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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. Eric G

    Half of it was forged? So what?

    The real question is what percentage of it is fiction. Even the most stout believers must admit that some percentage of it is just a bunch of stuff somebody made up.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  2. KeithTexas

    If you Christians need the Bible to be literally true then your beliefs are not acts of Faith. I was raised in a Fundamentalist Church and I realized that the literal interputation of the Bible was BS by the age of 10. How blind do you have to be to not see what this man is pointing out?

    By the way, I am doing fine with Jesus, and God.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  3. Keith

    Just another apostate, like Rob Baal. Judgement awaits these liars.

    May 14, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  4. RightturnClyde

    This is a strange allegation .. but it must sell copy. Paul was a condemned prisoner who was beheaded in 63 AD just before Nero fed Christians to lions. Why would anyone use his name? Second hundreds of bible scholars scour these writings and compare them for authorship .. and THEY do not challenge them. Thirdly 23 church councils examined doctrine it is an on-going effort to avoid false doctrine. Fourthly, Christian doctrine was not taught in written form until the last 400 years because Christians were illiterate. It wasn't until after the KJV that Christians acquired the reading skills to be Bible readers. (the last 400 years) . Fifth, the Bible is based on faith and cannot be proved so why forge it?

    May 14, 2011 at 8:41 am |
  5. Atrus' Homeboy

    My, my, my, just LOOK at all this post-spamming! Or is this common in the CNN comment sections?

    May 14, 2011 at 8:27 am |
  6. Bill

    "forged" shows that people continue to try and find "loopholes" to avoid God and God's Truth. As long as we can think that what is written in the New Testament isnt true, then we are not accountable for accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and realizing that he died for the forgiveness of our sins. We have not deicison to accept Him or not. And we can ignore his teachings of mercy, justice, grace and forgiveness.
    Where to begin ... First off, Paul was amazingly well-educated. He was a rising star among rabbis. Second, no, he did not personally write his work ... none of it actually ... we know that Luke and one other follower (cant think of his name) acted as scribes for Paul .. HE SAYS SO IN HIS LETTERS.
    Mark acted as a scribe for Peter (a relative) and yes, Peter was uneducated (that is in scripture too.)
    John may have been a fisherman but he was well educated. We know this because his father was a wealthy fisherman and well-connected among the high council. This is why John had access to the high priest's house that Peter did not have.
    Matthew was a tax-collecter ... so yes, he was well educated.
    James the brother of Jesus, we know very little about in terms of education, but since we know Jesus was well educated, why is it far-fetched to believe his brother was, as well.
    READ THE BOOK PEOPLE .... dont just read a commentary from a guy who obviously has an ax to grind.
    Grace, Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Humility. Sacrifice. These are the principles Jesus taught and they are eternal.

    May 14, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • Eric G

      Interesting that your choice of the word "loophole" when describing those who disagree with your Christian beliefs.

      All humans sin.
      God created man.
      God created man sinful.
      God hates sin and will not let you into heaven if you are sinful.
      God sacrifices himself to himself to take humans sin away.

      More loopholes in that path than the tax code.

      Of course, all of this is irrelevant. You will need to provide verifiable evidence to support your claims. Let's just start at the begining......
      Please provide verifiable evidence that your god exists.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  7. Jeff

    There are two types of biblical scholars: Christians who believe it, study it, learn it, and defend it; and scholars who study it subjectively and as a historical writing. The latter have been doing this for years and have already affirmed most of what Ehrman writes. To them it is a scholarly pursuit. When the media needs a story, they grab one of these scholars' books and do a story on it, which whips up "controversy."

    May 14, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • Free

      Jeff
      "There are two types of biblical scholars: Christians who believe it, study it, learn it, and defend it; and scholars who study it subjectively and as a historical writing."

      Don't forget that plenty of the subjective scholars are still Christians. They just don't let their personal convictions keep them from seeing the truth of their findings.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • KeithTexas

      Free – You must be a Christian because your argument is circular just like proving the Bible with the Bible.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  8. myklds

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

    I and my friends have our fingerprints all over the pages of my favourite comic book as they also read it, does it mean we're the one or one of us wrote it?

