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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. Panthera Onca

    Forged?
    Now I cannot believe in the New Testament, The Easter Bunny, Santa, the Tooth Fairy or Alice in Wonderland.....I might even have to use evolutions gift to man, an enlarged brain, to critically analyze our existence....

    May 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  2. Simeon Johnson

    Before a person can begin to think along the line of faith, he must accept certain principles or axioms: Self-evident truth, requiring no proof.

    “Be not afraid of their faces; for I am with you to deliver you, saith the LORD.” [Jer. 1:8, 9]

    “Then the LORD put forth His hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” (“I have put My words in your mouth,” explains Inspiration. The mouth was Jeremiah’s, the Words were God’s [Acts 3:21; IITim.3:16-17; II Pet.1:21].) KJV

    Join us on Twitter @Thegoodlifeis: Follow us on Facebook

    May 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Free

      Simeon Johnson
      Things that are 'self-evident' have sufficient proof that is easy to see. They're 'self-proofing' in that you don't have to look for the evidence; it's right there. Your statement then makes no sense.

      May 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  3. tallulah13

    Crucified, you found one interpretation that suited your purposes and you call it proof. Did you search for other interpretations of the numbers, and if you did, did you consider them or did you simply dismiss them because they didn't match with what you r needs?

    Your interpretation of the mathematical model is disputed and called "pseudoscience" by others. You don't have proof. Sorry.

    May 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • crucified

      schroeders mathmatical model is agreed universally by physicist to be fact! and it has been tested!

      May 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  4. evolve

    i still cant comprehend how in this 21st century, highly educated persons still question the existence God!if you believe in the laws of nature, why would you not believe that someone kept those laws there! You believe in things you dont see(air, gravity etc) and you need scientific proof of goods existence.I dont think most deserve explanation for this.
    ,

    May 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      evolve wrote: "i still cant comprehend how in this 21st century, highly educated persons still question the existence God!"

      Funny... I still can't comprehend how in this 21st century CE (or 58th century according to the Jewish calendar, 48th century according to the Chinese calendar, 22nd century according to the Tibetians, etc.), some people still believe in the existence of god...

      May 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Evolve... What you find hard to understand is that someone is asking for empirical evidence of God, that is, proof within our dimensions. What you accept on faith is that it is impossible to test for the Creator by human means.

      Let me restate your comment and see if you agree....If God created time, space, matter and all the laws we call nature and physics, then God is not composed of anything He created. As our tests only involve observation of things in this creation, it is probable that we cannot see or measure God using our current abilities.

      Is that a fair restatement?

      May 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Free

      evolve-
      "You believe in things you dont see(air, gravity etc) and you need scientific proof of goods existence."
      Blind people can't see anything so, according to your logic, they really can't believe in anything then. Nobody can 'see' God, that's why we need some other form of proof, proof that something can only be God and not something with a natural explanation. So far, there's nothing that fits that bill. Sorry.

      May 14, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  5. Nathan

    This isn't very convincing for me. if he would have sent his research to a peer review, and submitted it up for a critique with open-minded NT scholars, then maybe he would have a case. But rather, he does research, and then writes a book. Great. i hope that none of you take this information and run with it without doing the research yourselves. By believing this without any investigation, you are being a so called "sheep"

    Life is a mystery. Who would have thought of the complexities of a single cell? Or of the atmosphere that encompasesses the Earth? How could you possibly rule out the notion of there not being a God with a world that we live in? Stop being so closed minded and see life with its possibilities.

    I hope you all know, that by saying something doesn't exist is a matter of faith/belief. Unless you know something the world doesn't.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  6. RWESTUPID

    What a surprise! Tell it like it is, Mr. Ehrman! It was an essay contest! Evolve people!

    May 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  7. Publius

    So according to Acts, they were unschooled. Yet, were are told the Testaments are forged. Can you believe what was written in Acts if you believe it was a forgery? Is not the simpler explanation a scribe? Or that the Rabbi they followed taught them? You might recall the Rabbi they followed was able to things other men could not. CNN.com presents this as news. It has been debated for centuries. The Faithful remain.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • RWESTUPID

      Finish the sentence, Publius. The faithful remain ignorant.

