign themselves correctly.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  19. Artist

    First things first....lol
    .
    Second....how about addressing the old testy next...they loved to borrow from others for their stories. Christian bible....one of the biggest frauds in history.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Leave the old testes out of this. It's a soft target so we don't go there.

      May 13, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Artist

      Quran, well its just delusional ramblings. God I just love religions!

      May 13, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent, you're too carnal. Go steal one of your non-believers handles to post your babble.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Burn in hell, second phony HeavenSent, dry bones, desert without water, stealing my handle. And the first phony one too. My handle is very important here. I have thousands of good Christian followers who read my every word. I am famous, so God will pop you like the spiritual pimple that you are.

      Amen..

      May 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I'm a spiritual pimple that someone needs to pop. I won't get popped any other way.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent, you own the big ego award. Do not put me in your category. My complaints to you has nothing to do with my post being anything but my own. Or, is that too much for you?

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I'm so important! I'm so famous! I speak for God! I hate it when phony people steal my phony name!

      Amen..

      May 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent, for you to steal my handle proves Jesus' truth gets to you. Too funny how you try to block His truth from being written.

      LOL.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Heaven sent us cancers too numerous to mention, dysentery, bubonic plague, AIDS, pneumonia, arthritis, and countless other diseases. Not to mention the odd tsunami.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  20. HeavenSent

    whereas the other half is just BS.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Phony heavensent, your ex is not calling you.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Kent

      Re: Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”

      The Bible is far more outrageous than anything Ehrman could write. Anyone who believes in it is delusional.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Wellllllll

      Most of the negative comments regarding God and christianity come from people that are unable to live by the bibles standards. Oprah did the same thing when she wrote the book "the secret". Now that she has come out of the closet it has become apparent why she bashed the bible and tried to start her own religion. She couldnt live by guideline layed down by the King James bible.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Yeah, those great bible guidelines, such as bloody sacrifice of animals and all. Check out Leviticus some time to get a fine sense of what your sickening instruction manual for life says god wants you to do.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Grr82CU

      Mr. Ehrman is well known for these assertions having publish other such material. He has "discovered" that he can make a lot more money making sensationalistic claims whether well founded or not than teaching in a seminary. Bart Ehrman is a prime example that a higher level of education does not necessarily carry scholastic integrity with it.

      First – Bart Ehrman COMES LATE TO THE PARTY – in relation to observations about Jesus' disciples' "education":

      "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were __unschooled__, ordinary men, they were astonished" (Acts 4:13, NIV, underline added)

      "The Jews were amazed and asked, "How did this man get __such learning without having studied__?" (4th Gospel, 7:15, NIV, underline added)

      So Ehrman's claims of "discoveries", "conclusions", etc., does so about material that has already been well known by the theological-scholarly community for years so what he is doing amounts to nothing more than self-serving financial capitalization upon that which is already well known an published by scholars. It's an old story of basking in the "credibility" accorded by the general public to someone like Ehrman with letters behind their name.

      What the beginning premise of looking at the writings called the new testament SHOULD be, is that Jesus himself wrote no words, he taught orally and others wrote. That Jesus was a historic figure for those who doubt he ever existed is testified to by the Jewish historian Josephus who speaks in his Testimonium Flavianum of Jesus by name and also comments about some of the things and works attributed to him.

      Secondly, Ehrman seems to be claiming that ALL of the disciples of Jesus were "illiterate" – which presumes Matthew the Tax Collector and Luke the Physician could not read and write which is absurd given their own level of education to do the work they did. Are we to think Matthew could "count" money and revenues collected but not read or write? Did Luke treat, prescribe, advise on medical matters of his day with no knowledge imparted by his training on how to read and write? It's a ridiculous premise on the part of Ehrman which onlly underscores his disingenuousness !

      That the Apostle Paul, the former Pharasee, could read and write, is admitted to by Ehrman.

      Whether or not the disciples were actually "illiterate" by today's standards and that Mr. Ehrman's we do not know – but remembering the reactions of those who heard them and Jesus speaking and marveled at their knowledge being "unschooled and ordinary" – much Bart Ehrman cannot speak to with the authority he presumes to do and maintain scholastic integrity.

      Simply comparing handwriting and grammatical construction does not take into account that others were writing as the disciples were teaching just as they taught what they heard Jesus speaking.

      All in all, if there is a God (rhetorically speaking only) then what that being desires for man to know – as delivered by representatives – would certainly have the power to insure the message/information retained everything essential to maintaining the integrity of the message regardless of how the material in which it was delivered changed in other ways over years, decades, centuries, and millenniums.

      Apparently that part was left out of ancient language and NT studies 101 as Mr. Ehrman progressed towards his Doctorate.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:09 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.