    May 14, 2011 at 6:58 am |
    • Atrus' Homeboy

      It's a metaphor, numbskull. It means that everything in the Bible, be it the word of God or not, was written by human hands, and thus entirely subject to human meddling.

      May 14, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • I_get _it

      myklds,

      Good luck trying to interpret anything else in life – you are quite dense. I'll make it clearer - that quote means that human fingerprints are all over the pen that wrote the Bible. And no, there is no evidence of anything but human inspiration in its words either.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  9. Dr Bill Toth

    I think Thomas Jefferson had the correct idea when he created "The Jefferson Bible". Ultimately creating a set of principles to live by. Live With Intention, DrBillToth.com/blog

    May 14, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  10. wipe0ut

    WOW! Helluvah Atheists down here! No wonder there's none (left) in the foxholes.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:37 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Fsck you. I was in a foxhole. Were youi?

      May 14, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Free

      We're far more numerous and wide-spread than you realize, is all, and we're not frightened into keeping quiet by threats of hellfire, or being labeled 'anti-Christ' like moderate believers apparently are.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  11. gary

    There are many 'good old boys' today who are carpenters and fishermen. We cannot say they are illiterate just because of their occupations. We also cannot say they do not have any Spirit inspired wisdom from God. It is a know fact that knowledge of an event diminishes over time. I find it incredible that 2,000 years later we suddenly know more about who wrote the NT. The anti-Christ is alive and doing his work through these so-called scholars.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:31 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Err, right. That mean old anti-christ again. So your big powerful goddy still can't get rid of the monster under your bed?

      May 14, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • JJ

      gary-
      The point is that very, very few people living in that area at that time were literate. A simple fisherman meeting Jesus could trade his catch without knowing how to read and write. Universal public schooling is only really as old as America and simply wasn't the case way back then.

      "I find it incredible that 2,000 years later we suddenly know more about who wrote the NT."
      I suspect that you find it difficult to accept that we can know more about anything than what the NT writers did. Odd how so many Christians completely distrust modern knowledge, yet drive cars, hop on planes, undergo surgeries that Jesus' followers couldn't even dream of, and accept that there are more planets orbiting the sun than their eyes can see.

      "The anti-Christ is alive and doing his work through these so-called scholars."
      Yup, label anything critical of your beliefs the work of the 'antichrist'. That's a lot easier than trying to disprove them, which you know you can't. Pitiful!

      May 14, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  12. KM

    The Bible is a collection of books. Book collections today and historically have a publisher. Publishers are and always have been interested in pervasiveness, profit, and power. (Information = Power). Is it not logical to think whoever put this book together had an agenda? Is it not logical to assume part of that agenda was to normalize customs and relationships amongst varying religious / ethnic groups spread throughout an early empire?

    I just don't understand how a majority of this planet still clings to outdated concepts like religion when there is so much evidence contradicting and condemning every major organized religion on the planet. I'd ask if most people were really stupid but, sadly, I know that answer is yes. I feel sorry for myself to live during this time period. Why couldn't I have been born into a world where people didn't choose to actively deceive themselves with fairy tales and empty promises.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • MK

      If you were "not born in this time period", everybody could careless.

      May 14, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  13. Frank_K

    I simply don't believe it. Only half of it a forgery? It's obviously all forged, one great lie cover to cover!

    May 14, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  14. Chumsworth

    It's truly amazing that nobody noticed any of these problems for almost two thousand years!

    May 14, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • bardo

      they did, they were just murdered if they spoke up.

      May 14, 2011 at 3:57 am |
    • MK

      @bardo..Maybe KM (below) would wish he lives during those and not "period of time". I bet, a dead man couldn't feel sorry anymore.

      May 14, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • MK

      I meant, not this*

      May 14, 2011 at 6:41 am |
  15. Evan

    1) Biblical Scholars views are not impartial. Alexander the Great, the Buddha, Augustus Caesar, Charlemagne, Atilla the Hun, etc. never wrote anything that was published, yet why don't "scholars" attack these people? A.H. Sayce asks a really good question: if the Bible did not claim to be the Word of God, would people attack it so much? Of course they wouldn't. They'd treat it just like anything other historical source.