      May 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  8. JoeSmith

    You know whats funny, look at once great movies like ET, Close Encounters, Back to Future all great in their time . but in last 20-30 years man has learned more and these movies are borderline preposterous now. HOW can people still read the bible and think anything in it is real ? it might have some good stories but a GOD that once parted seas, and fit 6 million animals on a boat ? and the list of preposterous things goes on and on and on in the bible. wake up world !

    May 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Up Your Rear Admiral

    crucified, I'll see you in the rapture capsule with the blue unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring -the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the uplifting.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  10. gingersrule1

    The Bible is a fraud. But it has truths in it too. God did not write the Bible. No one is worthy of putting Gods will into words. I believe Jesus meant for Christianity to be passed on orally as he chose this also. The Bible was Rome's way of controlling its people. Its stupid how Christians can only refer to one history book to set up the foundation of everything they believe.

    May 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Nathan

      'the Bible was Romes way of controlling the people" ......... Did you really just say that? Is that why it was consider illegal to be a Christian for 300 years in the Roman Empire? Its stupid how people can just post prejudices and not have a solid arguement.

      by the way, doesn't matter what you believe, when you actually read a bible, you'll see that Jesus does ask for what he says to be written down.

      May 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • crucified

      @gingers rule1 actually your post is quite funny...were you joking? the bible was meant to control the romans made by the romans??? the romans killed many Christians and the roman empire dissolve after the split of the empire and the establishment of constantines belief.. hardly used to contol...it is a book of faith..by the way the dead sea scrolls..book of isaiah written 100 years before the birth of Christ has many prophecies fullfilled by Christ that he could not of conjecture or had the influenced to happen especially after his death. the bible is authoritative. and truth. I can tell you have been force feed false knowledge by high minded fools.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • pho non

      "book of faith" cannot be definite "truth", else not faith. Also, bible full of errors and contradictions -these easy to find, you just google or see Project Reason website.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • crucified

      contradiction? you mean the website that promotes atheism "project reason" no thankyou..I would much rather follow the motives of the disciples who witnessed the ressurection the accesion and where willing to die for it instead of disappearing into obscurity.I know of no contradiction that was not explained away... so go ahead bring on your world is flat thoughts...I will rip them up for all to see.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • pho non

      crucified, you merely very stupid child and just copy and paste equation. Not proof, nor even valid. Go waste time somewhere else; you never get even basic science degree, stupid little boy.]

      Bible loaded with errors and evil. No contesting that any more.

      May 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • crucified

      @pho non I guess you were not up for challenge. I see I made you angry, why? because what I have expressed here on the blog makes you uncomfortable? why is it when an intelligent person brings a rationale arguement, you try to attack the source of credibility.. I recognize this tactic..anyway...I hope you are uncomfortable...it is what made me change my view. as far as degrees have a couple..I will not get into them since you are in attack mode..but, know this you will have to face a Creator. and that Creator will judge you by His standards not yours, the rules are set and your eternality is determined by it!

      May 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  11. BabaBlackSheep

    Baaaaaaaabaaaaa, tell me where to send money Baababaaaa

    May 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Pete

    Who moderates this board?? The series of first-access posts had NOTHING to do with the article.
    The article is pretty well written. CNN, hire a component and attentive moderator. Sheesh.

    May 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  13. Sandra Currie

    Proof of God – get serious. God was created by man.

    May 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • crucified

      E\psi(r)=-\frac{\hbar}{2m}\nabla^2\psi+V(r)\psi(r)
      there is your proof!

      May 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Reply

      See comments above to this hypothesis.

      May 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  14. Peche Melba

    . . . valid points made by both parties, however, although the Bible was inspired by Jah, man did/does have his own agenda: after all man's only dust. there are men –AND women - who were devout followers of His Son, Jesus, some of whom may have been "unlettered", but they had sense to hire scribes to do their lettering for 'em. And i can well understand why the writings of certain of Our Lord's female apostles were not included in the "final version" - a society of misogynists (i.e., Paul formerly known as Saul?)

    but you can best believe that the Bible was/is intended for our moral instruction, therefore, daily reading of its contents is a thing MOST positive - all praises to The Most High God: Alleliu-JAH!!