    2) Biblical Scholars commit the Fallacy of Antisupernaturlism. When we make an argument, we must start with A priori, or "assumed", facts. However, these assumed facts cannot be the same as the information we conclude from them. Biblical scholars, howerver, assume the supernatural does not exist only to arrive at the same conclusion. Montgomery says it best: "But can the modern man accept a "miracle" such as the Resurrection? The answer is a surprising one: The resurrection has to be accepted by us because we are modern men, men living in the Eistein relativistic age. For us, unlike people of the Newtonian epoch, the universe is no longer a tight safe, predictable playing-field in which we know all the rules. Since Einstein, no modern has had the right to rule out the possibility of events because of prior knowledge of 'natural law'. The only way we can know whether an event can occur is to see whether in fact it has occurred. The problem of 'miracles', then, must be solved in the realm of historical investigation, not in the realm of philosophical speculation" (Montgomery, HC, 75-76). Montgomery is basically saying we should believe the Resurrection 1) because of the evidence which supports it (for more on this, read "Evidence for Christianity" by Josh McDowell), and 2) because we cannot start by assuming that we know everything about the universe.

    3) Pierre Benoit sums up this point: "The Christians may not have been interested in 'history', but they were certainly interested in the 'historical'. The preachers of the new faith may not have wanted to narrate everything about Jesus, but they certainly did not want to relate anything that was not real" (Benoit, JG, 38). "...not even the Christian would be interested in the product of the Gospels taken out of its historical framework" (McDowell, EC, 607).

    4) The Gospels writers, especially Luke, proved to be very accurate. New Testament events are mentioned by the early Church fathers, pre-NT creeds, Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, Lucian, Suetonius, Pliny, Thallus, Phlegon, Mara Bar Serapion, Trajan, Macrobius, Hadrian, Pius, Aurelius, Juvenal, Seneca, Hierocles, archaeological findings, and others.

    5) Ehrman's position doesn't make much sense.

    a) The disciples were literate (Paul was an extremely well-educated, Pharisee from a wealthly family). One very interesting thing about ancient Israel is quite alot of its people were literate. As for Peter and John, they wrote their Gospels around 30 years after the events they recorded. Considering the fact that they were so important to the early Church, it would not have been difficult to find someone willing to help them learn to read.

    b) Ehrman's conclusion that the Christians "forged" the Epistles is as rediculous as saying Plato's students "forged" his writings.

    c) Paul's writings are, honestly, quite difficult to understand (even Peter admits this). However, first off, there is an answer somewhere in his writings. Second, most scholars seem to forget that 1st century Christians were by no means "dumb"; they would not have added a contradictory passage in a letter.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Electric Larry

      The "fallacy of antisupernaturalism"? Isn't that just a re-stating of the law of antidumbsh!tism?

      May 14, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Frank_K

      What a specious load of nonsense. The typical ramblings and lies of a Christian apologist. They do not seek truth but only to defend the Bible at any cost, including their own integrity.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • M. Taylor

      "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.

      " Then

      "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?”

      The admonishment in the second paragraph was in answer to the social customs at the time which had the females sitting on one side and the males on the other.

      Many times wives etc would call out to greet or talk to the husbands, brothers etc. This is what the admonishment was about and is only one example of many more that I am certain people will expose in the thoughtless carelessness of this persons research.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:41 am |
    • Eric G

      @Evan: "Biblical Scholars commit the Fallacy of Antisupernaturlism. When we make an argument, we must start with A priori, or "assumed", facts. However, these assumed facts cannot be the same as the information we conclude from them."

      Your entire post is based on as-sumption. You are inserting the existence of a god in your position without any supporting verifiable evidence. Without this as-sumption of existence, your entire argument is invalid.

      Sorry, but if you choose to use "logic" as a method to establish your position, you will need to play by the rules or you will be called out on your dishonesty.

      "Antisupernaturalism" is not a logical fallacy. To claim a thing or event as supernatural carries a heavy burden of proof. (please insert "alien abduction-rectal probe experiment" joke here). Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      "What a specious load of nonsense. The typical ramblings and lies of a Christian apologist"
      Oh, REALLY?!......LOL! !
      Your comment resembles the incident in John 12:28,28 when people around said that it thundered! So is for those whose hearts have become numb, shutting out the voice of God, not recognize Him in anything, although the witness of Him is in everything! So, they demand PROOF! But if He came to stand in the midst of them, they could not recognize Him, just like those of Christ's time did not, although He performed mighty miracles in their midst. Oh, the evil, perverse generation!