    May 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  15. HollyD

    First off i spent years going to church and sunday school and reading the bible and everything it had to offer. I believe in god i will never say god is evil or bad to believe in, but i am not as bugs bunny would say a maroon, if you believe earth is at the center of the universe and everything revolves around it and its only 4000-6000 years old, you are dumb. If you believe god would actually mass murder an entire planet ecosystem besides 2 of every animal making us all inbread freaks including all other life on earth "on land" not just human, souly out of anger then your also dumb. Wait what about sharks? so they don't get judged?? The parts of the bible that are real were stolen from older religions for Example babylonians being robbed of there story of the ark. Noah was actually a hops farmer that built a series of rafts and tied them together to bring his product across the dead sea what he didnt expect was a huge flood. He was forced to grab his hops and lifestock plus his closes friends to go on the boat they had nothing to drink since the dead sea is called the dead sea for a reason too much salt, they were forced to drink the beer they made from the hops to survive, By the way beer is 95% water. Just because you are willing to see the truth behind the fact that everything in the bible is basically "BS" does not mean there cant still be a being of great power that set evolution not hookus pookus I dream or Jenie theories into motion to watch play out and see how we choose to live. if god exists i highly doubt a violent christian god that condomes things like crusades and dark ages which was the halacaust times 1000. If you didnt know what the dark ages are, its a period of time in history were the churchs influence was so strong they convinced people the plague was caused by hebrew gypsies gays lesbians transgender muslims or just anyone that has any other theory on how the world worked other then the churches, they exterminated them, and crusades was a time were christian governed empires wages all out war to conquer and destroy "islam" and "Claim muslim land" for jesus and there god because only one religion can be right and worshipping any other way is wrong and evil. Well according to "some" church even within the christian sects they believe the other groups in it are completely wrong and will pay for it in the afterlife. People today attack god because they know the church has used his name to make money or to kill anyone that disagree with them which is 100% true, a good christian 500 years ago was killing native americans because they are heretics believing in pagan religions. They were celebrated as being good christians for doing this, i do not hate God i hate christians that us his name to attack people for being different. If God exists then God loves all of us he gave the universe choices so they could live it there way to believe what ever they want to believe, if you want to believe god is a smiteful murderer then i truely pitty you but its your choice and i wont beat you up for it just persway you to rethink things, its ok to believe in god just realize the bible is not real.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  16. Tom Balderston

    This man teaches at Vanderbilt and students come to him to learn the New Testament. His bias is pervasive. He should not be allowed to stand before students and preach his conclusions with a counter presenter that ,indeed, still believes the Bible is the 'inspired' Word of God. Grace and Peace.

    May 14, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Tom Balderston wrote: " His bias is pervasive."

      And yours isn't?

      The function of education is to open people's minds, not close them.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • crucified

      @praise the l-d your mind is pretty closed to religion and spiritual things for that matter. so how can you make this statement.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      You're making assumptions... again... you have no idea of what my opinions are of spiritual or any other matters or of how open my mind is...

      May 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • crucified

      @Praise the L....d you comments speak volumes of your beliefs...they have been consistantly anti-Christian and blasphemous

      May 14, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  17. Hobbits

    So here is my take. No, there isn't a god that oversees the entire universe. No, Jesus wasn't the seed of a god. Sorry Christians, Jews, Muslims, and the like, there is nothing out there after death.

    However, the Bible, Quran, Torah, and a few other books do offer wonderful guidance on how we should live our lives. Taking personal responsibility for our actions, respecting one another, protecting society as a whole, and punishing those that do harm. None of these books or the passages therein should be taken literally, it is more the intent of the passage and the general message of love and respect we should take away from these readings.

    If I could encourage my fellow bloggers on any point it would be this: Don't put your faith and life in the hands of what you can't see or touch. Have faith in yourself to do great deeds, enrich yourself in helping yourself and others. Live a life that is full of meaning and purpose. You where born and you will die. In between those moments you have the power to fill it with whatever you want. No space deity is going to descend and cure your cancer, smite your enemy, or take away your child because "its god's will", its just life so be responsible for what happens while you are alive.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Free

      Being half god and half human was standard for the figure of a hero in the ancient world. Think Perseus, Hercules, and Theseus in Greek mythology, and also remember how much of the NT was written in Greek for a Gentile audience quite familiar with those myths. That Jesus turns out to be the hero who saves humanity from sin just follows a theme that was very familiar, and thus easy to accept.

      May 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  18. Dave

    Human history was and is passed on orally. It is claimed that in the first century and longer such was also the case for scripture.
    As to who wrote the history eventually as "author" instead of "source." one might as well try to credit the typewriter, word processor, or version of MS Word or the model of printer. HP wrote Matthew, I hear.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • gingersrule1

      I was starting to think I'm the only one that knows this. I just don't know how I know it. That bothers me.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And we all know about the absolute accuracy of oral history... it's not worth the paper it's written on...

      May 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Free

      Dave-
      The oral traditions carried on of our own heros like Davy Crockett, Washington, Lincoln, Elvis ought to prove to any American that wild and crazy stories just form around famous people. Legends, tall tales, myths... whatever you want to call them, nobody considers everything said about a famous person to be accurate and if Jesus were a tenth as famous as most Christians believe then some truly huge whoppers were told about him. In fact, weren't some other gospels thrown out precisely because the stories they told about Jesus were a little too wild? So what we have in the NT then, the stories that were within acceptable levels of fantastic?

      May 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Free

      You are so right. I remember seeing recipes for a banana and peanut sandwich that was Elvis' favorite about 2 years after he died. All the recipes were different. In only 2 years...

      Cheers!

      May 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Elvis is dead ?????

      May 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  19. big lie

    Heres an idea< the whole book is made up!!! Anyone who lives there life by the bible is brainwashed.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • crucified

      E\psi(r)=-\frac{\hbar}{2m}\nabla^2\psi+V(r)\psi(r)
      The formula is proof of God and proof of Design.. It is a Fact of Mathmatics.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Not a fact, Crucified. Just a highly disputed personal interpretation of a mathematical equation by a scientist. Hey, if you like Tipler's theory, good for you. Some of us prefer real science.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • crucified

      The you have to deal with the measurement problem and all applied science is false.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      crucified wrote: "all applied science is false."

      But the fairy-tale "bible" is true?

      May 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • crucified

      @praise the L-d I did not say that.. I said that "then you have to deal with the Measurement Problem-Quatum Physics...and all applied science becomes false." look up the measurement problem.. applied science is measurable science..and therefore false.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Anyone interested in the basis of crucified claims should look up Frank J. Tipler and form their own conclusions. Frankly, I think the guy is either a crackpot or a very clever individual who is sacrificing his scientific integrity to make a quick buck off of christians who are desperate to find any quantifiable proof of their god.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • crucified

      I did not say I was proscribing to tipler's idea...I based my assertions on the fact of theschroeder formula..you brought tipler into the blog. the facts are this.the mathmatics proves that we are in a sub enviroment of a greater reality. there are many scientist in the quantum field that believe quatum is leading us to GOD. even einstein said..God does not play Dice. The Measurement Problem stands true that what atheist have been basing there claims on applied science..is false. for at the quatum level the observed react at being observed therefore the information is different in your holographic world you so proudly believe is your ultimate existance..E\psi(r)=-\frac{\hbar}{2m}\nabla^2\psi+V(r)\psi(r)
      there is the formula that proves God, spirituality, and that you live in a hologram. Could you create an ecosystem that a fish would believe has alsways existed? sure you could. at you local pet store.. You are a fish. you can chose not to accept the facts of the formula, or the Measurement problem..but the same results occur..you face the Creator of the images that have design and purpose. and you are judged based on your choices.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Crucified. I'm sorry if I mistook your inspiration. It's just that you mentioned the Matrix, which is very in line with the rather crackpot beliefs of Tipler. I think your notion is very close to Tipler's interpretation, and it's still just another theory. It certainly isn't proof.

      Hey, if it makes you feel better about yourself, go ahead and believe. I don't care what anyone believes, until they start trying to legislate it.

      Also, Einstein was an atheist. He made the mistake of using "god" as a metaphor, and it's been misquoted against him ever since. You might want to look that up.

      May 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • crucified

      That is why I said even eistein said this.. my quip about the matrix was a pop of the show..an easy illustration of what all quantum physicist proscribe to nonlocally connected..the formula is fact. there are many physicist that proscribe to a higher order of things with the recent knowledge of the dimensionless sub atomic level. you might want to rethink the reality you live in.

      May 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I did want to clarify that when I called your belief a "theory" I was using the non-scientific application.