      May 14, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Prism still has the probe in.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Perhaps if you drink a Magic Potion you'll understand...

      May 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  16. Reality

    Many if not most contemporary NT scholars have been saying this for years with the Timothy and T-itus epistles being even questioned for authenticity by many RCC-approved scholars.

    A summary:-----------

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) 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, Ludemann, 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 sects.

    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, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", 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 "filicider".

    May 14, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  17. n3kit

    You may be able to say and write the words "i love you", making you literate, but your heart may be lying, making you spiritually illiterate. The gospel is not about literacy or illiteracy, it is about people with pure hearts who can be vessels of God's. If God cannot make literates out of illiterates then He is no God. If He can not turn sinners into saints then what is He God for? The new testament is not forged, though your heart might be Mr. Bart Errman.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • ~X~

      "You may be able to say and write the words "i love you", making you literate, but your heart may be lying, making you spiritually illiterate. The gospel is not about literacy or illiteracy, it is about people with pure hearts who can be vessels of God's. If God cannot make literates out of illiterates then He is no God. If He can not turn sinners into saints then what is He God for?"

      9/11, Pat Robinson, Ugana Gaynocide Bill, George Bush Jr, Salem Witch Trials, Crusades

      tl;dr – Exactly.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @n3kit
      A M E N !
      Jesus our Lord said : "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"

      If this is so, then what is the condition of those, whose hearts are darkened by sin that's in them, which they love and won't let go of? It leaves them blind, stumbling in darkness, being open targets to the lies and deceptions which the enemy of their souls is ever ready and willing to allure them with, and is able to do it, so, because they did not love the truth, there is no other option for them then believing a lie!

      This is the condition of all mankind without Christ. Because it is written, "all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. IN HIM WAS LIFE, AND THE LIFE WAS THE LIGHT OM MEN. AND THE LIGHT SHINES IN TH DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENED IT NOT....THAT LIGHT WAS THE TRUE LIGHT WHICH GIVES LIGHT TO EVERY MAN COMING INTO THE WORLD......."
      So there is a witness that testifies in the soul of every human being of that Light, till trough sin , love of Self, an pride it becomes extinguished. Therefore, no man will have an excuse when he stands before his Maker! We are given the gift of life, and although we are fallen, wretched creatures, God in His mercy and love has provided the way of redemption, in His Son Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who came to sacrifice His life so we would live!
      What man in his right mind would refuse such mercy , grace and gift of life? Only those who love their own sin, and SELF is sitting on the throne of their darkened hearts!
      Now every man has freedom of choice, but then it will be His verdict....

      Oh, the depth of the riches both of wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out... He has hidden them from those who are wise in their own eyes, but revealed them to the humble, and those of broken and contrite hearts...

      May 14, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Prism, earlier superst-itions than yours had scapegoat stories too. Your dead guy pinned on a stick story is not really very novel that way. No points for originality.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      UYRA, even the name you chose is a disgrace!

      Do you think your miserable opinion matters?
      But you too will have your day in court! Then you can lay it all out!
      No need to say anything else to you!

      May 14, 2011 at 11:33 am |
  18. Free

    I learned all this 25 years ago. It's only sensational to any degree because so few do any study of the Bible.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      For such a pathetic work of fiction by so many weak authors, the bible is grossly over-studied. There is just no substance there.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  19. Methusalem2000

    May be CNN will tell us that the Koran is written by an African Christian slave - as the "Hadith" reports. This could be a very enlightening piece of journalism.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Nice try at changing the subject. You're squirming.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  20. Methusalem2000

    Is it the fast food diet that makes the human foundation of the "knowledgeable" shakes this way...of course, we will pray for the Big Mac scholar when he lands at the hospital, like R. Dawkins and co.

    May 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Antiutopia

      Please. These claims are at least as old as 18th and 19thC higher criticism, just sensationalized for the press, not to mention discussions of authorship dating as far back as Origen in the 2nd-3rd century. The speculative nature and weakness of these claims are also well-known.

      May 14, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      -because we all know all that prayer has ever done: absolutely nothing other than keep stupid people occupied

      May 14, 2011 at 9:31 am |
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