      Your very screen name indicates at least a christian affinity, which indicates to me that you have a personal bias. I think you found something that seems to fit what you want to believe and it makes you feel good. As I said, fine. But what you call proof is simply your (and seemingly Tipler's) interpretation of a scientific concept. There is absolutely nothing to indicate that what you propose is correct. Interpretation is not proof.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • crucified

      All physicist believe the formula! and mathmaticians believe the formula! as far as interpretaion...there is the holographic model..or the deminsional model either way you are talking about something outside our existance creating our existance. and it has design and purpose! You are right I am a Christian! I was not always! the proof was on the Christian side! I have also, had experiences,and have experienced hell...I do not legislate the message, it is out of caring that I would even bother explaining...I do not want you or anyone to experience what I already have. the facts are present.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Free

      tallulah13-
      Oh, Tipler. Is that where he got that formula? Wasn't Tipler the guy who thought that the universe would eventually fill up with intelligent life replacing all other matter, and when that happened what resulted would be God, in his opinion. Doesn't that depend on the big crunch idea of the universe's fate, something that seems rather unlikely given our present knowledge?

      May 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • crucified

      @Free No, as I have said, I did not get the formula from tipler..It is Schroeders mathmatical model you are just trying to confuse people..the 1982 experiment already proved the formula is fact and that at the sub atomic level things lose dimension. we are an extension of a greater reality.. I know you have an agenda..I am just stating the facts.

      May 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @tallulah13

      If I weren't married, I would beg you to marry me. You handled the idiocy of Crucified, well. You must bear children! Your genes should not be wasted!!

      Cheers to you woman!

      May 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • Eric G

      @crucified: Unfortunately, the formula you referenced is not verifiable because you cannot test it. It is a hypothesis at best.

      You were making a good effort until you made the claim that our reality must be the result of a designer. "Must be", when used as a variable, proves as-sumption and is logically invalid. Your equation and conclusions become invalid because your methods are dishonest.

      If you cannot verify all of your possible variables, your results are inconclusive. One does not need to understand quantum mechanics to understand this.

      I appreciate the effort, but you will need to play fair or I will call you on it.

      May 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  20. Lj

    Eric G-
    Actually God did not create humans sinful. He created us with the freedom to obey Him or not, but all of us fall short and sin. Jesus was sent to make everything right again, so even though we still sin, we can ask for forgiveness and receive it. It wouldn't be faith if we could prove that God exists, but creation itself points toward God.

    May 14, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Eric G

      So, you think that god made us incompetent because we choose to sin? As George Carlin said: "This is not the type of work one should expect from a Supreme Being. This is the type of work you would expect from an office temp with a bad att-itude."

      What specifically are do you see all around you that is evidence that your god exists? Please present evidence to support your claim.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      George Carlin KNOWS NOW! He would do anything to recant his frivolous rantings! HE would gladly crawl like a lowest beggar on this earth just to have a chance to repent! But HE did what he loved to do when he was here. Pity on his poor soul!

      May 14, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      No, Carlin's having a few cold ones with Joe Pesce and laughing at you, Prism, while you wager like Pascal, and lose.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Eric G

      @PRISM 1234: You make many statements of absolute knowledge in your post.

      Please present verifiable evidence to support your claims, or you can admit that your claims are based on wishful thinking.

      By the way, threats of hell do not intimidate non-believers. Hell does not scare me becuase no evidence has been presented to support it's existence. What does concern me is people who think they have the right to threaten me at all. If you do find it necessary to threaten me, please present some evidence.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • trixen

      @Up Your Rear Admiral
      Dude I'm a HUGE George Carlin fan... but I hate to break it to you... Carlin ain't having a few cold ones with Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci's alive and Carlin is dust in the wind. Carlin didn't believe in any kind of afterlife either. Awesome nickname on your comment by the way. ;D

      @PRISM 1234 Nah... He actually lived an awesome life and probably did all of the things you're afraid to do because you fear going to "hell." The last thought to cross that man's mind before he died was probably, "Damn, it's been an hell of a trip." Heck, I've probably done more crazy stuff in my life than you'll ever get to do because you're afraid of displeasing your imaginary god. I've smoked up in Amsterdam, been to tons of awesome concerts and parties, been high on drugs you've probably never even heard of, and slept with more women than I can count on my fingers and toes. I'm still alive and kicking and showing no signs of slowing down.. When I die, I can look back on my life and say it was one big party from start to finish. I've already been to heaven as far as I'm concerned. I'm there now and I'm loving every minute of it. What will you have done? Well... you will have tried to "Live for the Lord" in *hopes* (there's that "faith" thing) that you'll get a second chance to have pleasure in the afterlife. For your sake, I hope you're right. I'm enjoying my party now. Science as pretty much proven to me that I get one chance at life. I plan to live every minute of it. Now excuse me, I have a bowl to smoke and a party to go to...

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

      science *has* pretty much proven – typo correction 😉

      May 14, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • crucified

      Here is the proof of God you were requesting...E\psi(r)=-\frac{\hbar}{2m}\nabla^2\psi+V(r)\psi(r)
      It is both testable, measurable, and a matter of fact in quatum physics. You live in a reality subordinate to a greater reality. It was Created by a Designer for images have purpose and meaning.. and all the applied science (measurable sciences) are meaningless for at the sub atomic level we are non locally connected and react when measured. You are in the Matrix..whether you like it or not. God created the rules. you can live by them.. or not..but the results will still occur..in laymans terms...Could you create an enviroment that a fish would believe always existed..a self contained eco system that he believed had been there millions of millions of years...? of course you could.. you are trying to measure infiinite with limited sensory perceptors that coordinate your path through electrical impulses to your brain....you are a fish... and you are trying to bring God down to your level. instead of to the spiritual he recides in.. he is not limited to your receptors or time for that matter...Your proof mister self righteous atheist is in the equation.. it is a mathmatical fact.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • FZM

      Let's put your religious ignorance right in the context is deserves, using the words of your own holy book, shall we?

      Adam and Even had no knowledge of Good and Evil, correct. When they ate of the fruit, "their eyes were opened," correct? Therefore, before they ate of the fruit, they were no more than toddlers, both mentally and morally, as toddlers have no concept of "Good and Evil" either. Now, I'd like to pose a question to you: Would you throw your toddler child out of the house for good for swiping a cookie that you yourself left on the table, knowing that the child didn't know that was "wrong"? Are you that kind of parent? No? Congratulations, you are both morally and intellectually superior to your "God".

      So why worship something inferior to yourself?

      May 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • crucified

      @FZM I gave proof of the spirtual realm..in mathmatics.. you as a rebuttle offer emotional mombo jombo...E\psi(r)=-\frac{\hbar}{2m}\nabla^2\psi+V(r)\psi(r)
      if you do not like the game you are in..you do not have to play.. but the results will be the same..only those who choose to play. choose to accept..will recieve the reward of recognciliation.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      crucified:
      I won't begin to claim that I understand quantum physics, however, I am very good with Google. If the source of your proof is Tipler's book, you will find that it really isn't mainstream science. Your "proof" is simply a highly disputed personal interpretation of an equation, by a scientist with an idea but little evidence. Nice try, though.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • pho non

      crucified, here is correct equation that applies to your case:

      your post = utter and complete nonsense, not mathematics

      Nothing in your post shows any understanding of quantum mechanics. Shows quite the opposite, actually.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • HollyD

      FZM i couldn't of said that any better i don't think its possible

      May 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • crucified

      the equation is fact.. and cannot be desputed because it has a workable solution.. you are trying to confuse people.. we live in a subreality of a greater one.. in 1982 that shows non locally connected either something travels faster than light or they have relationships that or non locally connected.. sub atomics have no dimension therefore the spiritual is more real than this.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Peter Kerr

      What about the Muhammad guy? he was illiterate, that's the whole reason more than a Billion people believe in the Quran because some illiterate guy would need a miracle to produce anything in writing........so, if you want to say this Christian Material us forged because Christians were illiterate, then go the rest of the way and say the Islamic Material is forged also, because, as everyone knows and even brags about.....Muhammad was illiterate.....I'm not saying anything is true....I'm saying, go the whole hog....take them all down,

      May 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • josh

      There is nothing about creation that even remotely points towards god.

      May 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • crucified

      @ josh you said creation! meaning Created! meaning GOD!

      May 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @crucified and the readers of his posts:

      "Many ideas associated with "quantum mysticism" have been criticized as either misinterpretations of quantum mechanics or as pseudoscience." – Source: Quantum mysticism From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      and

      Quantum mysticism From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Welcome to the world of people like Deepak Chopra.

      Cheers!

      May 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @EricG
      You said " You make many statements of absolute knowledge in your post.....Please present verifiable evidence to support your claims, or you can admit that your claims are based on wishful thinking.......threats of hell do not intimidate non-believers. Hell does not scare me because no evidence has been presented to support it's existence. What does concern me is people who think they have the right to threaten me at all. If you do find it necessary to threaten me, please present some evidence."
      Yes I speak with authority becasue the source where my authority comes from is ABSOLUTE. It is NOT given to me to PROVE anything to you, because the proof that was meant for you to have was already given to you by your Creator, but you did not seek Him, and ins-pite of f it, have rejected even what was given to you. So that part of you that would know your Creator has become dead, even while you live in you body. Therefore you will get no other proof till the day of your appointment, when you physical frame ceases living, and releases your imortal soul.

      But WHY do you think I, and others like myself speak threats? We speak what we know, because it was shown to us, but it was shown to us because WE DID NOT REFUSE TO LISTEN.... You had the same chance to know the Creator who gave you the gift of life, but refused Him in the pride and arrogance of your heart.

      Now, when we, who know Him, and know that His word is MORE then just words written on many scrolls, and that His judgments are true, powerrfull and uncompromising....when we speak to you and those like yourself, warning you that you are on the way that leads to death that's far worse then only physical one, some even pleading with you to listen, hoping that there may be an even small spark left in your heart that would cause you to hear, so you would not go into Christ- less eternity... and you're telling us we're threatening you!
      Listen, friend! I, in my own folly of my youth, went astray, and sought my own pleasures, forgeting the God I knew in my tender years, when He revealed Himself to me in ways that was very personal and real.
      But He in His mercy, because of my straying, as a loving Father warning His wayward child, allowed me to hear the voices of weeping and mourning, of mult-itu-deds , male and female... the kind that no human ears ever hear in it natural state, and I believe, very few are allowed ever to hear .... Those were the voices of souls in immeasurable sorrow, and the sense of loss, the regret and loneliness in them was so inexpressible, that I don't think words of any language of this world contain abiliaty to express the depth of their desperation.... But it was the mercy of God to allow me to hear them, lest I in my own folly go on my way and never turn again to Him, that place being my destination. This is the place of the damned, those who are lost for eternity, without Christ whom they rejected, and turned away!
      Is it then a crime and offence to you and such as yourself, when I or some of others who speak here, to warn you that there is more to this life, and the body and skin that is for right now covering over your skeleton is only a ve-ssel that contains your immortal soul?
      You are NOT an animal! You are a human being whose soul will go on living... forever, for God's sake!
      You are NOT your own! Just like you came into this world, you will go, your life was given to you, and it will be taken! You have no choice about it.
      Don't you care ? .... You keep saying you want proof.. If you keep on the way you are, YOU WILL GET YOUR PROOF, VERY SOON, and you will be among those voices I heard long ago, that quiet summer night, while becoming wide awake, and wondering WHY, and when God had pity on me showing me what awaits those who chose to go their own way.
      I have written to you before, in a lenghty post, I'm sure you'v seen it.... but if you keep hardning your heart, you may be lost forever, youar voice among those damned for eternity...
      May God have mercy on you and those on here who mock Him, but they don't know what is awaiting them!
      Tio you and them it may be a fun game comming here spewing you bellittling words at those of us who speak to you about what WE KNOW. But this is not a cmatter of f game nora who winns th argunent. It is about the souls of human beings for whom Christ died that they may live and never end up in that place of the damned where no human soul should ever enter in!

      May 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      P.S. I didn't get to check spelling on this part....

      To you and them it may be a fun game comming here spewing you belittling words at those of us who speak to you about what WE KNOW. But this is not a matter of f game nor who wins the argument. It is about the souls of human beings for whom Christ died that they may live and never end up in that place of the damned where no human soul should ever enter in!

      I also want to mention, that I do notice that your posts are not usually as of the others, so I should have not compared you exactly with them... Thanks for being civil !

      May 15, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
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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.